2017 NCAA Tournament: Michigan State Basketball Vs. Kansas: Game Time, TV Channel, Watch Online

UCLA’s Lonzo Ball (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The field has narrowed, but the excitement certainly hasn’t. Here’s what to watch for as we move on from Thursday’s NCAA tournament thrillers and into more Sweet 16 action Friday night. We’ve included times, channel information and point spreads.

All point spreads taken Thursday afternoon from the consensus odds at VegasInsider.com. All times Eastern.

Friday Preview | Thursday Recap | March Madness Must Reads

Friday Preview

South Region semifinal (

Memphis)

No. 1 North Carolina (-7.5) vs. No. 4 Butler

Time, TV: 7:09 p.m., CBS.

[In the South Region, it’s bad blood, blue bloods … and Butler]

Back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since consecutive NCAA tournament championship game appearances in 2010 and 2011, the Bulldogs get their first power-conference test of the tournament after beating Winthrop and Middle Tennessee State. Butler is the only team remaining that has yet to trail at any point in its tournament games but now obviously will step up in class. North Carolina hopes to get a healthier Joel Berry II, who was limited by an injured right ankle in Saturday’s win over Arkansas and finished with just 10 points. Berry, the team’s starting point guard, No. 2 scorer and assists leader, reportedly will be good to go by game time Friday night. The Tar Heels had 17 turnovers in their near-upset loss to the Razorbacks, and Butler forces giveaways at a higher rate so ball protection could again be a factor. Despite a never-ending NCAA investigation hanging over its head, North Carolina has been one of the more stable programs in the country, one of three in this year’s tournament that hasn’t lost a player to transfer over the last two offseasons (Maryland and Princeton were the others).

East Region semifinal (

New York)

No. 3 Baylor (-3.5) vs. No. 7 South Carolina

Time, TV: 7:29 p.m., TBS.

[Sally Jenkins: South Carolina is like Cinderella — if she came to the ball with brass knuckles]

The Gamecocks went to three straight region semifinals from 1971 to 1973, back when the NCAA tournament had just 25 teams. Since then, they’ve played in just six NCAA tournaments and won only two games, both this year. They’ve gotten this far by flipping the switch. Known as a defensive-minded team that was, shall we say, lacking on offense entering the NCAA tournament, South Carolina has scored 93 and 88 points in knocking off Marquette and Duke. The Gamecocks reached 83 points just six times in the regular season and were shooting just 41.4 percent from the field (tied for 310th nationally) and 33.8 percent from three-point range (tied for 238th) entering the postseason. Those shooting numbers weren’t all that much better in their two NCAA tournament games, either, but South Carolina managed to score 1.29 points per possession against Marquette and 1.19 points per possession against Duke, which is elite-level NCAA efficiency (UCLA led the nation at 1.185 in the regular season). The Bears will counter with all-American forward Johnathan Motley (17.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg) and an offense that averages 45 points per game in the paint.

South Region semifinal (Memphis)

No. 2 Kentucky (pick ’em) vs. No. 3 UCLA

Time, TV: Approx. 9:39 p.m., CBS.

While just about everyone is focused on LaVar Ball vs. the World, son Lonzo Ball almost single-handedly has turned UCLA from a 15-17 disappointment last season to a 31-4 juggernaut this year. He’s averaging 7.6 assists per game this season (No. 2 nationally) and his true shooting percentage — which measures all aspects of shooting the ball, including free throws — stands at 68.5 percent, which ranks second among the remaining Sweet 16 players behind Gonzaga’s Zach Collins. Now Ball gets his second matchup this season with Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox, who also is expected to be a top 10 NBA draft pick later this year. In the first, Fox had the better numbers (20 points, 9 assists, 2 turnovers to 14, 7 and 6) as Ball mostly was unable to contain him on drives to the basket, but the Bruins came out ahead in the end, winning by five. Ball got help from teammates Isaac Hamilton (19 points) and T.J. Leaf (17 points, 13 rebounds). UCLA and Kentucky are the two highest-scoring teams left in the tournament (90.2 and 85.2 points per game, respectively) and feature 10 players averaging double-figure scoring. This one could be fun.

[Lonzo Ball’s jump shot looks weird — until it goes in]

East Region semifinal (

New York)

No. 4 Florida (-2) vs. No. 8 Wisconsin

Time, TV: Approx. 9:59 p.m., TBS.

The Gators won their first two tournament games by an average of 20.5 points, and one of those wins came against a Virginia team that entered as one of the nation’s top defensive teams. Not only that, but Florida has gotten this far without much scoring help from sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen, who leads the Gators at 13.4 points per game but has scored 11 points total on 3-of-21 shooting in their two tournament wins. Junior forward Devin Robinson has picked up the slack. He’s averaging 11.4 points per game over the entire season but has put up 19 points and nine rebounds per game in two tournament wins. The Badgers are the only team in the country to advance to four straight Sweet 16s and six of the last seven, and the senior tandem of Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig have scored 166 and 159 career points in NCAA tournament play, which ranks 1-2 among active NCAA players.

Thursday Night Recaps

Xavier stuns Arizona to reach Elite Eight

Xavier 73, Arizona 71

Xavier entered Thursday as the only double-digit seed left in the tournament, and now it’s set to be just one of only eight teams left in the whole thing. The Musketeers stunned Arizona, the No. 2 seed in the West region, with a 73-71 win and advanced to face Gonzaga for a chance to reach the Final Four.

[X marks the spot as Xavier dumps Arizona]

Either Xavier or Gonzaga will have made it that far into the tournament for the first time school history. In the meantime, the Musketeers can savor not only a comeback win, as they were down seven with less than three minutes left, but a measure of revenge against the Wildcats and their former coach, Sean Miller, who ousted them from the Sweet 16 two years ago.

