March Madness is in full swing, and has already set a record for viewing online and on mobile devices with more than 51 million video streams through March 25. Conventional viewing on TVs is also producing the highest Nielsen Ratings in decades, thanks to some of the fantastic finishes and surprising upsets that have taken place over the first weekend.
On another note, we’re not so thrilled that our brackets are now busted and we have no shot at the $1 billion prize that billionaire Warren Buffet and Quicken Loans offered! Today we’ll recap the teams that have made it into the Sweet Sixteen and predict who will survive to reach the Final Four after next weekend’s action. Teams in bold are Bright House Networks hometown teams.
Sweet Sixteen Results
On Friday, I gave you my Sweet Sixteen predictions and I was 50% correct. Amazingly, while only eight of my pre-tournament picks made it to the Sweet Sixteen, I still have three of my Final Four picks alive in the tournament, including my two picks for the championship game. Below is the list of teams that have made it to the Round of 16, by region and seeding:
|1 Florida||1 Virginia||1 Arizona||8 Kentucky|
|4 UCLA||4 Michigan State||4 San Diego State||4 Louisville|
|11 Dayton||3 Iowa State||6 Baylor||11 Tennessee|
|10 Stanford||7 Connecticut||2 Wisconsin||2 Michigan|
Out of all the teams that began the tournament, only Dayton from the Atlantic 10 Conference can be considered a genuine Cinderella. Stanford and Tennessee are also still alive as double-digit seeds, but both schools are in major conferences and have a long tradition of playing tournament basketball. Dayton was matched up against huge programs in Ohio State and Syracuse for their first two games of the tournament, being heavy underdogs in both contests. On Thursday they will face off against the tenth seed Stanford Cardinal. It will be hard to root against this small school going up against a Pac 12 power. On paper it’s an 11 vs. 10 matchup, but that means Dayton will be the underdog yet again.
What’s not such a surprise is the makeup of the other conferences represented in the Sweet Sixteen. The SEC is tied for the most teams left with three representatives: Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Likewise, the PAC 12 has three teams left: UCLA, Stanford, and Arizona. The Big 10 also has three teams left in the tournament: Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Michigan. A mild surprise is that the ACC, often one of the strongest conferences in basketball, is down to a single representative: the Virginia Cavaliers, while the Big 12 and the American Athletic Conference (merging some old Big East and Conference USA teams) have two representatives each left in the remaining sixteen teams.
Final Four Predictions
Now it’s time to reveal my predictions for the teams that will be left in the tournament next week at this time. Below I’ll list the teams I expect to remain standing and preview their next game:
|South||1 Florida||vs. 4 UCLA, Thursday at 9:45pm on CBS|
|East||1 Virginia||vs. 4 Michigan State, Friday at 9:57pm on TBS|
|West||2 Wisconsin||vs. 6 Baylor, Thursday at 7:47pm on TBS|
|Midwest||4 Louisville||vs. 8 Kentucky, Friday at 9:45pm on CBS|
The South regional matchup on Thursday night is probably the most intriguing, because it features the best college basketball team of a past era in UCLA, whose athletic teams seemed to have forgotten how to play big-time basketball as they learned how to play more competitive football in recent years. They will face off against one of the best college basketball teams of the present era in Florida, whose teams in recent years seemed to have forgotten how to play football and learned how to win basketball championships instead.
Meanwhile the Midwest regional matchup on Friday features two of the best coaches in the business. Rick Pitino and John Calipari have prowled the benches and sidelines of college basketball for many years and their teams have been involved in many memorable matchups. Calipari’s Kentucky team won the March Madness tournament in 2012, and Pitino’s Louisville squad were national champions last season. The two coaches are familiar with each other’s styles and their history of success in a tournament atmosphere should make this a very entertaining game to watch.
Watching March Madness
Every minute of this year’s entire 2014 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship tournament will be available to Bright House Networks customers across four television networks, online at one single website, and via the NCAA March Madness Live App® at no additional charge.
- All 67 games will be aired live on TV across the following networks: CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV.
- Enjoy live streaming of the games online and via the NCAA March Madness Live App for free.
- Bright House Networks customers will be able to watch all the games live and for free at one single website, http://www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live/.
- Customers will need at least Standard Video service as well as a My Services account in order to stream the games airing on TBS, TNT, and truTV. Games airing on CBS are also available and require no special authentication.
- The “NCAA® March Madness® Live” app is available at no additional charge on more devices than ever before, including smart phones and tablets via the iTunes App Store, Google Play, and for the first time on the Windows Store.
- The NCAA March Madness Live® app offers a preview option that allows up to three hours of live game streaming that does not require viewer registration.
- The app offers live streaming video of every broadcast for the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship as they are televised by CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV all the way through the Men’s Final Four® and National Championship Game from the AT&T Stadium in Dallas on April 5 and April 7.
- This year’s NCAA March Madness Live® offers several enhancements such as expansion to new devices, including Windows 8.1 and the Windows Phone 8 operating system as well as iPhone, iPad and Android 4.0+ operating system, direct access to the latest tournament news, a newly designed Capital One NCAA March Madness Bracket Challenge, and Coke Zero NCAA March Madness Social arena featuring Vine videos for the first time. The application will once again provide video highlights, full game replays and excitement alerts, as well as fan-favorite feature including live game scoring, real-time tournament brackets, personal channel lineup features, real-time game alerts for their favorite school, and direct access to live radio broadcasts.
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