Sale Sharks vs Connacht

Sale Sharks vs Connacht : Sale Sharks vs Connacht Rugby at AJ Bell Stadium 29th Mar 2019 at 19:45 Friday.Sale Sharks vs Connacht will hope to make fifth time lucky when they tackle European Challenge Cup quarter-final opponents on Friday.

Click To Watch Rugby Live Stream For Free

Fly-half returns as Sam James moves to centre to cover the injured James O’Connor while Connacht have Bundee Aki back for their fifth attempt to reach the Challenge Cup semi-finals

Sale Sharks vs Connacht Live Stream : How To Watch Connacht vs Sale Sharks 2019 Rugby Game Online Free HD TV Channel

Sam James moves to centre, in place of the injured James O’Connor, while Josh Beaumont shifts to number eight.Bundee Aki returns to the Connacht XV after featuring in all of Ireland’s games at the Six Nations.

Jack Carty and Kieran Marmion start in the half-backs, having both come off the bench in the win over Benetton.Darragh Leader is named at full-back while winger Niyi Adeolokun makes his first start since picking up an arm injury in November.

Props Peter McCabe and Dominic Robertson-McCoy join captain Tom McCartney in the front row.The two sides meet for the third time this season after Sale finished top of Pool Three, ahead of the Irish province on bonus points.

The Sharks have won five of the previous six meetings between the clubs, with Connacht triumphing 20-18 in their most recent encounter in January.
Connacht will hope to make fifth time lucky when they tackle European Challenge Cup quarter-final opponents Sale Sharks on Friday.

The Irish side have lost all four of their previous Challenge Cup last-eight clashes against English opposition.But they will head to the AJ Bell Stadium buoyed by Ireland centre Bundee Aki making his return after the Six Nations, while Jack Carty and Kieran Marmion forge Connacht’s half-back combination.

Connacht head coach Andy Friend said: “We said at the start of the season that we wanted to be in the business end of both the Challenge Cup and the Pro14 competitions.

“We face a tough challenge away to Sale, but this is knockout rugby and we have picked a side to go and win the game.”I am happy with how the squad has been performing over the past few weeks.

“We are seeing strong competition for places, there is a real intensity to our training and we are seeing that in our performances on the pitch.
“We have played Sale twice this season, with both teams winning a game apiece, so I expect Friday night to be another tight affair.”

Twice Challenge Cup winners Sale are bolstered by a return to action for fly-half AJ MacGinty, who starts against his former team.Sam James moves to centre, replacing an injured James O’Connor, with Josh Beaumont starting at number eight in a back-row that also features Jono Ross and Tom Curry.

The Challenge Cup quarter-finals continue on Saturday when Worcester host Harlequins, while Sunday’s action sees Bristol travel to La Rochelle and Northampton visit Clermont Auvergne.

Bundee Aki has returned to the Connacht starting team for their European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Sale Sharks on Friday night. This will be Aki’s first start for Connacht since featuring in all of Ireland’s games in the recent Six Nations Championship.

The Connacht side will be captained by hooker Tom McCartney, who makes his 100th appearance for the province. Carty also returns to the starting line-up, having come off the bench in the home win over Benetton last weekend. Alongside Carty will be fellow international Kieran Marmion who also featured off the bench last time out.

In the back three, Darragh Leader is named at full back with Cian Kelleher and Niyi Adeolokun on the wings. Adeolokun makes his first start since November, when he picked up an arm injury against the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. Aki’s inclusion in the midfield sees him form a partnership with the versatile Kyle Godwin.

Up front, props Peter McCabe and Dominic Robertson-McCoy join McCartney in the front row. While in the second row Gavin Thornbury continues his return from injury alongside James Cannon.In the back row Eoghan Masterson and James Connolly are named at blindside and openside respectively, with 22 year old Paul Boyle at number 8.

MacGinty played in five of the club’s first six games, but his only other appearance was at Northampton in February. Sam James reverts to his preferred position of outside centre, in place of the injured James O’Connor.

