Sweet 16 games for Pistons’ fans today and what we need to see

Bennedict Mathurin #0 of the Arizona Wildcats (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Bennedict Mathurin #0 of the Arizona Wildcats (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons got a blowout win over the Hawks last night, so can enjoy their day off with some Sweet 16 games in the NCAA Tournament.

There are four games on the Sweet 16 schedule today and three of them feature top NBA Draft prospects, all of whom have something to prove.

The Pistons hope to land in the top-3 of the 2022 NBA Draft, but can fall as far as 7th if they stay in their current position as the league’s third-worst team.

So it won’t just be the top prospects who get a look, as there are several other players who are working their way into the discussion with strong play in the NCAA Tournament.

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Here are three games Pistons’ fans should watch today and here’s what to look for from the prospects.

Detroit Pistons: Sweet 16 schedule, what to watch and what to look for

Gonzaga (1) vs. Arkansas (4)

The number one ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs needed a comeback to beat the Memphis Grizzlies and will now face another tough test in Arkansas.

Chet Holmgren hasn’t helped his case much so far, as he fouled out against Memphis with just nine points and hasn’t had a great performance yet in two games.

If Holmgren wants to be the number one pick, he needs to show that he can dominate a game on both ends. He has not been the Bulldogs’ go-to player on offense, and even though he has been good on the boards and defensively, there are concerns about a potential number one pick that can’t take over a college game.

We need to see a big game from Chet Holmgren on both ends.

Duke (2) vs. Texas Tech (3)

I think Paolo Banchero has been the most impressive of the top prospects so far, and Duke will need him again against a tough Texas Tech team.

One thing to watch is if Banchero is able to create his own offense from the perimeter and mid-range against a tough Texas Tech defense that loves to pressure the ball on the outside.

Banchero has flashed his versatile all-around game so far, and it was great to see him dominate late in Duke’s last win, and he can keep strengthening his case to be the number one pick with another strong performance against a good defense.

The Pistons will be watching this one closely after Cade Cunningham stated his preference for Banchero.

Arizona (1) vs. Houston (5)

Arizona will have their hands full with an underrated Houston team coming off a double-digit blowout of 4th-seed Illinois.

Bennedict Mathurin has been one of the stars of the tournament for Arizona so far, notching 18 points in the first game and 30 points and eight rebounds in the second, hitting big shot after big shot in the overtime win.

He has shown that he is a shot maker and that he’d probably be a great fit with Cade Cunningham, but so far he has not shot the ball well from 3-point range, so it would be nice to see him be a little more efficient from that area.

He is just 7-21 in his first two games for 33 percent, which is not great for the college 3-point line. If Mathurin is a little more efficient he might be able to play his way into the top-5 of the 2022 NBA Draft.

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