I want to set up a post for people who want to discuss the games tonight. We had some pretty good discussions so far this Tournament, so let's keep it up tonight.
My short thoughts on each of these games are here. Of the first two games, the more interesting is the Syracuse/Butler game. The real question is clearly whether Rick Jackson can stay out of foul trouble. Butler's weakness is inside, and Jackson can eat them alive. But when he was in foul trouble against Gonzaga, the Orange turned into a jump shooting team, and Butler's perimeter players are more explosive offensively than the Syracuse perimeter players. And that's why Jackson is also needed defensively, to protect the paint.
Of the second two games, everybody is mostly focused on the Kentucky-Cornell game. It's an interesting clash of style, but in the end it's really just going to come down to how well Cornell shoots. I can't recall ever seeing a team where all five starters got as hot as Cornell did against Wisconsin, and if they repeat that performance they'll beat Kentucky. But it's hard to see them shooting that well again, and if the shots aren't falling at a higher than typical rate then they're going to get blown off the floor. The question will just be whether they can shoot well enough to stay in the game against a vastly more talented Kentucky team.
I'll be here all night working on my 2010-11 previews (Big West, Ivy League, MEAC and MAC are up next), so join me tonight watching the games.