Josh Beaumont starts at No.8, with skipper Jono Ross and Tom Curry on the flanks. Will Cliff is fit to resume, following his enforced departure against Leicester Tigers three weeks ago and is joined by Scots’ international Josh Strauss on the bench.Aki will make his first start for the western province since before Six Nations where he played in every game for Joe Schmidt’s side.

Both Connacht and Sale have already faced off with one another in the pool stage of this competition with both sides recording one win apiece.Connacht’s last visit to the AJ Bell Stadium resulted in defeat so they know a much-improved performance will be required to progress to the semi-finals.

Joining Aki, fellow Ireland internationals Kieran Marmion and Jack Carty are named in the halfbacks while Aki will partner Kyle Godwin at 12 and the back-three is made up of Niyi Adeolokun, Cian Kelleher and Darragh Leader who is named at fullback.

Hurricanes vs Crusaders

Hurricanes vs Crusaders : The Crusaders have whipped The Hurricanes 32-8 at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium. Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has reshuffled his loose-forward trio to make room for All Blacks captain Kieran Read against the Hurricanes on Friday.The Hurricanes will be looking to defend their proud home record against the might of the Crusaders in this one,

Hurricanes vs Crusaders Live Stream : How To Watch Crusaders vs Hurricanes 2019 Rugby Game Online Free HD TV Channel

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has reshuffled his loose-forward trio to make room for All Blacks captain Kieran Read against the Hurricanes on Friday.The international number eight will slot straight into his customary position, shifting incumbent Whetu Douglas to the blindside flank and Jordan Taufua to the bench.

The two-time defending champions have responded to their first loss of the Super Rugby season – 20-12 to the Waratahs last Saturday – with arguably their best available line-up for this week’s local derby.

Coach Scott Robertson is delighted he finally has the chance to unleash the All Blacks skipper.”He’s excited. he’s fully fit, he’s had that mental refresher and he has trained really well,” Robertson said.

“It means a lot [to have Read back]. He has the experience of playing in big games – he offers us a calm head and he has that ability to help out our captain with his leadership.”Read was expected back two weeks ago but his return was put on hold by All Blacks management. The two-time Rugby World Cup winner is excited to finally hit the park.

“The last few weeks have been about making sure everything is in top nick and getting the all clear from the medical team,” Read said.”It’s a pretty big year so you obviously have to take all that into account but right now I am confident I am good to go. I can’t wait – I feel like I am in as good a nick as I have been at any point of my career which was the aim this year. That’s what the long off-season was all about.”Now it’s time to go out there and get stuck in.”

The Douglas-Taufua decision is one area of debate, while Will Jordan’s emergence has put the established outside backs on notice.In Sydney, the Crusaders sorely missed rested All Blacks Scott Barrett and Richie Mo’unga, while international prop Owen Franks was a late scratching from his 150th outing for the side, after injuring his shoulder in training.

He will return to celebrate his milestone in Wellington instead. The Christchurch-based franchise is also without All Blacks props Joe Moody (ankle) and Tim Perry (arm), who continue to recover from early-season injuries.The Crusaders have picked up a very good win over the Hurricanes and beaten them 32 points to 8 in a display that will remind everyone why they are favourites to retain their Super Rugby title.

Ahead of the game there was a lot to be excited about with so much individual talent on the same pitch and both sides bubbling over with attacking weapons.In the end though the game was more about errors especially for the Canes. If you looked purely at the possession and territory stats then you’d be very confused by the result. The Canes had 61% possession and 57% territory but the real story is how ineffective they were with the ball and position.

20 turnovers in the game from the Canes highlights that despite the fact that they had the ball a lot, they just kept giving it back to the Crusaders and that will frustrate players and coaches alike.

The attacking back line of the Canes that drips with talent was ineffective tonight and Beauden Barrett will want to forget this game as quickly as possible. He wasn’t in control and he created very little for his side. In fact not only that but he also threw two intercepts and just was never able to stamp his command or quality on the match.

