NCAA Tournament

NCAA game previews, tipoff, TV times for Thursday, March 23 regional semifinals

West Virginia’s Jevon Carter (2) prepares to shoot during practice Wednesday in San Jose, Calif., in preparation for an NCAA Tournament regional semifinal against Gonzaga on Thursday.
West Virginia’s Jevon Carter (2) prepares to shoot during practice Wednesday in San Jose, Calif., in preparation for an NCAA Tournament regional semifinal against Gonzaga on Thursday. AP

Midwest Region

At the Sprint Center

No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 7 Michigan

Time/TV: 6:09 p.m., CBS

What to watch: The Ducks make their second straight Sweet 16 appearance. They got past Rhode Island in the second round on the clutch shooting of Tyler Dorsey, whose three-pointer with 38 seconds remaining was the game-winner. Dorsey has scored at least 20 points in five straight games. No team has come farther faster than Michigan. From a 10-8 league finish, the Wolverines swept through the Big Ten Tournament and have defeated Oklahoma State and Louisville to reach the Sweet 16. Moritz Wagner is coming off a career-high 26 points against the Cardinals.

Prediction: Michigan 82-78

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 4 Purdue

Time/TV: about 8:39 p.m., CBS

What to watch: The game matches two of the top candidates for national player of the year: Kansas guard Frank Mason and Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan. Mason had a tough shooting game against Michigan State in the second round but still wound up with 20 points. Swanigan was his usual beast mode against Iowa State with 20 points and 12 rebounds, his fifth straight double-double. Kansas freshman Josh Jackson was terrific against the Spartans with 23 and forward Vincent Edwards also kicked in double-double against the Cyclones.

Prediction: Kansas 75-72

West Region

At San Jose, Calif.

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 4 West Virginia

Time/TV: 6:39 p.m., TBS

What to watch: The Zags haven’t see a team like West Virginia this season, one that presses full court. The Mountaineers frustrated Notre Dame in the second round and look to put the pressure on Nigel Williams-Goss with its backcourt of interchangeable parts. Will Gonzaga go small? West Virginia is a great rebounding team, but that will be a chore against Przemek Karnowksi and the Bulldogs bigs.

Prediction: West Virginia 72-70

No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 11 Xavier

Time/TV: about 9:09 p.m., TBS

What to watch: Xavier is the lone double-digit seed in the Sweet 16, with an impressive second-round victory over Florida State. Big man Sean O’Mara has been a break out player for the Musketeers. Trevon Bluiett is the top scoring threat at 18.3 per game and eight of 15 on threes in the tournament. Arizona freshman Lauri Markkanen has regained his stride after a late season slump, averaging 18.5 points and eight boards in the tournament. Wildcats coach Sean Miller faces his old school for the second time in three NCAA Tournaments.

Prediction: Arizona 78-70

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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