Based on the continued upsets and breathtaking finishes that we have witnessed so far during the 2014 NCAA tournament, the Sweet 16 figures to deliver the most intense action yet.
Now that we know each of the last 16 teams standing, March Madness' end result remains murky but grows ever so close. One thing is for certain: We are sure in for a fantastic finish.
Let's break down the full Sweet 16 schedule so that not a moment of action is missed. This round will surely feature some more bracket-busting conclusions, so we'll also make some bold predictions regarding the outcome of Round 4.
Full Sweet 16 Schedule
|Region||Matchup||Time (ET)||TV Info|
|Thurs., March 27|
|South||No. 10 Stanford vs. No. 11 Dayton||7:15 p.m.||CBS|
|West||No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 6 Baylor||7:47 p.m.||TBS|
|South||No. 1 Florida vs. No. 4 UCLA||9:45 p.m.||CBS|
|West||No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 4 San Diego State||9:55 p.m.||TBS|
|Fri., March 28|
|Midwest||No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 11 Tennessee||7:15 p.m.||CBS|
|East||No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 7 Connecticut||7:47 p.m.||TBS|
|Midwest||No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 8 Kentucky||9:40 p.m.||CBS|
|East||No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 4 Michigan State||9:55 p.m.||TBS|
Each Sweet 16 contest can be live streamed on NCAA.com.
Sweet 16 Bold Predictions
No. 4 Louisville Drops to No. 8 Kentucky
Louisville may be riding a seven-game winning streak; however, the Cardinals have not looked like one of the nation's top teams lately.
Sweet 16 will feature a matchup of one of college basketball's best rivalries. Kentucky will face Louisville in Indianapolis. Let's go!— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 23, 2014
After dominating in the AAC tournament, the Cardinals began to struggle early in the Big Dance. In Round 2, they allowed Manhattan to stick around throughout the game, barely emerging victorious by a score of 71-64.
In Round 3 against Saint Louis, the Cardinals looked very sloppy—especially in the first half—and allowed the Billikens to hang around until the waning minutes of the game.
If Louisville continues that trend against the surging Kentucky Wildcats, the team will not like the outcome.
Russ Smith quote to me after UK beat Louisville back in Dec. at Rupp. "Its not a good matchup for us." Teams will meet in Sweet 16 in Indy.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) March 23, 2014
Kentucky has matured in a big way during the NCAA tournament. After a close game with Kansas State, the Wildcats gained the confidence and momentum necessary to become a huge factor in March Madness.
That was apparent in the team's 78-76 win over No. 1 Wichita State on Sunday.
The Wildcats rallied in the second half after being outscored 37-31 at the break. They shot an impressive 54.0 percent from the field as a team and outrebounded the Shockers 32-23.
Four different starters finished the game with double-digit points. Andrew Harrison scored 20 points, while Julius Randle dominated the boards, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for the game's only double-double.
During a postgame press conference with the Associated Press, via ESPN.com, Kentucky head coach John Calipari let the importance of the matchup be known. He said, "I've been doing this so long. I've been in wars. You all understand this was an Elite Eight game. The winner of this should have gone to the Final Four."
The Final Four is just where the Wildcats will find themselves if they keep playing in this manner.
No. 4 Michigan State Defeats No. 1 Virginia
That's right, another top-seeded team will go down in short order. This time, it will be the No. 4 Michigan State Spartans outdueling the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers.
Despite Virginia's No. 1 seed, the team relies mainly on its defense to get things done. Sure, they do boast the nation's top-ranked defensive unit; however, it's the team's 294th-ranked offense that will be its undoing.
Michigan State is one of the tournament's most well-rounded teams. A highly experienced group, the Spartans are averaging 76.2 points per game while allowing 65.9 points per game. The group is consistently put into the best possible position to succeed by legendary head coach Tom Izzo.
The Spartans are currently riding a five-game winning streak, defeating top teams such as Wisconsin and Michigan along the way. In the round of 32, they took care of a dangerous Harvard team by a score of 80-73.
Michigan State survives against Harvard. Spartans now a perfect 10-0 in Round of 32 games as a top 4 seed— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 23, 2014
That win against an upstart team provided the necessary jolt to keep the Spartans' intensity up for the remainder of the tournament.
While Michigan State features a solid shooting offense—they shot 47.4 percent as a team this season—and a stout defense, the depth of the Spartans will be too much for a one-dimensional Virginia team to handle.
A phenomenal defense can only carry a team so far. This late in the tournament, teams with a greater amount of versatility will begin to shine. Michigan State will do just that in the Sweet 16.