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Friday, March 25, 2011
Tournaments take center stage


Men's college basketball: In the East Region in Newark, N.J., No. 11 seed Marquette takes on No. 2 seed North Carolina at 7 p.m. ET in a rematch of the 1977 national championship game. The nightcap brings us one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the weekend, No. 4 seed Kentucky and the top overall seed Ohio State (9:30 p.m.). Ohio State is 5-0 all-time against Kentucky in NCAA tournament games (the last was in 1987). Brandon Knight needs eight points to set the Kentucky freshman scoring record. The winners will tip off in the East Region finals on Sunday.

The Southwest appears to be the Jayhawks' to lose, as no other team seeded higher than 10 remains. It is the first time three double-digit seeds are in the Sweet 16 in the same region. At 7:15 p.m., No. 12 seed Richmond takes on No. 1 seed Kansas. We've got two surprises in the second game when No. 11 VCU and No. 10 Florida State tip off at 9:55 p.m. From play-in to the Sweet 16, the Rams are arguably the story of the tournament. Can their Cinderella run continue in San Antonio against a Seminoles defense that has allowed just 107 points in the first two games (fewest among Sweet 16 teams)? The Southwest Regional finals will be on Sunday.

Saturday brings us the Southeast and West regional finals. At 4:37 p.m., No. 8 Butler seeks its second straight trip to the Final Four when it takes on No. 2 seed Florida in New Orleans. Out west, red-hot UConn (eight straight postseason wins) and the unstoppable Kemba Walker take on No. 5 seed Arizona and Derrick Williams at 7 p.m., fresh off the Wildcats' dominating win over defending champion Duke.

Women's college basketball: The Sweet 16 will be down to the Elite Eight by the time the weekend ends. Saturday brings us a quadruple header of games. We start off at noon on ESPN from Dayton, Ohio where No. 4 Ohio State will try to take advantage of home-court advantage to knock off No. 1 Tennessee. At 2:30 p.m., No. 6 Oklahoma, fresh off its upset of No. 3 Miami, takes on No. 2 Notre Dame.

In Spokane, Wash., the home-court loving No. 11 seed Gonzaga and star Courtney Vandersloot will try for their third straight tournament upset against freshman Shoni Schimmel and No. 7 seed Louisville at 9 p.m. The final game of the day between No. 5 seed UNC and No. 1 seed Stanford tips at 11:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

On Sunday, we've got four more games. In Philadelphia, No. 1 seed UConn seeks its sixth straight Elite Eight berth when it takes on a familiar foe in Big East rival No. 5 seed Georgetown at noon on ESPN. At 2:30 p.m., coverage switches to ESPN2 when No. 2 Duke takes on No. 3 DePaul. In Dallas, two Texas teams take the court as No. 6 seed Georgia takes on No. 2 seed Texas A&M at 4:30 p.m., followed by No. 1 seed Baylor and Britney Griner against No. 5 seed Green Bay (25 straight wins) at 6:30 p.m.

Information from ESPN Stats & Information was used in this report.