SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Today's second-round action at HP Pavilion features two games that could result in Sweet 16 spots for some surprising teams.
(5) Butler vs. (13) Murray State
Butler coach Brad Stevens said the difficulty that comes with preparing for Murray State certainly isn't the result of unfamiliarity with the Racers. "The irony is they’re better than a lot of teams that are on TV sometimes," Stevens said. "A very very scary team to prepare for." Murray State has five players who average at least 10 points per game and is riding high after Danero Thomas hit a game-winning jumper at the buzzer against Vanderbilt. But while the Racers are looking for their third NCAA tournament win, Butler is searching for it's third Sweet Sixteen in eight years. Shelvin Mack hit seven 3-pointers, scoring 25 points in an 18-point win in the first round against UTEP. The Bulldogs will now be looking to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 22 games. Another streak they've built up? Butler is 3-0 playing as the higher seed in NCAA tournament games.
(3) New Mexico vs. (11) Washington
Darington Hobson underwent an X-ray exam that revealed no breaks in his left wrist and despite appearing gimpy after hitting his tailbone on the fall as well, he's planning on playing against Washington. "It's tournament time," Hobson said. "It's not going to affect me." That's great news for the Lobos, who are trying to advance to their first Sweet 16 since the NCAA tournament went to at least 64 teams. Washington's Quincy Pondexter compared Hobson to Evan Turner, and coach Lorenzo Romar used him in the same sentence as Penny Hardaway. The Huskies hope to make their third Sweet 16 under Romar and count on Pondexter to carry them once again after the senior hit the game-winner against Marquette. Look for New Mexico's Dairese Gary and Washington's Isaiah Thomas to square off, and also watch for the Huskies' Elston Turner, who hit four huge 3-pointers to spark the first-round comeback.