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NCAA Tournament Bracket 2019: Schedule, Odds and More for Sunday's Elite 8 Games

Jake RillCorrespondent IMarch 31, 2019

Auburn's Anfernee McLemore celebrates at the end of the first half of a men's NCAA tournament college basketball Midwest Regional semifinal game against North Carolina Friday, March 29, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

By Sunday evening, this year's Final Four field will be set. But first, two Elite Eight matchups must decide which teams will join Virginia and Texas Tech and travel to Minneapolis for the national semifinals on Saturday.

Before Sunday's games, here's an updated bracket and everything you need to know about the teams closing out the Elite Eight round.

                       

Bracket

                 

Sunday Schedule, Odds

No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 2 Kentucky (-4.5), 2:20 p.m., CBS

No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Duke (-2), 5:05 p.m., CBS

                      

Preview

No. 1 seed Virginia is in the Final Four for the first time since 1984, while No. 3 seed Texas Tech will be making its first appearance at that stage in program history. On Sunday, two more teams will join those schools to form this year's semifinals.

The SEC has had a strong year, and it's guaranteed that one school from the conference will make the Final Four, with rivals Kentucky and Auburn facing off in Sunday's first game. This will be the third time the teams play this year—the Wildcats won both meetings.

While the first game was close, the last time Kentucky and Auburn met was a lopsided victory for the Wildcats, who won 80-53 in late February.

"They physically overwhelmed us," Tigers coach Bruce Pearl said, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "We went into that game playing pretty well, and we got manhandled. We didn't play great, but we got it handed to us, because they played so well."

This matchup should be closer, especially with how well Auburn has been playing. The Tigers are coming off a win over No. 1 seed North Carolina in the Sweet 16, becoming the first team to beat a No. 1 seed during March Madness this year.

Auburn will be looking to make it to the Final Four for the first time in program history, while Kentucky is aiming to get back there for the first time since 2015.

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Sunday's second matchup is the only Elite Eight game to feature a No. 1 seed and a No. 2 seed, as Duke and Michigan face off. The Blue Devils, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, are coming off two straight close wins over No. 9 seed UCF and No. 4 seed Virginia Tech.

The Spartans have been more dominant in their March Madness run, beating each of their three previous opponents by at least 11 points.

"This is the way my team has been," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "Somebody just steps up."

Duke is looking to reach the Final Four for the first time since 2015, which was also the last time it won the national championship. Michigan State also last made the Final Four in 2015.

Predictions: Kentucky and Duke win to advance to the Final Four.

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