The third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament gets more intense with a top matchup on Saturday afternoon when the No. 1-seed Syracuse Orange (32-2) face the No. 8-seeded Kansas State Wildcats (22-10) at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
The tip off takes place at 12:15 p.m. ET. The game will be television on CBS.
If you're looking to watch the game online, it can be seen on March Madness On Demand, which shows every NCAA Men's Tournament game for a one-time payment of $3.99.
Coke Zero is offering free access to the March Madness stream if you sign up for Coke Zero texting alerts with standard text messaging rates applied. In order to get access to the free live stream, you text the number zero with your favorite team to 2653. After sending the text message, you should get a code to use at ncaa.com/cokezero.
Syracuse survived a scare against UNC Asheville, and will likely try to avoid a nail-biter against a Kansas State squad that has already knocked off some very good teams this season.
The Orange are led by Chris Joseph, a 6'7 senior who is considered a probable first round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Joseph, one of the only seniors in the rotation, shot only three-of-10 from the field on Thursday.
Guard Dion Waiters scored 12 points in the win over UNC Asheville, but converted just one-of-five three-pointers.
Key big man Fab Melo is out for the tournament, and his presence might be felt against Kansas State. Head coach Jim Boehim's squad are still considered the favorites to make the Final Four out of the East Region, but it could be a more difficult road than anticipated.
Kansas State defeated Southern Miss thanks to some late-game heroics by Angel Rodriguez. The freshman guard scored seven points in the final 130 seconds to deliver the second-round win.
The Wildcats are led by junior guard Rodney McGruder, who averages 15.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game on the season. On Thursday, McGruder lit up the scoreboard, hitting 11-of-16 shots and finishing with 30 points.
Head coach Frank Martin will need more than Angel Rodriguez's clutch performance, and McGruder's big night against a powerhouse like Syracuse. If the Wildcats buckle down on defense, they can come away with the upset win.
The winner of the game advances to the Sweet 16 to face the winner of the Vanderbilt-Wisconsin game on Thursday, in Boston.
PREDICTION: The Orange will put their sub-par performance behind them, and have a better effort against Kansas State. However, the Wildcats should feel confident with the inside presence of Melo gone, which should be an invitation to attack the hoop. This game will be close, but expect Syracuse to barely get by.
PREDICTED SCORE Syracuse over Kansas State, 66-65