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March Madness continues with Sweet 16

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March Madness continues on Thursday, March 27 as Sweet 16 play begins in the NCAA tournament. Thursday's four games feature No. 10 Stanford against No. 11 Dayton, No. 2 Wisconsin against No. 6 Baylor, No. 1 Florida against No. 4 UCLA and No. 1 Arizona against No. 4 San Diego State.

The other four games of the Sweet 16 will be played on Friday, March 28. Friday's games feature No. 2 Michigan against No. 11 Tennessee, No. 3 Iowa State against No. 7 Connecticut, No. 4 Louisville against No. 8 Kentucky and No. 1 Virginia against No. 4 Michigan State.

The winners of Thursday and Friday night's games will continue into the Elite Eight on Saturday and Sunday. The South and West region games will play on Saturday and the East and Midwest region games will play on Sunday.

It seems fitting to mention that March Madness was born on March 27, 1939, as the University of Oregon defeated Ohio State University 46–33 to win the first NCAA men’s basketball tournament, according to History.com.

For the first 12 years of the NCAA tournament, only eight teams participated. The field has since expanded to 68 teams with four early play-in games.

In the 75 years since the first tournament, college basketball has grown enormously in popularity with fans from toddlers to great-grandparents.

Many fans participate in NCAA bracket challenge pools at work or at home. Although the NCAA tournament is one of the most popular sporting events for gamblers, many who participate play for friendly competition and to support their favorite team.

Our family enjoys competing in the NCAA bracket challenge. The Kansas Jayhawks were the top ranked choice among the 14 members of our family pool before the team's second round loss to Stanford.

Nine of our group, including several KU graduates, chose the Jayhawks to win the championship. Three of our group chose the Florida Gators to win it all, one chose the Michigan State Spartans and one chose the Virginia Cavaliers.

As March Madness continues, many fans will root for the underdogs. Upsets have already eliminated nearly half of the top seeded teams, including our family's Jayhawks and No. 1 seed Wichita State, the only team entering the tournament undefeated.

The Florida Gators are the No. 1 overall seed and the top team chosen in most NCAA bracket challenges. If Florida wins against UCLA, they will face the winner of the Dayton vs. Stanford game.

Whether you're waiting for more upsets, rooting for your favorite team or just enjoying a night of college basketball, the next four days promise March Madness fans a lot of great sports moments.

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