Kentucky (27-6) vs. Iowa State (21-12), 12:30 p.m.; Massachusetts (29-4) vs. Syracuse (22-9), 30 minutes after first game.
The Kentucky Wildcats were probably fortunate they played the team with the worst record in the NCAA tournament (Old Dominion) in the first round. Now they are playing a team that brings the worst conference record (5-9 in the Big Eight) into the tournament.This will be a major game for Massachusetts, which wants to show its Big East Conference neighbors it is better than they are. And going up against the winner of the Big East tournament will give the Atlantic-10 champion Minutemen a chance to do that.
New Mexico State (24-7) vs. Southwestern Louisiana (22-10), 12:20 p.m. ; Louisville (19-10) vs. UCLA (26-4), 30 minutes after first game.
The surprising matchup between the Aggies and Cajuns will deliver a team to the West Region semifinals that certainly was not expected to be there. Both teams use quickness and speed to create turnovers, run the floor and generally create a lot of action.
The quality of Louisville's first-round victory over Wake Forest was something of a surprise and gives the Cardinals hopes against UCLA - a team that its critics say is overrated.
Tulane (22-8) vs. Oklahoma State (27-7), 10:15 a.m.; Michigan (21-8) vs. East Tennessee State (24-6), 30 minutes after first game.
In theory, the road to the regional finals got a little easier for the Oklahoma State Cowboys as a result of Friday night's surprises in the Southeast Region.
Despite Tulane's emotional triumph over St. John's, the Green Wave should present less problems for the Cowboys than the Redmen would have.
Quickness will be East Tennessee's big weapon as the Buccaneers go after a second straight shocking win. Michigan's young team played well down the stretch against Temple, which should only add to the Wolverines' confidence.
Michigan State (22-7) vs. Cincinnati (26-4), 10:20 a.m.; Kansas (27-4) vs. Texas-El Paso (26-6), 30 minutes after first game.
People will perhaps start taking Cincinnati seriously if the Bearcats do to Michigan State what they did to Delaware, which came into the tournament with a 20-game winning streak and got beat by 38 points.
Kansas is beginning to look more like Duke with every game and the Jayhawks will continue to look that way if freshman center Greg Ostertag continues to improve.
Texas-El Paso has a potent weapon in forward Marlon Maxey, but Kansas has a lot of potent weapons.