March Madness 2019: Complete Sweet 16 Schedule, Updated Bracket and MoreMarch 27, 2019
Don't worry, college basketball fans. March Madness will soon be making a return to your screens.
The Sweet 16 round begins with four matchups on Thursday, followed by four more on Friday. The action will continue into the weekend with a pair of Elite Eight games on both Saturday and Sunday. So, after this short break, there will be plenty of top-level college hoops on the way.
This year's NCAA tournament has been dominated by the top seeds. Perhaps that will continue as some of the best teams in the country start to face off in the later rounds.
Sweet 16 Schedule (All Times ET)
No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 1 Gonzaga, 7:09 p.m., CBS
No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 2 Tennessee, 7:29 p.m., TBS
No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 2 Michigan, 9:39 p.m., CBS
No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 1 Virginia, 9:59 p.m., TBS
No. 3 LSU vs. No. 2 Michigan State, 7:09 p.m., CBS
No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 1 North Carolina, 7:29 p.m., TBS
No. 4 Virginia Tech vs. No. 1 Duke, 9:39 p.m., CBS
No. 3 Houston vs. No. 2 Kentucky, 9:59 p.m., TBS
When Will a No. 1 Seed Fall?
Sure, sometimes a No. 1 seed is upset early in the tournament. But more often than not, at least one of the top teams is still alive late in March Madness.
Since 1985, 21 of the 34 national champions have been No. 1 seeds. That includes nine of the past 12 teams.
This year, it's quite likely that another No. 1 seed could win it all. All four are still alive entering the Sweet 16—Duke, Gonzaga, North Carolina and Virginia.
But the competition will be tougher for the rest of the tournament. Perhaps a No. 1 seed will even lose soon. One potential upset to watch out for is Thursday's first game, when Gonzaga plays a strong No. 4 seed in Florida State. The Seminoles beat the Bulldogs in the Sweet 16 last year.
It's not just the No. 1 seeds. This year's tournament has been dominated by higher-ranked teams.
In addition to all four No. 1 seeds, all No. 2 and No. 3 seeds are in the Sweet 16. So are two No. 4 seeds and a No. 5.
That could make some of these late games even more exciting, because it's much more plausible to see a No. 1 seed losing to a No. 2 or No. 3 than a lower-seeded team. Many of these schools have had the best teams in the country all season, and now they'll start going head-to-head.
According to March Madness media coordinator David Worlock, this is just the second time since the bracket expanded in 1985 that all the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 seeds are in the Sweet 16, along with the 2009 tournament. It also ties the 2009 tourney for the most top-four seeds (14) in the Sweet 16.
Oregon is the Last True Underdog
While 15 of the 16 remaining teams are Nos. 1-5 seeds, there's still one true surprise school in the mix—No. 12 seed Oregon.
The Ducks reached the Sweet 16 with victories over No. 5 seed Wisconsin and No. 13 seed UC Irvine. They've won 10 straight games, which included winning four games in the Pac-12 tournament en route to the tourney championship that sealed their spot in March Madness.
While Oregon has been playing well and carries a lot of momentum, it will have a tough task in its Sweet 16 matchup against No. 1 seed Virginia on Thursday night. However, the Ducks have had March Madness success before, as they reached the Final Four in 2017 and have made it to at least the Sweet 16 in three of the past four seasons.
"We're going to have to play really well," Oregon coach Dana Altman said, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "They're big. They're physical. They don't make mistakes. They're not going to beat themselves. But we've got a puncher's chance, and we'll go swing away and see what happens."