NCAA Bracket 2012: Sweet 16 Day One Game Recaps

March Madness continued on Thursday with teams in the East and West region battling it out to advance to the regional finals. The city of Phoenix hosted two Sweet 16 games at US Airway center on Thursday with two lower seeds advancing to the Elite Eight. On the other side of the country, No. 1 Syracuse and No. 2 Ohio State came out on top and will face each other for a trip to the final four on Saturday.

West Region Results:

No. 4 Louisville Cardinals defeats No. 1 Michigan State Spartans, 57-44

In a game between two of the greatest college basketball coaches of all-time, Louisville's Rick Pitino got the best of Michigan State's Tom Izzo. Pitino's squad ousted the Spartans and Draymond Green behind stellar defense. The Cardinals 2-3 zone held the Spartans to 28.6 percent shooting from the field on 14-for-49 shooting.

No. 7 Florida Gators defeats No. 3 Marquette Golden Eagles, 68-58

After a gutsy win over Marquette, the Florida Gators are now in their second Elite Eight in a row and will be trying to make their fourth final four in the past 12 years. A 9-0 run to end the first half gave Florida their biggest lead of the game (six points) and after that the Gators stayed in control and came away with the victory.

East Region Results:

No. 1 Syracuse Orange defeats No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers, 64-63

The Orange lived to play another day in a game that came down to the final seconds. Syracuse's highly-touted zone defense tightened up in the game's final minutes after Wisconsin caught fire from the three-point line in the second half. Wisconsin only made one shot from the field in the final six minutes.

No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes defeats No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats, 81-66

Thursday's largest margin of victory goes to the Ohio State Buckeyes who came away with a 15-point win over state-rivals Cincinnati. Sophomore forward Deshaun Thomas played big for the Buckeyes and led all scorers with 26 points — 20 of them coming in the first half.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation Arizona's NCAA Tournament StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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