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2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Sweet 16 Become Final Four This Weekend

The NCAA Basketball tournament resumes play this evening, and while things haven't been great for the Big Ten Conference thus far, it could be worse. . .they could be the Big East. After all, the Big Ten and the Big East both have two of their teams in the Sweet 16, which is exactly the same number as that college basketball hotbed of Richmond, Virginia (they boast both the Richmond Spiders and the Virginia Commonwealth Rams), but while the Big Ten had their ranks narrowed to two teams from seven, the Big East started with a whopping 11 teams, and now has just the Connecticut Huskies and the Marquette Golden Eagles still playing basketball.

Big Ten action will get underway tonight in the Southeast region, as the Wisconsin Badgers take on one of the tournament's Cinderellas, the Butler Bulldogs. Butler, of course, got here by shocking the Southeast's number one seed, the Pittsburgh Panthers, last weekend in one of the wackiest closing sequences you'll ever see. They're the eighth seed in the Southeast, and the Badgers are the number four seed. The winner of this one will meet the winner of tonight's other Southeastern Regional game between the Florida Gators and the BYU Cougars on Saturday.

Tip-off for Wisconsin and Butler is at 8:57 PM Central time, and you'll be able to watch the action on TBS, which is Channel 247 on your DirecTV box. Oh, and Gus Johnson will be the lead announcer for this one, so miss it at your own peril.

The Big Ten's other remaining representative is, of course, the Ohio State Buckeyes, the top seed in the East Region. They have what should be a great match-up tomorrow night against the Kentucky Wildcats in Newark, New Jersey. The Buckeyes have crushed their first two opponents, but will undoubtedly have a significantly tougher time against John Callipari's bunch. That game tips off at 8:45 PM Central time tomorrow night, and you'll be able to see it on your local CBS affiliate. The winner of that one will move on to the Elite Eight and a match-up with either the North Carolina Tarheels or the aforementioned Marquette Golden Eagles on Sunday afternoon.

We'll be tracking the Big Ten action here at SB Nation Minnesota, so keep it here for your previews, recaps, and so forth.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.