The field of 68 has been whittled down to 32 teams with the Sweet 16 next to come in the 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament. Ohio State will face George Mason tomorrow, while Akron's time in the Tournament ended yesterday in a loss to Notre Dame. Eight games are on the schedule today - here is a look at the match-ups, tip-off times and where to find the action on TV:
12:15PM et: (5)West Virginia Mountaineers(21-11) Vs. (4)Kentucky Wildcats(26-8) - CBS
West Virginia knocked off Clemson 84-76 while Kentucky survived an upset attempt by Princeton 59-57. Princeton was a tough matchup for the youthful Wildcats, but West Virginia, being more traditional, should be a better matchup on both sides of the floor. For a young team like Kentucky, sometimes getting past that first game is the hardest and things fall into place after that.
MY PICK: Kentucky
2:45PM et: (7)UCLA Bruins(23-10) Vs. (2)Florida Gators(27-7) - CBS
The Gators put everyone in the Southeast Region on notice with a dominating 79-51 win over UC-Santa Barbara in the second round. UCLA nearly lost all of a 23-point second half lead in beating Michigan State 78-76. While the quality of opponent was quite different, Florida looked fast while UCLA seemed to limp to the finish line.
MY PICK: Florida
5:15PM et: (13)Morehead St. Eagles(25-9) Vs. Richmond Spiders(28-7) - CBS
Morehead State shocked the world - and destroyed thousands of brackets - by beating Louisville 62-61 at the buzzer. Richmond rekindled memories of Cinderella's past with a 69-66 win over Vanderbilt. Now the two will meet for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen, and the official title of the 2011 NCAA Tournament Cinderella story.
MY PICK: Richmond
6:10PM et: (7)Temple Owls(26-7) Vs. (2)San Diego St. Aztecs(33-2) - TNT
The Temple Owls were the beneficiaries of another buzzer beater, knocking off Penn St. 66-64. SDSU, entering the Tournament as a No. 2 seed, had little trouble beating Northern Colorado 68-50. This is going to be a tough out for SDSU. Temple is a storied program that is finally beginning to reassert themselves in the national scene. They are a tough, physical, in-your-face squad while SDSU plays more of a finesse, up-tempo style.
MY PICK: San Diego State
7:10PM et: (8) Butler Bulldogs(24-9) Vs. (1)Pittsburgh Panthers(28-5) - TBS
The Bulldogs are once again in line to make it to the Sweet 16 after beating Old Dominion 6-58. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, beat UNC-Asheville 74-51 and is in line to get upset long before their time. This Pittsburgh team looks to be the strongest Pitt team we have seen, but something tells me Butler has a little bit more magic up their sleeve.
MY PICK: Butler
7:45PM et: (11)Gonzaga Bulldogs(25-9) Vs. BYU Cougars(31-4) - CBS
Gonzaga surprised some with how easily they handled St. John's in the second round 86-71. BYU, led by Jimmer Fredette, beat Wofford 74-66. Like Butler above, Gonzaga is tournament test. They are facing a BYU team that doesn't have a ton of experience, but have Fredette who might be the National Player of the Year.
MY PICK: Gonzaga
8:40PM et: Kansas St. Wildcats(23-10) Vs. Wisconsin Badgers(24-8) - TNT
Kansas State avoided the 12-5 upset, beating Utah State 73-68 while Wisconsin ended a two game losing streak, beating Belmont 72-58. So, has Wisconsin gotten their mojo back? As a Big Ten fan I think they have. Kansas State has a ton of talent, however, and won't be easy for Wisconsin, who will have to find a way to score.
MY PICK: Wisconsin
9:40PM et: (6)Cincinnati Bearcats(26-8) Vs. Connecticut Huskies(27-9) - TBS
Connecticut made quick work of Bucknell 81-52 while Cincinnati beat down Missouri 78-63 leading to a match-up of Big East foes. Connecticut won their regular season meeting 67-59 and is playing their best basketball of the season after winning the Big East Tournament.
MY PICK: UCONN