Here are the men’s NCAA Tournament second-round matchups we want to see this March Madness

There are 32 first-round games of the men's NCAA Tournament that have yet to tip off between Friday and Saturday. Listing desires for second-round matchups may appear like the fun is being sapped out of it all.  

Counterpoint: That is the fun. And we all do it. See: Filling out a bracket. 

With that in mind, here are seven second-round matchups we would like to see on Sunday or Monday — some based on chalk in the first round, others predicated upon some notable upsets in Round 1. 

No. 1 Illinois vs. No. 8 Loyola-Chicago 

Call it the Prairie State showdown with Windy City spice. The Fighting Illini have their eyes on a deep tournament run, while Loyola-Chicago would love to play spoiler to the state's flagship university and start its own Cinderella run for the second time since 2018. The Ramblers, led by Porter Moser, might be even better this time around. What better way to head to the Sweet 16 than by knocking out the 1-seed from your home state? 

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BRACKET TIPS? AT YOUR SERVICE: 

  • Common mistakes: Don't make these 5 mistakes to win your pool
  • Expert picks: From early upsets to the Final Four and champion
  • On a roll: These are the 7 hottest teams entering the tournament
  • Meet the 68: In-depth capsules with info on every team 
  • Don't count on 'em: These are teams to avoid picking to go far 
  • Every first-round upset: Easy list of our experts' first-round upsets
  • Stay informed: Our newsletter will offer bracket tips every day. Sign up here!

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No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 7 UConn

Speaking of fun coaching matchups: Bobby Hurley met Nate Oats while recruiting for Rhode Island on behalf of his brother, Dan Hurley. When Bobby took the Buffalo job, he elevated Oats to his staff from the high school ranks, and Oats replaced him at Buffalo before heading to Alabama. The Huskies coach now? Dan Hurley.

No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 6 Texas Tech 


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