The Musketeers are Marching!#Sweet16 pic.twitter.com/5licpqlcAg

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 24, 2017

Xavier is headed to the Elite 8!

Xavier is the 8th team seeded 11th or lower reach the Elite 8. pic.twitter.com/vbF3VzPto1

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 24, 2017

The no-look layup attempt always a bold choice pic.twitter.com/cLhnPwlqvx

— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) March 24, 2017

Jayhawks thump Boilermakers with big second half

Kansas 98, Purdue 66

Purdue gave Kansas all it could handle — for 24 minutes. At that point the Jayhawks were up by just two points, 53-51, but they would turn the Midwest Region Sweet 16 matchup into a laugher, closing out the game on a 45-15 run.

[KU buries Purdue with big second half]

Going into the tournament, Kansas was viewed by some as the most vulnerable of the four top seeds, particularly as it had been knocked out of the Big 12 tourney in just one game. But the Jayhawks have firing on almost all of their offensive cylinders in their three wins, scoring no fewer than 90 points in any game thus far.

Kansas, which looks like a juggernaut, will meet Oregon on Saturday for the right to go to the Final Four.

Kansas is headed to the Elite 8!

The Jayhawks are the 6th team to win each of their first 3 tournament games by 20+ points. pic.twitter.com/Z5CGzQlvfR

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 24, 2017

We've got a 360 dunk! #Sweet16 pic.twitter.com/YimXLCssfP

— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 24, 2017

Zags hold on in ugly win over West Virginia

Gonzaga 61, West Virginia 58

One would say that this game had an ugly ending, except that it began ugly and never stopped. That said, top-seeded Gonzaga will take another less-than-attractive West Region win, following a controversial victory over Northwestern and a first-rounder in which it led by just four at halftime against 16th-seeded South Dakota State.

As for that ending, West Virginia was unable to get off a shot in the final few seconds despite having had a chance to set things up. Overall, when they did shoot, the Mountaineers hit just 18 of 58 attempts, for a .310 percentage that made the Bulldogs’ .397 mark shine in comparison. Of course, West Virginia’s approach is to ugly things up with a physical, defensive style, and Gonzaga deserves credit for keeping its composure and making just enough plays to win.

[Gonzaga survives West Virginia in a ‘rock fight,’ advances in NCAA tournament]

The Zags are making their 3rd-ever Elite 8 appearance. They lost both of the previous games to the eventual champion. https://t.co/JRWS15fvGe

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 24, 2017

This was a tough final possession for West Virginia. pic.twitter.com/DQydr0OeMz

— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 24, 2017

More officiating issues

In a foul-filled game that was already taking an epic amount of time to complete, officials lengthened proceedings by huddling with just under two minutes left. They were looking at a play where West Virginia’s Nathan Adrien may or may not have stepped out of bounds while trying to save the ball from doing so. Onlookers were not amused at the unusually long stoppage in play.

What an embarrassment, these officials. Look at the screen, make the damn call…What hell? To have this long stoppage in play is awful.

— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) March 24, 2017

MAKE THE DAMN CALL ALREADY! IN THE WEST VIRGINIA-GONZAGA GAME.

— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) March 24, 2017

Refs in Gonzaga/WVU need a special prosecutor for this review

— Patrick Daugherty (@RotoPat) March 24, 2017

Michigan’s miracle run ends against Oregon

Oregon 69, Michigan 68

Oregon will have a chance to do last year’s squad one better — if not, much, much better.

The Ducks survived a last-second shot by Michigan star Derrick Walton Jr. to advance to the Midwest Region final, in which they’ll face Kansas or Purdue. In 2016, Oregon made it to the West Region final, but lost to a Buddy Hield-led Oklahoma team.

Walton may take awhile to get over his miss, but he can some solace in having been, as usual, the Wolverines’ best player. The senior guard had a team-high 20 points and eight assists, while tournament darling Moe Wagner could not keep up his hot play, finishing with seven points on 3-of-10 shooting.

Sophomore Tyler Dorsey led Oregon with 20 points, while junior Jordan Bell had 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Oregon is headed to the Elite 8!

It's @OregonMBB's 2nd straight Elite 8 appearance and 5th overall (0-4 in previous 4).

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 24, 2017

Oregon hangs on! #Sweet16 pic.twitter.com/ul8hvWJPaD

— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 24, 2017

[Point-spread picks for all Sweet 16 games]

What you need to know

Interactive bracket: We’ve got historical data unlike anything else out there

Kansas looked vulnerable entering the NCAA tournament. Now it looks unstoppable.

Sweet 16 ATS picks for every game

Friday’s most likely Sweet 16 upsets

Miss something? Here’s a recap of our live coverage from the wild first weekend.

More March Madness

Lonzo Ball’s jump shot looks weird — until it goes in

Culpepper: Oregon and Michigan are nearly equals, but Ducks squeak into Elite Eight

X marks the upset as Xavier’s late run stuns No. 2 seed Arizona

Kansas blasts into the Elite Eight, burying Purdue under a blurry barrage of points

No. 1 seed Gonzaga survives a ‘rock fight’ vs. West Virginia to advance

Jenkins: South Carolina is like Cinderella — if she came to NCAA ball with brass knuckles

In the NCAA tournament South Region, it’s bad blood, blue bloods and … Butler

Culpepper: A sports agent took in a 360-pound teenager. He became Caleb Swanigan.

Svrluga: Are NCAA tournament refs really better than ever? That seems like a tough call

Feinstein: Bob Knight wants the last word on everything. Why do we bother listening?

The OTHER March Madness: A rush for vasectomies during the NCAA tournament

Source : https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2017/03/22/march-madness-2017-everything-you-need-to-know-ahead-of-the-sweet-16/

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