Today, seven more teams make their way into The Basketball Tournament’s Super 16. The first nine spots — all eight in the West and South Regions plus Marquette’s spot in the Northeast — have already been settled, and Saturday’s winners will clash in an effort to see who heads to Atlanta starting this coming Thursday night.
The Northeast stayed pretty chalky on Saturday, with only one seed-line favorite falling in the first round. That was a pretty big upset, though, as #2 HBC Sicklerville got blown out of the building by #15 seed Talladega Knights. The Knights, who had played a play-in game roughly 14 hours earlier, shot 12-of-27 from long range on their way to a 43-25 lead at halftime and a 80-60 final margin. That result is of interest to Marquette fans, as it’s now Talladega Knights that squares off with #7 seed Team Arkansas on Sunday with the winner facing Golden Eagles in the Super 16 next Saturday.
The Midwest region got super crazy super fast on Saturday. The first game of the day tipped off at 7:10am Central time, and it resulted in a 68-64 win for Primetime Players, the #12 seed in that quadrant of the bracket. In the middle of the day, we saw the #9 seed knock off the #8 seed (well, okay, that’s not crazy), but #10 seed Jackson TN Underdawgs dropped #7 seed Zoo Crew like 3rd period French, 86-77. Why yes, that is the Pittsburgh Panthers alumni team.
Things stayed wild to the end, as #14 seed Illinois BC blew the doors off of Hilton Magic Legends, leading by 30 in the third quarter before finishing with a 92-63 victory.
As a manner of previewing Sunday’s action, I have to ask you this: If Jimmer Fredette scores 32 points, but only goes 3-of-5 from long range, as he did yesterday, do you consider it a disappointment as a neutral viewer? I know he knocked one down from #JimmerRange in that game, but it’s still kind of a bummer to only get five attempts out of him, especially with that many points going in the hoop, right? Maybe today’s second round game against the Underdawgs will be different.
I also have to entice you with the idea of watching Gael Nation’s second round game. The squad of Iona Gaels alumni racked up 100 points against Sideline Cancer on Saturday, with all five starters getting at least 15 points. Sean Armand was the leader with 24, but Scott Machado’s 16/3/7 and three steals in a foul-shortened 27 minutes may have been the performance of the game.
Here’s the schedule for the day. The games in the Northeast will be exclusively available via streaming on ESPN3/WatchESPN, while all four games in the Midwest will be on either ESPN or ESPN2 as well as being streamed on WatchESPN.
All times Central.
Midwest Region Second Round
11am: #2 Team Fredette vs #10 Jackson TN Underdawgs (ESPN)
1pm: #9 Matadors vs #1 Scarlet & Gray (ESPN)
3pm: #12 Primetime Players vs #4 Big X (ESPN2)
5pm: #6 Fort Wayne Champs vs #14 Illinois BC (ESPN2)
Northeast Region Second Round
12pm: #7 Team Arkansas vs #15 Talladega Knights
1:50pm: #4 Armored Athlete vs #5 Gael Nation
3:40pm: #1 Boeheim’s Army vs #8 Team Fancy