The second weekend of the NCAA Tournament separates the contenders from the pretenders.
Some of the remaining teams may have benefited from favorable draws, but at this stage of the competition, nobody is flying under the radar. With the Final Four just two wins away, the attention is greater - and so are the stakes.
In the absence of March Madness, let's relive some of the most memorable Sweet 16 matchups:
Just over 30 years ago, Georgia Tech star Kenny Anderson hit one of the most controversial shots in NCAA Tournament history. With five seconds remaining and Michigan State up 75-73, Spartans guard Steve Smith misfired on the front end of a 1-and-1, opening the door for the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech secured the rebound off the miss and immediately got the ball to Anderson, who quickly weaved his way upcourt. As time expired, the All-American guard knocked down a pull-up jumper from the fringes of the 3-point arc.
One official ruled Anderson's shot a triple, but the other signaled a 2-pointer. After a short deliberation, the referees agreed Anderson's foot was on the 3-point line. But that shouldn't have been the first topic of discussion. Instant replay appeared to show Anderson still had the ball in his hand as the buzzer sounded. Since officials were unable to review such plays at the time, the call on the floor stood. The basket was good.
Georgia Tech eventually prevailed 81-80 in overtime to book its spot in the Elite Eight. Even after a successful 14-year NBA career, Smith still thinks about that encounter three decades later.
"My whole basketball career, there are about five games or five memories that I just can't get out of my head," Smith recently told Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal. "The Georgia Tech game is one of them for sure."
Michigan star Trey Burke had one of his finest moments in a Wolverines uniform and one of his most forgettable ones all in the same game. The Big Ten Player of the Year looked anything but during the first half of Michigan's Sweet 16 showdown against Kansas, going scoreless on four field-goal attempts while coughing up the ball three times.
Despite Burke's struggles, the Wolverines trailed by just six points at halftime. The 6-foot guard came out of the locker room looking like himself, scoring eight consecutive points early in the second half. But Kansas quickly seized momentum back and soon looked to have the game out of reach, leading by 14 with 6:49 remaining.
Even as Michigan cut into the deficit, the Jayhawks maintained an eight-point advantage heading into the final 1:22. Yet none of that diminished the fighting spirit of the Maize and Blue. Burke scored eight more points during a 14-4 Wolverines run to close out regulation, including a heart-stopping triple from way beyond the arc to force overtime.
Burke added five more points in the extra frame as Michigan hung on to upset top-seeded Kansas and reach its first Elite Eight since the Fab Five era.
The 2010 NCAA Tournament wasn't short on theatrics. The Sweet 16 contest between Kansas State and Xavier marked the fifth overtime tilt of the competition to that point and the second to require double overtime. The Wildcats, who were seeking their first Elite Eight appearance since 1988, had already beat the Musketeers 71-56 earlier in the season.
But the rematch was a far different story. There were 17 lead changes and 13 ties as the teams traded shots down the stretch. With five seconds remaining in regulation and Xavier trailing 72-69, Musketeers guard Terrell Holloway was fouled on a 3-point attempt, leading to the game-tying free throws and the first overtime period.
A nearly identical scenario occurred in the opening five minutes of overtime. This time, Xavier knotted up the score on an insane 35-foot triple from Jordan Crawford, who finished the game with a career-high 32 points. The back-and-forth affair was finally decided in the final minute of double overtime when Kansas State's Jacob Pullen drilled his sixth shot from deep with 35 seconds left, putting the sixth-seeded Musketeers away for good.
Duke's 2002 squad may be one of the best teams to never win a national championship. The Blue Devils rolled to a 26-3 regular-season record before capturing the ACC Tournament title. Led by the trio of Jay Williams, Carlos Boozer, and Mike Dunleavy, the team boasted the nation's second-highest-scoring offense (89.7 points per game) and second-best field-goal percentage (49.8%) during the regular season.
Indiana, meanwhile, carried a 19-10 record into the postseason and must have been pretty satisfied just to reach the Sweet 16. The Hoosiers entered the game as double-digit underdogs, and it showed during certain stretches as the Blue Devils went up as many as 17 points.
With 12 minutes to go, Indiana began to slice into a 14-point deficit. Hoosiers forward Jared Jeffries started to put his stamp on the game, winning the battle on the offensive glass. Indiana also got some unlikely help from sophomore guard A.J. Moye, who scored 14 points in 17 minutes off the bench and had a momentum-changing block on Boozer.
All of a sudden, Indiana found itself up by four points with 11.1 seconds left. But Duke wouldn't go away quietly. On the next possession, Williams, the national player of the year, was fouled after burying a triple. He missed the game-tying free throw, which fell right into the hands of Boozer - who somehow botched the go-ahead putback at the rim.
Legendary play-by-play commentator Gus Johnson has been behind the mic for some of the greatest moments in NCAA Tournament history, including Gonzaga's upset win over Florida in the 1999 edition. But Johnson's call for the Bulldogs' Sweet 16 meeting against UCLA in 2006 is one Zag Nation surely wishes it could forget.
Gonzaga looked set to reach the Elite Eight for the first time since its Cinderella run seven years prior. The Bulldogs had controlled the entire matchup, pushing their lead to as many as 17 points.
But everything that could go wrong for Gonzaga went wrong.
First-team All-American Adam Morrison missed his last three field-goal attempts, while his teammates committed a multitude of turnovers down the stretch - one of which led to the game-winning basket. With the Bulldogs up 71-62 late in the second half, UCLA scored 11 unanswered points in the final 3:13 to steal the victory.
Johnson's infamous "Heartbreak City" line after a Bruins steal in the dying seconds couldn't have captured the moment any better. A devastated Morrison struggled to keep his emotions in check, and shortly thereafter lay on the court in tears following the final buzzer.