The Sweet 16 is here! It may not be the teams that we thought, but nonetheless these are the 16 teams left competing for the NCAA Tournament. Of course, they will continue to have the seeds awarded on Selection Sunday. However, let’s look at what it might look like if we re-seeded them now.
Villanova – The Wildcats have had no trouble in their 1st two games. The Cats will have their first test against a strong West Virginia team on Friday. It should be one of the best games of the tournament.
Duke – Like Nova, the Blue Devils rolled past Rhode Island in the Round of 32. They will have to play an extremely defensively hot Syracuse team on Friday, but for now, Duke is looking strong.
Kansas – Kansas is playing so/so, but is one of two 1-seeds remaining, so it’s hard to knock them at this point. Seton Hall played them very tough, but the Jayhawks have yet to play a great game this tournament – it must be due soon.
Kentucky – Kentucky is rolling after winning the SEC Tournament. They’ve yet to play a team below a 12 seed so far, but the Wildcats just look like a 1-seed at the moment. Loyola is up next.
Michigan – Michigan wouldn’t be on this list if it weren’t for Jordan Poole’s shot against Houston. However, they also are playing fantastic basketball, and show no signs of slowing down. They got blessed by not having to play UNC, but Texas A&M will be a tough out.
West Virginia – The Mountaineers took down Murray State pretty easily, and followed it up with a blowout win over Marshall. Villanova will be a very tough win, but nonetheless West Virginia is playing great ball.
Purdue – Purdue has one big question mark with Isaac Haas. With that being said, they showed that they could win without him after defeating Butler on Sunday. The Boilermakers will need if back soon, but Texas Tech lacks a great big man, so they may be able to escape another round.
Gonzaga – The Zags were surrounded by many doubts entering the tournament, namely because they had very few quality wins to boast. However, after beating Ohio State on Saturday, those doubts were lifted, and Gonzaga is once again a serious contender.
Texas Tech – The only reason that Tech isn’t a 2-seed is because of their path to the Final Four. Wins against Purdue and Villanova/West Virginia seems pretty much impossible for anyone, let alone a team that lacks interior presence. With that being said, the Red Raiders avenged Stephen F. Austin and took down a very good Florida team. They are playing well, but the odds are against them.
Clemson – Like Tech, Clemson lacks a great big man, but because of injury. However, against Auburn, the Tigers could have played 5 guards and come away with the win. Their defense is playing fantastic, and their offense is as well. They will go as far as Marquise Reed will carry them at this point.
Texas A&M – A&M destroyed Carolina on Sunday. This is the A&M team that we all knew back in the beginning of the year, which will be very scary for Michigan.
Syracuse – Syracuse has the best defense left in this tournament, and also has one of the worst offenses left (Kansas State). They will also have to beat two straight opponents they played earlier this season (L to Duke, W over Clemson, L to Kansas).
Nevada – Nevada has scoring and defense, and this is why they’re the top 4-seed. They also beat Cincinnati, who was perhaps the best defensive team in the tournament (sorry UVA, gotta beat UMBC first). Time will tell for the Wolfpack.
Loyola – America’s team! The Ramblers will face off against Nevada for the battle of the best mid-major. As a basketball fan, I can’t wait.
Florida State – The Noles played great in the final minutes to upset Xavier in the round of 32. However, they lack the big time names as other teams left in the field. Guard play will determine their fate.
Kansas State – Kansas State would not be on this list if UMBC had made 2 more threes. With that being said, they still are, and technically still have a shot at winning it all. They are in the easiest bracket remaining, but are tasked with beating UK first.