Favorites To Make The Sweet 16
With the NCAA Tournament in full swing, it never hurts to take a look at possible Sweet 16 matchups. Will any of the four top seeds fall before making it to their regional semifinals? What double-digit seed has the best chance at pulling of what Tennessee did a year ago? Let’ take a look.
Last year, Tennessee had to win a play-in game to earn an 11th seed in the tourney. The Vols went on to advance to the Sweet 16. While that may not happen this year, there are a few true Cinderellas awaiting their glass slipper.
ESPN Expert Picks
In the West Region, Georgia State pulled of a shocker in the Second Round with a 57-56 win over No. 3 seed Baylor. R.J. Hunter, son of the Panther’s head coach, averages nearly 20 points a game and scored the game-winner against Baylor. Georgia State will face sixth-seeded Xavier in the Third Round, another very winnable game.
Others to advance in the West include top seed Wisconsin, No. 2 Arizona, and No. 4 seed North Carolina, which received a scare from Harvard in its first game of the tournament.
March Madness Brackets & Predictions
In the South Region, top seeded Duke will advance to the Sweet 16 along with No. 2 Gonzaga, but beyond that, this could be the region where some upsets occur. No. 11 UCLA will face No. 14 UAB in a Third Round game with one of the two moving on to the regional semifinal. While many thought Georgetown and Utah would struggle in their opening games, both teams advanced and their Third Round game is a toss-up.
Villanova has exited the tournament early the past few years, not making it past the Round of 32. Don’t expect that to happen again. The Wildcats will advance to the Sweet 16 along with Virginia. The surprise in the region could come from No 5 Northern Iowa, which features one of the nation’s best in 6-8 Seth Tuttle. The Panthers would have to get past Louisville and in the bottom half of the bracket a team like Providence or Dayton could surprise the No. 3 seed Oklahoma. The Big 12 has not fared too well thus far in the tournament.
Kentucky will surely make the Sweet 16 in the Midwest Region as should No. 2 Kansas and No. 3 Notre Dame. Can No. 4 Maryland and No. 5 West Virginia win their first games? Buffalo, the No. 12 seed, is a team many have picked to upset the Mountaineers and Valparaiso is no stranger to NCAA tourney upsets. It will be interesting to see if Maryland can make it out and into the Sweet 16.