Most people expected the number one, two and three seeds to make it all the way to the Sweet 16, maybe even into the Final Four. Some teams have punched their ticket in and some have been sent home and made people all over the United States very upset. Not to mention, everybody’s brackets are done for. There are new teams that have replaced the top seeds in the tournament, and they will go up against some really tough opponents this week. Here are some games you should watch during the Sweet 16.
Kansas State vs. Kentucky
The Kansas State Wildcats played an outstanding game on Sunday, beating UMBC 50-43. Everyone thought that UMBC would shock the nation by pulling another upset on Kansas State, since they’d beaten the University of Virginia in the first round. Well, not this time. The Wildcats came out on top after a hard fought game.
They had to play without their starting Forward, Dean Wade who was dealing with a foot injury. At first, the Wildcats were off to a bad start; they committed 18 turnovers and were 1-for-12 from the three-point line. They also couldn’t capitalize off of UMBC’s missed shots in the second half. Kansas State’s guard, Barry Brown, had 18 points. Xavier Sneed had the highlight reel of the night with a massive dunk off of a rebound. He finished the game with eight points and seven rebounds.
The Wildcats are now in the Sweet 16, playing against the number five seed, the University of Kentucky, a team loaded with talent. They have two, young, amazing point guards that are going to be a threat in this tournament.
Loyola-Chicago vs. Nevada
No-one had expected for this team to make it into the Sweet 16 at all. Loyola survived both rounds, due to a buzzer beater against Miami and a bounce on the rim, into the hoop, against Tennessee. With three seconds left to spare, Clayton Custer made a jumper that was living on a prayer in order to beat the Volunteers, 63-62. The Ramblers are now facing the University of Nevada.
In order to beat the Wolf Pack, Loyola will have to play hard on defense. Nevada has an outstanding offense that makes at least around 40 percent of their three pointers. They rarely handed the ball over in the game against Cincinnati, during the first round of the tournament.
Michigan vs. Texas A&M
The Michigan Wolverines were able to beat the Houston Cougars on Sunday. They played outstanding defense against the Cougars, having Rob Gray on lock down during the first half. Fouls were a major problem in the second half for both teams. Houston’s forward, Breaon Brady was seated for the rest of the game due to foul trouble. Freshman, Jordan Poole, pulled a clean buzzer beater that shocked everyone in the arena, ending the game, with the score 64-63. Now Michigan will advance to the Sweet 16 as a number three seed, facing Texas A&M.
The Aggies have been dealing with a lot of injuries and suspensions this season. The future didn’t look bright for them during this whole tournament, but they proved everybody wrong. They’d shut down Providence in the first round and embarrassed the defending national champions, North Carolina, by 21 points in the second. If Texas A&M continues to play like this, they will have a one way ticket to the Final Four.
Florida State vs. Gonzaga
Florida State was another team that wasn’t supposed to make it this far into the tournament. The Seminoles’ future didn’t look promising at all, since they only won four of their last 10 games before the tournament. Now, they ruined everyone’s brackets by defeating Xavier, 75-70. They were behind 32-34 in the first half, but then Florida State started a rally down 12 points, during the last minutes of the second half. Nobody expected for Xavier to be eliminated in the second round of the tournament at all. Florida State will play Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 tournament.
The Bulldogs are now seeking to return to the championship for a second time and are planning to win it all. Due from the loss in the championship last year to North Carolina, this year’s team looks more promising than ever and more disciplined.
Clemson vs. Kansas
For the first time in 20 years, the Tigers had finally clinched a spot in the Sweet 16. With their powerhouse defense, Clemson has been on a roll, dominating New Mexico State, 79-68, in the first round and crushing Auburn, 84-53, in the second. The Tigers will face Kansas University in the tournament. The Jayhawks have also played very well during the first two rounds of the tournament, with the help of star center, Udoka Azubuike and senior guard Devonte Graham.
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