2011 NCAA Tournament: Players To Watch In Friday's Sweet 16 Games

The second night of the 2011 NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 continues tonight, with four more regional semi-final games. The full star power of the tournament was on display last night, but there will still be some extremely talented players in action tonight. Let's take a look at one player to watch for each of the eight teams playing tonight.

North Carolina Vs. Marquette:

North Carolina: Harrison Barnes is probably the biggest name on this team, but I have really enjoyed watching fellow freshman Kendall Marshall run the Tar Heel offense to perfection over the second half of the season. Also, he is a local product, graduating from Bishop O'Connell last year; so you should be be rooting for him.

Marquette: This is a toss up between Darius Johnson-Odom and Jimmy Butler. Both play a similar position, and style, and both can have a significant impact on the game. They want to get most of their point in the paint, but if either of their shots are falling, look out.

Kansas Vs. Richmond:

Kansas: This one has to be the Morris twins. Marcus was the Big-XII player of the year, and his brother Markieff is no slouch in his own right. On any given night they can combine for 30 points and 20 rebounds. They have imposing size and guard skill sets. They are matchup nightmares for pretty much everyone they face.

Richmond: And that is why Justin Harper is going to need to have a big game for the Spiders. He is a legitimate NBA prospect, and has the size and athleticism to battle the Morris twins in the paint. Normally it's the size disadvantage that really hurts small conference teams against the big boys, Harper can help neutralize that.

Ohio St. Vs. Kentucky:

Ohio St.: Jared Sullinger will get all the attention, but I really like watching Jon Diebler. He knows that he is going to shoot the three, and so does everyone else in the building, and yet, he still manages to do so at a high percentage. He's the definition of a guy who does one thing well, understands that, and does the most with his area of talent expertise.

Kentucky: Terrance Jones is going to be a consistent double-double guy for the Wildcats, but when Brandon Knight plays well, it takes them to a different level. Knight can go off for 30 at any point (like their last game for instance), and can really improve his draft stock with a strong performance in the tournament. Never underestimate that incentive.

Florida St. Vs. VCU:

Florida St.: If Chris Singleton plays a lot of minutes, he is their best player. But I'm not expecting him to be as good as he normally is. That's why I'm watching Michael Snaer, who has been a little bit of a disappointment for the Seminoles after coming in as a McDonald's All-American. But he can be an impact player on both ends of the court, and needs to play like one if Florida St. is going to move on.

VCU: Jamie Skeen is the best player on the team, but Joey Rodriguez is the straw that stirs the drink. He's the classic "intangibles first" point guard who always seems to lead his team deep into the tournament. He might not be the best player on the team, but he brings their heart and toughness.

More 2011 March Madness resources: Visit our NCAA Tournament hub for up-to-date news and information ... updated printable NCAA Tournament bracket.

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