And then there were four. Purdue and Maryland rolled over tired opponents that have been playing since Wednesday. Michigan State just rolled. Period. Your biggest surprise left is Michigan, who has twice survived to make it to Saturday, its NCAA hopes on the line both times.
#8 Michigan (21-11, 10-8) vs. Purdue (25-7, 12-6) 1pm, CBS
These two split their season series, with Purdue pulling away late in West Lafayette, but Michigan erasing a 6-point deficit at the final media timeout to close on an 11-0 run and win by 5. Michigan needs this more. They are in good shape after beating Indiana, but beating Purdue probably locks them in. For Purdue, we're in a cushy spot. Maybe we move up to a three seed. Maybe not. There is just a bad taste in our mouths after that game in Ann Arbor. We let it get away and I think Purdue is starting to look really focused and locked in.
# 2 Michigan State (27-5, 13-5) vs. #3 Maryland (25-7, 12-6) 25 minutes after, CBS
With the way these two teams looked on Friday this should be a fantastic game. Both are Final Four caliber teams (and it is not like Purdue can't make it, either.) Michigan State put the hammer down on Ohio State and Maryland just annihilated Nebraska in about every way a basketball team can destroy another. It's not like Nebraska played poorly, either. Maryland shot an absurd 71% from the floor in the first half and 90% from three. There is nothing you can do when a team does that.
Our dream scenario is Purdue uses the fatigue advantage to easily advance, and Michigan State and Maryland get into an epic battle. Michigan has had to play 85 minutes of white-knuckle basketball with its postseason fate on the line since Thursday afternoon. Purdue was able to rest on Thursday and completely blew out Illinois to where the second half was a laugher and most of the starters were on the bench. We're in great shape to make it to Sunday!