The Round of 32 gets underway on Saturday with eight games throughout the day. Trips to the Sweet 16 are on the line starting at 11:10am on CBS when #14 UAB takes on #11 UCLA.
Of note to Jayhawk fans is the matchup between #6 Butler and #3 Notre Dame in the Midwest region. The battle between the Bulldogs and the Fighting Irish will determine Kansas's opponent in the Sweet 16 should the Jayhawks advance on Sunday.
How To Watch
Games throughout the tournament will air on CBS, TNT, TBS, and truTV. If you're one of the many people who never watch truTV, they've made a website to help you find it. Games will also be live streamed on the NCAA March Madness Live website or you can head on over to their mobile page and download their app for your smart phone or tablet.
Saturday's Game Schedule
Games Of The Day
#10 Ohio State vs. #2 Arizona
Once again we'll be treated to a fantastic matchup between Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell and a quality defense. Russell led the Buckeyes in their 75-72 overtime win over VCU in the second round. The freshman guard lived up to his potential, scoring 28 points on 10-for-20 from the field. Ohio State will need a similar heroic performance from Russell to pull off the upset against the Wildcats.
Arizona will likely task one of college basketball's best defenders, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, with containing Russell. The Wildcats come into the game with the third ranked defense in college basketball according to KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency metric. Offensively, Arizona will have a good size advantage in the post. If they can take advantage of that to come away with easy buckets and offensive rebounds, then the Wildcats will find themselves in the Sweet 16.
#5 Arkansas vs. #4 North Carolina
The Arkansas vs. North Carolina matchup figures to be an up-and-down, high scoring affair. KenPom's FanMatch predicts an 82-79 Tarheels victory. The potential for points shouldn't surprise anyone. Both teams rank in the top 15 of average possession length, using under 16 seconds of shot clock per trip on the offensive end. The Razorbacks will look to create turnovers and get out in transition to score their buckets.
Arkansas' Bobby Portis will matchup in the front court with the Tarheels' Kennedy Meeks and Brice Johnson, setting the stage for some epic rebounding battles between the big men. The Razorbacks have struggled to keep teams off the offensive glass this season which could prove problematic against North Carolina. The Tarheels are the sixth best offensive rebounding team in the country and Meeks and Johnson thrive on putbacks.
#14 UAB vs. #11 UCLA - For the 29th time in the last 31 tournaments, a double-digit seed will make the Sweet 16. UAB pulled off an unexpected upset over Iowa State in the second round while UCLA advanced after a controversial goaltending call against SMU.
#8 Cincinnati vs. #1 Kentucky - Honestly, I can't encourage anyone to watch this game. Cincinnati plays such a painful style and the Bearcats should be wildly outmatched by the talent of Kentucky. Expect the Wildcats to cruise even if this one is a low scoring affair.
#14 Georgia State vs. #6 Xavier - Can we just get a replay of Georgia State and Baylor? That would be wonderful. The Panthers' father-son alliance of Ron and R.J. Hunter is the feel good story of the NCAA Tournament. The son, a legitimate NBA prospect, will get another chance to prove himself against Xavier.
#8 North Carolina State vs. #1 Villanova - The Wildcats delivered one of the more impressive performances of the opening rounds with a 41 point shellacking of #16 seed Lafayette. They're a nine point favorite over North Carolina State according to KenPom, but the Wolfpack's experience at the guard position could help keep this one close.
#5 Utah vs. #4 Georgetown - Utah and Georgetown were both popular upset picks in the second round, but both escaped that fate. The Utes were keyed by the impressive play of freshman Jakob Poeltl who finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, and five blocks. Utah is a four point favorite over the Hoyas.
#6 Butler vs. #3 Notre Dame - The major story line for Kansas fans is that the winner is a potential Sweet 16 opponent. Notre Dame is a two point favorite, but will need to see improved play out of their defense to slow down Roosevelt Jones and the Bulldogs.