The NCAA Tournament continues to viciously winnow away teams in its quest to crown a champion; four more pretenders were sent packing and they'll joined by four more teams tonight. Tonight's games look to settle the final four teams on the right side of the bracket. There isn't as much starpower on this side of the bracket, thanks in part to the upsets that sent Iowa State, Villanova, and Virginia all packing last weekend.
UCLA makes for one of the weirder "Cinderella" stories the sport has seen in some time. Normally a double-digit seed in the Sweet 16 would be the belle of the ball, but the Bruins are anything but -- hardly anyone thought they deserved to be in the tournament in the first place and a first round win accomplished with a dubious goaltending call and a second round win over a #14 seed haven't exactly convinced people of their bona fides. Throw in a coach no one is writing glowing profiles of and the fact that they're the most successful team in the history of the sport and, well, Cinderella this ain't. Hopefully Gonzaga helps the clock strike midnight on their season; if they play as well as they did against Iowa on Sunday night, that won't be an issue.
Outside of that game, the night offers an interesting match-up between Duke's offensive firepower and Utah's stingy defense. KenPom gives Utah 45% odds of pulling the upset and predicts a very tight final margin: a 67-66 Duke win. This game could be awfully interesting and if Duke schadenfreude is one of your favorite things, well, there's a decent chance of that tonight. Oklahoma and Michigan State have been two of the tougher teams to figure out all year, but they're playing well at the right time of the year. I have nothing to say about Louisville-NC State.
|#2 Gonzaga||VS||#11 UCLA||GONZ -8.5||CBS||6:15 PM|
|#4 Louisville||VS||#8 NC State||LOU -3||TBS||6:37 PM|
|#1 Duke||VS||#5 Utah||DUKE -5||CBS||8:45 PM|
|#3 Oklahoma||VS||#7 Michigan State||MSU -2||TBS||9:07 PM|
If you're not near a TV, you can stream the games through March Madness Live.
The usual rules apply.