Reseeding the field: Ranking teams remaining for Sweet 16
How do the remaining 16 teams stack up? Here's a look, as we rank them 1-16.
Well, that was a tremendous 84 hours or so of basketball – and another 24 if you count the First Four matchups. We had three 12-seeds knock off 5-seeds, we saw a two-seed and a three-seed go down, and now we have a No. 15 seed in the Sweet 16, too. It’s also time to rethink our pre-tournament analysis of the teams; did the Round of 64 and Round of 32 change the pecking order of the Final Four contenders? Let’s take a look.
1. Louisville Cardinals : Picked by nearly a third of online brackets, the Cardinals have done nothing to dissuade people that they are the favorite. They also can’t complain much about a Sweet 16 matchup against Oregon Ducks .
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2. Indiana Hoosiers : The Hoosiers might have been the most complete team heading into the tourney, and they showed something by winning a slow, physical game against Temple Owls . Syracuse Orange is next.
3. Duke Blue Devils : We still haven’t seen a perfect 40 minutes from the Blue Devils yet in the NCAA tournament, but we’ve also seen two relatively easy wins. If Duke is hitting on all cylinders, look out.
4. Michigan State Spartans : Tom Izzo was more than enough to get past Valparaiso Crusaders and Memphis Tigers , and now we get the Spartans against Duke in the best Sweet 16 game. Keith Appling is the key again.
5. Michigan Wolverines : Finally freed from the daily grind of the Big Ten, it looks like the Wolverines are hitting their stride once again. Kansas Jayhawks is the higher seed in the Sweet 16, but Michigan is playing better.
6. Florida Gators : Two games, two double-digit wins. The Gators haven’t had their late-game performance put to the test yet, and a Sweet 16 game against Florida Gulf Coast Eagles might be more of the same.
7. Kansas Jayhawks : There were three extremely unimpressive halves from the Jayhawks, then a dominant 20-minute performance against North Carolina Tar Heels . They need to bring it consistently against Michigan.
8. Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes : They beat Pacific Tigers easily, and then made plays late to avoid an upset against Illinois Fighting Illini . Are they playing the best of any team in the East Regional right now? It’s not out of the question.
9. Ohio State Buckeyes : The highest-seeded team let in the West regional, Ohio State escaped against Iowa State Cyclones to become the favorite. The target is now on the Buckeyes’ back; it will be interesting to see if anything changes.
10. Syracuse Orange : The Orange absolutely steamrolled Montana Grizzlies , before defeating California Golden Bears . Up next is Indiana, and the Orange have the defense and experience to get the win. But will they knock down shots?
11. Arizona Wildcats : The Wildcats took two upset-minded mid-major teams and gave them zero shot of pulling a win. They are now the second-highest seed in the West, and will have a crowd advantage.
12. Oregon Ducks : Out to prove they were massively underseeded as a No. 12 seed, the Ducks handled Oklahoma State Cowboys State" data-canon="Oklahoma Sooners" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> and Saint Louis Billikens fairly easily. Louisville is a completely different test.
13. Marquette Golden Eagles : The Golden Eagles came back to beat Davidson Wildcats in the final seconds, then held off Butler Bulldogs in the last minute to advance to the Sweet 16. They need to play consistently for 40 minutes.
14. Wichita State Shockers : The Shockers were the lone team to knock off a No. 1 seed this weekend, defeating Gonzaga Bulldogs with an outstanding late run. La Salle Explorers is standing in the way of the Elite Eight.
15. Florida Gulf Coast Eagles : After what we’ve seen from the Eagles this week, it’s impossible to put them at No. 16. The first No. 15 seed to ever reach the Sweet 16, it’s a tremendous story.
16. La Salle Explorers : The Explorers won three games in five days, and they might have a favorable matchup on the perimeter with Wichita State. But can they handle the big guys of the Shockers?
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