Saturday brought the first big day of losing top four seeds in the tournament (with the exception of the one top four seed that couldn't get out of the first round of course, our dear friends at Duke). Two seed Villanova and three seed Syracuse both went down, though otherwise the remaining six favorites got through to the Sweet 16.
Sunday's the last day of the best weekend of basketball of the year, and quite frankly, sets up for possibly an even better day than a pretty exciting Saturday. TV and tip-off times are right here, with thoughts about the games immediately following:
|South||Stanford Cardinal (10) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (2)||Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO)||1215p||CBS||Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony/Tracy Wolfson|
|MidWest||Kentucky Wildcats (8) vs. Wichita State Shockers (1)||Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO)||245p||CBS||Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony/Tracy Wolfson|
|East||North Carolina Tar Heels (6) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (3)||AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)||515p||CBS||Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craigh Sager|
|MidWest||Mercer Bears (14) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (11)||PNC Arena (Raleigh, NC)||610p||TNT||Kevin Harlan/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller/Rachel Nichols|
|South||Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (12) vs. UCLA Bruins (4)||Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl (San Diego, CA)||710p||TBS||Andrew Catalon/Mike Gminski/Otis Livingston|
|West||Baylor Bears (6) vs. Creighton Bluejays (3)||AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)||745p||truTV||Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craigh Sager|
|East||Memphis Tigers (8) vs. Virginia Cavaliers (1)||PNC Arena (Raleigh, NC)||840p||TNT||Kevin Harlan/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller/Rachel Nichols|
|West||Gonzaga Bulldogs (8) vs. Arizona Wildcats (1)||Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl (San Diego, CA)||940p||TBS||Andrew Catalon/Mike Gminski/Otis Livingston|
- The Jayhawks try to get through the weekend without Joel Embiid, who Kansas announced would not play against the Cardinal. The semi-home court advantage of St. Louis, MO should help.
- One of the two best games of the day follows that match-up, as top-seeded Wichita State takes on our SEC brethren, the Kentucky Wildcats, as the Shockers begin their death march through the Midwest Region that seemed hand-picked for them by the malevolent dictatorship that is the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee (chaired by a man who spent the last few years tormenting Wake Forest fans through his choice of hiring and retaining Jeff Bzdelik). If you haven't seen Cleanthony Early of Wichita State, check him out. Also, the rebounding battle on Kentucky's end will be utterly ferocious, as captured in this great article by Luke Winn.
- In the beginning of the evening, North Carolina takes on Iowa State, in what should be a high-scoring match-up in San Antonio. Chapel Hill loves 2s on offense while Iowa State loves 3s, so whether or not the Cyclones can get their bombs to fall in San Antonio likely determines the winner of this one.
- In the second SEC game of the day, 11 seed Tennessee gets the fortune of a draw against 14 seed Mercer, who will be without their back-up center Monty Brown, who took a nasty shot to the head in that first round win against Duke. You don't want to miss a center against Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon, folks. Expect the Vols to move on.
- Former Gamecock assistant Brad Underwood takes his Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks up against the UCLA Bruins with a shot at the Sweet 16 on the line. While the 'Jacks earned a great win over VCU in the first round, UCLA comes in the solid favorites for this game in San Diego.
- Baylor - who barely beat Carolina earlier this season - takes on Creighton at 7:45pm. While the Bears are deserved underdogs in this game, if Creighton goes cold from 3, they may not be able to stop Baylor's 7'2" center Isaiah Austin and monster power forward Cory Jefferson inside often enough to win the game. So while the Bluejays enter this game the favorites, expect points and plenty of avenues for the Bears to come out the winners, especially playing less than three hours away from campus in San Antonio.
- Former Gamecock Anthony Gill and his Virginia Cavaliers team take on Memphis in the second round. The Tigers got into this game with a nice win over George Washington, while the Cavaliers limp in a bit with a far-too-close-for-comfort victory over Coastal Carolina. Still, the Cavaliers are the same team that went 16-2 in the ACC and won the conference tournament, so there's no reason to think they shouldn't come out of this game with a trip to the Sweet 16.
- The nightcap contends for the best match-up of the day, as the one seed Arizona Wildcats take on eight seed Gonzaga, coming in off a fine win over Oklahoma State on Friday. The game doesn't tip off until 9:40pm ET but may be worth staying up for on the east coast.
We all have to go to work tomorrow (at least, I do), and when we get there, no one will be playing basketball all day. So let's seize the opportunity while we have it. Your live thread is here.