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2019 NCAA Tournament Viewing Guide: East and Midwest Regional Semifinals; Friday, March 29

It’s the final day of simultaneous action for this year’s edition of March Madness. The lowest-seeded team is a 5, the Auburn Tigers.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional Practice Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

All times are Eastern. You can stream all games on the NCAA’s March Madness Live. (I’ll have links for each game in these posts.)

Schedule at a Glance

East and Midwest Regional Semifinals

Tip Time (ET) Site Matchup Channel with March Madness Live Link
Tip Time (ET) Site Matchup Channel with March Madness Live Link
7:09 p.m. East No. 3 LSU vs. No. 2 Michigan State CBS
7:29 p.m. Midwest No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 1 North Carolina TBS
9:39 p.m.* East No. 4 Virginia Tech vs. No. 1 Duke CBS
9:59 p.m.* Midwest No. 3 Houston vs. No. 2 Kentucky TBS

* = tip time is approximate

Announcers by Regional

East: Jim Nantz/Bill Raftery/Grant Hill with Tracy Wolfson reporting
Midwest: Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel with Jamie Erdahl reporting

Historical data from College Basketball Reference’s Matchup Finder.

Early Evening Tips

Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos from SportsLogos.net.

7:09 p.m., East (Washington, D.C.) on CBS

March Madness Live link

No. 3 LSU Tigers (28-6, SEC at-large) vs.
No. 2 Michigan State Spartans (30-6, Big Ten automatic bid)

KenPom predicted score: MSU 80, LSU 72

This will be the first meeting between the Spartans and Tigers since the 1979 Mideast regional semifinal, an 87-71 MSU win. I’m pretty sure one of the greatest players in the history of the game featured on that Michigan State squad. :-)

With a win, LSU will reach its first regional final since 2006, which led to the Tigers’ fourth Final Four trip. Amazingly, Michigan State last got past this round in 2015, when the Spartans also reached their last Final Four.

7:29 p.m., Midwest (Kansas City) on TBS

March Madness Live link

No. 5 Auburn Tigers (28-9, SEC automatic bid) vs.
No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels (29-6, ACC at-large)

KenPom predicted score: UNC 82, AU 78

Surprisingly, Auburn and UNC haven’t met all that frequently, with the Tar Heels recording a 62-56 win over the Tigers in their own backyard in the 1985 Southeast regional semifinals in Birmingham. Auburn’s NCAA history is spotty, as this will be their fifth Sweet Sixteen appearance, the first of which was that game against Carolina, but they’ve only won once at this stage, in 1986. On the other hand, UNC has reached this stage six times in this decade alone, with four of those trips turning into Elite Eight bids. The last of those came in 2017, when Roy Williams’ squad ended up cutting down the nets in Glendale, Arizona.

Late Evening Tips

Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos from SportsLogos.net.

9:39 p.m., East (Washington, D.C.) on CBS

March Madness Live link

No. 4 Virginia Tech Hokies (26-8, ACC at-large) vs.
No. 1 Duke Blue Devils (31-5, ACC automatic bid)

KenPom predicted score: DU 75, VT 70

This is our lone intraconference matchup of the Sweet Sixteen round, with the Hokies having defeated the Blue Devils in each of the last three seasons. Of course, all of those wins came at home, though you’d suspect that Tech will have decent fan support in Washington, D.C. February 26th’s Hokie victory came with Zion Williamson out for Duke and Justin Robinson absent for Virginia Tech. Both will be back tonight, while Ty Outlaw will play despite being charged with marijuana possession, as he passed a drug test.

9:59 p.m., Midwest (Kansas City) on TBS

March Madness Live link

No. 3 Houston Cougars (33-3, American at-large) vs.
No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats (29-6, SEC at-large)

KenPom predicted score: UK 68, UH 66

Okay, the loser of this game needs to be forced to change their logo, since both look like they came from the same template.

On the court, Houston is aiming to reach its first Elite Eight in 35 years, while Kentucky last won in this round two seasons ago. Again, the Cougars have a long Final Four drought, while Kentucky has four trips in this decade alone and eight since the two played in separate national semifinals in Albuquerque in 1984. (UK did defeat Houston that January, 74-67 in Lexington.) The pair also met in a home-and-home series in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, with each winning in their own building.

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