Each weekday, our college hoops experts discuss the biggest issues, trends and themes in college basketball.
1. No one was prepared to see Tulsa in the NCAA tournament field, so what do the Golden Hurricane do well? What are their weaknesses?
Andy Katz: Guard play. This team can perform from the perimeter.
Eamonn Brennan: What do they do well? Lose to Memphis! Hey-o! OK, OK, we'll move on from the what-is-Tulsa-doing-in-this-field jokes -- for now -- in the interests of mentioning that the Golden Hurricane are the oldest team in the country; seven of nine rotation players are seniors. They don't turn over the ball much and force a fair number of turnovers in their own right. How much that will come into play in a game against Michigan is debatable.
Myron Medcalf: Tulsa's strength: restoring the hope of woeful offenses around the country. Memphis registered 1.21 and 1.22 points per possession in back-to-back wins over the Golden Hurricane. Cincinnati, 97th in adjusted offensive efficiency per KenPom.com, finished with a 1.17 PPP. Bad offense? Poor scoring history? Play Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane usually fix that.
2. Same question for Michigan. What did the Wolverines do well in their 22 wins? What was exploited in their 12 losses?
Katz: The Wolverines are simply too thin in key positions and defensively have been worn down at times.
Brennan: The Wolverines are, in typical John Beilein fashion, an above-average offensive team that shoots it well from everywhere, especially from 3, and almost never turns over the ball -- even less, per-trip, than does Tulsa. Unfortunately, when shots aren't falling (or in games without injured guard Caris LeVert, when UM went 11-9) their nonexistent offensive rebounding means second chances almost never happen. That characteristic, plus so-so defense, explains their mediocre regular season.
Medcalf: Michigan's strength has been its ability to overcome the loss of LeVert. He was a lottery pick on draft boards before the season, but a foot injury limited him to just one game after Dec. 30. Michigan didn't secure a berth with the strongest résumé in the field, but it's important to remember the program suffered nine of its 12 losses without its best player.
3. If you're Oregon, whom would you rather face on Friday? Holy Cross or Southern?
Katz: Southern. The Crusaders can shoot and everyone loves a real underdog with a poor record.
Brennan: It doesn't matter; neither team has a chance. Probably Southern, though, if only to save yourself the minor annoyance of a walk-through spent preparing players for Bill Carmody's 1-3-1 zone.
Medcalf: Holy Cross has limited its turnovers and forced a respectable portion of TOs (20 percent of its defensive possessions, per KenPom.com). So I'll go with Southern, I guess.