The giant crashing sound you heard yesterday was the sound of thousands, or maybe millions, of brackets busting when the Gonzaga Bulldogs lost to the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 75-69. Meanwhile, in the second game, the Virginia Cavaliers got past the Purdue Boilermakers, 80-75, after trailing by a point at the half.
So, two teams have punched their tickets for Minneapolis.
That leaves two more Regional Finals for today. In the first game, it’s certain that an SEC team will be headed to the Final Four because the Kentucky Wildcats will face the Auburn Tigers. The Tigers have experienced a resurgence under fourth year coach Bruce Pearl, despite the fact that Chuck Person was arrested in the FBI’s college basketball bribery scandal. Of course, you can’t count the Wildcats out while they’re being coached by John Calipari. If there’s one thing you can say about Calipari’s Kentucky teams, they seem to have been coached up each year as they always seem to be tough to beat in the NCAA Tournament, even in those cases where Steve Alford’s teams were able to defeat them during the regular season. This game is going to be a knockdown, drag-out street fight between these two teams which finished second and fourth in the SEC this year.
Later on, the question will be simple: Is Duke’s luck about to run out? The Blue Devils have given a new meaning to the phrase “survive and advance” in this year’s tournament. Coach K’s team has won the last two games by a grand total of three points. They beat UCF, 77-76, in the second round and, then, on Friday they beat Virginia Tech, 75-73.
But Tom Izzo’s Big Ten Champion Spartans are too good of a team for Duke to rely on last-minute luck. If this game is close late, I think the Spartans will win this one. But, if I’m being honest, I don’t think Duke will win this one at all. I think Izzo’s team is a strong contender for the national championship.
Here’s today’s broadcast information:
2019 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, Day Two
|Kentucky vs. Auburn
|Ian Eagle / Jim Spanarkel // Jamie Erdahl
|Duke vs. Michigan State
|Jim Nantz / Bill Raftery / Grant Hill // Tracy Wolfson
This is your 2019 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, Day Two open thread.