In the national title game that CBS and Turner have long been praying for, we get a defensive matchup for the ages: Virginia against Texas Tech. Tony Bennett against Chris Beard. Which school will bring home its first ever national championship?
Survive and advance. That’s the script Auburn and Virginia stuck to over the weekend, as both needed overtime to keep their NCAA title hopes from flatlining. With a new lease on life, the orange-shaded squadrons will duke it out for a chance to play for all the marbles in the first matchup of Saturday’s double header in Minneapolis.
The best offense and best defense clash in tonight’s first Elite Eight contest. Gonzaga is searching for its second Final Four berth in three years, while Texas Tech is looking for its first ever appearance in America’s greatest finale.
Coach K has won 11 of the 12 meetings between these two legends of the profession, but Tom Izzo has a hot Spartan team playing confidently and ready to take down the Goliaths that are Duke and Zion. Who will cut down the nets in the nation’s capital?
Virginia and Purdue both survived major tests of incredibly different varieties in the Sweet 16, and they’ll meet for a chance to break loooong Final Four droughts on both sides. Which long-suffering fan base will need to make Minneapolis travel arrangements?
If this Sweet 16 field looks familiar to you, it should: three of the four West participants are repeats from last year, with only Texas Tech swapping in as the Lone Star representative (was Texas A&M last year). Can the Wolverines return to the Elite Eight? Can Gonzaga exact revenge upon Florida State after falling to the ‘Noles in this round last year?
After spoiling Kansas’ plans to play in its ‘home away from home’ at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Auburn now set its sights on dispatching yet another powerhouse from the blue blood infested Midwest Region. While the Tigers hope to keep their 3-point party rolling, the Coogs aim to de-throne the potentially PJ Washington-less Wildcats.
In this chalky Sweet-16, the South region features the only double-digit seed left in the field. Can Oregon continue its mad dash through March? Or will one of the heavy hitters, Virginia, Tennessee and Purdue, cut down the nets this weekend in Louisville?
This is the beginning of How the West was Won… Gonzaga owns the 1-seed but the Michigan Wolverines thrive in March. Can Nevada make up for a disappointing regular season? Can Murray State make it into the Second Round behind superstar Ja Morant? Will a potential Buffalo / Texas Tech matchup result in more bruises than a car accident?
Virginia looks to avenge last year’s edition, while an experienced Tennessee squad lurks on the bottom half of the bracket. Will everything in between descend into madness? Is this finally the Final Four year for Tony Bennett?
Two blue bloods, North Carolina and Kentucky, sit opposite each other in the Midwest bracket as the region’s top-2 seeds. To prevail, they’ll have to outlast two Big-12 powers (Kansas and Iowa State), two ‘mid-major’ wrecking balls (Wofford and Utah State), along with a handful of other dangerous challengers.
Night two in Dayton will feature the last two teams in the at-large field, St. John’s and Arizona State. While Bobby Hurley eyes a potential date with his former boss Nate Oats, the NC Central / North Dakota State winner will march on to play Zion and the big bad Blue Devils.
The NCAA Tournament kicks off in Dayton on Tuesday night with two matchups to whet your appetite. Coaching legends clash in Belmont vs. Temple, while Fairleigh Dickinson and Prairie View A&M battle for the privilege of heading to Salt Lake City to take on the Zags…
Cincy’s two-year run atop the AAC leaderboard has come to a close after being overthrown by Kelvin Sampson and the Cougars. Can Houston stay hot in Memphis and complete the season sweep of both the AAC regular season title and AAC championship crown?
The WACky WAC has three bona fide conference title contenders in New Mexico State, Grand Canyon, and Utah Valley, The Aggies are hunting for their 7th Tourney appearance in 8 years while GCU and UVU are looking for their first bids EVER.
You won’t find a more competitive conference tournament than the B1G championship, which features some heavyweights with some serious punch at the top, along with some feisty challengers lurking in the middle to lower seed range.
So long sir streak - Texas Tech and K-State finally wrestled away the Big-12 title belt from Kansas, but the Jayhawks get another crack at reasserting their place as the league’s alpha-dog in nearby Kansas City this weekend.
Kentucky and Tennessee have 1-seed aspirations, but it was LSU that captured the regular season conference crown. Can the Bayou Bengals win the conference tourney sans Will Wade? Or will a team like Auburn send them packing early?
In a league with a clear top two and an 8-team morass below them, it seems like a Villanova/Marquette collision course at Madison Square Garden - or it did until recently. Can any of the bubbly teams get hot and play spoiler?
The Southland Tourney will be won by a team not named Stephen F. Austin for just the 2nd time in six years. Sam Houston State and Abilene Christian are the heavy favorites, but SE Louisiana and Lamar have the talent to pull the upset.
I have very few nice things to say about the Pac 12, but how about this: I hope that Washington State wins the tournament so that Robert Franks can play in the Big Dance (and Ernie Kent gets a monster extension)! Really though, this sucker is wide open
Nevada looks to reassert its dominance and prove it is the clear #1 team in the MWC, but pesky Utah State doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. Can Fresno join the MWC Big Dance party with a surprise run to the title? Will SDSU finally live up to preseason expectations? Can UNLV protect its home floor?
Jordan Davis elevated Northern Colorado to new heights this year, but a catastrophic letdown on the last day of the regular season helped Montana take home a second straight Big Sky regular season crown. The Bears now seek redemption when they head to Boise, along with a deep field of worthy challengers.