The 2014 NCAA tournament TV schedule for Friday night’s Sweet 16 games is full of heavy weight basketball match ups. Following Thursday night’s Sweet 16 games, which was highlighted by a double digit seeded show down, March Madness will be at its finest again. Many NCAA tournament favorites are on display Friday night, including Louisville, Michigan State, and Michigan. One look at the TV schedule and it is clear that almost any predictions are doomed to fail. But we will give it a shot anyways. Here they are.
#11 Tennessee Volunteers vs. #2 Michigan Wolverines (7:15 pm EST, CBS Midwest Region)
The NCAA tournament TV schedule tips off Friday night with what might turn out to be the best game. It features two of the hottest teams in the tournament squaring off for a chance to play on. Tennessee has proved the selection committee’s worth with the most wins of any team in the 2014 NCAA tournament so far. While all the rest of the Sweet 16 teams have two wins under their belts, Tennessee has three. After a difficult overtime play in game against Iowa, the Volunteers easily destroyed UMass and Mercer.
Michigan is certainly no Mercer. Michigan may be one of the best teams remaining in the tournament. Unfortunately, the Big 10 regular season champions must first face a hot Tennessee team and the winner of the much anticipated Louisville vs. Kentucky game. They do not have a free pace to the 2014 NCAA tournament Final Four.
Tennessee’s magic runs out and the Michigan offense proves to be too much. Michigan wins.
#7 Connecticut Huskies vs. #3 Iowa State Cyclones (7:27 pm EST, TBS East Region)
Next up on the NCAA tournament TV schedule is a difficult game to predict. The UConn Huskies are one of the most inconsistent teams in the tournament. They live and die by Shabazz Napier, who has been outstanding in the 2014 NCAA tournament. If he can continue to play like he has so far, expect the Huskies to do well in their Sweet 16 match up.
Their opponent, the Iowa State Cyclones, sport one of the most well balanced offenses in the nation. They share the ball, only take good shots, and work together as a real team. Coach Fred Hoiberg has them playing like a championship caliber ball club. Expect this game to easily get into the 80s in scoring.
With a week to prepare, expect to see more of Fred Hoiberg’s dance moves after they beat UConn.
#8 Kentucky Wildcats vs. #4 Louisville Cardinals (9:45 pm EST, CBS Midwest Region)
Probably the main event of the Sweet 16 TV schedule, this game will even be of interest to those outside the blue grass state. The Kentucky Wildcats have floated all over the place all season. Coach John Calipari’s system is built on reloading NBA quality talent and can lend itself to growing pains. But the Wildcats have looked good in the 2014 NCAA tournament and want to keep dancing.
Louisville has been a favorite on many March Madness brackets this year and have an opening to advance to the Elite Eight again. Rick Pitino and the Cardinals would love the opportunity to do it against in state rival Kentucky. Behind the frenetic pace of Russ Smith, the Cardinals create havoc and score in bunches. It will be interesting to see if they can bang with the big bodies of Kentucky.
Ultimately, Louisville’s pace will be too much for the Kentucky guards and Louisville pulls out the win.
#4 Michigan State Spartans vs. #1 Virginia Cavaliers (9:57 pm EST, TBS East Region)
The final game on the TV schedule for Friday’s Sweet 16 action features a rare underdog one seed. Virginia has been overlooked all season and managed to win the ACC regular season and tournament championship while nobody was looking. Behind the stellar coaching of Tony Bennett, the Virginia defense is a force to be reckoned with. Anyone overlooking this one seed will be in for trouble.
Michigan State is the favorite to win it all, outside of the Florida Gators. They are clicking at the right time and have one of the most seasoned NCAA tournament coaches ever in Tom Izzo. The question for the Spartans will be how they handle the Virginia pressure. Three pointers are hard to come by against the Cavaliers and the Spartans offense relies on the three to stretch the defense.
In a shocker, Virginia pulls out the win by grinding it out against one of the toughest teams in basketball.
That’s it for our predictions of the 2014 NCAA tournament TV schedule.