Even in late March, it's rare to be treated to two games featuring four teams known for their success in the NCAA Tournament. But that's exactly what fans will get on Sunday when the last two spots in the Final Four are decided in the East and Midwest regional finals.
In the East, No. 7 Connecticut has won three National Championships, all since 1999. The Huskies draw No. 4 Michigan State, a two-time champ that is looking for its ninth trip to the Final Four. In the Midwest, it's 2012 champion Kentucky, a No. 8 seed that is now just three wins away from a ninth title. The Wildcats will face last year's runner-up and No. 2 seed Michigan, back in the Elite Eight for a second straight year for the first time since the early 90s.
East Regional Final (New York, N.Y.): No. 7 Connecticut vs. No. 4 Michigan State
2:20 p.m. ET, CBS
The Huskies and Spartans will meet on Sunday for the sixth time ever and for the second time in the NCAA Tournament -- the Spartans beat the Huskies in the 2009 National Semifinals in Detroit. This time, the most intriguing angle has to be the battle of the backcourts.
Senior Keith Appling and sophomore Gary Harris are both double-figure scorers, but they struggled in Michigan State's Sweet Sixteen win over Virginia. Fortunately for the Spartans, they benefited from a monster game by fellow backcourt-mate Branden Dawson, who dropped 24 points and 10 rebounds on the Cavaliers. Dawson has now scored a combined 50 points in his last two games.
Not many teams in the country can match Michigan State's backcourt, but if anyone can, perhaps it's UConn. Shabazz Napier has channeled his inner Kemba Walker throughout the season and into the NCAA Tournament. Not that Napier should overshadow junior Ryan Boatright. Boatright gave the Huskies a quick spark early on against Iowa State in the Sweet Sixteen and finished with 16 points.
But with two of the most talented backcourts in the nation going against each other, the deciding factor might actually be the play of two forwards. DeAndre Daniels took over in the second half for UConn on Friday and scored 27 points on 10-15 shooting with 10 rebounds. Daniels can play both on the perimeter or inside, making him a particularly tough player to prepare for. Adreian Payne can work similar magic for the Spartans. At 6'10, he is Michigan State's best three-point shooter at just under 44 percent. He had 16 against the Cavaliers.
Midwest Regional Final (Indianapolis, Ind.): No. 8 Kentucky vs. No. 2 Michigan
5:05 p.m. ET, CBS
The last spot in the Final Four will go to either Kentucky, which knocked off No. 1 Wichita State and No. 4 Louisville en route to the Elite Eight, or Michigan, who survived a late surge from Tennessee on Friday to advance.
Though the Wolverines should be favored in this game, they will have a tough time finding a way to stop Kentucky's big man, Julius Randle. Randle has shown all year that he is one of the best freshmen in the country and has raised his game even further in the NCAA Tournament. Randle has had a double-double in each of the Wildcats' three tournament games, including a dominant 19-point, 15-rebound performance in the Second Round against Kansas State.
Michigan's answer for Randle would normally be Mitch McGary, but the 6'10 sophomore suffered a season-ending injury just eight games in. Jordan Morgan will draw the assignment instead. Though his numbers this year aren't particularly impressive, Morgan came up big against Tennessee on Friday; his 15 points and seven rebounds were both team highs.
The Wolverines might catch a break if Kentucky forward Willie Cauley-Stein is unable to go on Sunday. The seven-footer left the Louisville game Friday with an ankle injury early on and did not return. Though his status has not been confirmed either way, Kentucky coach John Calipari said after the game that it was, "not a good ankle injury."