The early-round upsets are what put the Madness in "March Madness." It's fun to see Directional State upset Powerhouse TV Money University, but too many upsets can sometimes dilute the action in later rounds. Fortunately, the Elite Eight games on Saturday features at least one of the most anticipated match-ups of the season.
(1) Wisconsin vs. (2) Arizona
West Region - Los Angeles, CA
3:09 p.m. PT | TBS | Streaming
This really should be a battle of No. 1 seeds, and it should have happened opposite of Kentucky on the bracket. Instead, it is an Elite Eight meeting on the same side of Kentucky. That's a little bit of a disappointment, but college basketball fans should be happy to see these two teams battle anyway.
The Badgers feature the best offense in the country, led by do-everything big man Frank Kaminsky. He and his teammates will have to contend with Arizona's elite Pack-Line defense, which has limited opponents to just 43 percent on 2s.
Arizona's offense may be the difference, as it is excellent while Wisxonsin's defense is merely "very good." But the Badgers can neutralize the Wildcats' effectiveness on the offensive glass and getting to the free throw line - Wisconsin ranks fourth nationally in defensive rebounding percentage and first in free throw rate allowed.
The Wildcats' two Pac-12 losses featured hot shooting nights from the opponents. Nobody shoots better than Wisconsin. But the Badgers' losses to Duke and Maryland came on poor shooting nights, and Wisconsin likely hasn't faced a better defense than Arizona all year.
So, yeah. It should be a good game.
(1) Kentucky vs. (3) Notre Dame
Midwest Region - Cleveland, OH
5:49 p.m. PT | TBS | Streaming
Notre Dame is a very good basketball team. It's very possible that the Irish give Kentucky a run for its money, much like Cincinnati did in the second round.
But the Wildcats are three games from perfection. The talent gap between them and the rest of the field is wide, and when that talent feels like putting on a show, it's impossible to stop. Here's guessing that Kentucky's long list of stars will be locked in so close to the promised land.