Pregame Shootaround: Top-ranked Kentucky looking to go 36-0, Cinderella Georgia State back in action


GAME OF THE DAY: No. 6 Butler vs. No. 3 Notre Dame, 9:40 p.m. (TBS)

Five teams from Indiana entered the Midwest Region on Selection Sunday, and by the end of Saturday only one will advance to the Sweet 16. Notre Dame struggled against Northeastern while Butler held off an upset bid from a talented, but disappointing Texas team. This will be a good matchup of perimeters with Jerian Grant, Pat Connaughton and Demetrius Jackson leading the Fighting Irish and Roosevelt Jones, Kellen Dunham and Alex Barlow fueling the Bulldogs.

WHO’S GETTING UPSET: No. 6 Xavier vs. No. 14 Georgia State, 6:10 p.m. (TNT)

Ron and R.J. Hunter are must-see TV. The Panthers have captivated the nation with R.J.’s game-winning shot — and Ron’s fall — to beat Baylor in the Round of 64. We could all benefit from another week of the Hunter’s in the spotlight. But in their way is Xavier, a team that’s won four of its last five. Three of those wins came by a combined nine points.


1) Kentucky looks to move to 36-0 against Cincinnati, but you already knew that.

2) Villanova, the other No. 1 seed in action on Saturday, has a chance to put previous failed postseasons in the past by advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2009, the year the Wildcats reached the Final Four. In their way is NC State, which got to the Round of 32 with a buzzer-beater from BeeJay Anya. The Wolfpack have some impressive wins this season — Duke, North Carolina and Louisville — but also some scratching losses — Clemson, Wake Forest and Boston College.

3) At least one No. 11 seed or lower will advance to the Sweet 16, as UCLA, the controversial selection which beat SMU on a controversial call, will serve as the designated home team against No. 14 UAB.

4) D’Angelo Russell could be the most entertaining player to watch on Saturday, as No. 10 Ohio State takes on No. 2 Arizona. The Wildcats will make things difficult for the gifted freshman with defensive pressure from T.J. McConnell and their own star freshman Stanley Johnson.

5) After both teams avoided upsets, No. 5 Arkansas and No. 4 North Carolina meet in Jacksonville. There should be a good pace to this one with an intriguing matchup between Bobby Portis and the Carolina tandem of Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meeks.


No. 14 UAB vs. No. 11 UCLA, 12:10 p.m (CBS)

No. 8 Cincinnati vs. No. 1 Kentucky, 2:40 p.m. (CBS)

No. 10 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Arizona, 5:15 p.m. (CBS)

No. 14 Georgia State vs. No. 6 Xavier, 6:10 p.m. (TNT)

No. 8 NC State vs. No. 1 Villanova, 7:10 p.m. (TBS)

No. 5 Utah vs. No. 4 Georgetown, 7:45 p.m. (CBS)

No. 5 Arkansas vs. No. 4 North Carolina, 8:40 p.m. (TNT)

No. 6 Butler vs. No. 3 Notre Dame, 9:40 p.m. (TBS)