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NCAA basketball tourney Sweet Sixteen, NASCAR dirt race on weekend sports schedule

Cameron Krutwig (25) and the Loyola Ramblers battle Oregon State in the Sweet Sixteen of the 2021 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament at 2:40 p.m. EDT Saturday on CBS. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
1 of 3 | Cameron Krutwig (25) and the Loyola Ramblers battle Oregon State in the Sweet Sixteen of the 2021 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament at 2:40 p.m. EDT Saturday on CBS. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

March 26 (UPI) -- The Sweet Sixteen for the respective 2021 NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments highlights live sports action this weekend. The weekend sports slate also features a unique NASCAR dirt race in Bristol, Tenn.

Heavyweight Francis Ngannou also will challenge Stipe Miocic for his title belt in the main event of UFC 260 on Saturday in Las Vegas.

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Several men's soccer national teams will take the field around the globe Friday through Sunday in World Cup qualifiers. The NBA, PGA Tour and NHL regular seasons and MLB spring training also should provide plenty of entertainment for sports enthusiasts.

But college athletes own the spotlight for the next two weekends, with the men's basketball tournament in Indianapolis and the women's tournament in San Antonio.

Men's basketball tourney

Three of the four top seeds -- Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan -- remain in contention as the 2021 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament enters the Sweet Sixteen. The final 16 teams from the 68-team field battle in eight games on Saturday and Sunday for a chance to advance to the Elite Eight.

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No. 12 seed Oregon State takes on No. 8 Loyola in the first matchup of the weekend. That game tips off at 2:40 p.m. EDT Saturday and airs on CBS.

No. 1 Baylor faces No. 5 Villanova in the second game on Saturday's schedule at 5:15 p.m. EDT on CBS. No. 3 Arkansas then takes on Cinderella squad Oral Roberts, a No. 15 seed, at 7:25 p.m. EDT on TBS.

No. 2 Houston faces No. 11 Syracuse in Saturday's nightcap at 9:55 p.m. EDT on TBS.

No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga battles No. 5 Creighton in the first game of Sunday's Sweet Sixteen schedule. That game tips off at 2:10 p.m. EDT on CBS. No. 1 Michigan then faces No. 4 Florida State at 5 p.m. EDT on the same network.

The final two men's Sweet Sixteen matchups air Sunday on TBS. No. 2 Alabama first battles No. 11 UCLA at 7:15 p.m. EDT. No. 6 USC then faces No. 7 Oregon at 9:45 p.m. EDT.

Elite Eight games will be Monday and Tuesday on CBS and TBS.

Women's basketball tourney

All four No. 1 seeds -- South Carolina, UConn, Stanford and North Carolina State -- remain in the 2021 NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament.

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Women's Sweet Sixteen action also airs Saturday and Sunday on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2.

Star freshman Paige Bueckers and UConn battle No. 5 Iowa in the first Sweet Sixteen game at 1 p.m. EDT Saturday on ABC.

No. 2 Baylor then takes on No. 6 Michigan at 3 p.m. EDT Saturday on the same network. N.C. State faces No. 4 Indiana in the third game at 6 p.m. EDT Saturday on ESPN2.

No. 2 Texas A&M then plays No. 3 Arizona at 8 p.m. EDT Saturday on ESPN2.

Sunday's Sweet SIxteen schedule starts with South Carolina facing No. 5 Georgia Tech at 1 p.m. EDT on ABC. The next matchup features No. 1 overall seed Stanford against No. 5 Missouri State at 3 p.m. EDT Sunday on ABC.

The final two matchups of the women's Sweet Sixteen air Sunday on ESPN. No. 2 Louisville first battles No. 6 Oregon at 7 p.m. EDT. No. 2 Maryland then faces No. 6 Texas at 9 p.m. EDT.

The women's Elite Eight also airs Monday and Tuesday on ESPN.

Dirt race at Bristol

Drivers will start their engines and have a new challenge for the seventh race of NASCAR's Cup Series season at the Food City Dirt Race on Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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The iconic concrete oval facility will test the elite drivers as they loop a half-mile dirt course 250 times for 125 miles. The first Cup Series dirt race since 1970 starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT Sunday and airs on Fox.

