Sweet 16 guide: Top NCAA matchups, players and story lines

The NCAA Tournament's first weekend closed with a flourish, a Sunday full of scintillating games after three days of good-not-always-great basketball. That put the madness back in March and should carry over into a regional round filled with great matchups and big-name programs. Here's a rundown of the top games, players, coaches and interesting story lines for the Sweet 16: ___ TOP GAMES UCLA vs. Kentucky, South Region; Friday, Memphis. Blue bloods in Bluff City.

Three No. 1 seeds, endless optimism among Sweet 16 teams

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin's win over defending national champion and overall No. 1 seed Villanova shook up office pools around the country, though the tested Badgers aren't a typical No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Eleventh-seeded Xavier might be a surprise team in the regional semifinals, but with their 3-point prowess, the Musketeers are capable of shooting their way past any opponent.

UCLA routs Texas A&M to advance to Sweet 16

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kari Korver was brought back into UCLA's blowout win in the NCAA Tournament late so she could try to tie a school 3-point record. Instead, she dove for a loose ball and displayed the hustle she's shown throughout her career. It was a nice finishing touch on her final game at Pauley Pavilion, and fans stood on their feet and applauded as she was subbed out.

UCLA beats Cincinnati 79-67 to earn Sweet 16 trip

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- UCLA had trouble getting its high-octane offense going in the first half against Cincinnati's big, athletic defenders. Once the Bruins got rolling, there was no stopping them -- all the way into the Sweet 16. Next up: A blue blood rematch with Kentucky in the South Regional semifinals.

NCAA Tournament Capsules

Results from the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday: ___ EAST REGION SOUTH CAROLINA 88, DUKE 81 GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Sindarius Thornwell had 24 points, Chris Silva scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half and seventh-seeded South Carolina stunned No. 2 seed Duke 88-81 on Sunday night to advance to its first Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament's expanded bracket.

Sweet 16 field to be filled out today...Huskies hire Hopkins...Indians' Anderson to miss 2017 season

UNDATED (AP) -- The Sweet 16 field will be filled out in today's eight NCAA Tournament second-round games. No. 1 seed Kansas against No. 9 Michigan State features two top freshmen in the Jayhawks' Josh Jackson and the Spartans' Miles Bridges. No. 2 Kentucky against No. 10 Wichita State is a rematch of the 2014 game where the Wildcats ruined the Shockers' 35-0 season. No. 2 Louisville plays No.

4 finalists named for Naismith Trophy as top college player

ATLANTA (AP) -- Villanova's Josh Hart, Kansas' Frank Mason III, Purdue's Caleb Swanigan and UCLA's Lonzo Ball are the finalists for the Naismith Trophy as the top player in men's college basketball. The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the finalists Sunday. They were chosen by a national voting panel made up of journalists, current and former head coaches, former Naismith winners and conference commissioners. Fans are invited to help pick the winner.

Alfords winding down successful run together at UCLA

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Steve Alford was criticized for not winning enough, considered to be on the hot seat heading into this season. Bryce Alford was knocked for shooting too much, expected to have a hard time taking a back seat to freshman phenom Lonzo Ball. Look at them now.

Expect fast-paced game with Tar Heels meeting Razorbacks

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) -- North Carolina is at its best when the Tar Heels are pushing the ball upcourt in a go-go-go pace, one that frequently has opponents desperately trying to slow things down. That shouldn't be a problem for Sunday's second-round game in the South Regional. Arkansas is just as eager to play fast -- even if that's a prospect that thrills the top-seeded Tar Heels.

The Latest: After quiet start, March Madness gets big upset

The Latest on Day 3 of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern): 12:05 p.m. It took three days for the NCAA Tournament to produce a major upset. It was a stunner that busted a ton of brackets. Villanova, the defending national champion and the top overall seed, was upended by eighth-seeded Wisconsin 65-62. Fellow No.

