Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
Our bracket has been perfect to date. A perfect mess.
We shouldn’t be shocked by now, because nowhere is it messier than in the wild, wild West Region. Expect more zigging and less Zag-ing with the four survivors who have a fortuitous meeting at Staples Center as part of the Sweet 16.
After the round of 32, left by the wayside are West Regional seeds 1 (Gonzaga), 3 (New Mexico), 4 (Kansas State), 5 (Wisconsin), 7 (Notre Dame) and 8 (Pittsburgh). The last five of them went out after the first full day. Now it’s a “Who’s What?” coming to L.A. Where’s the star power? Arizona (27-7), who lost three times to UCLA during the season and couldn’t get a sniff of the Pac-12 title, is our most recognizable suspect in this survival pool with senior Solomon Hill (Fairfax High) and junior Jordin Mayes (Westchester), who helped figure out the best way to outsmart Harvard in the third round. Wichita State (28-8) may have seemingly the easiest path to an Elite Eight, but they’ll likely get a road block by the winner of Arizona-Ohio State in Saturday West Regional final.
How will this end up? We’re likely to get better answers if we sent that AT&T guy to sit at the tiny round table with kindergarten students and ask them if a higher seed is better than having a low seed at this point in the Big Dance.
Elsewhere, with UCLA, Colorado and Cal already punched out, there’s a shot that Pac-12 tournament champ Oregon, a ridiculously low 12 seed, can conquer Midwest No. 1 seed and overall favorite Louisville on Friday (4:15 p.m., Channel 2).
The rest of the games:
Marquette vs. Miami in Washington D.C., 4:15 p.m., Channel 2
Syracuse vs. Indiana in Washington D.C., approx. 6:45 p.m., Channel 2
Kansas vs. Michigan in North Texas, 4:37 p.m., TBS
Michigan State vs. Duke in Indianapolis, approx. 7 p.m., Channel 2
Florida Gulf Coast vs. Florida in North Texas, approx. 7:15 p.m., TBS