NCAA East Region final
Michigan State (29-8) vs. Connecticut (29-8) | Time, TV: 2:20 p.m. ET, CBS
• Where: New York
• Why Michigan State will win: If for no other reason than overall health — the team is as complete and injury-free as it has been all season — the Spartans are favored to advance past UConn and reach the Final Four. Beyond depth, however, Michigan State's greatest advantage is its size and experience in the paint. Does UConn have the bodies to handle senior Adreian Payne, who can control the block and step back into a productive mid-range game? The Spartans' size is also an asset defensively, particularly with UConn's backcourt looking to push the ball into the paint. Then there's this: Tom Izzo is 6-1 in regional finals. When he gets to this point — which is often — Michigan State is tough to beat.
• Why Connecticut will win: Two factors stand in the Huskies' corner. The first is the backcourt of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright, a tandem with the ability to single-handedly take over the game if shots are dropping from long range. Keeping Napier out of the paint should be a priority. Another dynamic has been the improved play of forward DeAndre Daniels, who scored a team-high 27 points in UConn's 81-76 win against Iowa State in the Sweet 16. But the Huskies' big men are still raw and inexperienced, and that weakness could be exploited by Michigan State's brawny and physical frontcourt.
• History lesson: UConn and Michigan State met in last year's season-opener in Germany, with the Huskies pulling out a 66-62 win. Seven players set to contribute on Sunday started last year's game: Payne, Branden Dawson, Keith Appling and Gary Harris for Michigan State, and Napier, Daniels and Boatright for UConn.
• Did you know?
Michigan State and UConn have combined for 37 tournament wins during the last decade. Michigan State has 23 of those victories, but UConn has the lone national title — completing a miraculous run to the championship behind guard Kemba Walker in 2011. Michigan State has advanced to the title game during this span, losing to North Carolina 89-72 in 2009.
NCAA Midwest Region final
Michigan (28-8) vs. Kentucky (27-10) | Time, TV: 5:05 p.m. ET, CBS
• Where: Indianapolis
• Why Kentucky will win: Did you see Kentucky's scoreline from Friday's win against Louisville? Julius Randle, 15 points and 12 rebounds. Dakari Johnson, 15 points and six rebounds. Aaron Harrison, 15 points and three steals. Andrew Harrison, 14 points and five boards. James Young, nine points before he fouled out. And this was against Louisville, a very, very good defensive team. Trying to corral the Kiddie 'Cats these days is like trying to wrestle an octopus.
• Why Michigan will win: Michigan is 32 of 65 from three-point range in the NCAA tournament. Those are Globetrotter-like numbers, and that's with Nik Stauskas having an off night Friday. Kentucky has the size to contend with Michigan inside, but with all of the Wolverines able to hit from long range, it's going to be a much tougher task on the perimeter.
• History lesson: Despite all their history, Michigan and Kentucky have met just once since 1970. But it was a big one. The Wildcats and Wolverines played in the 1993 Final Four, with the Fab Five knocking off top-seeded Kentucky to reach the national championship game for the second year in a row. Michigan would finish as national runners-up for a second consecutive year, losing to North Carolina 77-71.
• Did you know? With a 41-13 record in the NCAA tournament, John Calipari is tied for the highest winning percentage (.759) among active coaches.