This Weekend in Sports: The NCAA Sweet 16 and MLB’s Opening Day
The 2013 Final Four will be known by Sunday evening, the same night the 2013 Major League Baseball season gets under way in Texas. Here’s what to watch this weekend:
Friday, March 29
2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament — Midwest Regional Semifinals
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
(12) Oregon vs. (1) Louisville — 7:15 p.m. (ET) on CBS
PAC-12 champ Oregon (28-8) already has two upsets to its credit in the 2013 NCAA tournament. Led by Damyean Dotson and E.J. Singler, the Ducks will try to add top-seeded Louisville (31-5) to the list. Cardinals guards Russ Smith and Peyton Siva make head coach Rick Pitino’s team among the favorites to win the national title.
(3) Michigan State vs. (2) Duke — 9:45 p.m. (ET) on CBS
Ryan Kelly and Rasheed Sulaimon lead Duke (29-5) against a Michigan State (27-8) team with an experienced backcourt of Keith Appling and Gary Harris. Spartans center Derrick Nix may need to contribute on defense for Michigan State to eliminate the Blue Devils.
2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament — South Regional Semifinals
Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
(4) Michigan vs. (1) Kansas — 7:37 p.m. (ET) on TBS
To advance a step closer to the Final Four in Atlanta, top-seeded Kansas (31-5) must defeat fourth-seeded Michigan (28-7) in the South Regional semifinals. Jeff Withey and Ben McLemore lead the Jayhawks, while guards Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. spur the Wolverines’ attack.
(15) Florida Gulf Coast vs. (3) Florida — 9:57 p.m. (ET) on TBS
As the biggest underdog still alive in the NCAA tournament, Florida Gulf Coast (26-10) must overcome third-seeded Florida (28-7) if it is to continue its historic march. Guard Brett Comer is the starting point of the “Dunk City” attack, while guard Mike Rosario and forward Erik Murphy lead the Gators.
Saturday, March 30
2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament — East Regional Final
Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.; TBA on CBS
In the East Region, the winner of Thursday’s Marquette vs. Miami game takes on the victor of the Syracuse-Indiana semifinal for a spot in the 2013 NCAA Final Four.
2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament — West Regional Final
Staples Center, Los Angeles; TBA on CBS
The winner of Thursday’s Arizona vs. Ohio State game will be heavily favored over the winner of the La Salle-Wichita State contest in Saturday’s West Regional final in Los Angeles.
Sunday, March 31
2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament — Midwest Regional Final
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis; TBA on CBS
The winner of Friday’s Louisville vs. Oregon semifinal will face the survivor of the Duke-Michigan State game in Sunday’s Midwest Regional final in Indianapolis.
2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament — South Regional Final
Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Tex.; TBA on CBS
The winner of Florida Gulf Coast’s battle with Florida on Friday moves on to face the victor of the Kansas-Michigan game in Arlington, Tex. for a spot in the 2013 NCAA Final Four.
Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio, Tex.; 7 p.m. (ET) on NBA TV
The Miami Heat (56-15) suffered their first loss in 27 games on Wednesday. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade hope to rebound against the formidable San Antonio Spurs (54-17), whose record is almost as good as the Heat’s. If the Spurs can play as well in the playoffs as they have in the regular season, this match-up could be an NBA Finals preview.
Texas Rangers at Houston Astros
Minute Maid Park, Houston; 8:05 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
The Houston Astros play their first-ever game as an American League team against intra-state rival Texas in the opening game of the 2013 MLB season. Matt Harrison starts for the Rangers, while Bud Norris will take the mound for the Astros.