Here are tip times, TV networks and broadacster assignments for all the Sweet 16 games on Thursday and Friday:
Thursday, March 22
7:15 p.m.: E1. Syracuse vs. E4. Wisconsin at Boston (CBS/Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery and Lesley Visser)
7:47 p.m.: MW1. Michigan State vs. MW4. Louisville at Phoenix (TBS/Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Len Elmore)
9:45 p.m.: E2. Ohio State vs. E6. Cincinnati at Boston (CBS/Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery and Lesley Visser)
10:17 p.m.: W3. Marquette vs. W7. Florida at Phoenix (TBS/Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Len Elmore)
Friday, March 23
7:15 p.m.: S3. Baylor vs. S7. Xavier at Atlanta (CBS/Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg and Tracy Wolfson)
7:47 p.m.: MW1. North Carolina vs. MW13. Ohio at St. Louis (TBS/Marv Albert, Steve Kerr and Craig Sager)
9:45 p.m.: S1. Kentucky vs. S4. Indiana at Atlanta (CBS/Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg and Tracy Wolfson)
10:17 p.m.: MW2. Kansas vs. MW11. N.C. State at St. Louis (TBS/Marv Albert, Steve Kerr and Craig Sager)
It's been widely noted that the state of Ohio has put four teams into the Sweet 16 for the first time ever. But the Midwestern enmity does not stop there.
Basketball fans across the Cincinnati region disdain Kentucky, as Lexington is just over the river and Wildcats games are broadcast into southern Ohio. (Indeed, Cincinnati's airport is technically located in Kentucky). Indiana holds the Bluegrass state in even more disdain, given the longstanding rivalry between the Hoosiers and Big Blue.
Obviously, a Kentucky-Indiana matchup has already been set. So has Ohio State vs. Cincinnati. But in an ideal world, the NCAA could re-seed the bracket so that all eight Sweet 16 matchups would be either rivalries or games of historical significance.
Here's my proposal. The venues don't really matter, but for the heck of it I put them in the existing regional sites:
- Kentucky vs. Louisville in Atlanta (A game that could fill the Georgia Dome without any help)
- North Carolina vs. N.C. State in Atlanta (Amazingly, not the most bitter rivalry in this list)
- Ohio State vs. Ohio in St. Louis (Winner claims copyright on the word Ohio)
- Wisconsin vs. Marquette in St. Louis (Winner gets first dibs on the local beer, loser cooks the brats)
- Cincinnati vs. Xavier in Boston (A Big East/A-10 game should be in the Northeast, not the midwest)
- Syracuse vs. Indiana in Boston (25 years after their famous national championship game)
- Kansas vs. Baylor in Phoenix (One more showdown between the Big 12's best teams)
- Michigan State vs. Florida in Phoenix (A rematch of the 2000 title game)