And so we are down to 32.
Thursday was the day of upsets while Friday was the day of chalk( besides Dayton knocking off Providence in Columbus). What Saturday will bring will be a whole different story as the a eight spots in the Sweet 16 are on the line.
From the Big East trying to advance a team to the second weekend (unlike last year), to Kentucky battling a hard fighting Cincinnati team, to three double digit seeds looking to keep their stories alive, fans will be in store for yet another historically interesting day of college hoops.
How/Where to watch:
12:10 pm ET CBS #11 UCLA vs. #14 UAB (Verne Lundquist, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce)
Approx. 2:40 pm ET CBS #1 Kentucky vs. #8 Cincinnati (Lundquist, Spanarkel, LaForce)
5:15 pm ET CBS #2 Arizona vs. #10 Ohio State (Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Rachel Nichols)
6:10 pm ET TNT #6 Xavier vs. #14 Georgia State (Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Erdahl)
7:10 pm ET TBS #1 Villanova vs. #8 North Carolina State (Brian Anderson, Steve Smith, Lewis Johnson)
Approx. 7:45 pm ET CBS #4 Georgetown vs. #5 Utah (Harlan, Miller, Donner, Nichols)
Approx. 8:40 pm ET TNT #4 North Carolina vs. #5 Arkansas (Catalon, Lappas, Erdahl)
Approx. 9:40 pm ET TBS #3 Notre Dame vs. #6 Butler (Anderson, Smith, Johnson)
Top Game Previews:
#4 Georgetown (Big East At-Large) vs. #5 Utah (Pac-12 At-Large) South Region
Eastern Washington was a popular upset selection in the second round with the Hoyas losing to five straight double-digit seeds in the NCAA Tournament before Thursday night's match-up. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and John Thompson III had something to say about that though as the junior guard scored 25 points while JT3 called out Eagles head coach Jim Hayford for guaranteeing a victory.
Now the Hoyas are moving onto a tougher task as they will have to stop one of the best guards in the country, Delon Wright, and Josh Smith must stay out of foul trouble to stop big man, Jakob Poeltl.
The Utes are coming off a victory against upset minded Stephen F. Austin and Poeltl was fantastic, scoring 18 points, grabbing eight boards and shooting 7-for-7 from the field. Poeltl is starting to round into form as a freshman. He has three double-digit scoring games in the past five outings. He's also shot more than 70 percent from the field in those three scoring outputs.
#4 North Carolina (ACC At-Large) vs. #5 Arkansas (SEC At-Large) West Region
This should be an interesting game as the Tar Heels like to speed up the game and use their big bodies inside to create problems while the Razorbacks like to pressure, force turnovers and finish with ease in transition. North Carolina has solid guards in Marcus Paige, Joel Berry II and Nate Britt and they are not strangers to lethal pressure defense having faced Louisville already this season.
The key to this game will be the paint. Roy Williams' team dominated the paint in their first round match-up against Harvard but it's a different game when Bobby Portis is on the floor. The SEC Player of the Year struggled to close out the season in the Razorbacks' conference tournament games but he played like his regular self in the opening round of the Big Dance against Wofford. Brice Johnson's length and athleticism could pose major problems for the future NBA big man and that match-up will be the key to victory for both teams in Jacksonville.
#3 Notre Dame (ACC Automatic Bid) vs. #6 Butler (Big East At-Large) Midwest Region
Both the Irish and Bulldogs are unsized and don't have a ton of depth but they are extremely well coached (by Mike Brey and Chris Holtmann) and they are smart, mentally tough basketball units.
Notre Dame knocked off Northeastern in the round of 64 but it certainly wasn't easy as the Huskies out-manned them in the paint, winning the rebounding battle by 16. If the Irish knock down their outside jumpers and Zach Auguste remains out of foul trouble they can beat almost any team in the entire country, but when Jerian Grant is struggling and they have to revert to their thin bench Brey's squad has issues.
The Bulldogs will be a handful for the Irish considering their chemistry on defense, their ability to control pace and the shooting of Kellen Dunham. But the main concern for Butler will be the health of Roosevelt Jones.
The 6'4" forward had to leave the Bulldogs showdown against Texas because of a knee injury. He returned but wasn't the same as he scored only six points and shot 3-for-10 from the floor.