Sunday Matchups to Watch in the NCAA Tournament
Sunday will be a great day for half of the teams playing, as the winners of those NCAA Tournament games will secure their spot in the Round of 16. Follow the table and live scores, and see our picks for the games we don’t. Don’t Miss (teams organized by seed; all times Eastern):
No. 3 Xavier vs. No. 11 Pittsburgh
12:10 p.m., CBS
Xavier appeared asleep for most of his first-round game against No. 14 seed Kennesaw State. The Musketeers trailed 13 with just under 10 minutes to play before finally waking up; they scored the next 15 points and held on for a 72-67 victory. Pitt narrowly escaped his playoff against Mississippi State to make the field 64, but he had no such problems against No. 6 seed Iowa State. Panthers opened the game on a 22-4 run and held the Cyclones to just 23.3 percent shooting in the 59-41 victory. They will look to follow in the footsteps of two other 11th-ranked teams that started in the First Four and made the Final Four: VCU in 2011 and UCLA in 2021.
No. 3 Kansas State vs. No. 6 Kentucky
2:40 p.m., CBS
Things weren’t as easy for Kansas State on Friday as the team might have liked, with No. 14-seeded Montana State trailing until the final minutes. But ultimately, the combination of forward Keyontae Johnson (18 points, 8 rebounds) and Markquis Nowell (17 points, 14 assists) was too much to overcome. It also took time for Kentucky in its matchup with No. 11 seed Providence to gain control, but the team had something the Brothers didn’t: Oscar Tshiebwe. The senior forward grabbed 25 rebounds in Kentucky’s 61-53 win, setting up this all-Wildcat encounter in the second round.
Marquette #2 vs. #7 Michigan State
5:15 p.m., CBS
Marquette used a balanced offensive offense in their opening round game to knock out No. 15 seeded Vermont 78-61 with five players in double figures. The victory was the first in the NCAA Tournament for the Golden Eagles since 2013, when they reached the round of 16. two Final Fours (although he did not win a match in either). Michigan State lost an early lead to the Trojans but recovered for a 72-62 win.
No. 9 Florida Atlantic vs. No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson
7:45 p.m., Tru TV
After the incredible upset of Purdue by No. 1 seed Fairleigh Dickinson, we gathered information about the school in Teaneck, NJ. The Knights won only four games last season and did not win their conference tournament this year; they needed to win a top four game before they even had the chance to face Purdue; it’s the shortest team in Division I. But it doesn’t matter: FDU holds the second victory of a No. 16 seed over a No. 1 seed in the history of the men’s tournament, and now she has a chance to go further than any 16 seed ever has. Standing in his way is Florida Atlantic, which survived a home and away game against Memphis by hitting the go-ahead basket with 2.5 seconds left.
No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 11 Mississippi State
3:30 p.m., ESPN
Mississippi State built on their first-four victory with an 81-66 loss to No. 6 Creighton. The Bulldogs were up against a darling of last year’s tournament, but they took control early and became the lowest seed to win on Friday. Notre Dame also got off to a good start, scoring the first 16 points in their 82-56 win over Southern Utah. The Fighting Irish will be without star point guard Olivia Miles for the rest of the tournament due to a knee injury, but they had plenty of contributions in their first-round match: Lauren Ebo posted a double-double, with 14 dots. and 10 rebounds, and Maddy Westbeld scored 20 points.
No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 7 Arizona
5:30 p.m., ESPN
Maryland made light work of No. 15-seeded Holy Cross in the first round, jumping to a 23-4 start en route to the 93-61 win. The Terrapins had double-digit efforts from five players, trailing 18 off the bench of guard Brinae Alexander. Arizona coach Adia Barnes got her team back to the round of 16 for the third straight year after a 75-62 win over West Virginia on Friday. Cate Reese scored 25 points and Esmery Martinez had 13 points and 12 rebounds against her former team. The Wildcats lost last year in the second round, but the year before they made it to the Final Four.
No. 2 Utah vs. No. 10 Princeton
7 p.m., ESPN2
Princeton needed nearly every second of Friday’s game to pull off the upset. The Tigers got a 3-pointer from Grace Stone with 4.7 seconds left to complete their win over seventh-seeded North Carolina State, who was held scoreless for the game’s final 5:43. Princeton made the Round of 16 for the second straight year. He will face Utah, which reached the century mark on Friday in a 103-77 win over Gardner-Webb. The Utes were led by forward Alissa Pili’s career-high 33 points for the transfer from Southern California.
No. 3 LSU vs. No. 6 Michigan
7:30 p.m., ESPN
LSU took a while offensively to flesh out its 73-50 win over 14th-seeded Hawaii on Friday, but even a cold shot couldn’t slow the Tigers down. Forward Angel Reese scored 34 points and added 15 rebounds for her 29th double-double of the season. Michigan was hot off the bat in its opening round game against UNLV, leading 17-9 after the first quarter. Forward Emily Kiser and guard Maddie Nolan each had 18 points for the Wolverines, while guard Leigha Brown had 17.