The Canes forwards were surprisingly competitive, especially at the scrum but they too made too many errors in the loose where they forced passes, dropped balls and gave away possession at the ruck.

The Crusaders absorbed and absorbed and just took advantage of Canes errors at the right times. Whether it be from kicks from the Crusaders that the Canes didn’t deal with cleanly or picking off intercept passes, the Crusaders seemed to know that if they waited patiently then their chances would come.

They looked far more confident with ball in hand and when they did attack both backs and forwards linked up seamlessly. They were also more patient as they built their attacks believing that they could stretch the Canes bit by bit before creating the gap or space. The Canes on the flip side looked like they were trying to score off of every attack and created few opportunities with all their possession.

The Crusaders will be very happy with the result and the performance while the Canes will be wondering how they are going to challenge their Kiwi rivals for that top spot.There’s loads more Super Rugby on The Roar this weekend so get involved! See you next time.

Take a former Test player with an evolving philosophy about what it means to be a coach, send him on a mission to absorb the best a champion Super Rugby side can offer and then bring it back to an enabling environment with players just as eager to embrace anything that can help them develop their game.

It sounds quite the recipe for improvement and Jerry Flannery believes he is beginning to see the rewards in what may just be a quiet revolution taking place at Munster.

Forwards coach Flannery and attack coach Felix Jones were both dispatched to New Zealand last summer as the province they served with distinction as players sought fresh impetus to take the next step towards a return to Europe’s top table.

With Jones spending his close season in Wellington with the Hurricanes and Flannery pitching up in Christchurch to work with the Crusaders, Johann van Graan’s assistants returned with eyes opened as to the way to take Munster to the next level following a 2017-18 campaign that saw the province come up short in two semi-finals.

Tomorrow’s Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final against Edinburgh at Murrayfield may not see the culmination of their efforts but Flannery’s firm beliefs in player ownership and a commitment to consistent work on rugby’s fundamentals, all of which were confirmed during his spell with former team-mate Ronan O’Gara and the Crusaders, are beginning to blossom and the collective seems set to benefit from its individuals’ progress.

Waratahs vs Sunwolves

Waratahs vs Sunwolves : The first time ever the NSW Waratahs will play a home Super Rugby game away from Sydney when they travel north to face the Sunwolves. The Waratahs will field one of their most inexperienced playmaking partnerships against the Sunwolves but Kurtley Beale says he has a good. The Waratahs claimed a shock 20-12 victory against the Crusaders in round six,

Waratahs vs Sunwolves Live Stream : How To Watch Sunwolves vs Waratahs 2019 Rugby Game Online Free HD TV Channel

The Waratahs will play Japan’s Sunwolves in their first ever Super Rugby match in Newcastle tonight (7.45pm AEDT) as they attempt to back up a win which has taken them to the top of the Australian conference.Mack Mason will start a Super Rugby game for the first time at fly half as the Waratahs rest Wallabies No 10 Bernard Foley along with Adam Ashley-Cooper and Jack Dempsey.

“We wouldn’t be putting him in if we didn’t have confidence in him,” Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said.Fresh off ending the longest win streak in Super Rugby history last week and sitting pretty at the top of the Australian conference, confidence around the NSW base at Daceyville is through the roof. The Waratah’s defense which they have dubbed ‘The Blue Wall’ strangled the previously unbeaten Crusaders at the SCG forcing them into a very uncharacteristic error ridden performance.

A lot of praise has been heaped on new Welsh defence coach Steve Tandy midweek after allowing the Crusaders just 12 points, which included a try off a blatant forward pass and another after the full time siren.

Just over 24 hours after hearing their Super Rugby journey would all come to an end in 2021 the Sunwolves marched out in Singapore to face the might of the Lions. Despite leading 7-0 they eventually succumbed to a 3rd successive loss going down 37-24, thereby slipping to last on the overall Super Rugby ladder. The historic win over the Chiefs in Hamilton seems a long time ago for the embattled franchise. Having said that a last ditch Karmicheal Hunt charge down attempt was the difference between these sides when they met in round 2 so don’t expect all one-way traffic on a warm evening in the Hunter.

