Format: Eight teams were assigned to Austin for second- and third-round NCAA tournament games. Two teams from here will advance to the Sweet 16.
Tickets: $180-$225 for an all-sessions pass covering six games. Go to TexasSports.com, call 471-3333 or visit the Erwin Center box office. Some lower-level tickets were still available Tuesday.
■ Friday’s second round
2-Miami (27-6) vs. 15-Pacific (22-12), 1:10 p.m.
7-Illinois (22-12) vs.
10-Colorado (21-11), 3:40 p.m.
3-Florida (26-7) vs. 14-Northwestern State (23-8), 6:27 p.m.
6-UCLA (25-9) vs.
11-Minnesota (20-12), 9 p.m.
■ Sunday’s third round
Fri. afternoon winners, TBA
Fri. night winners, TBA
SAVING THE BEST
The last game Friday is the most interesting. UCLA is loaded, and Minnesota, led by 6-8, 245-pound Trevor Mbakwe, is long, athletic and battle-tested from Big Ten wars. Many experts like the Gophers. “They’re a popular upset pick,” CBSSports.com’s Jeff Borzello said. “Their ceiling is pretty high.” USA Today’s Eric Prisbell wrote, “As crazy as it sounds, Minnesota has a chance in that region. That’s a really soft part of the bracket. But somebody’s gotta make the Sweet 16.”
HONORS FOR MIAMI
Miami’s Jim Larranaga won the national coach of the year award from the U.S. Basketball Writers. In his second season with the Canes, Larranaga’s team won its first ACC regular-season and tournament titles. Larranaga, 63, is 517-353 in 29 years, including a 2006 Final Four trip at George Mason.
COLORADO FINE WITH SEED
Colorado coach Tad Boyle is happy with a 10 seed. “Quite frankly, I was hoping for a 10 or an 11 more than an eight or a nine, because there you’re faced with a No. 1 seed in the next round, if you win,” he said.
All eight practices Thursday at the Erwin Center are open to the public, for free.
Noon-12:40 p.m. Pacific
12:45-1:25 p.m. Colorado
1:30-2:10 p.m. Miami
2:15-2:55 p.m. Illinois
4:25-5:05 p.m. Florida
5:10-5:50 p.m. UCLA
5:55-6:35 p.m. NW State
6:40-7:20 p.m. Minnesota
WHAT’S UP TODAY
All eight teams arrive in Austin - seven flying and Northwestern State busing - but there are no public appearances. This is a good chance to fill out your tournament bracket sheet.
DID YOU KNOW?
Northwestern State is sometimes confused with Northwestern. The Demons, from Natchitoches, La., are making their third NCAA trip. The Wildcats, from Evanston, Ill., are the only power-conference program that’s never been to the dance.
4 Miami has the highest RPI of any team in Austin. Florida is No. 8.
TOURNAMENT SCORING LEADERS
Doug McDermott, Creighton, 23.1
Lamont Jones, Iona, 23.0
Nate Wolters, South Dakota State, 22.7
M. Henderson, Ole Miss, 20.1
Khaliff Wyatt, Temple, 19.8
— Compiled by Kevin Lyttle