march madness has begun and the top teams are already on their way home. On Saturday night, two No. 1 seeds, Kansas and PurdueNo. 2 seed Arizona and the No. 4 seed Virginia were all gone—and gone with them were millions of broken brackets.
Here’s what you need to know Sweet 16 bid on the line on NCAA Tournamentincluding favorites and underdogs as well as key games:
The top four seeds in the tournament were given to Alabama, Houston, Kansas and Purdue. Each had their share of headaches to set up what is already proving to be a chaotic tournament. The Boilermakers were the first to fall, eliminated in a first round, and the Jayhawks followed the very next day.
REGION EAST: The Boilermakers earned a No. 1 seed for the fourth time, but were dumped by Purdue Fairleigh Dickinson in an almost historic upset. The region appears to be wide open for the likes of No. 2 seeds Marquette, State of Kansas, Tennessee, State of Michigan and more. No. 5 seed duke were thrown out by the volunteers. FDU or FAU advance to the Sweet 16 in the bracket’s biggest underdog matchup.
REGION SOUTH: Alabamaled by coach Nate Oats in a challenging season, a No. 1 seed is behind for the first time SEC player of the year Brandon Miller, who has armed security on hand after being the subject of threats. The Crimson Tide opened the tournament with an easy win. Potential obstacles may include Baylor and Creighton. Princeton is headed to the Sweet 16 out of the South.
MIDWEST REGION: Houston earned a top seed and won the opener before a hard-fought win over Auburn even with the All-American Marcus Sasser hampered by a groin injury. Potential obstacles could include No. 2 seed Texas, No. 3 seed Xavier or the winner of a 4-5 match between Indiana and Miami.
REGION WEST: Kansas, the defending national champion that was without a coach Bill Self in the tournament after a heart procedure, blew an 8-point halftime lead and lost to the 8-seed Arkansas. Like the East, the West is now open to the likes of No. 2 seeds UCLANo. 3 Gonzaga and the winner of a juicy 4-5 game between UConn and Saint Mary’s.
Princeton shines in March Madness
The unforgettable plays are piling up. Princeton used a late run to earn its first NCAA Tournament win in 25 years by ousting No. 2 seed Arizona and then answered any skeptics by rolling Missouri to secure their regional semifinal spot.
Furman celebrated its first tournament since 1980 with a victory over No. 4 Virginia on a deep 3-pointer with JP Pegues with 2.4 seconds remaining.
Then came 16th-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson’s win over Purdue as the 22 1/2-point underdog choked 7-4 in the middle Zach Edey to advance and join UMBC in the record books.
Everything that happened before Razorbacks and train without a shirt Eric Musselman celebrated the win over top-seeded Kansas.
GAMES TO WATCH
Seed No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson (21-15) vs. No. 9 seed FAU (32-3), Sunday, 7:45 p.m. ET (truTV)
One of these unknown teams is going to the Sweet 16. The underdog Knights of FDU may be the smallest team in the tournament, but after beating All-America 7-foot-4 center Zack Edey and Purdue, they will now face ninth-seeded Owls. Florida Atlantic Ocean coming off an exciting win Memphis and train Penny Hardaway.
No. 6 seed Kentucky (22-11) vs. No. 3 seed Kansas State (24-9), Sunday, 2:40 p.m. ET, (CBS)
Wildcats abound! Oscar Tshiebwe pulled down 25 rebounds, the second most in the tournament since 1973, which Kentucky hit Providence. That’s just four fewer rebounds than Kansas State had in its 77-65 win over Montana state. K-State’s win was its first in the tournament since 2018, when it beat … Kentucky.
No. 7 seed Michigan State (20-12) vs. No. 2 seed Marquette (29-6), Sunday, 5:15 p.m. (CBS)
Quick, name two coaches you think are great. Tom Izzo and Shaka Smart must be in the top 10, but only one will reach the Sweet 16 this tournament. The Spartans thrown out Southern Cal behind 17 points from Joey Hauserand will face a Marquette team coming off 18 straight points Cam Jones in the second half of a 78-61 win against Vermont.
Gun violence in college basketball
Gun violence has claimed lives and disrupted college sports all season, affecting some of the top programs in college basketball, including Alabama.
Coaches have been thrust into uncertain and unwelcome roles in trying to navigate the subject—as well as the implications of Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
The NCAA Tournament is filled with great players and AP All-America team is a good place to get to know the names.
There’s also an event where guys you’ve never heard of can take a star turn. Guard play is always going to be important (see: Baylor, 2021 title winner) and there are some NBA prospects in the mix.
Bet on this, too: Some players – maybe more than one – will have a chance to keep the moustache Doug Edert (remember Saint Peter’s‘ inspiring run last year?) and find a way to cash in on their celebrity.
Every match in the men’s tournament will be broadcast either on CBS, TBS, TNT or TruTV and their digital platforms. CBSwho also has a handy schedule that includes announcing teams, will handle Final Four and national title game this year.
The NCAA streams games via its March Madness Live alternative and CBS games are streamed on Paramount+. Fans of longtime play-by-play announcers Jim Nantz should soak up every moment: It’s his last NCAA tournament.
Who will win the national championship? The betting favorites as of Saturday to reach the Final Four are (in order) Houston, Alabama, UCLA, Texas, UConn and Tennessee, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Selection Sunday set the bracket matchups for the First Four and first- and second-round games stretching from Florida to California.
The Sweet 16 weekend will see games in New York City (East Region), Las Vegas (West), Kansas City, Missouri (Midwest), and Louisville, Kentucky (South).
Where is the Final Four? In Houston, April 1, with championship game April 3.
Basketball lovers, take note: The NCAA women’s tournament will hold its Final Four in Dallas, a four-hour drive up the road from Houston.
Can’t get enough of March Madness? Well, there is talk of expanding the tournament despite a number of challenges. Enjoy the 68 layer version for now!