The Waratahs have played the Sunwolves four times in Super rugby and they have won all four matches making them unbeaten against the Japanese side.Three of the matches were played in Tokyo and one was played in Sydney. This weekend the match will be played in Newcastle.

The last time the Waratahs played the Sunwolves on Australian soil was last year in 2018 and they won 77-25.Just four personnel changes to the Waratahs side that knocked the Crusaders off their perch last weekend with three of those occurring due to Wallaby rest allocations. The aforementioned Mack Mason and Micheal Wells will start in place of Bernard Foley and Jack Dempsey.

Elsewhere Karmicheal Hunt returns at outside centre in place of Adam Ashley-Cooper while the aggressive Lachlan Swinton will join Wells and captain Hooper in a new-look back row. This sees Ned Hanigan shifting into the 2nd row in place of Jed Holloway who is out with a rib injury. Israel Folau’s 112kg younger brother John, is set for his debut after being named as a late inclusion on the bench.

The big news out of the Japanese camp is that disgraced number 8 Amanaki Mafi will not make the trip down under after a visa issue prevented him from entering the country. In other team news Hendrik Tui returns at blindside flanker, while bruising lock Uwe Helu has been promoted to start.
During his time with the Highlanders, Tony Brown believed the Australian Super Rugby franchises were too predictable.

His theory proved to be accurate as the New Zealand sides enjoyed an incredible 40-match winning run over their Australian counterparts in a streak that lasted two years.

However, the Sunwolves head coach said he has seen a vast improvement in the way the game was being played in Australia, with the Waratahs leading the charge in their nation’s development of gameplay tactics.

Speaking on the Fox Rugby Podcast in the lead-up to their clash against the in-form Daryl Gibson-coached side in Newcastle, Brown said it was becoming more difficult to scout Australian outfits due to their implementation of kick-based tactics.

“It’s interesting because when I was with the Highlanders the Australian teams tended to hold the ball for a long time and they always believed that that was the way to win games of rugby,” the 44-year-old said.“I felt as though we always had an advantage there because we just knew what they were going to do, and then you could plan around that and put them under real pressure.

“But, from what’s happened in the last couple of years and definitely the development of the Waratahs’ rugby, their kicking game has become a real weapon for them, and when you’ve got guys like Israel Folau, the aerial game is now a massive part of the Waratahs game as well.“They’ve developed their game hugely in the last couple of years and are actually playing a lot more like the Highlanders did a few years ago.”

Kentucky vs Houston

Kentucky vs Houston : NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game Kentucky continues NCAA Tournament play Friday against Houston. The disparity on the line will be the difference late for UK, but both defenses will make this ugly for long stretches. Wofford had won over 20 games in a row when they battled the Wildcats in the second round.

Kentucky vs Houston Live Stream: How to Watch NCAAM Basketball 2019 Online Free HD TV Coverage 

This will require another gem from Kentucky point guard Ashton Hagans, who is coming off his best game in months. With Houston rostering just one player over 6-8, Kentucky’s size in the painted area should be a significant advantage in both scoring around the basket and in opening driving lanes for Hagans as well as other facilitators like Immanuel Quickley, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro.

In terms of advanced analytics, these two teams are about as close as you’ll see in any Sweet 16 game. Kentucky currently ranks seventh overall in KenPom efficiency, thanks in large part to their eighth-ranked defense. The offense isn’t far behind at 11th overall, but it clearly wasn’t the same in Jacksonville when Washington wasn’t playing.

As for the Cougars, they rank 12th overall on the strength of their 12th-ranked defense. They’re actually the top team in the nation in terms of opponent effective field-goal percentage. They rank fifth in opponent two-point percentage and first in opponent three-point percentage.

