Breaking Down The Sweet Sixteen Matchups (w/ Viewing Guide and Schedule)

Tue Mar 24, 2015 19:18:14PM | Categories: Sweet Sixteen
Kevon Looney of the #11 UCLA Bruins, the lowest seed able to make it into the Sweet 16.By: Neon Tomy
The Sweet Sixteen lineup is set, and it looks somewhat different than many expected. With top seeds Villanova, Kansas and Virginia out early, spots instead were filled by the likes of NC State, Wichita State and Michigan State. Most pundits and brackets' favorite, the Kentucky Wildcats, are still in the action and going strong, but a West Virginia match-up will be their toughest go yet.

Here's a look at the 8 match-ups for the Sweet Sixteen, with full viewing schedules for each bout. Post play action and game recap will be posted after each game, so be sure and check back for full results of the Elite 8 lineup.

Midwest
#1 Kentucky vs #5 West Virginia - March 26th @ 9:45PM EST, Cleveland, OH
Tv Station: CBS

Were you expecting Kentucky to get some decent competition?? Well, that didn't happen. The Wildcats literally doubled the scoring output of West Virginia, with a final score being KU 78 / WV 39. Their biggest lead was 40. This game was never close. Kentucky flexed, and moves on after a brilliant beat down performance. Next up, the Elite 8 match-up verus Notre Dame. Outta be a good one.

#3 Notre Dame vs #7 Wichita State - March 26th @ 7:15PM EST, Cleveland, OH
TV Station: CBS

VanVleet tried to carry the team, but fell just short. Notre Dame prevailed in solid fashion, but only by a few late in the 4th. With VanVleet scoring 25 pts, while also getting 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks, he made a strong case for best player on the court. Unfortunately, the total team effort of the Irish was Elite 8 worthy. And so it goes; final score was Notre Dame 81 / Wichita State 70. Don't let that 11 point final gap fool you though, this was a close and hard fought game.


West
#1 Wisconsin vs #4 North Carolina - March 26th @ 7:47PM EST, Los Angeles CA
TV Station: TBS

Close one. UNC held the lead for a majority of this game. And even though my personal feeling was that Wisconsin would get it in the end, UNC made me sweat it out until the last few minutes. But just like it was written in the stars for the #1 seed, when the time came, they stole the lead and held on to pull out the V. Final: Wisconsin - 79 / UNC - 72. Next up, an Elite 8 matchup against Arizona. What a game that will be.. can't wait.

#6 Xavier vs #2 Arizona - March 26th @ 10:17PM EST, Los Angeles CA
TV Station: TBS

Little Xavier, the darlings of the Big Dance over the last few years. Such a strong team, and they gave Arizona everything they had. But this game had almost the exact same setup and final play out as the other West bout; Xavier looked primed to win, until the last few minutes of the 4th. And then T.J. McConnell throws the team on his back at just the right time, and that's a wrap. Seriously, look up the highlights. He hits a 3 that sends them over the top. Beautifully done. Final: Arizona - 68 / Xavier - 60.

East
#8 NC State vs #4 Louisville - March 27th @ 7:37PM EST, Syracuse NY
TV Station: TBS

N.C. State was my pick to make a serious splash as a Cinderella team, to just destroy most everyone's bracket predictions. And my guess that NC State would make it to the Elite 8 was looking genius after they took down #1 Villanova. Unfortunately, then came the streaking Louisville squad. The Cardinals look primed now to make a serious run, as they made easy fodder with the little #8 that could. Final: Louisville - 75 / NC State - 65. Next up, #7 MSU.

#3 Oklahoma vs #7 Michigan State - March 27th @ 10;07PM EST, Syracuse NY
TV Station: TBS

Speaking of MSU, this to me was the biggest upset in the whole tournament, at least to this point. I had the Sooners making it to the final four, and I felt really good about that prediction. But I failed to realize just how solid Michigan State's team is. Probably the most impressive win I've witnessed so far, MSU held firm the ENTIRE game, and showed everyone they can hang with any opponent, winning this game 62-58. Watch out Louisville. Seriously.

South
#1 Duke vs #5 Utah - March 27th @ 9:45PM EST, Houston TX
TV Station: CBS

Raise your hand if you had Utah upsetting Duke? My hand is raised, and now I seriously question what in the world I was thinking. Oh well. One destroyed bracket I guess. Happens every year. I now think that Duke can make it all the way. What I am most excited to see now... a Duke/Kentucky final. And that looks very, very possible now. Can anyone beat this Duke team? After watching this game, I think not. Next up: Gonzaga. Good luck Zaggies; you will need it.

#11 UCLA vs #2 Gonzaga - March 27th @7:15PM EST, Houston TX
TV Station: CBS

Gonzaga - 74 / UCLA - 62. I start with the score for this last bout as it tells all. The Zags had this one for about 75% of game, easy. But for a team that many thought shouldn't have even been in the tournament at all, let alone saddled with a #11 seed, congrats to UCLA for getting this far.
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