clear
Tuesday May 31st, 2016 8:28PM

Here's some things to keep an eye on in this weekend's NCAA regionals

By The Associated Press
Just when you think the first weekend of the NCAA tournament couldn't possibly top itself, it happened again.

Last year's ride was a wild one, filled with massive upsets that blew up brackets and spectacular performances that made it one of the most entertaining starts in tournament history.

This year's version was even better, the best weekend on the sports calendar starting with most of the brackets blown out on the first game of the first full day and including a four-point play to send a game to overtime.

Now that we've had time to catch our breath, it's time to hold on tight again with the regional rounds up next.

Here's some of what to keep an eye on:


THE BIG BOYS

Florida. Gators were the No. 1 overall seed and did nothing to diminish that.

Arizona. That defensive performance against Gonzaga has to be causing some sweaty palms among the other 15 teams still left.

Michigan State. Izzo and the Spartans Storm the Sweet 16, Part XII.

Louisville. Defending national champs on another roll.

Virginia. Cavaliers have proven the ACC sweep and No. 1 seeding were deserved.


THE UPSTARTS

Dayton. Archie Miller has the Flyers flying high, just like big brother Sean's Arizona Wildcats.

Tennessee. Vols aren't exactly a mid-major, but they are a bit of a surprise to get this deep after having to sweat out Selection Sunday.

Stanford. See above.

San Diego State. Aztecs appear to be on the verge of a huge breakthrough.

Kentucky. We know, the team with the second-most national titles in history is no upstart, but Coach Cal and his latest crop of NBAers-in-waiting had to claw their way into the bracket after some shaky moments during the regular season.


THE PLAYERS

Nick Johnson, Arizona. Great two-way player and leader who's already pulling down All-America honors.

Russ Smith, Louisville. Like Johnson, he's a finalist for the Naismith Award.

DeAndre Kane, Iowa State. Kane has been the king through the first two rounds of the bracket.

Kyle Anderson, UCLA. A 6-foot-9 point guard who can rebound, score and facilitate.

Shabazz Napier, UConn. A shorter version of Anderson from the East.

Nik Stauskas, Michigan. Best pure shooter left in the bracket.


TOP MATCHUPS

Kentucky-Louisville, Friday in Indianapolis. The Bluegrass rivals have had some great games in the past. This one could be epic.

Florida-UCLA, Thursday in Memphis. Two power programs at the top of their games.

Baylor-Wisconsin, Thursday in Anaheim, Calif. The clash of styles is going to be fun to watch.

Arizona-San Diego State, Thursday in Anaheim. The Wildcats won an earlier meeting this season. Both teams may be better now.


NUMBERS

.850-Baylor's postseason winning percentage (17-3) over the past six seasons, best in Division I among schools with multiple NCAA tournaments in that span.

5.0-Assist-to-turnover ratio of Iowa State's Monte Morris, leading the nation.

7-0-The SEC's record in the NCAA tournament so far, best among all conferences.

8-Turnovers per game by Wisconsin, best in the nation.

14-Years since Iowa State had reached the Sweet 16.

16-Wins without a loss for Rick Pitino in the regional semifinals.

19-Years since Virginia last reached the Sweet 16.

28-Games of Florida's winning streak.


DID YOU KNOW?

Arizona's Nick Johnson is the nephew of Hall of Famer Dennis Johnson.

Iowa State center Isaiah Austin is the nephew of Isaac Austin, who played for seven NBA teams over nine seasons and was the NBA's 1997 most improved player.

Louisville guard Terry Rozier is afraid of squirrels.

Kyle Anderson's grandfather, Clifton Anderson, had a two-year NFL career with the Chicago Cardinals in 1952 and the New York Giants in 1953.

Iowa State forward Dustin Hogue's brother, Douglas Hogue Jr., played linebacker for the NFL's Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers.

Florida's Alex Murphy is the son of Jay Murphy, who played four NBA seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Bullets from 1984-88.
© Copyright 2016 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 1 year ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Jackets, Mississippi St. clash in Orange Bowl
No. 10 Georgia Tech has the nation's second-ranked rushing offense. No. 8 Mississippi State has held seven of its 12 opponents under 125 yards on the ground.
5:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Ole Miss defense braces for TCU offense in Peach Bowl
Mississippi and TCU were part of the playoffs story in 2014. Each team was part of the chase. Each team fell short of the coveted semifinals.
5:01PM ( 1 year ago )
Kiffin shining again after season of redemption
Lane Kiffin was modest in his goals and complimentary about the team he'll be facing in the Sugar Bowl. He went on and on about how much he's learned from Nick Saban, while insisting it's no big deal when his boss yells at him. Very un-Kiffin-like, you might say.
11:02PM ( 1 year ago )
College Sports
Baseball: North Hall's Taber Mongero honored with Team Georgia invite
The dust may still be settling on the high school baseball season, but North Hall's Taber Mongero will not be taking any time to rest.
By AccessWDUN Staff
5:54PM ( 2 hours ago )
Davis earns first career K&N Pro East win in photo finish
Spencer Davis sat in his car on the front stretch, nose facing the car of Justin Haley, as the drivers waited for NASCAR officials to review the finish. It was only a minute or so, but it seemed like eternity for Davis.
By Jason Christley-NASCAR Media
3:38PM ( 4 hours ago )
Column: NFL version of 3-card monte: the Super Bowl Scam
The NFL has its own version of three-card monte...
By The Associated Press
11:54PM ( 20 hours ago )
Mallex Smith's 3-run triple powers Braves past Giants, 5-3
Mike Foltynewicz is showing he can be more than just a fastball pitcher — and that he can be part of the Braves' long-term rotation.
By The Associated Press
11:51PM ( 20 hours ago )
Baylor hires former Wake coach Grobe to replace Briles
Baylor has hired former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe to replace Art Briles and lead its football program through a tumultuous time
6:14PM ( 1 day ago )