The NCAA Tournament schedule is now a little less crowded, as there are only 32 teams left. After two days of having 16 games over 12 hours, the NCAA Tournament will only have eight games to go back and fourth from in each of the next two days. Today, the NCAA Tournament second round starts, with eight teams filling out half of the Sweet 16 by the end. With few Cinderellas pulling off upsets, the NCAA Tournament second round schedule has more power match ups.
The first game of the second round has the spotlight all to itself. At 1:05 p.m., the only game on the docket is UCLA vs. Villanova, from the East Regional in Philadelphia. The match up could have easily been VCU vs. American, but Villanova avoided a humiliating upset in their home city, and UCLA got past VCU at the last second.
The Bruins try to get closer to their fourth straight, and most unlikely, Final Four, while Villanova tries to reach their fourth Sweet 16 in five years under Jay Wright.
Two games then make up the 3:00 docket in the NCAA Tournament second round. At 3:20 p.m., Memphis takes on Maryland in the West Region. Memphis finally pulled away from 15’th seeded Cal State Northridge on Thursday, while Maryland continued its late season charge by defeating California. At approximately 3:35, Connecticut gets coach Jim Calhoun back when the Huskies face Texas A&M in Philly.
In the third section of games on the NCAA Tournament schedule, there are three clashes. Purdue and Washington square off in the West, while North Carolina seeks to steamroll past LSU in the South, and Oklahoma goes up against Michigan. All of these games should start sometime between 5:30 and 6.
Two games conclude the NCAA Tournament schedule for the day in prime time. Gonzaga, a traditional NCAA Cinderella before becoming a powerhouse, takes on budding NCAA Cinderella Western Kentucky in the South Region at approximately 8:10. At around the same time, Duke will face Texas in the East.
By at least 10:30 p.m., half of the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament will be set. If the action is anything like the first round, top seeded powers like Connecticut, Memphis, North Carolina, Duke and Oklahoma will still be in the mix.
Connecticut didn’t lose a step without the temporarily ill Calhoun on Thursday, and isn’t expected to lose one with him back. Memphis will be out to wake up after their near-upset on Thursday, while North Carolina is heavily favored against unpredictable LSU. Duke has tended to trip up in the second round lately, so they will be on alert.
ESPN- “NCAA College Basketball Scores” scores.espn.go.com/ncb/scoreboard