The one knock on Houston is they have just one win over a KenPom top-25 team (LSU) and one away from their home arena, though they do sport victories over Oregon (29), Cincinnati twice (30) and UCF (34).

Kentucky certainly has some advantages in this game, but nothing comes easy during this point of the tournament. Friday night is fully-expected to be an all-out grind.
PJ Washington took his turn in front of the cameras Thursday.

In Washington’s first public comments since spraining his left foot in the SEC Tournament, his every word and movement would be dissected in an effort to determine if the sophomore forward will be ready to return in time to play in Kentucky’s Sweet 16 game against Houston.

So, when Washington appeared to grimace in discomfort while surrounded by the dozens of reporters huddled around his locker before the Wildcats’ pre-Sweet 16 practice, it was easy to leap to the wrong conclusion.

The cast is off, as Kentucky Wildcats forward PJ Washington appears to be set to return .The Wildcats managed to get past both of their opening and second round opponents without Washington, but should be grateful to have him back in time for the Sweet 16.

On Friday evening, Kentucky will lace up their Nike high-tops against the Houston Cougars, a non-power five school that has emerged as one of the better programs in the country. The Cougars probably aren’t a team the average fan is very familiar with, but are most certainly a force to be reckoned with on the basketball court.

Washington’s return adds a viable post presence to Kentucky’s repertoire, which was desperately needed during stretches of their second round outing against Wofford. While graduate transfer Reid Travis has soundly carried his own weight (and then some), two is always better than one.

Speaking of offense, Kentucky will need to play their most efficient game of the season against Houston. The Cougars boast the top-overall field goal defense, top-overall three-point field goal defense rank, and the seventh-ranked scoring defense.

While some of the numbers could be considered inflated against lesser competition during the regular season, Houston is indeed “for real” and will more than pressure Kentucky. They’ve held their two tournament opponents to an average of 57 points per game while scoring an average of 79 PPG.

The Cougars don’t rank in the Top-50 when compiling blocks or steals, which reflects the fact that they simply force their opponents into difficult shots for the full 40-minute outing.

Duke vs Virginia Tech

Duke vs Virginia Tech : Virginia Tech upset Duke when they faced off in the regular season. With both teams having their best players back. Duke suffered another loss without star freshman Zion Williamson on Tuesday. Having star point guard Justin Robinson back on the court was music to the ears of Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams.

Duke vs Virginia Tech Live Stream: How to Watch NCAAM Basketball 2019 Online Free HD TV Coverage 

Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said Outlaw took and passed a drug test this week, before traveling with the rest of the team up to Washington for the game against the Blue Devils. “Maybe sometimes what scrolls across the TV may not actually be the whole story,” Williams said in a news conference Thursday. “Or what is published on Twitter in an ironically efficient pace may not be the whole story. Ty’s handled everything perfect. He’s been transparent not only with me, but with all of the authorities involved. And I think it will play itself out.”

Virginia Tech beat Duke last month — albeit with freshman star Zion Williamson on the sideline. And when asked about the rematch, the Hokies weren’t interested in building up Duke’s brand. “My three out of four years here at Virginia Tech, we’ve beaten Duke,” said guard Justin Robinson, who also missed the Hokies’ 77-72 win on Feb. 26. “I don’t think we’re excited for the moment. I think it’s just another game for us.”

Teammate Ahmed Hill then leaned into his microphone to offer a confirmation: “100 percent.” The Hokies’ players exited the dais at Capital One Arena joking about the hype surrounding Duke, in spite of Virginia Tech’s success.

Of course, the win last month comes with a large asterisk, as Williamson was sidelined with a knee injury. Since returning to action in the ACC tournament, he has averaged 27.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, and Duke is 5-0.

“Our game plan stays the same,” Hill said. “Yeah, he’s a tremendous player. But it is what it is. We’re going to not let the ball get in the paint … make him shoot long, contested 3s and force turnovers. We’re going to limit our turnovers and get great shots.”

