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N.C.A.A. Men’s Tournament: What to Watch as the Sweet 16 Continues

PHILADELPHIA — After 4 groups have been eradicated on Thursday, 4 extra will probably be ousted on Friday, trimming the N.C.A.A. males’s basketball match discipline to eight.

By Sunday night time, solely 4 groups will stay. The Last 4 is ready for April 2 in New Orleans with the ultimate scheduled for April 4.

On Friday, Kansas, the No. 1 seed within the Midwest area, meets fourth-seeded Windfall (7:29 p.m., TBS). Right here’s what else to observe for.

All occasions are Japanese.

Of the 16 coaches who remained within the match getting into Thursday, 4 have been of their first 12 months on the job: Arizona’s Tommy Lloyd, Iowa State’s T.J. Otzelberger, North Carolina’s Hubert Davis and Texas Tech’s Mark Adams. Some aren’t precisely family names. On ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” this week, one of many hosts, Tony Kornheiser, referred to Otzelberger as “T.J. Axelburger.” “They introduced in a man, T.J. Axelburger, who I wouldn’t know if he got here into the home and mentioned, ‘Hello, I’m T.J. Axelburger,’ and rapidly they’re a great workforce.”

No matter you name him, Otzelberger has circled his Large 12 program. After the Cyclones completed final season 2-22 general and 0-18 within the Large 12, the college fired Coach Steve Prohm and employed Otzelberger away from Nevada-Las Vegas. The workforce is now 22-12, together with a win over third-seeded Wisconsin within the second spherical of the match. The Cyclones face Miami, a No. 10 seed, on Friday (9:59 p.m., TBS) in Chicago.

“Man, I don’t know, it’s loopy,” guard Izaiah Brockington, who transferred from Penn State and now leads the Cyclones in scoring at 17.1 factors per sport and in rebounding at 6.8 per sport, mentioned when requested what making the spherical of 16 mentioned about his workforce. “I couldn’t say mission achieved. We’re nonetheless on a mission.”

Davis is a former North Carolina star who performed for 12 years within the N.B.A. and served for 9 years as an assistant below Roy Williams, who retired final April after main his alma mater to 3 N.C.A.A. titles. Williams, 71, deliberate to journey to Philadelphia to observe his protégé.

“I don’t suppose anyone liked the North Carolina basketball program like Roy Williams did, but when I used to be going to select a man that did, it might be Hubert Davis,” Williams mentioned.

Talking of Hubert Davis, eighth-seeded North Carolina will probably be on acquainted floor when it faces fourth-seeded U.C.L.A. on Friday in Philadelphia (9:39 p.m., CBS). On the Tar Heels’ march to the 2016 N.C.A.A. championship sport, the place they misplaced to Villanova on Kris Jenkins’s game-winning 3-pointer, they beat Indiana and Notre Dame in Philadelphia to achieve the Last 4.

After all, none of the present gamers have been on that workforce, and just one, the senior guard Leaky Black, has been to the spherical of 16.

“To see not simply the dedication and the struggle and the desire and the want-to, but additionally the thrill and delight of being in a stage that they’ve by no means skilled earlier than brings pleasure to me,” Davis mentioned.

North Carolina had its 98th apply of the season on Thursday, and the junior ahead Armando Bacot advised Davis he wished to get to no less than 100.

“OK,” Davis advised him, “meaning, then, we’ve acquired to apply on Saturday, after which meaning we’ve acquired to go apply again at dwelling. So our guys are excited. They’re motivated. They settle for the problem of enjoying a fantastic workforce.”

Fifteenth-seeded St. Peter’s is a 12½-point underdog in opposition to third-seeded Purdue on Friday (7:09 p.m., CBS). Fact is, Texas, which misplaced to Purdue within the second spherical, would in all probability have been a greater matchup for Coach Shaheen Holloway’s group. Purdue, led by its 7-foot-4 middle, Zach Edey, could have an excessive amount of measurement for the Jersey Metropolis, N.J., college.

Nonetheless, no one picked St. Peter’s to beat second-seeded Kentucky within the first spherical, both, and it was additionally an underdog in opposition to seventh-seeded Murray State. Of the three No. 15 seeds to achieve the spherical of 16 within the historical past of the boys’s match, St. Peter’s has the most effective defensive effectivity ranking, in keeping with Ken Pomeroy’s rankings. It ranks twenty eighth nationally, whereas Oral Roberts final 12 months was ranked 219th and Florida Gulf Coast in 2013 was ranked 98th. The Peacocks are hoping to grow to be the primary workforce seeded thirteenth or decrease to achieve the ultimate eight, and they need to have sturdy fan assist down the New Jersey Turnpike in Philadelphia.

Purdue Coach Matt Painter mentioned his workforce was not apprehensive about “numbers or underdogs or Cinderellas or no matter.” He mentioned: “Simply focus in on St. Peter’s and simply how good of a workforce they’re as a result of if you happen to don’t, they’re going to beat you. I feel they’ve confirmed that.”

St. Peter’s guard Doug Edert mentioned of all the eye surrounding the workforce: “The one factor that issues is thrashing Purdue and shifting on.”

Someday after Purdue guard Jaden Ivey and the Boilermakers tackle St. Peter’s, his mom, Niele, will coach the Notre Dame girls’s workforce (24-8) in a round-of-16 matchup in opposition to North Carolina State in Bridgeport, Conn.

“I’m not nervous in any respect,” mentioned Ivey, a projected N.B.A. lottery decide averaging 17.6 factors, 4.8 rebounds and three.1 assists per sport. “I’ve put a variety of work in to get right here, to be on a fantastic workforce like this, and I’m not nervous.

“My mother has been in the identical scenario. She’s been in a variety of match video games the place she’s misplaced, and he or she’s received a match sport. She’s received a nationwide championship. I don’t suppose she’s nervous in any respect, both.”

Niele Ivey scored 12 factors within the 2001 girls’s championship sport when Notre Dame beat Purdue, 68-66, to seize the primary of its two titles below Muffet McGraw.

Underneath Painter, the Boilermakers’ coach since 2005, Purdue has been to the spherical of 16 4 occasions within the final 5 tournaments, however superior to the spherical of 8 solely as soon as (2019) and by no means to the Last 4.

“Clearly, it’s a purpose of ours to proceed to win and hopefully get to a Last 4,” Painter mentioned.

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