The Rounds of 64 and 32 of this year’s NCAA tournament were as unpredictable as any in recent memory. Thursday night’s Sweet 16 games brought additional surprises.
No. 11 Loyola-Chicago, champions of the Missouri Valley and home of the tournament’s biggest star (Sister Jean, of course), continued their surprising run with a win over No. 7 Nevada. They will take on No. 9 seed Kansas State today in the first regional final. KSU earned a slight upset over No. 5 Kentucky on Thursday evening.
Never have a No. 11 seed played a No. 9 seed in a regional final…until today.
Tipoff for Loyola-Kansas State is 6:09 p.m. ET.
With the exception of perhaps No. 1 Kansas, no team has impressed as much as in this tournament as No. 3 seed Michigan. The Wolverines dominated No.7 Texas A&M on Thursday, but one shouldn’t expect similar domination when the maize and blue face off against Florida State in the West Regional Final today. FSU is a No. 9 seed which earning surprising wins over No. 1 Xavier and No. 4 Gonzaga.
Tipoff for Michigan-Florida State is 8:49 p.m. ET.
Last night’s Sweet 16 results weren’t quite as stunning.
No. 1 Kansas and No. 1 Villanova both won their respective Sweet 16 games on Friday, as did No. 3 Texas Tech and No. 2 Duke. Only Texas Techs’s win over No. 2 Purdue was the Each of those and play in the Elite 8 on Sunday.
Texas Tech and Villanova, and then the marquee matchup of the weekend, Kansas-Duke, face off for the right to go to the Final Four tomorrow.
But what you REALLY want to know is who’s leading the 2018 TVNewser Bracket Challenge going into the Elite 8, right?
It’s presently NBC Sunday Today host & MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist.
The NBC Newser moved past CNBC’s Dominic Chu, who was the leader going into the Sweet 16 and presently sits in 7th. With 57 points, Geist is three points clear of CNBC’s Sara Eisen, who sits in second place with 54 points.
After Geist and Eisen, it’s basically anyone’s game. Eisen’s CNBC colleague Tyler Mathisen (53), Fox Business’s Blake Burman (52), and NBC News colleague Peter Alexander (52). Then there’s CNN’s Dave Briggs (formerly a sports newser who was No. 1 at this point last year) and Chu with 51, and a significant number of newsers with 50 points: CNN’s Ana Cabrera, CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, Bloomberg TV’s David Westin, the PBS trio of Judy Woodruff, Hari Sreenivasan, and Michael Rancillo, CNBC’s Todd Bonin and Fox News’s Todd Piro.
|Rank||Team Name||Score||Correct||Best Score||Best Correct||Champion|
|1||Willie Geist||57||36||121||40||Villanova (148)|
|2||sara eisen||54||35||86||38||Virginia (136)|
|3||Tyler Mathisen||53||35||61||36||Virginia (128)|
|4||Blake Burman||52||33||116||37||Michigan (150)|
|4||Janelle Rodriguez||52||34||116||38||Kansas (103)|
|4||PETER ALEXANDER||52||35||68||37||Virginia (145)|
|7||Dave Briggs||51||35||115||39||Villanova (136)|
|7||Dominic Chu||51||36||107||39||Villanova (129)|
|9||Ana Cabrera||50||34||114||38||Duke (144)|
|9||Andrew Sorkin||50||34||106||37||Villanova (133)|
|9||David Westin||50||31||138||37||Michigan (137)|
|9||hari sreenivasan||50||34||106||37||Villanova (135)|
|9||Judy Woodruff||50||32||114||36||Duke (136)|
|9||Michael Rancilio||50||34||114||38||Villanova (158)|
|9||Todd Bonin||50||33||106||36||Villanova (135)|
|9||Todd Piro||50||33||82||36||Virginia (157)|
|17||Coy Wire||49||33||113||37||Kansas (137)|
|17||Mike Bettes||49||31||89||35||Virginia (153)|
|17||tom keene||49||33||57||34||Purdue (136)|
|20||A.J. Katz (TVNewser)||48||33||112||37||Villanova (158)|
|20||Hallie Jackson||48||35||104||38||Villanova (163)|
|22||Craig Melvin||47||31||79||34||Virginia (143)|
|22||Dylan Dreyer||47||33||71||35||Nevada (191)|
|22||Kasie Hunt||47||33||111||37||Michigan (155)|
|22||Robin Meade||47||32||135||38||Michigan (132)|
|26||bob van dillen||46||32||70||34||N. Carolina (132)|
|26||Joe Kernen||46||31||78||34||Xavier (137)|
|26||kevin corke||46||33||102||36||Villanova (147)|
|26||matt quayle||46||31||78||34||Virginia (145)|
|30||Brian Sullivan||45||30||101||33||Villanova (161)|
|30||J Kelly||45||31||53||32||Virginia (136)|
|30||Jeffrey McCracken||45||31||61||33||Michigan St. (152)|
|30||sandy cannold||45||31||53||32||Michigan St. (152)|
|34||Lynn Smith||44||31||76||34||Virginia (117)|
|35||Alex Wilson||43||32||43||32||Virginia (159)|
|35||Brian Steel||43||29||75||32||N. Carolina (144)|
|35||Harris Faulkner||43||31||107||35||Kansas (150)|
|35||Jessica Golden||43||29||107||33||Villanova (136)|
|39||Lisa Desjardins||42||28||114||33||Kansas (102)|
|39||Liz Claman||42||32||98||35||Villanova (120)|
|39||Peter Doocy||42||28||106||32||Villanova (151)|
|42||Anne Tironi||41||29||49||30||Michigan St. (156)|
|42||Becky Quick||41||29||73||32||Xavier (142)|
|42||Melody Taylor||41||29||49||30||N. Carolina (146)|
|42||Scarlet Fu||41||30||105||34||Kansas (164)|
|46||Matt Rosoff||32||25||88||28||Villanova (165)|
|47||gerri willis||27||23||27||23||N. Carolina (160)|