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Sweet 16 Schedule: TV Slate for Friday's March Madness Clashes

LEXINGTON, KY - MARCH 23:  Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals reacts on the sideline in the second half against the Colorado State Rams during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena on March 23, 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IMarch 28, 2013

Every year we fill out our NCAA tournament brackets, and every year the grand majority of us fail miserably.

The 2013 NCAA tournament has been no different. Three seeds lower than the No. 11 seed have made it to the Sweet 16. That includes Florida Gulf Coast, which became the first No. 15 seed to make it to the Sweet 16.

Friday's Sweet 16 matchups figure to be thrilling affairs, boasting some legit underdogs, as well as some powerhouses. 

Here's a look at the TV schedule, complete with the keys to the game for each underdog.

All stats via ESPN.com and TeamRankings.com.


Louisville (1) vs. Oregon (12)

 

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

When: 7:15 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS

Keys to the Game for Oregon: Stay Hot from the Field, Take Care of the Ball

Oregon is at a disadvantage against Louisville in a number of areas. The one thing that could save the Ducks is the fact that they've been hot from the field lately.

The Ducks' shooting percentage over the last three games would rank 36th in the nation over the course of the 2012-2013 campaign. They also shot 53 percent against defensive-minded Saint Louis in the round of 32. Considering Oregon ranked 97th in the country in field-goal percentage during the regular season, that's a significant development.

Oregon also has to be extremely careful with the ball against Louisville. The Ducks rank 265th in the nation in turnovers per possession, while the Cardinals rank second in opponents' turnover rate.

 

Kansas (1) vs. Michigan (4)

 

Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX

When: 7:37 p.m. ET

Watch: TBS

Key to the Game for Michigan: Defense

Michigan, led by Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., has the offense to keep up with Kansas, but the Wolverines aren't going to beat the Jayhawks unless they play defense.

The Wolverines rank 127th in the nation in opponents' field-goal percentage, but they've held opponents to 40.7 percent shooting in their last three games. That includes holding VCU to under 40 percent from the field in the round of 32.

Kansas—led by center Jeff Withey—also has a significant edge on the glass, so it's not likely the Wolverines rack up a lot of offensive rebounds.

 

Duke (2) vs. Michigan State (3)

 

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

When: 9:45 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS

Keys to the Game for Michigan State: Defense, Rebounding

When Duke's offense is hitting on all cylinders, it can be hard to stop. The Blue Devils rank 14th in the country in field-goal percentage.

On the other hand, Michigan State has the defense to potentially limit Duke's high-octane attack. The Spartans rank 34th in opponents' field-goal percentage and they've held opponents to 35.7 percent shooting over their last three games. That includes holding an athletic Memphis squad to 19-of-64 shooting in the round of 32.

There's also the fact that the Spartans rank 12th in the nation in rebounding percentage, led by Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix. They've collected 61.6 percent of available rebounds in their last three games, which would rank first in the country over the course of the 2012-2013 campaign.

Duke, on the other hand, ranks 192nd in rebounding percentage.

I actually think the Spartans win this game.

 

Florida (3) vs. FGCU (15)

 

Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX

When: 9:57 p.m. ET

Watch: TBS

Keys to the Game for FGCU: Offense, Defense

It would be easy to chalk up Florida Gulf Coast's hot shooting to its competition (or lack thereof) in the Atlantic Sun Conference this season. 

But the Eagles have scored a combined 159 points in two games against Georgetown and San Diego State in the NCAA tournament, upsetting both squads. They shot 56 percent against the Aztecs and racked up 44 free throws against Georgetown. Their offensive efficiency over their last three games would rank fourth in the nation over the course of the 2012-2013 campaign.

There's also the fact that the Eagles have held opponents to 40.1 percent shooting over their last three games. They held Georgetown to 38 percent shooting in the round of 64. 

It's not realistic to expect the Eagles to do much damage against Florida on the glass, so they are going to have to continue their hot streak on offense and play their best defense of the season to pull off the upset.

 

Don't forget to print out your bracket and follow along with the live bracketFollow all the exciting NCAA tournament action with March Madness Live.


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