Columbus will yet again play host to arguably the most exciting competition in sports on Sunday when four NCAA Tournament teams will battle with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line at Nationwide Arena.
The Midwest Region’s No. 3-seed Georgetown is scheduled to play No.11-seed North Carolina State at 12:15 p.m. Approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of the game between the Hoyas and Wolfpack, the West Region’s No.1-seed Michigan State is set to face West No. 9-seed Saint Louis.
Midwest Region: No. 3-seed Georgetown versus No.11-seed North Carolina State, 12:15 p.m., CBS
The Hoyas won their first NCAA Tournament game in almost four years Friday, defeating No.14-seed Belmont, 74-59. Senior guard Jason Clark led Georgetown with 21 points, while Hoyas’ senior center Henry Sims dropped 15 points while grabbing four rebounds.
Sims said the Hoyas were satisfied with their victory, but added that beating Belmont wasn’t the main goal for Georgetown.
“(It) felt good to get that game under your belt. But, we didn’t come here just for one game,” Sims said.
In order to win more than one game in the NCAA Tournament, Sims and the Hoyas will have to defeat an athletic North Carolina State squad that pulled away late from No.6-seed San Diego State Friday and won, 79-65.
Forwards, sophomore C.J Leslie and junior Richard Howell, pave the way for the lengthy Wolfpack.
Leslie and Howell combined for 37 points in the victory against the Aztecs.
The winner of the Georgetown-N.C. State game will face the winner of the game between Midwest Region’s No.2-seed Kansas and Midwest No.10-seed Purdue in the Sweet 16 in St. Louis, Mo.
West Region: No. 1-seed Michigan State versus No.9-seed Saint Louis, 30 minutes following Georgetown-N.C. State, CBS
Sunday’s bout between the Spartans and Billikens will be a matchup of two NCAA Tournament-veteran coaches in Tom Izzo and Rick Majerus.
“I’ve been impressed with (Majerus) the whole time. Great guy. Good coach. And his teams are going to play hard and solid and disciplined,” Izzo said.
Majerus-coached teams have advanced to the Sweet 16 or further four times, while Izzo has led the Spartans past the round of 32 on nine occasions.
Both MSU and SLU like to play tough inside and have savvy guards who can score when needed.
Spartan senior forward Draymond Green recorded a triple-double in the 89-67 win against the West Region’s No.16-seed LIU Brooklyn Friday. Billikens’ junior guard Kwamain Mitchell recorded 22 points in the 61-54 win over West No.8-seed Memphis.
Izzo expects the game to be close Sunday.
“(The game) is going to be a war, I think, because both teams are going to play physical,” he said.
The winner will meet either the West Region’s No.4-seed, Louisville, or West No.5-seed New Mexico in the Sweet 16 in Phoenix.