The first round of the NCAA Tournament has been one of the best in recent memory, full of close games, incomprehensible upsets (looking at you, Middle Tennessee), and an insane amount of buzzer-beaters. Can we expect that continue into the second round on Saturday? Here are three things to watch for:
Can Cinderella keep dancing?
The two lowest seeds remaining in the tournament - (13) Hawaii and (15) Middle Tennessee - won't play their second round games until Sunday, but the first two tourney darlings will get their crack at the Sweet 16 on Saturday.
Yale won the first NCAA Tournament game in school history this week by upsetting (5) Baylor, earning them a rematch with Duke. The two sides first met in Novermber in Cameron Indoor Stadium with Duke winning 80-61. Yale's Makai Mason called out the Blue Devils after their win over the Bears, saying Duke "better be ready" to play them (worth noting, Mason dropped 31 on Baylor).
Then there's Arkansas-Little Rock, who's dramatic comeback and insane buzzer beater led them to a double-overtime victory over (5) Purdue. They'll see if they can keep the magic going on Saturday when they face Iowa State.
Indiana vs. Kentucky
These two traditional college basketball powers used to play each other every year, and now the selection committee has them squaring off against each other with their respective seasons on the line. Aside from the giant brand names going at each other, we also get to see the best point guard matchup we've seen all year - UK's Tyler Ulis against Indiana's Yogi Ferrell.
Neither is especially tall (Ulis is 5'9", Ferrell is 6'1"), but they are the unquestioned leaders of their respective teams and are relied on to carry their team's offense. Ferrell does his damage mostly with his jump shot, averaging 17.1 points on 46 percent shooting to go along with 5.7 assists per game. Ulis is able to control the flow of the game with his ball handling and decision making, which allows him to average 7.1 assists and 17.0 points per game.
Watching these two go after it with this much on the line will be a treat.
Will Providence threaten to upset UNC?
At least one top seed has failed to make it past the Sweet 16 in each of the last six years, and Providence appears to be the most likely candidate to send one home early. The Friars are led by projected top-five pick and two-time Big East Player of the Year Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil, who led the Big East in scoring. Those two certainly have the ability to lead Providence to an upset over UNC on their own, but other factors are also pointing to a close game.
North Carolina struggled in their win over (16) Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday, leading by just one at the half. On the flip side, Providence is flying high after their buzzer-beating win over USC. Outside of Indiana-Kentucky, this matchup will consist of the most talent, and if UNC comes out flat again, an upset could be brewing.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed
Related Topics: NCAA Basketball, Providence Friars Basketball, Yale Bulldogs Basketball, Kentucky Wildcats Basketball, Ben Bentil, Tyler Ulis, Kris Dunn, College Basketball, 2016 NCAA Tournament, Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans Basketball, Yogi Ferrell, Indiana Hoosiers Basketball, North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball