Sweet 16 Primer: Get yourself prepped for all of this week’s tournament action

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I know how hard this week must have been for you.

After the insanity of the first four days of the NCAA tournament — from the craziness of trying to actually make your bracket for the three days before that — you actually had to, you know, do your job, or your schoolwork, or whatever it is you do with yourselves these past three days.

So as a result of being a responsible human being, you probably fell behind on just how awesome this Sweet 16 is going to be.

Because it’s going to be awesome.

And that’s why I’m here to help you catch up.

Thursday night’s games will kick off at 7:15 p.m., with the South Region and the West Region doing the Thursday-Saturday shifts while the East and the Midwest will play on Friday and Sunday. Here is the full schedule for the Sweet 16 games, with the links leading to our full preview of each game. Check CBT throughout the day Thursday, as we will be rolling out of previews for Friday’s Sweet 16 games:

That’s not all we’ve got for you.

We ranked the 16 teams left in the NCAA tournament for you and also provided a list of the Top 16 Players left in the field. I’m not a betting man, but if you like to put a little wager down, those lists should help you decide who to bet on.

And lastly, if you’re more into the analysis side of the game, we broke down the eight most important individual matchups of the Sweet 16.

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.