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NCAA TOURNAMENT-SCHEDULE Trojans, Rams deliver big stunners UNDATED (AP) -- Southern California and Rhode Island have become the second and third No. 11 seeds to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. And tenth-seeded Wichita State made it five double-digit seeds reaching Round 2. Sixth seed SMU had won 16 in a row until Elijah Stewart led the 11th-seeded Trojans to a 66-65 triumph over the Mustangs in Tulsa.

UCLA pulls away for 97-80 win over Kent State

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- UCLA raced out for layups, dropped in 3-pointers, piled up the points. The Bruins are the nation's top-scoring team, so no surprise there. The defense? That still could use a little work. UCLA raced out to a big lead and held on through numerous defensive lapses, pulling away late for a 97-80 victory over scrappy Kent State on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament South Region.

NCAA Tournament Capsules

Results from the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday: ___ MIDWEST REGION MICHIGAN 92, OKLAHOMA STATE 91 INDIANAPOLIS -- Derrick Walton Jr. scored 26 points and Michigan made 16 3-pointers Friday to hold off Oklahoma State 92-91 in the first round of the Midwest Regional. The seventh-seeded Wolverines (25-11) set a school record for 3s in an NCAA Tournament game.

The Latest: AP poll voters not too shabby

The Latest on Day 2 of the NCAA Tournament (all times Eastern): 1 a.m. The final numbers from the first round are in, and the voters in The Associated Press Top 25 poll did a pretty good job of nailing the best teams. Of the 32 teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament's second round, 30 spent at least one week in the AP Top 25. The ones that didn't -- Arkansas and Middle Tennessee.

UCLA's Ball takes father's hype in stride

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball dribbled around the court Thursday at Golden 1 Center in preparation for his team's opening game of the NCAA Tournament. With nearly every shot he took, fans yelled out: "You're better than Steph!" This has become Ball's world since his father, LaVar, proclaimed the talented freshman better than NBA MVP Steph Curry.

A quick look at Kent State and UCLA in the NCAA Tournament

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- No. 14 seed Kent State (22-13) vs. No. 3 seed UCLA (25-4) First round, South Region; Sacramento, California, 10 p.m. EDT BOTTOM LINE: Led by freshman point guard Lonzo Ball, UCLA has been one of the top teams in the country all season. For the Golden Flashes to have any chance, they'll have to find a way to stop the Bruins, the nation's highest-scoring team.

The Latest: Arizona takes 1st step, beats North Dakota

The Latest on the NCAA Tournament (all times EDT): 12:55 a.m. It's been 20 years since a Pac-12 team won the national championship, and Arizona is out to match what the 1997 Wildcats pulled off. They're off on the right foot, beating North Dakota 100-82 in the final game of a day that saw two teams make their NCAA Tournament debuts. Northwestern's inaugural visit ended in a stunning victory over Vanderbilt.

Father of UCLA's Ball says someone broke into their home

CHINO HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- The father of UCLA basketball star Lonzo Ball says his home was broken into while he was attending a high school game involving his two other sons. A representative for LaVar Ball tells ESPN that Ball's neighbors in Chino Hills, California, called police after hearing noises from the house. Ball was attending sons LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball's playoff game for Chino Hills High School.

A look at the best to come in the NCAA Tournament

This year's NCAA Tournament has a chance to be just as good as 2016, when Kris Jenkins capped March Madness the most dramatic way possible with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to win Villanova a title. North Carolina fans may not have liked it, but it was the perfect end to a wild tournament filled with upsets and great games. Plus, the Tar Heels are a No.

No. 10 Shockers take seeding slight into NCAA tourney

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A couple of years ago, Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall trotted out the motto "Play Angry" to encourage and inspire his perpetually overlooked and undervalued team. Might be time to resurrect it. The Shockers were given the No. 10 seed in the South Region, which just might trump anybody getting left out as the biggest snub of the NCAA Tournament.