march madness 2021
Viewer’s guide to the 2021 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament
Cade Cunningham will be in the Sweet 16: Bet on it
Phi Slama Jama alum pulling for his son to beat his alma mater
Former Big East foes clash in battle for Sweet 16 spot
Here’s The Post’s guide to some of Sunday’s best NCAA Tournament games:
(8) Loyola Chicago vs. (1) Illinois
12:10 p.m., CBS
The Round of 32 tips off with an intrastate battle.
These programs don’t play often — they’ve faced each other just 15 times, and only once since 2001 — and Illinois holds a 12-3 record against the smaller program. Loyola Chicago holds the most recent Final Four appearance, though.
Keep an eye on the matchup in the paint between Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn (Christ the King) and Loyola Chicago’s Cameron Krutwig, a freshman on that Final Four team in 2018.
(9) Wisconsin vs. (1) Baylor
2:40 p.m., CBS
Wisconsin’s experienced, all-senior starting lineup was able to take advantage of North Carolina’s inexperience in Friday’s blowout, but they won’t have as much of an upper hand against Baylor. The top-seeded Bears boast a trio of upperclassmen stars in Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell who are out to prove a couple of late-season losses won’t stop a team that had been undefeated alongside Gonzaga for most of the year.
(6) Texas Tech vs. (3) Arkansas
6:10 p.m., TNT
It will be a contrast in styles when methodical Texas Tech (317th in adjusted tempo, per KenPom.com) brings its smothering defense to face up-tempo Arkansas (17th in tempo). Don’t bet against Chris Beard, though: Following his first-round win, the Texas Tech coach now holds a 10-3 record (.769 winning percentage) in the NCAA Tournament, moving him ahead of MIke Krzyzewski (97-30, .764) for highest tournament winning percentage in NCAA history (minimum 10 games).
(13) North Texas vs. (5) Villanova
8:45 p.m., TNT
Few expected Villanova to make noise in the Big Dance after losing star point guard Collin Gillespie to a knee injury and falling to Georgetown in the first round of the Big East Tournament, but sophomore forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl stepped up with 22 points in a first-round win over Winthrop and now just need to top the 13th-seeded Mean Green to reach the second weekend.
(12) Oregon St. vs. (4) Oklahoma St.
9:40 p.m., TBS
Cade Cunningham, who appears destined to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, takes his next step toward trying to become the first one-and-done top pick since Anthony Davis in 2012 to lead his team to the Final Four. Oregon State, meanwhile, is fresh off its first NCAA Tournament victory since 1982. Which Beavers will show up, this new juggernaut that dismantled Tennessee in the first round after winning the Pac-12 Tournament or the group that lost to Wyoming and Portland to start the season?
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