At 7:15 p.m. ET on Thursday evening, the 2013 NCAA tournament will continue with the Sweet 16.
After six days of action and a fast and furious pace over the first three rounds of March Madness, we find ourselves with just 16 teams still vying for the coveted title of NCAA champion. No. 1 Gonzaga has already gone down, and the other three No. 1's (Kansas, Indiana and Louisville) are all on upset watch heading into this weekend's games.
The craziness has died down a little bit from the 32 games in two days that we experienced from the outset, but there will still be multiple games on TV on both Thursday and Friday to satisfy your tournament appetite.
For those of you that missed a majority of the action last week and those that just want an extra dose of all things March Madness, check out this complete schedule for both Thursday and Friday's games and a complete viewing guide for all eight tournament games heading into the Elite Eight on Saturday and Sunday.
Full Sweet 16 Schedule
Note: All times are approximate and Eastern Time. For complete listings of television programming, refer to your local listings, and check out the official Bleacher Report PDF bracket for more information.
|East||No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 2 Miami (FL)||7:15||CBS||Washington, D.C.|
|West||No. 6 Arizona vs. No. 2 Ohio State||7:47||TBS||Los Angeles, Cal.|
|East||No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 4 Syracuse||9:45||CBS||Washington, D.C.|
|West||No. 9 Wichita State vs. No. 13 La Salle||10:17||TBS||Los Angeles, Cal.|
|Midwest||No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 12 Oregon||7:15||CBS||Indianapolis, Ind.|
|South||No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 4 Michigan||7:37||TBS||Arlington, Texas|
|Midwest||No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Duke||9:45||CBS||Indianapolis, Ind|
|South||No. 3 Florida vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast||9:57||TBS||Arlington, Texas|
Game You Can't Miss: No. 3 Florida vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast
Although it's the last game of the Sweet 16, in-state competitors Florida and Florida Gulf Coast will square off in the biggest venue of the four weekend sites—Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas—for a shot at the winner of Michigan and Kansas.
History is in the making with this Florida Gulf Coast team.
The Eagles are already in new territory as a No. 15 seed, knocking off both No. 2 Georgetown and No. 7 San Diego State en route to being the first-ever No. 15 to make it to the Sweet 16. The Eagles have branded their play as Dunk City to outsiders, and they have two impact scorers (Bernard Thompson and Sherwood Brown) to go along with superb point guard Brett Comer and high-flier Chase Fieler.
However, to underestimate these Gators would be a catastrophic mistake for the Eagles.
Erik Murphy and Kenny Boynton lead Florida into battle after winning a share of the SEC regular-season crown and two impressive tournament wins over Northwestern State and Minnesota. When you factor in the in-state connection between these two teams, a huge stadium in Texas and the potential for Florida Gulf Coast to be the first-ever Elite Eight No. 15 seed, there's nothing about this game that should scare you away on Friday night.
Player to Watch: G Ramon Galloway, La Salle
Through three games, Galloway continues to impress us with his playmaking, leadership, emotion and three-point shooting.
Because of it, La Salle has won its First Four game, upset No. 4 Kansas State in the second round and out-dueled Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss in the round of 32 to pull off another stunning upset of a higher seed.
La Salle gets Wichita State in the Sweet 16, and all eyes will be on Galloway yet again. The star guard has averaged 21.3 points per game and made a staggering 12 three-pointers (a mark that leads all qualified players in tournament action) during his team's three-game run in March Madness.
Wichita State will have to contend with Galloway's scoring punch to punch its ticket to the Elite Eight, but after three games it seems that the young guard is only getting better with more tournament experience. He led the Explorers in scoring average during the regular season, and his play has really picked up during the NCAA tournament.
Upset Pick: No. 4 Michigan over No. 1 Kansas
The Big Ten's hottest team coming into the Big Dance was easily Ohio State, and the Buckeyes have done nothing wrong to be taken down from that perch.
Michigan has just played lights out.
The Wolverines have dispatched two potential upset candidates (South Dakota State and Virginia Commonwealth) in their first two games and have done so with relative ease after worries that the team wouldn't come into the games as motivated as they should be.
The infusion of Mitch McGary into the staring lineup has made Michigan an exciting team on both ends, and its four-wing attack will be tough to stop in North Texas on Friday night, even though Kansas has been a good team so far on defense against Western Kentucky and North Carolina (57 and 58 points allowed, respectively).
Kansas will have to be extremely disciplined to stop all three of Michigan's biggest weapons. Trey Burke, Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr. could all be lottery picks in this year's draft and at the very least should all be first-rounders (if they declare). How that affects Elijah Johnson and Ben McLemore on offense remains to be seen, but Michigan poses a significant matchup problem for the Jayhawks almost everywhere except inside.
With Big Blue playing better than ever and Kansas not playing a regionally favorable game this weekend, I like the Michigan Wolverines to win this game and punch their ticket into the Elite Eight, where the winner of Florida Gulf Coast and Florida will await.
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