If your bracket survived Saturday's action with its Elite Eight still intact, you've done well for yourself. Unfortunately, the madness will continue in bracket-busting fashion on Day 2 of the 2014 NCAA tournament's third round.
Sunday features three top-seeded teams against some difficult opposition. We're also in store for five other contests that could really go either way. After all, regular-season records and tournament seedings don't factor into a team's ability to win a game. The hottest hand will emerge victorious.
Let's take a look at Sunday's complete schedule, including live stream information, and predict the winner for each contest.
Third-Round Day 2 Schedule
|2014 NCAA Tournament Third-Round Day 2 Schedule|
|Region||Matchup||Time (ET)||TV Info|
|South||No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 10 Stanford||12:15 p.m.||CBS|
|Midwest||No. 1 Wichita State vs. No. 8 Kentucky||2:45 p.m.||CBS|
|East||No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 6 North Carolina||5:15 p.m.||CBS|
|Midwest||No. 11 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Mercer||6:10 p.m.||TNT|
|South||No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 12 SF-Austin||7:10 p.m.||TBS|
|West||No. 3 Creighton vs. No. 6 Baylor||7:45 p.m.||TruTV|
|East||No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 8 Memphis||8:40 p.m.||TNT|
|West||No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 8 Gonzaga||9:40 p.m.||TBS|
The complete 2014 NCAA tournament can be live streamed on NCAA.com.
Third-Round Day 2 Picks
|2014 NCAA Tournament Third-Round Day 2 Picks|
|Team 1||Team 2||Pick|
|No. 2 Kansas||No. 10 Stanford||Kansas|
|No. 1 Wichita State||No. 8 Kentucky||Wichita State|
|No. 3 Iowa State||No. 6 North Carolina||Iowa State|
|No. 11 Tennessee||No. 14 Mercer||Tennessee|
|No. 4 UCLA||No. 12 SF-Austin||UCLA|
|No. 3 Creighton||No. 6 Baylor||Baylor|
|No. 1 Virginia||No. 8 Memphis||Virginia|
|No. 1 Arizona||No. 8 Gonzaga||Gonzaga|
|Sean O'Donnell's Predictions|
The Arizona Wildcats must show caution against the Gonzaga Bulldogs, or they stand to be the first top seed ousted from the competition.
The Bulldogs are a very well-rounded team. With the nation's 40th-ranked offense, including ranking fifth in field-goal percentage and a 59th-ranked defense, Gonzaga will be one of Arizona's most difficult opponents on the year.
Gonzaga took down the high-octane Oklahoma State Cowboys in Round 2 by a score of 85-77. The Bulldogs remained in control over the duration of the game and have some great momentum going forward.
Gonzaga coach Mark Few spoke of his team's resilience in a postgame press conference with the Associated Press, via ESPN.com:
We knew it wasn't going to be pretty. We knew we were going to have to fight and we talked about being the toughest team on the floor and you know, I think for stretches of it we were, because if you don't match OK State's toughness, you don't have a chance.
They matched the Cowboys' toughness and earned a well-deserved win.
The Creighton Bluejays should also be wary of their Round 3 opponent.
No. 6 seed Baylor put on a great showing in Round 2, defeating No. 11 seed Nebraska in decisive fashion by a score of 74-60.
The Bears have now won seven of their last eight games and have a big head of steam entering Round 3.
After the victory over Nebraska, Baylor forward Cory Jefferson spoke of his team's mentality going forward during a press conference with the Associated Press, via ESPN.com:
The past Elite Eights that we did have were good runs, but this year we're just looking at it as checking it one game at a time. We had ours today, the next one is on Sunday. We'll look at one game, and we'll move on from there.
Baylor has a great deal of depth and experience. Unfortunately for Creighton, it doesn't have the same kind of versatility on its roster.
It has been the Doug McDermott show all season long. He's been putting on dazzling performances the entire year and has carried his momentum into the 2014 NCAA tournament.
However, his supporting cast is rather suspect. Ethan Wragge came up big in the team's 76-66 win over Louisiana-Lafayette; although, that has not always been the case.
If the rest of the Creighton starters don't continue to step up, leaving things to McDermott alone, the team will have a difficult time overtaking a surging Baylor team.
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