So your bracket isn’t perfect any more. Don’t worry no one’s bracket is. Out of the millions of people who filled out brackets for ESPN or for Warren Buffett’s Quicken Loans Bracket Challenge, there is not a single person who has gotten every game right so far..guess Buffett’s $1 Billion is safe this year.
Well the Sweet 16 started Thursday and there are plenty of great games on deck. Let’s take a look at some of the teams still in the tournament.
The #1 Seeds
Let’s start at the top, there are 3 of the 4 #1 seeds still in the tournament. Wichita State was the only one to not advance to the Sweet 16 and I would say that is probably the one most people anticipated to go first. They were bounced by a #8 seed in Kentucky. The committee who determines the bracket definitely didn’t do the Shockers any favors by giving them the Wildcats for a second round match-up.
The bottom half of the South Region has been crazy. If you had both #10 seed Stanford and #11 seed Dayton matching up against each other, then you are a genius or a very good guesser. The two schools combined to knock of perennial powers like #2 Kansas and #3 Syracuse– They also took down Big 10 power #6 Ohio State and Mountain West champion #7 New Mexico.
#7 UConn turned a few heads in the East Region when they shocked old Big East rival #2 Villanova. Villanova had only lost four games all season, but UConn took care of business in order to advance to the Sweet 16.
#6 Baylor may not be a huge surprise since they are such a long and athletic team, but the Bears took the two teams from my home state to school in the first two rounds. The beat #11 Nebraska by 14 and the biggest surprise was not that they just beat #3 Creighton and the consensus National Player of the Year in Doug McDermott, but they smoked them. Creighton never had a chance and lost 85-55 with the best team Creighton has had in a long time.
#11 Tennessee has played one more game than everyone else. They started with a play-in game against Iowa. The rolled through Iowa and kept going knocking out #6 UMass. Then Tennessee was fortunate to not face #3 Duke in the second round because #14 Mercer pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament when they sent Duke packing in the first round. Tennessee was able to do what the Blue Devils couldn’t and beat Mercer advancing to the Sweet 16.
Teams to Watch For
The two #4 seeds that everyone loved were Michigan State and Louisville. Both teams are still alive and both have their work cut our for them in the Sweet 16. Michigan State will need to take down #1 seed Virginia and Louisville will have to take down a very talented in-state rival in #8 Kentucky. Kentucky has already beat Louisville once this year. So keep an eye on these two games. If the #4 seeds advance they may be on the way to meeting each other in the National Championship.