It's time for more madness. After a few days for armchair bracketologists to plot out the scenarios that could win them their office pools, the 2013 NCAA Tournament resumes with the Sweet 16.
The first game in the round of 16 features a battle of athletic guards in the East Region, Vander Blue of the No. 3 Marquette Golden Eagles and Shane Larkin of the No. 2 Miami Hurricanes. Although the Hurricanes have advanced with far greater ease than Marquette (but hasn't everyone?), they will be without senior center Reggie Johnson, who is out with a "lower extremity injury," per the Palm Beach Post.
Will injury allow Buzz Williams' team to pull off the slight upset to advance to the Elite Eight? Or will Larkin be able lead his team to another win?
Unlike the East Region where the top four seeds advanced, only one of the top four seeds remains in the wild West portion of the bracket. The second Sweet 16 game on Thursday features No. 2 Ohio State and No. 6 Arizona in the West Region. Aaron Craft saved the Buckeyes in the third round with a game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds against No. 10 Iowa State. Will Craft be able to shut down Arizona's Mark Lyons, who scored 27 in his last game.
STAY TUNED FOR LIVE UPDATES FROM THE THURSDAY'S SWEET 16 GAMES:
Wichita State beats La Salle 72-58 to advance to the Elite Eight. The Shockers will play the No. 2 Buckeyes in the Regional Finals.
|@ jeffborzello : Take away the two Wichita State sections and the two La Salle sections, and there's about 96 people still at Staples Center.|
|@ rushthecourt : RT @RTCEastRegion: NBA: Zeller: "I put everything into this. Haven't thought about it 1 bit." Oladipo: "Same way. Been focused on IU bball."|
|@ raphiellej : Points in the paint, rebounding. Impressive. Wichita State's got a shot on Saturday, that's for sure.|
Tekele Cotton slashes through the paint, leaps into the air and makes a beautiful right-handed scoop layup to extend Wichita State's lead to 66-48.
|@ SethDavisHoops : Malcolm Armstead drinks green juice.|
La Salle and Wichita State are trading baskets now, something La Salle can't afford to do. They need stops. Tyrone Garland knocked down a 3 but it was answered by Wichita State's Malcolm Armstead with a 3. 62-47 Wichita State. 6 minutes left.
Malcolm Armstead drives to his left and makes a running shot off the glass to extend the lead to 15. 55-40 Wichita State. La Salle calls timeout.
|@ MedcalfByESPN : Wichita State is so tough inside. Just a scrappy team.|
La Salle played great defense and forced Ron Baker to shoot a 30-footer, but Early grabbed the offensive rebound for Wichita State and the next possession resulted in a layup in the paint by Ehimen Orukpe. 53-40 Wichita State. 9 minutes left.
|@ jeffborzello : La Salle isn't about to let this one get away from them just yet. 11-point game. 16-5 run over the last seven minutes or so.|
Fred Vanvleet drove to his left, split the defense and somehow got a wild layup to fall. 51-38 Wichita State. La Salle is making it a game though.
|@ AndyGlockner : Indiana looked totally overmatched athletically. Syracuse's zone looked incredible.|
Jerrell Wright makes a spin move in the lane and gets the hook shot to fall. 49-35 Wichita State.
|@ SethDavisHoops : I'm sure Hoosiers fans are disappointed but this team had a great, great year. March is cruel.|
|@ AdamZagoria : And raise your hand if you had the two Big East teams winning these games by a combined 21 points.|
Syracuse beats Indiana 61-50. AND ANOTHER NO. 1 SEED GOES DOWN. Jim Boeheim and the Orange are into the Elite Eight.
|@ AdamZagoria : Who would've thought 19 ago when Georgetown hammered the Cuse here that the Hoyas wd be out in 1st round and the Orange wd be Elite 8?|
La Salle went on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 44-32 with 16 minutes left.
James Southerland's free throws makes it 60-46 Syracuse with 1:40 left.
Watford misses a running jumper on the right side and Triche jumps high for the defensive rebound. 58-46 Syracuse with 1:45 left.
|@ eamonnbrennan : After 37 minutes of basketball, Indiana still looks positively surprised Syracuse is playing a 2-3 zone.|
Without hesitation, Watford got the ball and was about to launch a deep 3 but had it blocked before he could bring the ball over his head. Ball went out of bounds of of Watford. Syracuse ball with 2:30 left.
|@ AdamZagoria : For the record, Marquette beat Syracuse, 74-71, in their only meeting Feb. 25 at Marquette|
|@ SethDavisHoops : Tim Tebow spoke to the Wichita St players on the team bus? Well that explains it.|
Keita missed a dunk and Indiana quickly turned that into a 3-pointer from Watford. 56-46 with 3:20 Syracuse left.
|@ GoodmanCBS : Tiny Indiana backcourt has really been exposed in this game. Carter-Williams told me yesterday he was excited about going against IU guards.|
Wichita state opens up the second half with back to back 3-pointers, one from Malcolm Armstead and one from Ron Baker. 44-22 Shockers.
|@ MattNorlander : The No. 1 offense in the nation cracked 40 with 6:05 left—in regulation. That is stun-worthy.|
Indiana's defense broke down and allowed Triche to drive right to the basket and make an easy layup. 56-40 Syracuse with 5:32 left.