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Sparty in the Sweet Sixteen, and What Else to Do Tonight: Basketball Preview, Open Thread

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Michigan State takes on the LSU Tigers. We’ve got your time, TV, lines, odds, previews, and other things to do instead of watch a thoroughly-depressing NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-East Regional Practice
This is like the cover of a bad Disney Channel original movie sequel to “The Luck of the Irish”, only now Brian or whatever that kid’s name is has fully transformed into a leprechaun and is the evil coach. Taught me what “hurling” was, though. Good movie.
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

We tried last night. We really did. But I’m not creative or funny enough to think up a good drinking game for the awful basketball you were subjected to, nor was there really a ton good on in the way of professional sports, unless ESPN had a night baseball game I wasn’t aware of.

Tonight, you’ve got options. Things will be OK. So let’s get through the basketball.

NCAA Tournament

[2] Michigan State Spartans vs. [3] LSU Tigers

East Region: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
6:09pm | CBS | MSU -6 | O/U 149

Andrew Kraszewski: MSU gets the 3-seed LSU in the Sweet Sixteen, an athletic challenge that’s a far cry from what they saw in the first 2 rounds. Even with their head coach in limbo, LSU’s talent is hard to take lightly, and if MSU is as loose with the basketball as they were against Minnesota, they’re not winning this game.

All that said, this is an opponent that needed a last-second oh-you-gotta-be-kidding shot to knock out Maryland and avoid being the biggest upset so far in the tournament. MSU should win, but there are circumstances that could easily happen wherein they don’t.

In Case of 53-49: Roger Federer takes on Denis Shapovalov in the semifinals of the Miami Open at 6pm on ESPN2. Shapo, a lefty Canadian prodigy with a wicked one-handed backhand and an equally-explosive temper (I want to punch myself writing that but I swear it’s not plagiarized; just hacky journalistic bullshit), should give Le Fed a fun match.

Poll

Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Purple Tigers
    (19 votes)
  • 78%
    Green Spartans
    (70 votes)
89 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Will you wind up changing the channel to tennis?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Yes
    (6 votes)
  • 75%
    No
    (56 votes)
  • 16%
    That’s what second screens are for.
    (12 votes)
74 votes total Vote Now

[5] Auburn Tigers vs. [1] North Carolina Tar Heels

Midwest Region: Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO
6:29pm | TBS | UNC -5.5 | O/U 165

Possibly the only fast-paced, fun game of the night. Bruce Pearl is an odious basketball coach whose teams play an entertaining style of basketball. And the other team is North Carolina. Do with that what you will.

In Case of 53-49: Soccer! Yes, soccer. Toronto FC hosts (I think—ESPN puts the home team second for everything except soccer, because putting the home team first is a Soccer Thing that signals how Authentic they are) New York City FC at 7pm CT on ESPN+. If you don’t have ESPN+, you already piss away $5/mo on something much stupider. Get it, even if not for soccer.

[4] Virginia Tech Hokies vs. [1] Duke Blue Devils

East Region: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
8:39pm | CBS | Duke -7 | O/U 143

By this time of the night I will be safely ensconced in a cabin in northwest wisconsin with several good friends and multiple beers surrounding me. This game can’t hurt me all the way up there (both geographically and in terms of my BAC’s distance from 0.00.

Also: Zion Williamson! (Just to tick that SEO box. Those 30 extra hits I get will pay for a gumball.)

In Case of 53-49: There is no escaping Zion Williamson. You will watch ZIon Williamson.

[3] Houston Cougars vs. [2] Kentucky Wildcats

Midwest Region: Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO
8:59pm | TBS | UK -2.5 | O/U 133.5

Finally! Two Good Teams who play Real Defense and Give the People What They Want!

In Case of 53-49: Do what I do at this point, which is probably start pouring tequila shots, to the chagrin of my wife.

Oh, and the Cal State-Bakersfield Roadrunners play at Green Bay tonight in the CIT...we’ll say quarterfinals, but I don’t actually know. 6pm CT on watchcit.com, which is really dumb because there’s no way CBS Sports Network is showing anything good right now. They were showing some NJCAA or D-II or NAIA playoff bullshit last night, for God’s sake.

Also happening! College hockey’s NCAA Tournament. While apparently-B1G-in-hockey Notre Dame won the conference tournament, nabbing a second bid for the Big Ten, the Ohio State Buckeyes—regular season champs—also got an at-large bid. They got the three-seed in the West Regional and play the Denver Pioneers at Scheels Arena in Fargo at 4pm on ESPNU. No one gives a shit when Notre Dame plays.

Here’s your evening open thread, folks. Enjoy, and don’t burn the place down.