Bleacher Report: Jevon Carter vs. Villanova’s Jalen Brunson headlines Sweet 16 matchups

West Virginia-West Virginia Mountaineers-Jevon Carter-Jalen Brunson-Villanova

When No. 1 Villanova and No. 5 West Virginia square off in the Sweet 16 on Friday, it will pit two of the nation’s top individual talents against each other.

On one hand, junior point guard Jalen Brunson is the engineer of an explosive Villanova offense that ranks No. 1 in the nation, per KenPom.com. On the other hand, West Virginia features senior point guard Jevon Carter, who is the back-to-back Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and leads the nation with 107 total steals.

Which of those two gets the upper-hand on Friday may very well decide which team makes an appearance in the Elite 8, and furthermore, it’s one that Bleacher Report’s Scott Harris ranked as the best head-to-head matchup in the Sweet 16.

“This is the tastiest matchup in the round of 16, as it features two elite-level players with opposing skill sets,” Harris said. “Both have had chalky and unchallenging paths through the tournament thus far. That ends March 23.”

“Brunson and Carter are two very talented and accomplished veterans leading teams built to accomplish perfectly opposite aims,” Harris later added. “And they’ll be guarding each other. Just buckle up and enjoy this dictionary definition of a big-time matchup.”

In addition to his revered defensive prowess, Carter is no slouch offensively, averaging a team-high 17.4 points and 6.6 assists per game, along with 4.7 rebounds per game. On Friday, though, with Brunson will force Carter to be the best version of himself.

If Carter can do just that, West Virginia should have a substantial say in how their Sweet 16 matchup with Villanova shapes up. If not, and Brunson, the projected Naismith National Player of the Year, has a field day, it could be a long night for the Mountaineers.

Carter will lead West Virginia against Brunson and Villanova at 7:27 p.m. ET on Friday, March 23.

The post Bleacher Report: Jevon Carter vs. Villanova’s Jalen Brunson headlines Sweet 16 matchups appeared first on Diehards.

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