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First Half Of Final 4 To Be Set Today

It could be a Wild(cat) day in the NCAA Tournament today!
It could be a Wild(cat) day in the NCAA Tournament today!
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Today, we find out who will make up half of the Final 4 in the NCAA Mens' Basketball Tournament, with the West and Midwest Regionals. TBS will take care of the coverage of both games.

Depending on your internet service, the games are also available via The NCAA's Tournament stream.

In another head-scratching episode of less than optimal scheduling, at least for those on site, players and fans alike, the West regional in Los Angeles tips in mid-afternoon locally, while the MId-West regional, which isn't even in the midwest, being in Cleveland, won't even start until nearly 9 PM locally. Since the time slots nationally are the same, it would have made much more sense to flip them.

But since they didn't, we will learn earlier if the Pac-12's last bet to advance, regular season and conference tournament champions and 2 seed Arizona (34-3), can move on, as they have a rematch from last year with 1 seed Wisconsin (34-3), the B1G Ten regular season and conference tournament champion. The game tips at 3:09 PM PDT from the Staples Center.

The 'Cats actually opened as a 1 point favorite, and will definitely have a Pac-12 area advantage over the Badgers.

Arizona is the only remaining Pac-12 team in either NCAA Tournament, after what was a very difficult day for the conference yesterday, which saw both UCLA and Utah ousted from the men's side, and then Stanford and Arizona St. both get sent home from the women's tournament.

It wasn't a huge surprise, as all 4 were lower seeded underdogs, but that 4-some isn't a group you will see all lose on the same day very often. Stanford's 22 point loss might be the most shocking, at least because of the margin, though Arizona St.'s 1 point loss was the most hear-breaking, and Utah's 6 point loss to Duke the most frustrating.

The Mid-West regional KU Invitational final, which tips at 5:49 PM PDT (8:49 locally), and puts Notre Dame (32-5), the ACC tournament champions, against Kentucky (37-0), the SEC champions of everything. The Irish are 11 point underdogs to the Wildcats, who  just held West Virginia to the lowest point total of the tournament, and the lowest total in years in the Sweet 16 round, to continue their march toward total domination of the tournament.

The Women's Tournament wraps up their Sweet 16 round today, with games in the Albany, New York, regional, and then the Spokane Regional, which is where Oregon St. would have been had they played a better game against Gonzaga last Sunday.

Unlike the men's rounds, all 4 games are spread out end to end today, so all 4 can be seen without overlap. As a result, ESPN has end to end coverage.

The Albany regional starts at 9 AM PDT, noon locally, with 5th seed Texas (24-10) taking on tournament overall 1 seed Connecticut (34-1). The Longhorns, as Pac-12 fans will recall, eliminated California, and the Huskies are the defending champions, and possibly an even heavier favorite than Kentucky is in the men's tournament.

The Albany regional winds up with an 11 AM PDT game between 7 seed Dayton (27-6) and 3 seed Louisville (27-6).

The Spokane regional tips its first game at 1:30 PM PDT, with 4 seed Duke (23-10) (there is an NCAA rule that says all basketball post-season tournaments include a Blue Devils team!) and 2 seed Maryland (32-2), champions of the B1G 10 (how weird is it to think of the Terrapins in the B1G?).

The afternoon ends with 11 seed Gonzaga (26-7) effectively playing a home game (though it is across town from the Kennel) taking on 2 seed Tennessee (29-5). This is the game the Beavers would have been in, and will have Oregon St. mens' basketball head coach Wayne Tinkle and top recruit for next year Tres Tinkle among the fans cheering for the 'Zags, as Wayne's daughter and Tres' sister Elle starts for them. If Beaver fans have trouble rooting for the team that just eliminated their team, at least its a team from the west with a close personal connection, and they can root for the Bulldogs against the Volunteers, who was the only team to beat Oregon St. in the non-conference portion of the season.