Kyle Larson is a heavy favorite to cross the finish line first in his No. 5 Toyota.

Christopher Bell, Austin Dillon, Chase Briscoe and Chase Elliott are among the other top contenders. The starting grid for the Food City Dirt Race will be determined through four, 15-lap qualifying heats Saturday at Bristol.

Denny Hamlin leads the Cup Series standings through six races. Larson, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., and Brad Keselowski also rank inside the Top 5 in the Cup Series standings. Each Cup Series race this season has been won by a different driver.

NASCAR's Truck Series also features a dirt race this weekend. Those drivers compete in the 2021 Pinty's Truck Race on Dirt at 8 p.m. EDT Saturday on FS1.

Friday

MLB spring training

Nationals at Mets at 6:10 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

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NHL

Devils at Capitals at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

Ducks at Blues at 8 p.m. EDT on NHL Network

Jets at Flames at 10 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

NBA

Celtics at Bucks at 7:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN

Hawks at Warriors at 10 p.m. EDT on ESPN

Saturday

NCAA basketball Sweet Sixteen

Women's: No. 1 UConn vs. No. 5 Iowa at 1 p.m. EDT on ABC

Men's: No. 8 Loyal vs. No. 12 Oregon State at 2:40 p.m. EDT on CBS

Women's: No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 6 Michigan at 3 p.m. EDT on ABC

Men's: No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 5 Villanova at 5:15 p.m. EDT on CBS

Women's: No. 1 NC State vs. No. 4 Indiana at 6 p.m. EDT on ESPN2

Men's: No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts at 7:25 p.m. EDT on TBS

Women's: No. 2 Texas A&M vs. No. 3 Arizona at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN2

Men's: No. 2 Houston vs. No. 11 Syracuse at 9:55 p.m. EDT on TBS

MLB spring training

Blue Jays at Yankees at 1:05 p.m. EDT on MLB Network

Padres at Angels at 3:10 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

NHL

Golden Knights at Avalanche at 3 p.m. EDT on NHL Network

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Lightning at Hurricanes at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

Oilers at Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. EDT on NHL Network

Islanders at Penguins at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

Jets at Flames at 10 p.m. EDT on NHL Network

NASCAR Truck Series

Pinty's Truck Race on Dirt at 8 p.m. EDT Saturday on FS1.

NBA

76ers at Clippers at 10 p.m. EDT on NBATV

UFC 260 main card on ESPN+

Sean O'Malley vs. Thomas Almeida at 10 p.m. EDT

Tyron Woodley vs. Vicente Luque after first fight

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou after second fight

Sunday

NHL

Rangers at Capitals at noon EDT on NBC

Blue Jackets at Red Wings at 3 p.m. EDT on NBCSN

Devils at Bruins at 5:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN

Predators at Blackhawks at 8 p.m. EDT on NBCSN

NCAA basketball Sweet Sixteen

Women's: No. 1 South Carolin vs. No. 5 Georgia Tech at 1 p.m. EDT on ABC

Men's: No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 5 Creighton at 2:10 p.m. EDT on CBS

Women's: No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 5 Missouri State at 3 p.m. EDT on ABC

Men's: No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 4 Florida State at 5 p.m. EDT on CBS

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Women's: No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 6 Oregon at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN

Men's: No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 11 UCLA at 7:15 p.m. EDT on TBS

Women's: No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 6 Texas at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPN

Men's: No. 6 USC vs. No. 7 Oregon at 9:45 p.m. EDT on TBS

Soccer World Cup qualifiers

Norway vs. Turkey at 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN2

Czech Republic vs. Belgium at 3:45 p.m. EDT on ESPN2

MLB spring training

Yankees at Phillies at 1:05 p.m. EDT on ESPN+

Dodgers at Angels at 9:07 p.m. EDT on MLB Network

NASCAR Cup Series

Food City Dirt Race at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Fox

NBA

Hawks at Nuggets at 9 p.m. EDT on NBATV

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