2 Virginia Cavaliers vs. 7 Michigan State Spartans - East Region
Tip-off: 12:10pm (all times Eastern), CBS (Jim Nantz/Bill Raftery/Grant Hill/Tracy Wolfson)
1 Duke Blue Devils vs. 8 San Diego State Aztecs - South Region
Tip-off: 2:40pm (approximate), CBS (Jim Nantz/Bill Raftery/Grant Hill/Tracy Wolfson)
Game to watch: Virginia vs. Michigan State
Thought they would spread it out differently on Sunday compared to Saturday, but I guess not. I'd be curious why that decision was made. Do more people really watch 10pm-12am games than they would Sunday afternoon games?
The first game of the day looks like a very interesting rematch of a great Sweet 16 battle from last year between Virginia and Michigan State. The Cavaliers just have not looked the same in recent weeks, especially in trying to reintegrate Justin Anderson, who was having a dynamite season before his injury troubles. Meanwhile, the Spartans have largely been hitting their stride over the past few weeks, save for a clunker against Minnesota and a scoreless overtime against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game. They have trouble closing games out down the stretch. Can they overcome that and pull another upset over Virginia or can the Cavaliers re-assert themselves as Final Four contenders?
Early Evening Games:
2 Kansas Jayhawks vs. 7 Wichita State Shockers - Midwest Region
Tip-off: 5:15pm, CBS (Marv Albert/Chris Webber/Len Elmore/Lewis Johnson)
3 Oklahoma Sooners vs. 11 Dayton Flyers - East Region
Tip-off: 6:10pm, TNT (Ian Eagle/Doug Gottlieb/Evan Washburn)
2 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. 7 Iowa Hawkeyes - South Region
Tip-off: 7:10pm, TBS (Spero Dedes/Mike Gminski/Jamie Maggio)
Game to watch: Gonzaga vs. Iowa
The Hawkeyes absolutely put on a show against Davidson in the first round, led by Aaron White's 26 points in probably the best individual performance I've seen thus far en route to the 31 point victory. Gonzaga held off a couple runs from last year's Cinderella North Dakota State to advance with a double-digit victory of their own. These two teams combined for 169 points in their first round games, so expect some offensive fireworks in this one. This is my pick for the unexpected upset of the second round.
Late Evening Games:
1 Wisconsin Badgers vs. 8 Oregon Ducks - West Region
Tip-off: 7:45pm (approximate), TruTV (Marv Albert/Chris Webber/Len Elmore/Lewis Johnson)
4 Maryland Terrapins vs. 5 West Virginia Mountaineers - Midwest Region
Tip-off: 8:40pm (approximate), TNT (Ian Eagle/Doug Gottlieb/Evan Washburn)
4 Louisville Cardinals vs. 5 Northern Iowa Panthers - East Region
Tip-off: 9:40pm (approximate), TBS (Spero Dedes/Mike Gminski/Jamie Maggio)
Game to Watch: Wisconsin vs. Oregon
The other two games figure to be defensive battles, with at least the Maryland-West Virginia match-up likely to be at a fast pace given the Mountaineers' full court press. Still, those two teams' offensive execution is not a pretty picture most of the time, and fast-paced and ugly is still ugly, and the 40 or so foul calls you can likely expect will slow it down anyway. Wisconsin and Oregon, however, both played in defense-optional first round games, and both teams are excellent scoring the basketball. This should be a good show of offensive execution, and if the Ducks can coerce the Badgers into running a little bit, I can easily see this one creep into the upper 70s. I have my doubts that Oregon can actually win this one but should be fun regardless.