NCAA Tournament

Sunday’s NCAA showdowns: ACC powerhouses look to avoid upsets on way to Sweet 16

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Duke's Zion Williamson returns to South Carolina to play in the NCAA Tournament.
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Duke's Zion Williamson returns to South Carolina to play in the NCAA Tournament.

The first week of NCAA Tournament concludes on Sunday with three No. 1 seeds, all from the ACC, in action. Duke, Virginia and North Carolina each look to take their favorite’s role into the Sweet 16.

Here’s a look at each of Sunday’s second-round games (all times Central):

South Region

At Columbus, Ohio:

No. 10 Iowa vs. No. 2 Tennessee

11:10 a.m., CBS

Of note: The Hawkeyes were the more impressive first-round winner, coming back from a double-digit deficit to beat Cincinnati, while the Vols edged Colgate. All-America Grant Williams had just nine points for Tennessee in the opener. He’ll have to come up bigger if the team that spent time ranked first nationally this season is to advance.

Line: Tennessee by 8

Prediction: Iowa 74-70

At Columbia, S.C.:

No. 9 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 Virginia

6:45 p.m., truTV

Of note: Virginia gave its fans a fright in falling behind Gardner-Webb by double digits before pulling away for a 15-point victory. The Sooners played one of their best games of the season in routing Mississippi.

Line: Virginia by 11

Prediction: Virginia 71-62

At San Jose, Calif:

No. 13 UC Irvine vs. No. 12 Oregon

8:40 p.m., TBS

Of note: The Ducks dominated Wisconsin and continued their late-season winning ways. In its nine-game winning streak, Oregon has averaged an 18-point victory margin and is holding opponents to 34 percent shooting from the floor. The Anteaters have the blood lines. JC Butler’s dad Caron played for Connecticut and in the NBA. Spence Rivers’ dad is Doc Rivers, the L.A. Clippers’ coach. Collin Welp’s father, the late Christian Welp, is still Washington’s career scoring leader, and Max Hazzard’s grandfather, the late Walt Hazzard, was the NCAA Tournament MVP for UCLA in 1964.

Midwest Region

At Columbus, Ohio:

No. 9 Washington vs. No. 1 North Carolina

1:40 p.m., CBS

Of note: The Tar Heels trailed Iona at halftime before running away with a 15-point victory. Washington was one of the most impressive first-round winners, rolling past Utah State in what many expected to be a close game. Noah Dickerson finished 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Huskies.

Line: North Carolina by 11½

Prediction: North Carolina 80-74

At Tulsa, Okla.:

No. 11 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Houston

7:40 p.m., TNT

Of note: Buckeyes big man Kaleb Wesson dominated Iowa State with 21 points and 10 rebounds in a low-possession game. Houston’s Corey Davis Jr. buried seven three-pointers for 26 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists in the Cougars’ victory over Georgia State.

Line: Houston by 5

Prediction: Houston 65-60

East Region

At Columbia, S.C.:

No. 9 Central Florida vs. No. 1 Duke

4:15 p.m., CBS

Of note: Not the smoothest of games for Duke, especially early against North Dakota State. But once the Blue Devils got rolling they looked like the tournament’s overall top seed. Knights 7-6 center Tacko Fall, with 10 points and 18 boards against VCU, said he won’t allow Duke’s Zion Williamson to “posterize” him. We’ll see.

Line: Duke by 13

Prediction: Duke 82-65

At San Jose, Calif.:

No. 12 Liberty vs. No. 4 Virginia Tech

6:10 p.m., TBS

Of note: The schools located about 90 miles apart from one another face off. They met each other in a fund-raising exhibition game in the preseason, with Tech winning 86-70. Liberty overcame a 10-point deficit to upset Mississippi State and is one of the nation’s top-shooting teams.

Line: Virginia Tech by 8½

Prediction: Virginia Tech 70-65

West Region

At Tulsa, Okla.:

No. 6 Buffalo vs. No. 3 Texas Tech

5:10 p.m., TNT

Of note: Buffalo handled Arizona State and now meets one of the nation’s top defense teams. The Bulls are into the second round for the second straight year and have won 13 in a row. They dominated the boards against the Sun Devils and now must find a way to contain Tech’s Jarrett Culver.

Line: Texas Tech by 3½

Prediction: Buffalo 68-64

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