So here's a fun fact for you after two days of the tournament:
SEC the only league with multiple bids to go undefeated through the round of 64.— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) March 22, 2014
On Saturday, we move slightly away from the upsets and toward the damn good match-ups. TV times are below, with thoughts on the games following.
|South||Pittsburgh Panthers (9) vs. Florida Gators (1)||Amway Center (Orlando, FL)||1215p||CBS||Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner//Kristine Leahy|
|MidWest||Saint Louis Billikens (5) vs. Louisville Cardinals (4)||Amway Center (Orlando, FL)||245p||CBS||Anderson/Bonner//Leahy)|
|MidWest||Texas Longhorns (7) vs. Michigan Wolverines (2)||BMO Harris Bradley Center (Milwaukee, WI)||515p||CBS||Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel//Lewis Johnson|
|West||North Dakota State Bison (12) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (4)||Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA)||610p||TNT||Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio|
|South||Dayton Flyers (11) vs. Syracuse Orange (3)||First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)||710p||TBS||Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery//Allie LaForce|
|West||Oregon Ducks (7) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (2)||BMO Harris Bradley Center (Milwaukee, WI)||745p||CBS||Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel//Lewis Johnson|
|East||Harvard Crimson (12) vs. Michigan State Spartans (4)||Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA)||840p||TNT||Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio|
|East||Connecticut Huskies (7) vs. Villanova Wildcats (2)||First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)||940p||TBS||Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery//Allie LaForce|
So what to watch for on Saturday?
- The SEC tries to stay undefeated in the opening game, as Florida takes on a very good Pittsburgh squad. Unfortunately for the Panthers, their ceiling may not be high enough - they've not lost to anyone ranked below 53rd in Ken Pomeroy's ratings this year, but haven't beaten anyone better than 25th (0-5 in two losses to Syracuse, two to Virginia, and one to Duke). Meanwhile, the Gators haven't lost since December 2nd.
- Louisville takes on a St. Louis team that barely survived the Round of 64 against a relatively poor N.C. State squad, and that seems to have a very small chance of getting past the Cardinals, who received a four seed but still represent one of the best teams in the field.
- Texas tries to upset Michigan, a team over-seeded as a 2, but that still should have enough firepower to get past the Longhorns, who never fail to disappoint under former Clemson head coach Rick Barnes.
- North Dakota State takes on San Diego State, where they have about a 1-in-3 chance of seeing the Sweet 16.
- Later in the evening, Syracuse's zone will likely end Dayton's run, though they'll always get to reflect back fondly on beating Ohio State and having their hometown paper troll Ohio State:
- Those plucky upstarts from Harvard take on Michigan State, in the only way in the world supporting people who got into Harvard constitutes pulling for an underdog.
- Two former Big East rivals meet up when Villanova takes on Connecticut in the last game of the night, tipping off at 9:40pm ET.