Russ Smith and Peyton Siva have brought the Louisville Cardinals to the Elite Eight.
This March we started with 68 teams and have now cut it down to just eight. We've seen insane upsets, dominating blowouts and some incredible individual performances. As the Elite Eight teams prepare for their next matchup, the Final Four is so close you can almost feel the electricity.
Teams are now just two wins away from a spot in the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Here's all the information that you need to know about when, where and how to watch the field of eight as they fight for a spot in the Final Four, including some background information on each matchup.
Dates: Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31
Live Stream: March Madness Live
Elite Eight Schedule
No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 4 Syracuse 4:30 p.m. ET CBS
No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Wichita State 7:05 p.m. ET CBS
No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 3 Florida 2:20 p.m. ET CBS
No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 2 Duke 5:05 p.m. ET CBS
Marquette vs. Syracuse
Marquette and Syracuse have both had quite the journey through the tourney so far. Marquette won its first two games by a combined three points with a one-point victory in the second round over Davidson and a two-point win over the Butler Bulldogs in the round of 32. They then had an offensive explosion against Miami, beating the Hurricanes 71-61 to move into the Elite Eight.
Syracuse has had an easier go through its first three games. The Orange shellacked Montana 81-34 in their first game and followed it up with a six-point win over California in their second. They knocked off the No. 1 seed Indiana Hoosiers 61-50 in their Sweet 16 matchup .
Marquette and Syracuse have already met once this season. In February Marquette, who was ranked No. 22 in the country at the time, got a three-point win over the Orange, who were No. 12. In that game Davante Gardner had his way with the two-three zone of the Orange and put up 26 points.
This Big East rematch will punch the ticket for one of these teams to go to the Final Four.
Ohio State vs. Wichita State
Unlike Marquette and Syracuse, these teams have not seen each other recently. Ohio State's journey to the Elite Eight has been filled with buzzer-beaters and close calls, not counting its first-game blowout over Iona. Ohio State then went on to beat Iowa State by just three points on a last-second triple from Aaron Craft which led to its late-three victory over Arizona in the Sweet 16.
While it may be hard to believe, the Shockers' journey may be more exciting. They got a huge win over Pittsburgh in their first game but were matched up with No. 1 Gonzaga in their next game. No way they could beat Kelly Olynyk and the Zags, right? Wrong. They did. They beat Gonzaga 76-70 and went on to beat the La Salle Explorers in the Sweet 16.
This matchup is an interesting one. While it seems like Ohio State would destroy a No. 9 seed, that's not necessarily the case. Ohio State has had trouble with a No. 10 seed and a No. 6 seed so far while Wichita State has already knocked off a No. 1 seed. Talk about madness.
Louisville vs. Duke
Louisville has gotten a few amazing performances out of Russ Smith on its way to the Elite Eight. The Cardinals cruised past North Carolina A&T and Colorado State in their first two games and kept No. 12 Oregon just out of reach at the end of the game to sneak away with a 77-69 victory in the Sweet 16. The No. 1 overall Cardinals aren't going to have it as easy against Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils.
Duke hasn't really had a close call through its first three games. It's won each game by double digits, beating Albany, Creighton and Michigan State on its way to its Elite Eight game against the No. 1 overall seed in Louisville.
These teams have met once this season. All the way back in late November, the No. 2 Cardinals took on the No. 5 Duke Blue Devils in a barn-burner. Duke ended up getting a 76-71 win over the eventual No. 1 seed after a huge 15-point game from Quinn Cook and 16 points from Mason Plumlee.
It has been a long time since that November matchup. Both Louisville and Duke have been through a lot since then, which makes this Elite Eight matchup extremely interesting. This game won't disappoint with matchups like Russ Smith against Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee against Gorgui Dieng. This one will be just the next epic matchup in what has been an amazing NCAA tournament.
Michigan vs. Florida
Few people thought that the Michigan Wolverines had the talent to make it to the Elite Eight, but after U of M's big overtime win over Kansas, the critics have been shushed. The Wolverines beat each of their opponents, South Dakota State and VCU, by 15 points which brought them to the Sweet 16 matchup against Kansas. Trey Burke and Mitch McGary were simply too much for the Jayhawks to handle in the second half and the Wolverines got a shocking win in overtime.
The Wolverines will be tested once again by the Florida Gators. Florida has had a much less eventful journey to the Elite Eight. They started by beating Northwestern State 79-47 and followed up that performance with a 14-point win over the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. They then took on the unenviable task of playing America's sweetheart, the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles. While the Eagles made it interesting at the beginning, they simply couldn't hang with the Gators who went on to win 62-50.
Florida and Michigan both come into this game in the top 10 of field-goal percentage in the entire NCAA. While both teams have some offensive studs in Florida's Erik Murphy and Kenny Boynton and Michigan's Trey Burke and Mitch McGary, this one will be all about the defense. Whoever can make the other team miss those high-percentage shots that they're used to knocking down will win and punch its ticket to the 2013 Final Four.