NCAA Basketball Scores 2012: Nail-Biters You Can't Miss This Weekend
With three 10-or-higher seeds remaining in the Sweet 16, it may seem like the big dogs have the clear advantage as the battle to advance to the Elite Eight forges ahead on Friday night.
However, nobody can count out No. 10 Xavier against third-seeded Baylor. Outside of the obvious bracket-busting matchups, Indiana vs. Kentucky is bound to be a battle nobody wants to miss, either.
Here's why you should be glued to your TV (or your live stream) when these teams take the court on Friday night, as the regional semifinals wind down.
No. 10 Xavier vs. No. 3 Baylor
These teams are no strangers to success in the NCAA tournament. Baylor, if it wins, will advance to its second regional final in the last three years. Meanwhile, Xavier is a member of the Sweet 16 field for the fourth time in five years, joining Kansas, Michigan State and North Carolina as the only teams to accomplish that feat.
Not too shabby for a No. 10 seed.
It's a deceptively low seed, according to Musketeers guard Tu Holloway. This is not a team that feels like a mid-major or an underdog.
"Sometimes I'm offended," Holloway told the Associated Press' Charles Odum. "We're still, quote, mid-majors, but we continue to have success against the major teams that we play against in power conferences. It is what it is. At this point, we're just here to advance. If we're being called the Cinderella, OK."
The Musketeers have got to this point with a 67-63 win over Notre Dame and a 70-58 defeat of Lehigh.
Baylor, meanwhile, took down San Diego State 68-60 in the first round before plowing over Colorado 80-63 en route to the regional semifinals. It will face a team with a double-digit seed for the third straight game.
Seeding aside, these two teams are in for a battle on Friday.
No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 1 Kentucky
Kentucky has served as one of the NCAA's perennial powerhouses all season, suffering only two defeats. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, one of them happened to be against their Sweet 16 opponent.
On December 10, the Hoosiers handed Kentucky its first loss of the season, 73-72, when Christian Watford hit a three at the buzzer. Since then, the Wildcats have steamrolled pretty much everyone in the NCAA except Vanderbilt, which took them down in the SEC championship.
Against any other team, Kentucky might have the decided edge, but Indiana knows it can hang in there with the Wildcats and it has the confidence to win.
The Hoosiers went 27-8 this season, good for a fifth-place finish in the Big Ten. Their tournament resume features wins over New Mexico State (79-66) and VCU (63-61). Kentucky, meanwhile, has beaten Western Kentucky and Iowa State by an average of over 15 points.
Indiana has taken down a No. 13 seed and a No. 12 seed en route to this matchup, so it will be in for a different sort of challenge when it takes the floor on Friday—but it will be no easy road for the Wildcats, either.
Disregarding seeding, both of these games are bound to be close, and they're both must-sees.
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