Two rounds down, four to go. With the Sweet 16 just about starting, let’s take a look back at the Rounds of 64 and 32 and the biggest storylines of those games.
1) Not the year to be a Cinderella
If you picked the chalk for your bracket this year, it’s probably doing very well. 14 of the 16 remaining teams are a 1-4 seed, including all 4 one seeds, two seeds, and three seeds. Only one double digit seed, Oregon has made it far enough to see the last 16, and in the round of 32, the only lower seed to lose was #4 Kansas to #5 Auburn.
2) Very quiet March for Kansas schools
Last season, we saw 3 Kansas schools in the tournament, KU, Kansas State, and Wichita State. Wichita State had a disappointing run, getting upset in the first round, but the other two schools had big runs. Kansas State made the Elite 8, including a big upset over the favorite Kentucky, and KU made the Final 4. This year, it was a whole different story. Wichita State missed the tournament completely, and Kansas State got embarrassed in the first round to a 13 seed. Kansas won their first game pretty easily, but were embarrassed against Auburn, leaving no Kansas schools left in the tournament.
3) Is there really a clear cut favorite?
This tournament, there really hasn’t been a team that has been dominant in both games, making a point that it’s anyone’s tournament to win. For the one seeds, Duke needed a last second shot to even make it to the next round, Virginia trailed for a large chunk of the game to a 16 seed before pulling away, UNC trailed at half to Iona, and Gonzaga kept it close with Baylor. For the twos, Michigan State traded leads with the 15 seed until the very end, Tennessee needs overtime to get a victory in the second round, and Kentucky only won by 6 against a Wofford team whos best player couldn’t make a shot. The only two teams in this tournament who have looked pretty flawless are Michigan and Purdue. These next few weeks should be filled with great action.