Outlaw, a senior who is the team’s top 3-point shooter, is facing a possession of marijuana charge after police said they found marijuana in his Blacksburg, Virginia, apartment while the Hokies were in California for the first rounds of the NCAA tournament.

In a statement released Thursday, Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams said Outlaw was administered and passed a drug test. That played a part in the athletic department’s decision to allow him to play against the top-seeded Blue Devils.

Keeping Williamson out of the paint has been a tough task for Duke opponents this year, but Virginia Tech also will get a boost from Robinson’s return to action. The point guard missed the last month of the season and the ACC tournament before returning last weekend for the NCAA tournament.

“We played 12 games without [Robinson],” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. “It’s arguable, but I think he’s really important to what we do. I know that’s not the storyline today. But he has, for sure, made an impact in the progression of our program. “But it’s hard to say what the difference is other than two teams have both added two really important cogs to the roster.”

Virginia Tech starting guard/forward Ty Outlaw will be available to play against Duke in the Sweet 16 on Friday after being charged with marijuana possession, the school announced Thursday.

Outlaw was charged in connection with a search warrant that was executed on his apartment last week when he and the Hokies were playing in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Virginia Tech became aware of the situation on Monday evening.

North Carolina vs Auburn

North Carolina vs Auburn : North Carolina destroys everyone on the boards, but Auburn is good at attacking the glass. It’s the same advantage they had against Washington, but exists here in a different fashion. Get a summary of the Auburn Tigers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels basketball game. The Auburn Tigers and the North Carolina Tar Heels meet in an NCAA tournament sweet 16 matchup in college basketball action.

North Carolina vs Auburn Live Stream: How to Watch NCAAM Basketball 2019 Online Free HD TV Coverage 

North Carolina is 29-1 when scoring 74 points or more. The lone loss was the 92-89 miscue against Texas, when the season was in its infancy. Of those 29 wins, just seven have been within single digits. Only two of those seven have been within one possession (Miami at home, and at Clemson). Per KenPom, UNC is the 6th fastest team in the country with an Adjusted Tempo (AdjT) of 74.1 possessions per game and a raw tempo of 75.8.

However, getting a handle on how much Auburn “runs” is difficult. They only rank 157th in the country with an AdjT at 67.8. Their average possession lasts 16.5 seconds, just 64th nationally.

People may be mistaking “shoots an ungodly amount of threes” with “playing fast”. Auburn has made 38.2% of their three point attempts, which account for 43.5% of their overall scoring production. Their 421 made three-point field goals lead the nation and their 1113 attempts are second most in the country. That shooting frequency and success may account for a lower amount of possessions (fewer rebounds, thus fewer possessions) but to say they “run” might be a stretch.

For reference, NC State, St. Francis, Stanford, Florida State, Duke, Gonzaga, Iona, Tennessee Tech and Elon all play as fast, or faster, than Auburn. North Carolina’s record against those teams? 11-1.

If Auburn truly tries to run with the Heels, the game could be over by the first media timeout of the second half.

Coby White
Everyone loves Coby. He’s good at what he does. Few players have been more fun to watch. North Carolina would not a championship contender without him. None of this is disputable.

However, Roy Williams has never made the Final Four with a freshman point guard at UNC. Bobby Frasor and Marcus Paige lost in the second round, while Ty Lawson and Kendall Marshall lost in the Elite Eight. Add whatever caveats you want to explain why Coby is “different” or “better” than previous freshman point guards, but the facts are what they are.

It’s also really hard to win a title with a first year player running the offense. Only two teams in the last 30 years have accomplished that feat. Kentucky in 2012 and Duke in 2015. As we saw in the closing weeks of the season, the offense has sputtered late in close games and execution suffers.

Coby has a propensity to over dribble, go incredibly cold from deep, and/or fail to keep facilitating the offense. Before shooting 6-11 (4-7 3P) against Washington, he had gone a combined 15-45 (3-21) in the three previous games against Louisville, Duke, and Iona. That is not a typo. Can this team afford that kind of streakiness from a score-first point guard as the competition heats up?

