Louisville, Kentucky, Sporting Alert – The NCAA college basketball March Madness tournament resumes on Thursday with Duke, Kansas, Oklahoma and Miami (FL) all in action in the sweet 16.
For a number of teams, they were expected to reach this far, but a few of them are expected to fall in this round.
Battles in the South and West Regionals will tip-off the Sweet 16 on Thursday night and experts are predicting more upsets.
Nevertheless, we will stick to what we already know, and this is who will be facing off, the time, television and live streaming platforms and the respective locations.
In action in the South Region at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, the second-seeded Villanova (29-5) will take on No. 3 seed Miami (25-7), hoping to secure a place in the Elite Eight.
These two programs were league rivals from 1992-2004 when Miami, which has won nine of the last 13 meetings between the two programs, was a member of the BIG EAST Conference.
The Hurricanes, who defeated Wichita State 65-57 in the second round, will play in their third Sweet 16.
The Wildcats booked their place for this battle with an 87-67 victory over Iowa in the second round and they will be going in search of their 13th Elite Eight spot in program history.
Villanova, which hasn’t been to the Elite Eight since 2009, has tackled a Jim Larranaga-coached side once before in the NCAA Tournament when the Wildcats were defeated 61-57 by George Mason in the Round of 64 in Cleveland back in 2011.
Head coach Jay Wright is bracing for a tough matchup on Thursday against a more mature Hurricanes team, which he says has “tough and old” players.
“When you get to the Sweet 16 you’re not getting any easy ones,” warned Wright. “These guys are tough and they’re old. They have a lot of redshirt seniors that are tough and smart.
“Jim Larranaga is a very good coach, and when he gets guys in his program for four years like that they are really effective.
“They are an intelligent and connected defensive team. Usually, when you play teams that have young guys they can be a little disconnected defensively. They have so many veterans that defensively they’re amazing.”
Also in action in the South Regional on Thursday night is pre-tournament favourite and No. 1 seed Kansas, which will take on the third-seeded Maryland, in what is expected to be a very tricky tie for the Big 12 champion.
The Jayhawks (32-4) eased past their two previous opponents by double-digit margins, including a
73-61 victory over Connecticut in the second round and they start as 5.5 favourites to beat Maryland.
The Terrapins (27-8), who had a relatively easy first two games to start March Madness, are set for their biggest test of the tournament.
Maryland and Kansas have five times since the 1949-50 season, according to the NCAA, with the Jayhawks winning three of the five meetings while the all-time series between the two teams sees Kansas leading 363-362.
Elsewhere in Sweet 16 action on Thursday night, defending champion and fourth-seeded Duke (23-10) and No. 1 seeded Oregon (28-6) battle in the West Regional at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
No. 3 Texas A&M (26-8) and second-seeded Oklahoma (25-7) will meet in the other game in the region.
Thursday, March 24
See Full Details at NCAA.com
No. 3 Miami v No. 2 Villanova 7:10 PM CBS KFC Yum! Center – SOUTH REGION – SWEET 16
No. 3 Texas A&M v No. 2 Oklahoma 7:37 PM TBS Honda Center – WEST REGION – SWEET 16
No. 5 Maryland v No. 1 Kansas 9:40 PM CBS KFC Yum! Center – SOUTH REGION – SWEET 16
No. 4 Duke v No. 1 Oregon 10:07 PM TBS Honda Center – WEST REGION – SWEET 16