The last half of the Sweet 16 for next weekend in the NCAA 2014 National March Madness Tournament will be decided today.
It looked like Oregon was going back to the Sweet 16 for most of the game yesterday evening against Wisconsin, only to have the Badgers rally to pull it out late 85-77.
But the Pac-12 still has 3 more teams with a shot today.
The "A" 'Cats controlled things pretty much all the way Friday in their 68-59 win over those other 'Cats from Weber St., champions of the Big Sky, though it was a game that required game long focus for the Pac-12 regular season champions.
The Cardinal, the 10 seed in the South region, making their first NCAA Tournament appearance under coach Johnny Dawkins, made the most of it, holding off a late Lobo run to upset 7 seed Mt. West Champion New Mexico (why this wasn't a part of the West region is anybody's guess) 58-53. It was a 2 point game with 30 seconds left, but 4 made free throws sealed the deal.
And the Bruins used a strong second half to pull away from Tulsa for a 76-59 win, after leading by only 5 points at halftime.
The Stanford Cardinal (22-12, 10-8, and the 10 seed in the South region) starts the day off, at 11:15 AM CDT (9:15 AM PDT), against the Kansas Jayhawks (25-9, 14-4 in the Big XII, and the #2 seed in the South), and it's CBS's kickoff game for the day.
It will be a defacto home game for Kansas, since it being played in St. Louis, MO.
Later in the afternoon, and unfortunately it will over lap with the Oregon St. (23-10, 13-5, and the 9 seed in the Stanford [West] Regional) women's NCAA Tournament opener against Middle Tennessee St. (29-4, 15-1 in Conference-USA, and the 8 seed), which starts at 5 PM PDT in Seattle, the UCLA Bruins (27-8, 12-6, and the 4 seed in the South region) will take on the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (32-2, 18-0 in the Southland Conference, and the 12 seed in the South) at 4:10 PM PDT in San Diego.
Stephen F. Austin has the second longest winning streak in the country, 29 games, and behind only unbeaten Wichita St., after the Lumberjacks pulled of a major upset, downing 5 seed VCU 77-75 in overtime Friday night.
The game starts a TBS double header from San Diego, and will be followed by the one of the best all-west coast games of the year, never mind the weekend.
It's a matchup of 2 of the region's long time bests, when Arizona (31-4, 15-3, and the 1 seed in the West Region) takes on the Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-6, 15-3, and the 8 seed in the West), regular season and tournament champions of the WCC, at 6: 40 PM.
Remember, in addition to every game being televised, every game is also being streamed live via March Madness Live. (Though replays aren't an option.) So you can keep tabs on the Bruins and the 'Cats as they carry the conference flag forward, while watching the Beavers take on the Blue Raiders on ESPN2!
So sit back an pull for the Beavers, and the Pac!