|espnW.com: News & Opinion|
Men's college basketball: The men's NCAA tournament Sweet 16 tips off at 7:15 p.m. ET from Anaheim, Calif. with the West Region matchup of No. 3 UConn and No. 2 seed San Diego State on CBS. San Diego State is making its first Sweet 16 appearance less than two hours from home, so expect a strong pro-Aztec crowd. At the end of SDSU's double OT win over Temple, the SDSU faithful chanted "We Want Kem-ba!" Now they've got Walker in a battle for an Elite Eight berth. Is this a careful what you wish for scenario? UConn is 0-2 in the Sweet 16 as a lower-seeded team.
Next up in Anaheim, No. 5 seed Arizona faces No. 1 seed Duke at 9:45 p.m. Arizona fans will also travel well to Southern California, which should help the Wildcats as they try to knock out the defending champions, the only school to reach the Sweet 16 the last three years. Coach Mike Krzyzewski said he expects star freshman point guard Kyrie Irving to play "significant minutes," which is bad news for an Arizona team that eliminated Texas in a thriller. I've got Duke in the Final Four, but don't count out any team with a player as good as Arizona's Derrick Williams.
The Southeast Region is wide open. With Pitt out of the way, New Orleans hosts some intriguing matchups in the Sweet 16. We start with No. 3 seed BYU taking on No. 2 seed Florida at 7:27 p.m. on TBS, a rematch of a double OT first-round thriller in last year's tournament (won by BYU 99-92). The Gators didn't have to leave their home state in their first two games and are making a short trip to New Orleans, but they will have their hands full with the NCAA's scoring leader, Jimmer Fredette. Jimmer (he's reached first-name status) has scored at least 30 points in six of the Cougars' last seven games and leads all tournament scorers with 66 points in the first two games.
At 9:57 p.m., the nightcap brings us America's darlings, the No. 8 seed Butler. The Bulldogs, who have won their first two tournament games by a total of three points, take on No. 4 seed Wisconsin, who survived a tough third-round game against Kansas State. Can Butler make yet another run to the national championship game like last year's team? If they do, it won't be a surprise after knocking off No. 1 seed Pitt. Wisconsin makes its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2008 and seeks its first Elite Eight berth since 2005.
Information from ESPN Stats & Information was used in this report.