March 18, 2023 | 4:58 in the morning
Here are the key March Madness 2023 Saturday games to watch:
No. 13 Furman v. No. 5 San Diego St.: 12:10 p.m., CBS
The second round begins on Saturday with the only mid vs mid major match of the day.
Furman’s dramatic win over Virginia was the only near miss on Thursday when JP Pegues hit a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left in a costly Cavaliers loss.
San Diego State, meanwhile, is the last team left in the Mountain West Conference to again underperform in the NCAA Tournament.
No. 5 Duke vs. No. 4 Tennessee: 2:40 p.m., CBS
Arguably the best matchup of the day featured a Duke team that looked as impressive as any in the first round as it swept Oral Roberts against a struggling Tennessee that still held off Louisiana.
The winner of this game will advance to the Sweet 16 at Madison Square Garden, which is sure to be packed with Blue Devils fans if they can advance.
Tennessee has struggled to score after losing point guard Zakai Zeigler to a torn ACL that nearly cost them a first-round pick.
No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 1 Kansas: 5:15 p.m., CBS
All eyes will be on the condition of Kansas coach Bill Self, who was sidelined Thursday as he recovers from a medical emergency that has kept him out since the start of the Big 12 Tournament.
The defending national champions will have their hands full with Arkansas, a disappointing team during the regular season but loaded with talent.
The Razorbacks also have coach Eric Musselman’s record on their side, with two consecutive Elite Eight appearances this season.
No. 15 Princeton vs. No. 7 Missouri: 6:10 p.m., TNT
Princeton pulled off the first-round upset by stunning No. 2 seed Arizona.
This Tigers v Tigers clash will be another test for the Ivy League champions, who failed to follow up first-round upsets in 1996 and 1998 with victories in the way fellow 15-seeded St Peters did last year.
No. 9 Auburn vs. No. 1 Houston: 7:10 p.m., TBS
Houston may be the No. 1 seed in the Midwest, but the selection committee did them no favors with a second-round matchup against Auburn in the Tigers’ home state of Birmingham, Alabama.
That’s just one of Houston’s potential problems: The other is the status of star guard Marcus Sasser, who aggravated a groin injury in a first-round win over Northern Kentucky.
No. 8 Maryland vs. No. 1 Alabama: 9:40 p.m., TBS
There’s another groin injury affecting Alabama star Brandon Miller, who went scoreless in 19 minutes Thursday against Texas A&M Corpus Christi after averaging nearly 20 points during the regular season.
It’s the second tournament meeting in three years for Maryland and Alabama, who knocked off the Terps in the second round in 2021.