The ‘Madness’ will resume this week as the Sweet 16 will get under way. It puts us one step closer to deciding who will be this year’s national champion. Let’s take a look at what each game has in store.
Thursday, March 27th:
3 Marquette vs. 2 Miami @ 7:15 PM ET CBS
A matchup between two teams that have been living on the edge in the tournament, Marquette continues to pull out close games in the late seconds and Miami had to hold off a scare against Illinois in its Round of 32 game. Vander Blue, for Marquette, and Shane Larkin, for Miami, lead this star-studded affair in this Sweet 16 game between Big East and ACC powers.
Ohio State rolls into this matchup on the hair of their chinny chin chin. Aaron Craft hit a game winning three with the clock winding down to escape Iowa State. They get their toughest task yet against Arizona who is playing the best basketball of their season right now. Although their wins are over an 11 and 14 seed, they have nonetheless been taking care of business. They get their first real test against Ohio State, let’s see if they are ready.
4 Syracuse vs. 1 Indiana @ 9:45 PM ET CBS
It’s a matchup of two traditional powerhouses in basketball. This should be one of the best games of the Sweet 16, many basketball stars will take to the court in this one. Syracuse’s James Southerland will lead his team against Victor Oladipo and Indiana. Can Syracuse hold off Indiana’s top scoring offense? To beat Indiana, Syracuse is going to have too. To cut down on the points from Indiana, Syracuse needs to take advantage of its ability to rebound to keep Indiana from getting second chance points. This will give Syracuse the best shot at knocking off the number 1 seed.
13 La Salle vs. 9 Wichita State @ 10:17 PM ET TBS
The matchup everyone will have their eyes on..Maybe. A matchup between a 9 and 13 seed doesn’t appear to be that exciting but these teams are legitimate and don’t let the seeding deter you from watching this game. La Salle’s own Tyrone Garland is just one of the many reasons to watch, an unknown star in the making that certainly is making his name known in this tournament. Wichita State, fresh off their win over the 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs have to have all the confidence in the world right now. Too hot teams, one great game. I can’t wait.
Friday, March 28th:
Another surprise of the bracket, PAC 12 Champ Oregon, taking on the “chalk” of the bracket. Louisville possesses talent all over which is going to make it an uphill battle for the Ducks to pull this one-off. But don’t count them out, that’s what people have been doing all year and they just keep proving us wrong. So just because it is a 12 vs. a 1 don’t flip away from this one, it could just be the next big upset in the tournament.
4 Michigan vs. 1 Kansas @ 7:37 PM ET CBS
A powerhouse matchup that is sure to bring the roof down Friday night. These two teams roll in playing their best basketball of the season. Led by Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan has been rolling through the tournament so far. Playing in the tough Big Ten has definitely prepared them for a game like this because they are certainly battle tested. They’ll be trying to take down a Kansas team that all though has faced a less daunting task than Michigan over the season, they are definitely one of the best in the country. Going to be a heavyweight fight for sure.
3 Michigan State vs. 2 Duke @ 9:45 PM ET CBS
A game of legendary coaches, Tom Izzo of Michigan State and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, going head to head trying to bolster their already impressive coaching resume. Duke has only lost one game playing with Ryan Kelly in the lineup and looks almost unbeatable at times, and Michigan State, from the mighty Big Ten, is out to prove they are one of the best in the land. Duke can really score but has trouble getting rebounds, where Michigan State is the opposite of that, so it’ll be interesting to see which team has the most success imposing their contrasting strengths.
15 Florida Gulf Coast vs. 3 Florida @ 9:57 PM ET TBS
To round out the Sweet 16, you got the most exciting team in the land against Florida. That’s right, FGCU has taken the country by storm by manhandling their first two opponents, Georgetown and SDSU, and just put on a show. Florida is out to make sure the clock strikes twelve on this Cinderella story, but they have got their hands full for sure. I would say it’s almost like Florida against the world, because let’s be honest, who isn’t pulling for the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast? An explosive team that has another daunting task facing another top team. Can FGCU do it again, or will Florida end their run?
However these games play out, it is sure to be an exciting Sweet 16 and full of lots of drama, we hope. I know I am ready to sit back and enjoy these games. Recap of the Sweet 16 will follow the round when it is all said and done. Who will advance to the Elite 8? We’ll have to watch it unfold to find out it. Let the madness continue.