The stakes develop increased with every passing spherical, and Saturday’s slate has an opportunity to be one of many highlights of the lads’s NCAA match.
Saturday’s winner earns a spot within the Candy 16, and eight games function among the greatest groups and gamers in school basketball. Three No. 1 seeds are in motion, and the highlight is on first-team All-American Jalen Wilson from Kansas and Alabama’s Brandon Miller and probably Houston’s do-everything guard Marcus Sasser.
This is an inventory of Saturday’s eight games so as of how a lot they’re obtainable.
No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 5 Duke
Time/TV: 2:40 PM ET, CBS
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A matchup of the 2 highest seeds on the day, the Blue Devils enjoying their greatest basketball of the season, rolled by way of the ACC match and dispatched their first spherical opponent Oral Roberts with relative ease, extending their successful streak to 10. However this recreation can be based mostly on defence.
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Tennessee has been in a position to maintain the rating low, however may also have to restrict Duke middle Kyle Filipowski from dominating within the paint if the Vols need to advance. The Volunteers ranked third within the NCAA in scoring protection, second in field-goal proportion protection and first in three-point proportion protection. If the Blue Devils discover themselves late, search for most tv publicity, particularly amongst Duke haters.
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 8 Maryland
time/television:9:40 PM, TBS
There isn’t any doubt that each one eyes can be on Miller, not solely as a result of he is been within the information these days, but additionally as a result of he performed 19 minutes within the Crimson Tide’s opening-round win over Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. And there have been a goose egg. scoring column. Maryland will want one other large recreation from Julian Reese, who led the Terps with 17 factors, 9 rebounds and three blocks of their win over West Virginia. If Alabama performs its A-game, this might get out of hand rapidly.
No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 15 Princeton
Time/TV: 6:10 PM, TNT
Type of play generally issues, particularly watching school basketball, however this matchup within the Battle of the Tigers is intriguing due to the seeds concerned. Princeton is making an attempt to turn out to be simply the fourth No. 15 to get previous the second spherical, however when you’re in search of offensive fireworks, there are higher choices. Princeton can put on down opponents with its deliberate tempo of play, however Missouri has excellent offensive expertise in Kobe Brown and D’Moi Hodge, who might make a major level if the Tigers roll as they did towards Utah State. Did within the second half towards.
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 8 Arkansas
Time/TV: 5:15 PM CBS
1 seed for the third straight NCAA match, and nearly as good because it was towards Illinois, the way in which the Razorbacks shoot the ball will not work towards Kansas. The Jayhawks had no points with Howard within the first spherical, even with out head coach Invoice Self, who remains to be recovering from a medical downside that precipitated him to overlook the Massive 12 Tournament.
To have an opportunity, Arkansas must speed up to get straightforward buckets, forcing the Jayhawks to play protection in a manner the place the Razorbacks received three-point seems. Each groups have the flexibility to attain within the 80s.
No. 1 Houston vs. No. 9 Auburn
Time/TV: 7:10 PM, TBS
Sasser’s well being is the most important concern for Houston. Sasser left the primary spherical recreation towards Northern Kentucky after re-injuring his groin after solely 14 minutes, leaving the Cougars seeking to change their offensive manufacturing. The Norse shot 28% and misplaced solely 11, which simply goes to indicate you Houston had points maintaining them away.
Houston’s calling card is on the defensive finish, particularly towards three-point line guarding, and Auburn is completely atrocious from deep. It is in regards to the availability of the sasser. If he performs and is even a bit of bit dominant, Houston wins simply. However the sportsbooks are sniffing round and giving Auburn an opportunity to punch out, which makes for an intriguing prime-time matchup.
No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 7 Northwestern
time/television:8:40 p.m., TNT
The Bruins have the expertise to chew down the nets in Houston, and the way in which they go about their enterprise lets you realize they’re effectively coached and will not self-explode. In addition they could not care much less about three-point taking pictures and can simply take you down on protection. Jaime Jaquez Jr. And Tiger Campbell leads a balanced Bruins assault and freshman Adem Bona might return from a shoulder damage.
Northwestern does not make errors, averaging lower than 10 turnovers per recreation, however UCLA ranks second within the nation in turnover margin, so one thing has to present. The Wildcats have to get the bounce on UCLA early for the upset, however that is simpler mentioned than executed.
No. 2 Texas vs. No. 10 Penn State
Time/TV: 7:45 PM CBS
A well-liked sleeper decide to achieve the Last 4, Texas is driving excessive after its Massive 12 Championship and carried that momentum into a simple win towards Colgate. Marcus Carr and Sir Jabari Rice, who made seven three-pointers every within the first interval, led the offensive expertise.
Penn State is among the greatest three-point taking pictures groups within the nation (39% 13 threes from 3-point vary vs. Texas A&M). The Nittany Lions are one of many worst offensive rebounding groups within the nation, so if they are not hitting photographs constantly, the Longhorns — buoyed by a deep bench — will knock them out of the gymnasium.
No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 13 Furman
time/television:12:10 p.m. CBS
Nothing towards the 2 groups concerned, however there is no such thing as a doubt that individuals are going to tune in principally as it’s the first recreation of the day. Fuhrman beat Virginia on a late 3-pointer by JP Peggs with 2.2 seconds left earlier than an all-time blunder by Cavaliers guard Kehi Clark. The Paladins function balanced scoring with 4 starters averaging in double digits.
San Diego State was stingy on the defensive finish of their win towards Charleston, holding the Cougars to 32% taking pictures. The Aztecs weren’t significantly better at taking pictures, however this recreation might flip right into a bore-fest if the groups could not put the ball within the basket.
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