Prepare yourself: This is the last night of NCAA tournament games being played concurrently. After today, no longer will you need to skillfully navigate multiple channels in an effort to find the best game.
For one more night, however, you'll be using the remote to click back and forth between games -- at least, that's what we all hope we'll be doing, because that means the games are good.
UNC-Indiana has to be the clear headliner tonight. There's always something alluring about a clash of blue bloods, but much like Kentucky-Indiana last weekend, this one goes a bit beyond simply being a contest between two brand name schools; these are a pair of athletic, up-tempo teams that aren't afraid to run up and down the floor and hoist shots.
A couple of aspects of this matchup intrigue me. First, Indiana isn't real great at taking care of the ball, and if you turn it over against UNC, the Tar Heels are going to dunk all over your face -- their effective field goal percentage on transition opportunities off live ball turnovers is a whopping 70 percent. However, the Hoosiers are the best shooting team in the country -- they're an absurd 5th nationally in both 3-point and 2-point percentage. UNC is stout on the interior, but they've been known to get lit up from deep on occasion.
There's approximately zero chance that this game isn't fun, at least for a while.
Of course, you've got some other rooting interests tonight if you feel like playing the Bitter Coug Fan. Feel free to cheer first for Iowa State to keep another Tony Bennett No. 1 seed out of the Final Four, then later for Gonzaga to cry its way back to Spokane. (Cheering for Jim Boeheim is kinda icky, but the NCAA tournament is not for the faint of heart. Courage!)
Full schedule below. Please also use this as your open thread for discussing the action.
NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16 Schedule
Friday, March 25th
|(1) Virginia Cavaliers vs. (4) Iowa State Cyclones
|Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller/Dan Bonner//Lewis Johnson
|(6) Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. (7) Wisconsin Badgers
|Brian Anderson/Steve Smith//Dana Jacobson
|(1) North Carolina Tar Heels vs. (5) Indiana Hoosiers
|(11) Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. (10) Syracuse Orange