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The best Sweet 16 games to watch

Arkansas is looking to make back-to-back Elite Eight trips.

New Mexico State v Arkansas Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Sweet 16 has arrived and boy does the field look a lot different now than it did a week ago. Three-quarters of the teams with national title hopes, some more outlandish than others, are beginning their offseason while the final sixteen D1 teams out of the 358 total in this humungous division resume battle tonight. Here are the most interesting games on tap for tonight and tomorrow:

Gonzaga vs Arkansas (Thursday 7:09 CBS)

Arkansas has been one of the hottest teams in the country over the last two months and is a game away from returning to the Elite 8 for the first time since...last year. It’s like they never left. Gonzaga looked vulnerable against upset-minded Memphis, but will be looking to shake it off and get a step closer to that national title they have come so close to in recent years. It should be a good one in San Francisco.

Texas Tech vs Duke (Thursday 9:39 CBS)

An incredible final minutes rally against Michigan State lifted Duke into the second weekend, and the Red Raiders also needed a late push to evade Notre Dame. Texas Tech has one of the nastiest defenses in the country, but Duke has shown that it is determined to send Coach K out in New Orleans next week—not in San Francisco tonight.

Saint Peter’s vs Purdue (Friday 7:09 CBS)

Saint Peter’s can become the first 15 seed ever to make the Elite 8 if they can topple the Boilermakers, who are looking to return to the Elite 8 and finish what they started in 2019 when they were bound for their first Final Four since 1980 until a miracle shot by Virginia at the buzzer sent the game to overtime. Saint Peter’s has shown they can do the unthinkable twice already—can they make it three in a row?

North Carolina vs UCLA (Friday 9:39 CBS)

These teams were supposed to play in the CBS Sports Classic back in December but Bruins covid issues forced UNC to play (and get throttled by) Kentucky instead. This time the stakes are a lot higher, and the Tar Heels are a lot better and coming off of an upset of 1-seed Baylor. Which blue blood will reach the Final Four’s doorstep?