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Friday Sweet-16 Open Game Thread

In which, for one glorious evening, K-State fans get to bask in the splendor of other fans’ angst.

Can Keenan Evans lead Texas Tech to its first-ever Elite 8?
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Having already earned a berth in the South Regional final, K-State and its fans can relax and watch others deal with the pressure of taking the next step toward the Final Four. Join us as the rest of the Elite 8 field fills out this evening.

The evening kicks off with Big 12 (interminable) champion Kansas against Clemson out of the ACC. Clemson crushed Auburn 84-53 in the round of 32, while Kansas snuck past a game Seaton Hall squad 83-79 in Wichita. Udoka Azubuike is reportedly full go for the game, which should help the Jayhawks’ cause immeasurably.

In Boston, fellow conference foe West Virginia will try to unseat seemingly every analyst’s favorite to win it all, Villanova. This should be a fun, physical game. West Virginia has shot the 3-ball well so far in the tournament, and will probably need to do so again to beat the fundamentally sound, efficient Wildcats.

Syracuse and Duke play the battle of the overbearing fanbases in Omaha’s second game. Nobody but their own fans cares who wins.

The late game in Boston features Big 12 upstart Texas Tech against a resurrected Purdue program. Pedigree is on the Boilermakers’ side. Tech has never advanced beyond the round of 16. But with Keenan Evans apparently back at full strength and the rest of Tech’s athletes making plays, past history may count for nothing.

Should be fun. And we’ll all be calm enough to sleep tonight.

Tonight’s slate of games (all times Central):

  • MW Semi 6:07 pm in Omaha: (5) Clemson Tigers vs. (1) Kansas Jayhawks — CBS with Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and Tracy Wolfson
  • East Semi 6:27 pm in Boston: (5) West Virginia Mountaineers vs. (1) Villanova Wildcats — TBS with Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel and Allie LaForce
  • MW Semi 8:37 pm in Omaha: (11) Syracuse Orangemen vs. (2) Duke Blue Devils — CBS Omaha crew
  • East Semi 8:57 pm in Boston: (3) Texas Tech red Raiders vs. (2) Purdue Boilermakers — TBS Boston crew