No. 15 Middle Tennessee State ushered one of the 2016 NCAA Tournament's favorites off the dance floor on Friday. Can the Blue Raiders do the same to a team that far fewer thought deserved a spot in March Madness?
No. 10 Syracuse was one of the more controversial picks of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee last Sunday; this Sunday, the Orange are favored to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. And it's justified by more than seeding: Syracuse looked about as impressive as any team in the field by thumping Dayton, 70-51, and proving that it was emphatically better than at least one other at-large selection.
Of course, it's hard to say that any game from the first round was more impressive than Middle Tennessee State's calm, wire-to-wire defeat of the Spartans. The Blue Raiders opened on a 15-2 run and never let the Spartans even tie up the game, controlling a No. 15 over No. 2 upset like none that came before it. They probably can't count on making 11 of 19 threes again, especially against Syracuse's 2-3 zone, but if they can repeat that shooting performance, they will be hard to beat.
The prize on the line in Sunday's game? A spot in the Sweet Sixteen, and a date with either No. 3 Utah or No. 11 Gonzaga.
Game time: 6:10 p.m. ET
How to watch: TNT
How to livestream: March Madness Live
How to listen: Westwood One Sports