Pick your Poison: Bryce Brown or Jared Harper?
I’m not a 3-time NCAA champion like Coach Williams , but if Kenny Williams is healthy one would expect Roy to give him the assignment on Auburn shooting guard Bryce Brown. The 6-3 senior for the Tigers averages 15.9 points on 40.8% shooting from behind the arc. He attempts a team-high 8.7 three-pointers per game. He’s a shorter, more explosive version of Cam Johnson…if Cam only played one position, did nothing but shoot, and never rebounded or handed out assists.

Brown is good, but if he’s not hitting shots, he provides almost no tangible value. Averaging 2.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 2.0 turnovers a game, Kenny (and maybe Brandon Robinson) will be tasked with preventing Brown from touching the ball. That’s easier said than done and will likely be made more complicated by UNC’s philosophy on transition D (where they usually sprint back to the paint and then close-out on shooters, instead of finding their man wherever he is on the court). However, Auburn has seven players that average at least one three-point attempt per game. Five of those seven players average better than 35% from deep. Gotta start somewhere when drawing up a game plan, right?

One of those additional sharp shooters is point guard Jared Harper. The 5-11 junior averages 15.3 ppg while attempting 6.7 three-point shots a game. His 37.9% success rate is fourth best on the team, which is silly to think about. Unlike Brown, he’s more than just a shooter, averaging 5.7 assists per game. The Heels will do everything they can to make Brown a non-factor, but if Harper is given free rein to create in transition, the Tigers will stay close for most of the afternoon.

Michigan State vs LSU

Michigan State vs LSU : LSU presents a different physical challenge that Michigan State has yet to face this season. This is the game where the Michigan State turnover issues will matter, with LSU coming up with steal after steal, and converting enough to pull this off. The Spartans first face 3-seed LSU in the Sweet 16 on Friday at Capital One Center.

Michigan State vs LSU Live Stream: How to Watch NCAAM Basketball 2019 Online Free HD TV Coverage 

MSU has only had four players foul out this season, none since Matt McQuaid picked up five in an overtime loss to Indiana on Feb. 2. Winston (vs. Louisville), Goins (vs. Nebraska) and sophomore Xavier Tillman (vs. Kansas) are the others who fouled out this winter.

Izzo continues to sit players who pick up two fouls in the first half, which has meant using freshmen in pivotal moments — Foster Loyer replacing Winston at point guard, Gabe Brown taking over on the wing for McQuaid or Aaron Henry, and Thomas Kithier spelling Goins, Tillman or Nick Ward in the post.

Twenty players have fouled out against LSU this season, and it will be part of the Tigers’ strategy to attack the Spartans and try and make Izzo go to his bench.

“That’s gonna be a big part of the game plan,” LSU senior forward Kavell Bigby-Williams said. “They’ve got some good bigs, but we’ve got some good bigs and a lot of depth on our team. The fact that we can use our depth to our advantage, hopefully that can help us win the game.”

That is where the Spartans’ poise will be needed. The veterans, led by Winston, a junior, and seniors McQuaid and Goins, realize their presence on the court is needed from here out. And avoiding unnecessary fouls is imperative.

“Knowing that they draw a lot of fouls, just to be solid,” Tillman said. “When they try to play physical, be smart and get your hands out of there, but at the same time still be able to contest the shots that they shoot. And as far as rebounding, show that you’re not overly physical but you do the job so they don’t get the rebounds.”

“You just gotta be stronger. You gotta know that they have guys who are willing to get fouls. With us, I don’t feel like we have guys who are like, ‘OK, I’m gonna get a foul and I’m gonna be OK with that.’ Everybody wants to play, everybody wants to be on the court. They just try to be as solid as possible. “

That ability to stay on the court is vital for No. 2 seed MSU in the NCAA tournament, with Tom Izzo mostly using a six-man rotation and giving his starters a heavy workload. And it will be tested Friday in the Sweet 16 against No. 3 seed LSU, a team that actively tries to get opponents in foul trouble.

