The 2013 NCAA March Madness action resumes on Thursday night with a quartet of games, and there are several top NBA Draft prospects who will be in action. Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller of Indiana will take on Michael Carter-Williams and Syracuse in the marquee matchup of the night, while several other peripheral prospects will also play in other games. Here's a breakdown of which prospects will be in action.
No. 4 Syracuse Orange vs. No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers (9:45 p.m. ET, CBS)
Victor Oladipo - Junior - Indiana: Oladipo is a defensive-minded player, but he has also provided a solid scoring punch for Indiana in the tournament. The Big 10's Defensive Player of the Year worked hard to shut down Temple guard Kalif Wyatt down the stretch to help the Hoosiers advance to the Sweet 16, and he also led the team with 16 points on 7-12 shooting to go with eight rebounds in the victory over Temple. The 6'5, 214 pound guard will need to use his elite athleticism and superb length to slow down Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams on Thursday night. Oladipo currently ranks No. 6 on the Top-100 prospect list at Draft Express.
Michael Carter-Williams - Sophomore - Syracuse: The rangy 6'6 point guard ranks No. 15 on the Top-100 list at Draft Express, but if he gets matched up against Oladipo and has a strong showing, he could rocket up draft boards. Carter-Williams was merely average in the team's second-round win over California, so he needs to step his game up if Syracuse wants to pull an upset. The All-Big East second-team guard doesn't usually score a lot (11.8 PPG), but he is an excellent distributor (7.6 APG) and it will be interesting to see if he can get past Oladipo to stretch the Indiana defense and create opportunities for teammates on Thursday night.
Cody Zeller - Sophomore - Indiana: The 7'0, 240-pound center is the No. 3 prospect on Draft Express' board. In two tournament games combined, he has scored 26 points on 8-15 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds. That would be a great line for a single contest. Over two games against inferior opponents, it's not exactly eye-popping. Zeller has the size and skill to make his mark on this game from the high post as a zone-breaker against Syracuse. Scouts will be watching closely to see if he competes well against the front line for Syracuse on both ends.
No. 3 Marquette Golden Eagles vs. No. 2 Miami Hurricanes (7:15 p.m. ET, CBS)
Shane Larkin - Sophomore - Miami: The 5'11 point guard has been on a tear recently. After scoring 20+ points in three ACC Tournament games on the way to a conference title, Larkin posted 10 points and nine assists in the opening round against Pacific and then produced 17 points and five assists in the second round. The No. 38 player on the DX board could face off against Marquette's Vander Blue in a head-to-head matchup.
Kenny Kadji - Senior - Miami: Kadji is a fifth-year senior, but at 6'11, 245 pounds with impressive shooting skills he's a guy who could get picked up in the second round of the draft. He's No. 68 on the DX board and has only scored 16 points on 6-18 shooting through two tournament games.
Vander Blue - Junior - Marquette: The No. 66 player on the DX board grabbed the spotlight in the second round by scoring a game-high 29 points on 9-15 shooting to upend Butler and propel Marquette into the Sweet 16. He will have another chance to improve his stock on Thursday against a tough Miami defense.
No. 6 Arizona Wildcats vs. No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (7:47 p.m. ET, TBS)
Arizona forward Solomon Hill (No. 54, DX board) and Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas (No. 62, DX board) should see some time against each other in this game, and NBA scouts will be interested to see who comes out on top. Both players are fighting to improve their draft stock before the combine, and a stand-out showing could help. Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft (No. 88, DX board) will figure prominently in the outcome of the game, as the Buckeyes count on him to run the offense and slow down the opposing team's lead guard.
No. 13 La Salle Explorers vs. No. 9 Wichita State Shockers (10:17 p.m. ET, TBS)
No top prospects will square off in this game, but it should produce plenty of NCAA March Madness fun along the way.