College basketball fans, March Madness is upon us. And while it begins tonight with two play-in games, the real Madness tips off on Thursday. And for the first time since 2005, it is close to home. The Amway Center is hosting some second- and third-round games in the South and Midwest Regionals. In the South, No. 1 seed University of Florida will play the winner of tonight’s Albany-Mount St. Mary’s game at 4:10 p.m. Thursday. The Gators come in with a 26-game winning streak and are the SEC Tournament champions. Senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin was named the SEC Tournament MVP and comes in averaging 13 points per game and 3.8 assists this season. In the matchup of 8-9 seeds in the South, Pittsburgh will play Colorado to open the day’s events at 1:40 p.m. Pittsburgh lost in the ACC semifinals to eventual winner Virginia, while Colorado lost in the Pac-12 semifinal to Arizona. In the night session in Orlando, which is the Midwest Regional, No. 5 Saint Louis will play the winner of tonight’s N.C. State-Xavier game. Saint Louis limped down the stretch, losing four of five after a 25-2 start. The game tips off at 7:20 p.m. The final game of the first day will see No. 4 Louisville play No. 13 Manhattan at 9:50 p.m. The defending champion Cardinals come in as the American Athletic Conference champions and are led by Russ Smith, who is averaging 18.3 points per game. The winners will meet Saturday for the right to move into the Sweet 16 next week.
Gators, Cardinals bounce into O-town for NCAA
Florida Today | Mar 19