March Madness Viewing Schedule: Sweet 16

This year’s version of March Madness has not disappointed, at least anywhere outside of the city of East Lansing.

Whether it has been the infamous Blue Raiders’ upset of MSU, or Texas A&M’s exciting comeback against Northern Iowa, this tournament has been crazy. The best part? There are 15 more games to play before we crown this year’s best team. In the next four days, we’ll have our Final Four on their way to Houston, but before that, spots in the Elite Eight are up for grabs. Here’s where you can watch the tournament the next two nights:

 

Key:

# Best game in its time slot.
! Put it on your phone or laptop.

 

Sweet 16

Thursday Night

! No. 2 Villanova (31-5) vs. No. 3 Miami (FL) (27-7) – 7:10 p.m. EDT, CBS

Why you should watch: This is Jay Wright’s most talented Wildcats team in years, so an excellent way to get rid of the talking heads doubting Wright’s coaching in the tournament would be to make an Elite Eight by beating a solid Miami team. Villanova has not been tested yet, with two double-digit wins in the first two rounds, while Miami has had to work against both Buffalo and Wichita State.

Key matchup: The backcourts for both Villanova and Miami are the strongest parts of their respective teams. Miami’s Sheldon McClellan shot the ball well against a good Wichita State defense, while the Wildcats’ Ryan Arcidiacono had 16 points and 4 assists against Iowa and has the full confidence of Jay Wright heading down the stretch. Wright noted that Arcidiacono “knows exactly how [Wright] thinks” while on court in his postgame press conference on Sunday.

Prediction: Villanova 79, Miami 74

# No. 3 Texas A&M (28-8) vs. No. 2 Oklahoma (27-7) – 7:37 p.m. EDT, TBS

Why you should watch: After their escape act against Northern Iowa in the round of 32, what can the Aggies do for an encore? In their way stands Wooden Award candidate Buddy Hield and the most talented Oklahoma team in years. The Sooners managed to win a nailbiter against VCU on Sunday night behind an excellent performance from Hield (36 points, 7 rebounds), and this year’s team has managed to win games behind their backcourt pairing of Hield and point guard Jordan Woodard.

Key matchup: Danuel House was a key factor to the comeback win over UNI, and if he can match or at least slow down Hield, the Aggies could keep their run alive. However, if Ryan Spangler can make a difference inside, Oklahoma will present a tough task to an excellent Aggies defense.

Prediction: Oklahoma 87, Texas A&M 78

! No. 1 Kansas (32-4) vs. No. 5 Maryland (27-8) – 9:40 p.m. EDT, CBS

Why you should watch: The tournament’s top overall seed should face their first true test of the tournament in Maryland, who knocked off Hawaii 73-60 on Sunday night. The Terps have plenty of scoring options, so if Jake Layman or Rasheed Sulaimon can put in the type of performance that saw four starters in double figures against the Rainbow Warriors, they’re in with a chance against a strong Kansas team.

Key matchup: Where to begin with the Jayhawks? Both Perry Ellis and Landen Lucas have looked strong up front, so if Frank Mason III can cancel out Melo Trimble’s excellent play (24 points against Hawaii), Kansas could be well on their way to the Elite Eight.

Prediction: Kansas 78, Maryland 73

# No. 4 Duke (25-10) vs. No. 1 Oregon (29-6) – 10:07 p.m. EDT, CBS

Why you should watch: Oregon finally has a chance to show America why they deserved their No. 1 seed in a matchup with potential NBA top pick Brandon Ingram and the Duke Blue Devils. Underperforming for most of the year, Coach K’s squad has a chance to turn what many thought would be a disappointing season into another Elite Eight appearance. The Ducks squeezed past St. Joe’s on Sunday night after being down late in the second half, winning 69-64.

Key matchup: Dillon Brooks is Oregon’s top scorer, and Ingram will have to find a way to stop him. But if Grayson Allen can play his game against Oregon freshman Tyler Dorsey, Duke could knock the first No. 1 seed out of this year’s tournament (provided Kansas doesn’t lose their game first).

Prediction: Duke 76, Oregon 70


Friday Night

! No. 4 Iowa State (23-11) vs. No. 1 Virginia (28-7) – 7:10 p.m. EDT, CBS

Why you should watch: Although not too exciting on first glance, this game could be an excellent watch for basketball purists. Both teams have star power, in the form of ISU’s Georges Niang and Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon. This game should prove for an interesting contrast in styles, as Virginia’s excellent defense and slower tempo will match up with the Cyclones’ scoring offense, which is scoring nearly 82 points a game, good for 15th in the nation.

Key matchup: Niang has scored 28 points per game in the tournament thus far, but the play of Flint, MI native Monte Morris against Brogdon will likely decide this game. Brogdon is one of the best two-way guards in the nation, and while Morris is averaging 14 points and 7 assists per game, if his numbers against Brogdon are anywhere close to that, Iowa State could make a run into the Elite Eight with a favorable matchup with a double-digit seed to come.

Prediction: Virginia 64, Iowa State 61

No. 7 Wisconsin (22-12) vs. No. 6 Notre Dame (23-11) – 7:27 p.m. EDT, TBS
! No. 11 Gonzaga (28-7) vs. No. 10 Syracuse (21-13) – 9:40 p.m. EDT, CBS

# No. 1 North Carolina (30-6) vs. No. 5 Indiana (27-7) – 9:57 p.m. EDT, TBS

Why you should watch: North Carolina is by far the most athletic team left in the tournament. They’re also the most inconsistent. In the Hoosiers, the Tar Heels will square off with another extremely athletic ball club that possesses veteran leadership. Still think this game is too early to be played in the third round? Me too. This is undoubtedly the most exciting game of the Sweet 16.

Key Matchup: This game will have phenomenal guard play (Marcus Paige, meet Yogi Ferrell) and should be a 40-minute slugfest. The play of Tar Heel big man and Wooden Award finalist Bryce Johnson and his quickness will pose problems for IU’s Thomas Bryant down low.

Prediction: North Carolina 81, Indiana 78

 


 

Kyle Turk is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports who contributed to this story with Joey Ellis.