One more win to make the Final Four in Minneapolis. Three of the four No. 1 seeds are alive, with the exception of North Carolina, knocked off Friday night by Auburn. Two teams apiece from the ACC, SEC and Big Ten reached the quarterfinals. Gonzaga returns again, a superpower in need of a breakthrough.
There's star power on the court (Duke's Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, Michigan State's Cassius Winston, Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver, Purdue's Carsen Edwards) and on the sidelines (you know them by the shorthand: Coach K, Izzo, Cal).
Here is a guide to the weekend's Elite Eight games:
It doesn't get more elemental or compelling than this: Gonzaga's No. 1 offense in the nation against Texas Tech's No. 1 defense in the nation (per Ken Pomeroy's ratings). Texas Tech smothered Michigan in the Sweet 16 to book this spot; Gonzaga got at least 14 points from four different players in rolling past Florida State.
What does Purdue have left in its collective tank after Thursday night's madcap 99-94 overtime win over Tennessee, which ranks as the tournament's most exciting game to date? Virginia hasn't been winning pretty (a halftime deficit vs. No. 16 seed Gardner-Webb, 53 points vs. Oregon in the Sweet 16), they've just been winning.
Auburn's explosive offense hung 97 points on UNC on Friday night in the most meaningful upset of the Big Dance, but lost forward Chuma Okeke to a knee injury bad enough to move coach Bruce Pearl to tears. Kentucky got a huge lift from PJ Washington's 16 points in his return from a foot injury in a four-point win over Houston.
The marquee game of the weekend. Michigan State has looked the sharper of the two titans in the past two rounds; Duke survived last-second point-blank misses by Central Florida that would have won the game and one by Virginia Tech that would have forced overtime. Williamson added to his legend with 23 points, six rebounds and three momentous blocks. Cam Reddish's status was unclear after he missed the Sweet 16 with a mystery knee injury. Spartans freshman Aaron Henry, last seen getting bawled out by coach Tom Izzo, was a revelation in the Sweet 16: 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists.
*Lines via The Action Network