NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16 Power Rankings


Villanova heads to the Sweet 16

"Certainly we're going to have to be better, obviously, on Friday".

Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen.

One weekend of March Madness is done, and it's turned into March Mayhem. However, a 16 seed beat the 1 seed in the South, so anything is possible.

Kansas' Devonte' Graham fouls on Iowa State senior Nazareth Mitrou-Long during their game January 16 at Hilton Coliseum. The Retrievers' magical run may have ended quickly, but the darlings out of the American East did more than enough to solidify their place in NCAA history.

The Wildcats (26-10) followed their run to the Southeastern Conference Tournament title by surviving an upset bid from Davidson then beating Buffalo - which had upset fourth-seeded Arizona. The craziness continued a few hours later, when Donte Ingram of No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago hit a long three-pointer right before the final buzzer to beat No. 6 seed Miami and send his team into the Round of 32. An entire region left without a Top 4 seed in the Sweet 16 for the first time.

The Orange from Syracuse were up against No. 3 seed Michigan State, and one of the favorites by many experts, but with some key free throws and a last second miss by the Spartans, the Orange punched their tickets to the Sweet 16 with a two-point victory.

But the madness did not stop there.

Out: Two 1-seeds (Virginia and Xavier) and a pair of 2-seeds (North Carolina and Cincinnati).

The Gamecocks player calls accounted for more than 1,000 tickets sold. The Wildcats haven't been tested in wins over No. 16 Radford and No. 9 Alabama. Bridges also woke up and scored 22 second-half points, finishing 5-8 from three-point range.

One of the coolest things to watch is when people get behind the lower seeded schools and cheer for them as if it is their own university.

Correct. And four have pushed through to the Sweet 16, matching the most in one tournament during the conference's 22-year history. The only obstacles between the Wildcats and yet another Final Four appearance are Thursday's matchup against Kansas State and, if they emerge victorious from that, an Elite Eight contest against the victor of Nevada-Loyola-Chicago.

That said, the West bracket is the most competitive of the four, as it would not be hard to see Xavier, Gonzaga, or red hot MI make it out alive.

Nevada is a team without defined positions, sending out an interchangeable lineup that includes twins Cody and Caleb Martin and no player taller than 6-foot-7.

The Atlantic Coast Conference entered the Round of 64 with several legitimate contenders to emerge as national champions.

On the other side of the bracket, you have two No. 1 seeds (Villanova and Kansas), two No. 2 seeds (Duke and Purdue), one No. 3 seed (Texas Tech), two No. 5 seeds (West Virginia and Clemson) and one No. 11 seed (Syracuse). They take on No. 2 seed Duke who had no troubles in its 25-point victory over No. 7 seed Rhode Island.

The team spent an hour Thursday night calling season ticket holders who hadn't bought tickets yet for the first and second round in Columbia.

This might be the best game on the Sweet 16 schedule.

With the exception of Kentucky, which knows its way around Atlanta all too well, no one could've expected these teams to need directions to the NCAA's South Regional.

Midwest, Friday in Omaha, Neb.: No. 1 Kansas vs.

The most drama came courtesy of the South Region which appeared stacked with nearly a half dozen title contenders, including the bracket's top overall seed Virginia.

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