“We watch film on it, talk about that and just the way they try to draw you into fouling,” MSU senior forward Kenny Goins said in the locker room at Capital One Arena. “It’s really just based on most of them coming toward you and through you. Sometimes you gotta give up stuff to preserve yourself in the late-game.”

Oregon vs Virginia

Oregon vs Virginia : in NCAA 2019 Tournament Sweet 16 Game Tv, Oregon vs Virginia College basketball heavyweights take center stage on Thursday at 9:39 p.m. ET The only double-digit seed left in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, the No. 12-seeded Oregon Ducks, clash with the top-seed Virginia Cavaliers in the Sweet 16

Making its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2016, top-seed Virginia continues its national championship quest on Thursday night when it plays this year’s Cinderella team, Oregon. Tipoff for this 2019 NCAA Tournament game is at 9:59 p.m. ET from the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.

Oregon vs Virginia Live Stream: Watch NCAA Tournament 2019 Online Free

The Cavaliers have begun erasing the bad taste from last year’s first-round upset at the hands of UMBC, the first-ever upset by a 16-seed. Now they face a torrid Ducks team that has won 10 straight, the last three by an average of 19 points. Bookmakers list the Cavaliers as 8.5-point favorites in the latest Oregon vs. Virginia odds, with the over-under for total points set at 120.5 after falling as low as 118. Before making any Oregon vs. Virginia picks of your own, see the 2019 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 predictions from SportsLine’s projection model.

A renowned sportswriter whose work appears periodically in the New York Times and L.A. Times, Tierney is a West Coast-based hoops expert who has finger on the Ducks’ pulse. Amazingly, he’s 8-1 in his last nine picks involving Oregon, and anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, Tierney has analyzed Oregon vs. Virginia from every possible angle and released a confident against the spread pick. He’s only sharing it at SportsLine.

Tierney knows Virginia is on a mission after its embarrassing first-round loss to UMBC in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Against Oklahoma in the second round of the 2019 NCAA bracket, the Cavaliers surged to a 7-0 lead and were never really threatened in a 63-51 win. They shot 48.2 percent from the field, won the rebounding battle 36-29 and held the Sooners to 36.5 percent shooting. For the season, Virginia is holding opponents to 38.1 percent from the field, fourth-lowest nationally.

The Cavaliers, who boast three players averaging at least 13 points, shoot 40.1 percent from beyond the arc, the fifth-best mark in the country. They have covered four of their last five non-conference games.

But just because the Cavaliers are a legitimate powerhouse doesn’t mean they’ll cover the Oregon vs. Virginia spread and advance in the 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket.

Oregon (25-12) not only has won 10 in a row, it has also covered each game. During that streak, 6-9 sophomore Kenny Wooten is averaging 2.8 blocks per game. He swatted seven shots in the Ducks’ pulsating win over UC Irvine on Sunday, adding 11 points and eight rebounds, and is a big reason why Oregon ranks 12th nationally in points allowed at 62.5 per game. The Ducks allowed exactly 54 points in their first two NCAA Tournament games; they held Wisconsin to 33.3 percent shooting from the floor and UC Irvine to 39.2 percent.

Payton Pritchard (18.5 points per game) and Louis King (16.5) are carrying the scoring load in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, with King nailing 7-of-10 three-pointers. The Ducks are as healthy as they’ve been all season, they’re playing with no pressure or expectations, and won’t be intimidated by Virginia given they’re from a power conference too.

We can tell you Tierney is leaning under, and he’s also identified a striking trend that has him going big on one side of the spread. He’s only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.

Who wins Virginia vs. Oregon? And what striking trend makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Virginia vs. Oregon spread you should be all over Thursday, all from the renowned expert who’s 8-1 on Oregon picks.