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NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Day Two Rooting Guide

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After yesterday’s excellent selection, let’s run it back.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Wisconsin vs Villanova Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The first day of the Sweet 16 was one for the books. Other than Kansas’ domination of Purdue, every game was decided by three points or less. After a largely chalky and unexciting first two rounds, it was an excellent return to form for the NCAA Tournament, which may still be waiting for a buzzer beater, but is heating up as teams fall off. Here’s what to watch/root for today.

No. 4 Butler vs. No. 1 North Carolina

Region/Location: South/FedEx Form, Memphis, Tennessee

Time/Channel: 7:09 p.m./CBS

Line: North Carolina -7

Who to root for: Butler beat Cincinnati earlier this season. By the power of advanced math you would never understand (it’s similar to the stuff behind the plot of Interstellar), the farther the Bulldogs go, the better that loss looks for UC. I mean, losing to an Elite Eight team isn’t exactly something to be upset about. Plus, rooting for a No. 1 seed is never that much fun, even one that plays as well as North Carolina and features Justin Jackson and Joel Berry.

No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 3 Baylor

Region/Location: East/Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

Time/Channel: 7:29 p.m./TBS

Line: Baylor -3.5

Who to root for: Let me introduce you to Frank Martin.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-South Carolina vs Duke Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes Frank gets angry. And its wonderful. There are few coaches in the country that might actually have steam literally come out of their ears, but Martin is one of them. That doesn’t mean I want to see the Gamecocks lose. Actually, its the opposite. South Carolina is in its first Sweet 16 in program history after upsetting No. 2 seed Duke last weekend. That’s the type of giant slayer I want to believe in. Plus, Martin coaches in a similar fashion to Mick Cronin, with the Gamecocks fourth in the country in defensive efficiency (88.8). However, they’ve turned it up offensively in March, averaging 90.5 points per game in the first two rounds. Is that going to keep happening? Probably not. But I’m down to see them try.

No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 2 Kentucky

Region/Location: South/FedEx Form, Memphis, Tennessee

Time/Channel: 9:39 p.m./CBS

Line: Pick

Who to root for: This is a tough one to pick, both in terms of gambling and rooting interest. UCLA just beat Cincinnati, so it can go to H E double hockey sticks, but Kentucky is, well, Kentucky. I can’t really advise rooting for a John Calipari team, especially one that plays so close to UC (relatively). So, let’s root for both teams to lose.

No. 8 Wisconsin vs. No. 4 Florida

Region/Location: East/Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

Time/Channel: 9:59 p.m./TBS

Line: Florida -1.5

Who to root for: Nigel Hayes is awesome. He can score (13.8 PPG) and rebound (6.6 RPG) and is an athletic marvel. Plus he isn’t shy, calling out New York as a trash city. I respect that kind of fearless mentality as much as I respect Wisconsin’s ability to somehow always be relevant in March. Go get ‘em, Badgers.