First-round upsets are great, but March Madness is all about the Cinderella teams, and you don’t get to try on that glass slipper unless you make it to the Sweet 16. That’s what all the underdogs will be battling for on the second day of Round 3 of the 2014 NCAA tournament, and here’s everything you need to know in order to sit back, relax and wallow in the madness.
All Your Bracket Essentials:
- Download the Printable Bracket
- Follow the Latest Bracket Updates Live
- Play the Free Bracket Challenge
Perhaps the most essential thing that isn’t on that list is your TV or computer since you absolutely have to watch these games. Here’s Sunday’s schedule and where you can watch each game:
|Game||Region of Bracket||Time (ET)||Channel|
|No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 10 Stanford||South||12:15 p.m.||CBS|
|No. 1 Wichita State vs. No. 8 Kentucky||Midwest||2:45 p.m.||CBS|
|No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 6 North Carolina||East||5:15 p.m.||CBS|
|No. 11 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Mercer||Midwest||6:10 p.m.||TNT|
|No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 12 Stephen F. Austin||South||7:10 p.m.||TBS|
|No. 3 Creighton vs. No. 6 Baylor||West||7:40 p.m.||truTV|
|No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 8 Memphis||East||8:40 p.m.||TNT|
|No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 9 Gonzaga||West||9:40 p.m.||TBS|
Note: All games can also be streamed online through March Madness Live.
Now that everybody is bracket-crazy, here’s how those games will unfold followed by a preview of the most intriguing games:
|No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 10 Stanford||Kansas|
|No. 1 Wichita State vs. No. 8 Kentucky||Wichita State|
|No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 6 North Carolina||North Carolina|
|No. 11 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Mercer||Tennessee|
|No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 12 Stephen F. Austin||UCLA|
|No. 3 Creighton vs. No. 6 Baylor||Creighton|
|No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 8 Memphis||Virginia|
|No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 9 Gonzaga||Arizona|
No. 1 Wichita State vs. No. 8 Kentucky
The Wichita State Shockers are the first team in college basketball history to boast a record of 35-0, and the Kentucky Wildcats are trying to make sure they don’t get to 36-0. This has been a trendy upset pick because many question the Shockers’ strength of schedule, and Kentucky was under-seeded by the selection committee.
Head coach John Calipari finally has his young team playing together and with chemistry, and there aren’t many teams that can compete with the talent on his freshmen-laden roster.
But you can’t question just how good Wichita State has been. After all, it is the only team in the country to rank in the top 11 of Ken Pomeroy’s advanced ratings for both offense AND defense.
The Shockers dismantled their No. 16 seed with more dominance than any of the other No. 1 seeds, and when the head coach of Cal Poly was asked if the Shockers are an elite team by Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com, he said:
Every bit of it. The thing about Wichita State is ... they very, very, very rarely take any plays off. Their defensive attention and focus and offensive attention and focus is excellent -- as good as there is in college basketball. ... They are dialed in. I think that's what separates them.
That defense in particular will stifle the Kentucky offense, just like it shut down the Cal Poly offense, holding the Mustangs to 21 percent from the floor.
Ultimately, it will be the experience of Wichita State that wins out. When the game is on the line, will you trust a team full of freshmen who have never been here before or a veteran group that went all the way to the Final Four last year?
Pick: Wichita State
No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 6 North Carolina
This is brutal for Iowa State. After such an incredible season, the injury to Georges Niang will end up costing it a place in the Sweet 16 and send it home far earlier than it expected.
If Niang were playing, Iowa State would be a legitimate threat to come out of the East region, but the sophomore forward is an integral part of the Cyclones' attack with averages of 17 points, four rebounds and four assists.
He’s the third part of their three-headed monster (along with Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane), and head coach Fred Hoiberg won’t be able to draw up a game plan that can compensate for his loss—especially since so much of the offense runs through Niang and exploits his unique point forward skills.
Niang’s loss will also be felt on the defensive end, as the Cyclones will struggle to match up with the length of James Michael McAdoo.
North Carolina was fortunate to overcome Bryce Cotton’s explosion and beat a scrappy Providence team, and it will once again be bailed out by Niang’s injury as it advances to the Sweet 16.
Pick: North Carolina
No. 3 Creighton vs. No. 6 Baylor
Baylor has cranked it up a notch after a terrible start to the season, winning 10 of its last 12 games to enter the tournament on a high note. The Bears have plenty of talent, from 7-footer Isaiah Austin patrolling the paint to guard Kenny Chery getting it done with an array of mid-range shots.
But Creighton isn’t a good matchup for them. The Baylor zone has stumped opponents for this recent stretch, but that doesn’t bode well against a Creighton team that is the best in the country at knocking it down from beyond the arc.
|Adjusted Field-Goal Percentage||59.3||1st|
Baylor is playing well enough right now to make it a game, and it would have a great chance against any other team, but the matchup with the Bluejays is a terrible one.