Sweet 16 Bracket
The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament has come to a conclusion. While that is considered the most exciting four days of basketball each year, there are still four more days of entertainment coming up for the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight. I’m going to go through each region and list which teams are left standing, while also previewing every matchup. Need a Sweet 16 bracket to download or print? Pick one up here.
This has been the craziest region of them all up to this point. While No. 1 Florida and No. 4 UCLA were expected to get through, both No. 11 Dayton and No. 10 Stanford came out of nowhere.
The Gators have posted two double-digit victories over both Albany (67-55) and Pittsburgh (61-45). They will take on the Bruins, who have been dominant themselves in beating Tulsa (76-59) and Stephen F. Austin (77-60).
The Flyers have the two most impressive wins of the entire big dance. They topped Ohio State (60-59) and Syracuse (55-53) to get here. They hope to keep their magic going against Stanford, which also posted a pair of nail-biter wins over New Mexico (58-53) and Kansas (60-57).
The West Region hasn’t had too many surprises. Three of the top four seeds are through in No. 1 Arizona, No. 2 Wisconsin and No. 4 San Diego State, and they’ll be joined by No. 6 Baylor.
The Wildcats struggled against Weber State (68-59) before destroying Gonzaga (84-61). They’ll stay out on the West Coast to face San Diego State, which has beaten New Mexico State (73-69) in overtime and North Dakota State (63-44) to get here.
Wisconsin thumped American (75-35) before needing to erase a double-digit second-half deficit to beat Oregon (85-77). It will square off against Baylor, which has been might impressive in wins over Nebraska (74-60) and Creighton (85-55).
The East Region has been very quiet as well. No. 1 Virginia, No. 3 Iowa State and No. 4 Michigan State are through. No. 7 Connecticut pulled off the only upset with its win over No. 2 Villanova to join these other top seeds.
Virginia was a bit shaky against Coastal Carolina (70-59) in the opener, needing to rally from a first-half deficit before destroying Memphis (78-60). It will face Michigan State, which has beaten Delaware (93-78) and Harvard (80-73).
Iowa State made easy work of NC Central (93-75) before hitting a game-winner just before the buzzer against North Carolina (85-83). It takes on Connecticut, which has had a tough route to get here with victories against St. Joseph’s (89-81) in overtime and second-seed Villanova (77-65).
This is the other region that has seen a ton of surprises. No. 2 Michigan and No. 4 Louisville are through, but they’ll be joined by No. 8 Kentucky and No. 11 Tennessee. No. 3 Duke was upset by Mercer and No. 1 Wichita State was beaten by Kentucky.
In perhaps the juiciest matchup of the entire Sweet 16 due to the rivalry, Louisville will square off against Kentucky. The Cardinals did not look good against Manhattan (71-64) before exploding to a win over Saint Louis (66-51). The Wildcats topped Kansas State (56-49) and Wichita State (78-76) in a thriller.
The Wolverines have been dominant in wins over Wofford (57-40) and Texas (79-65) to back up their regular season title in the Big Ten. They take on Tennessee, which has had to beat three teams in Iowa (78-65, OT), UMass (86-67) and Mercer (83-63) to get here.
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- Denver Nuggets at Memphis Grizzlies NBA Picks and Predictions for 1/29/15
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