March Madness will only heat up from here with Sweet 16 berths on the line. While there haven't been many major upsets so far, some could be brewing Saturday. Here are three of the best games to watch on Day 3 of the Big Dance.
Kentucky rolled to a 79-44 victory over Abilene Christian in its tournament opener, but there's reason for Big Blue Nation to be concerned. The Wildcats' leading scorer and rebounder, PJ Washington, has reportedly been ruled out for Saturday's Round of 32 matchup with a foot sprain and has been using a scooter to get around and a cast for his left foot.
Washington's absence could open the door for the seventh-seeded Terriers, who can easily shoot themselves in, or out of, a game. Wofford was second in the nation in 3-point percentage (41.6) and sixth in threes made per game (11.0) during the regular season. The Terriers hit 13-of-28 3-pointers in their first-round win over Seton Hall, including six in a row late in the second half to break the game open.
Fletcher Magee - the NCAA's all-time leader in triples made - can catch fire in a hurry and four Terriers, including Magee, shot above 40 percent from downtown during the regular season.
The Ja Morant show was on full display in Murray State's 83-64 dismantling of Marquette on Thursday. The sophomore guard all but solidified his top-three NBA draft status with a 17-point, 16-assist, 11-rebound performance, the ninth triple-double in NCAA Tournament history since assists became an official stat in the 1983-84 season.
Murray State was completely in sync, continually making the right passes and finding players cutting to the net, racking up 23 assists on 30 made field goals against Marquette. But Morant won't have it as easy against Florida State, which has the length and athleticism to challenge his drives into the paint and force him to be more decisive with the ball.
Morant averaged 5.3 turnovers per game during the regular season and had seven in the first round; the Seminoles made Vermont pay with 17 points off turnovers in their opening tournament match. Florida State will also try to maximize their height advantage after outscoring Vermont 30-14 in the paint. Second-year big man Mfiondu Kabengele led the Seminoles with a 21-point, 10-rebound performance.
It's been a down year for Kansas basketball. The Jayhawks' 14-year streak of at least sharing, or winning outright, the Big 12 regular-season title came to an end and stars Udoka Azubuike and Lagerald Vick will miss the NCAA Tournament. Still, head coach Bill Self rallied his team to the Big 12 Tournament final and are a win away from a virtual home Sweet 16 matchup in Kansas City, Mo.
The Jayhawks wouldn't be in this position without the strong play of Dedric Lawson. The Kansas big man had 25 points and 11 boards in the team's first-round win over Northeastern, where the Jayhawks dominated inside with 50 paint points. In addition to their dominance in the key, they're also a handful on the boards, tied for ninth-most in the nation during the regular season with 45 rebounds per contest.
Standing in the Jayhawks' way is a red-hot Auburn squad coming off an SEC Tournament title and a narrow 78-77 first-round victory over New Mexico State. The Tigers love to shoot the long ball, averaging 12 3-pointers on 34 attempts per contest during the regular season, which ranked 10th and 11th in the nation, respectively. Auburn's backcourt of Bryce Brown and Jared Harper are streaky shooters that are capable of breaking games open.
The Tigers will also be on the prowl for opportunities to turn defense into offense. Auburn averaged the fourth-most steals in the nation (9.4) and have forced the sixth-most turnovers per game (17.68) during the regular season.