As the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament comes to a close, let’s look at the biggest things to watch on Sunday.
X GON’ GIVE IT TO YA
For the second straight season, the Xavier Musketeers meet the Florida State Seminoles in the second round. The circumstances are far different this year, though. Xavier was an 11-seed last year and FSU was a three. This year, X is a one and FSU is an eight. The Seminoles also lost a lot of talent from last year’s team. I wouldn’t use a bludgeoning of an undermanned Missouri team as a reason to be afraid of the Seminoles. If Xavier plays the game they’re capable of playing, they’ll be heading to LA.
THE BUTLER WAY?
The Butler Bulldogs have won at least one NCAA Tournament game in its last seven NCAA Tournament appearances, which is a pretty awesome streak. They’ll be tasked with having to stop their in-state foes from Purdue if they want to advance to their second straight Sweet 16.
Perhaps you’ve heard by now, the 16-seed UMBC Retrievers took down #1 overall seed Virginia on Friday night. That means for the first time in NCAA Tournament history, a 16-seed is playing in the round of 32. The Retrievers will have their hands full with the Kansas State Wildcats, but they’ve already gotten this far, why stop now?
Bob Huggins and the West Virginia Mountaineers will have their hands full against in-state rival Marshall. The winner gets to advance to Boston to face Villanova, but this game is pretty huge for people from the Mountaineer State. There’s some bad blood between the programs and between Huggins and Marshall coach Dan D’Antoni.
CAN WE NOT?
Michigan State plays Syracuse, because of course they do. That means one of Jim Boeheim or Tom Izzo are going to the Sweet 16. While we’re talking about coaches we don’t much care for, Mick Cronin and the Cincinnati Bearcats are in action against Nevada prior to Xavier’s game. I hope JP Macura arrives at the arena early and has some fun.