Undefeated Wichita State
faces its first true test Sunday against a young, athletic Kentucky
squad. (Jeff Roberson/AP)
We all made it. I know we're tired. I know we need some Clear Eyes and about a week straight at the gym. We're probably dehydrated because most of us don't drink enough water ever. But it's Day 4 of four straight days of 12-plus straight hours of hoops. The end is in sight for a short break.
There are already eight teams in the Sweet Sixteen with eight more joining them Sunday. Will another double-digit seed be in the mix like Dayton? Are the three one seeds safe or is someone going down? Which came first the chicken or the egg?
All these questions and more will be answered on
the Price Is Right Sunday in the NCAA Tournament.
South Region: No. 10 Stanford (22-12, 10-8 in Pac-12) vs. No. 2 Kansas (25-9, 14-4 in Big 12)
Stanford team preview and prediction | Kansas team preview and prediction
How to watch: 12:15 p.m. ET, CBS
What to watch for: Stanford knocked off New Mexico in the round of 64, and suddenly a team that was on the bubble just a few weeks ago (with coach Johnny Dawkins on the hot seat, as well) is playing with a lot of confidence. The Cardinal aren't exactly the same case as Tennessee, but it's a little similar. They've got nothing to lose, and their season to some extent started over in March. Kansas should have the athleticism and the playmakers even without Joel Embiid to beat Stanford, but will the Jayhawks slip up?
Midwest Region: No. 8 Kentucky (25-10, 12-6 in SEC) vs. No. 1 Wichita State (35-0, 18-0 in Missouri Valley)
Kentucky team preview and prediction | Wichita State team preview and prediction
How to watch: 2:45 p.m. ET, CBS
What to watch for: This is the big one, the most hyped game of the day. John Calipari's five-star kids vs. the experienced, unbeaten Shockers coming off last year's Final Four run. It's hard to call a No. 1 seed an underdog, but that's the approach Greg Marshall seems to be taking. Wichita State is in the "bracket of death," and Kentucky is its first true test in the gauntlet.
WINN: Expect physical battles in the paint as Wichita State, Kentucky square off
East Region: No. 6 North Carolina (24-9, 13-5 in ACC) vs. No. 3 Iowa State (27-7, 11-7 in Big 12)
North Carolina team preview and prediction | Iowa State team preview and prediction
How to watch: 5:15 p.m. ET, CBS
What to watch for: As far as undercards go, this one has the potential to be a great follow-up to the Wichita State-Kentucky game. North Carolina has beaten some really good teams this year, but it also lost to Belmont, UAB and Wake Forest. The Tar Heels had a huge test against Providence in their first game, and Iowa State has the length to bother them. With Georges Niang out with a broken foot, the Cyclones are going to have to dig deep.
Midwest Region: No. 14 Mercer (27-8, 14-4 in Atlantic Sun) vs. No. 11 Tennessee (23-12, 11-7 in SEC)
Mercer team preview and prediction | Tennessee team preview and prediction
How to watch: 6:10 p.m. ET, TNT
What to watch for: Cinderella is a bear this year. But does Bob Hoffman's team have one more surprise left in them? While Duke was content to try to shoot over the zone, allowing Mercer to get rebounds and find good shots, something tells me that script won't work against the Volunteers. Cuonzo Martin's squad is physical and playing angry right now, and it's going to attack the rim over and over again.
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SI WIRE: Mercer's Monty Brown out vs. Tennessee with concussion
South Region: No. 12 Stephen F Austin (32-2, 18-0 in Southland) vs. No. 4 UCLA (27-8, 12-6 in Pac-12)
Stephen F Austin team preview and prediction | UCLA team preview and prediction
How to watch: 7:10 p.m. ET, TBS
What to watch for: Don't expect a shootout in this one. Both defenses are going to make the other team work to get good shots. The Lumberjacks are riding that monster winning streak and you can't tell them nothing, but the Bruins are a strong unit with skilled athletes at every position. SFA should keep it close, but the 'Jacks are going to need more than just luck (see: four-point play against VCU) to win this one.
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West Region: No. 6 Baylor (25-11, 9-9 in Big 12) vs. No. 3 Creighton (27-7, 14-4 in Big East)
Baylor team preview and prediction | Creighton team preview and prediction
How to watch: 7:40 p.m. ET, truTV
What to watch for: That Baylor zone is going to be begging Creighton to shoot. The last thing the Blue Jays need is an invitation. They will certainly take the shots, but the Bluejays going to need to hit them, too. Baylor's long and gifted in the lane, and the Bears will make you pay if you don't sink your jumpers. Doug McDermott wants to keep playing, but he'll face a tough challenge against the Waco Kids.
East Region: No. 8 Memphis (24-9, 12-6 in AAC) vs. No. 1 Virginia (29-6, 16-2 in ACC)
Memphis team preview and prediction | Virginia team preview and prediction
How to watch: 8:40 p.m. ET, TNT
What to watch for: The ACC hasn't looked its personal best during the NCAA tournament. It really needs its No. 1 seed to play up to its potential. The Tigers can beat good teams; that's never been the problem. The issue is that Josh Pastner's guys often look like they're lost while they're staring at a map that says "You Are Here." Virginia just needs to be patient and not get sucked into playing ugly basketball.
West Region: No. 8 Gonzaga (29-6, 15-3 in WCC) vs. No. 1 Arizona (31-4, 15-3 in Pac-12)
Gonzaga team preview and prediction | Arizona team preview and prediction
How to watch: 9:40 p.m. ET, TBS
What to watch for: A nighttime West Coast special. Gonzaga is one of the more efficient teams in the country and hits plenty of shots. Now, it'll have to stick to that gameplan against arguably the nation's best defense. Arizona will get out and guard you and push you further away from the hoop than you want when you're starting your set. The pair of Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon are just a nightmare to match up against.