Worst Sweet 16 Odds Among Teams With Avg Proj. Seed Under 4
Likewise, No11 San Diego State has played some excellent defense lately. This Thursday night game could be one of the best of the first round. Ohio State v South Dakota State. Some more possible upset magic. The seed Jackrabbits fittingly play an up tempo game, averaging Against a fifth-seeded Buckeyes side that looked vulnerable down the stretch, an upset could be in the stars.
Gonzaga will fall early. Last year the Zags finally made a Final Four , going all the way to the title game. The same will not happen this year. Gonzaga has had their share of early exits over the years and this will be another one.
Gonzaga makes the Final Four again. After finally making it to the national title game last year, the Bulldogs went this season and are on a game winning streak. So they were rewarded with Watch out for a balanced Bulldogs side. Xavier becomes the first No1 seed to fall. Perhaps not so bold given the lack of collective confidence around the Musketeers nationally, but an all-Catholic school clash with Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 is where their dream season will end.
The national champion from two years ago is as talented as any team in the country and plays together beautifully. Villanova is for real. After stumbling through the month of February and losing three of its four games on the season, the No1 seed Wildcats seem to have found their footing again, winning five games in a row and by an average of 15 points per game. Jay Wright has built something special on the Main Line.
Late in the Big 12 season, West Virginia stumbled and slipped to a five seed, but this is a dangerous team. The Mountaineers have an aggressive backcourt with experienced players who love to grind through games. Nobody likes to face teams coached by Bob Huggins in the postseason, especially the way they play defense. This one is no exception. Jon Elmore is the kind of player who can carry teams on Cinderella runs if he gets hot. The junior guard averages nearly eight three-point attempts per game and hit on 7-of in the Conference USA title game.
More of that in the tournament could see the seed Thundering Herd make noise. Florida has a six seed and plays the winner of a play-in game on Thursday but their draw is a challenging one. The Gators are a talented but live and die by the three-pointer.
They will either face a resilient, senior-dominated St Bonaventure or a UCLA team that is good enough to beat anyone when shooting well. West Virginia v Murray State. The Racers are on a game winning streak while the 5-seed Mountaineers have dropped half of their last 18 games after starting the season Wichita State v Marshall.
The Shockers, typically on the friendly end of March Madness upsets, will find themselves in the Goliath role against the fast-paced Thundering Herd, who average Purdue dominated the Big 10 for much of the season but this is not necessarily an NCAA tournament team. At least one No13 seed has beaten a No4 in 23 of the last 33 tournaments. No matter where Duke is seeded they are always the team to beat in any bracket.
Until Duke loses, the region will be considered theirs to lose. The Spartans went in a Power Five conference, have Tom Izzo and all that tournament pedigree, and yet were given just a 4-seed.
Look for them to flip the outcome against the 2-seed Blue Devils in the Sweet The likely Sweet 16 showdown with Michigan State is dripping with game of the tournament potential.
Dan Hurley is undoubtedly coaching his final games at Kinston. He will be moving somewhere big very soon. His teams are aggressive, play great defense and make opponents do silly things when passing the ball. But can the Rams beat Duke? Rhode Island got a terrible second game draw. Head coach Earl Grant is being mentioned as a candidate for open Power Five jobs for good reason. The Cougars open against a struggling Auburn team that has lost four of six.
Clemson v New Mexico State. Clemson can shoot and that makes the Tigers, seeded fifth, dangerous. But the 12th seed New Mexico State has a tremendous shooter of their own in Zach Lofton and the Aggies are an excellent defensive team. This game screams upset. Cincinnati and Texas Tech: And to the city of Cincinnati, I swear I harbor no ill will, and am in fact wearing a Rhinegeist T-shirt as I type this.
Perhaps I should apologize to the entire state of Ohio. The Tigers play fast and with a youthful confidence, and their defense is trending in the right direction. The defending champs have not proven to be very trustworthy, losing home games to Wofford and North Carolina State even while beating Duke, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Clemson, among others.
Quickly There's no shortage of good teams in college basketball, but only so many squads have a real shot at winning it all. In keeping with SI tradition, here's a list of eight teams from which the eventual national champion will emerge, plus a breakdown of why the other top teams will fall short. By Dan Greene February 14, Michigan State , Big Ten. Sign Up for our Newsletter Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!
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