After a wild weekend with many upsets, the second week up the NCAA tournament is upon us. The Sweet Sixteen is filled with teams scattered all over the bracket. From multiple one seeds to a fifteen seed, close games and heartbreak are a given. Nothing compares to the intensity that March Madness brings, and in the third round, it is all displayed. As the Sweet Sixteen inches closer, let’s look at what bets and upsets will hit this week.
Make sure to check out all of our other March Madness content.
Michigan (+5) vs. Villanova
Michigan came into the tournament as an underdog but after the first weekend, they have become a contender. The Wolverines are coming into this week with two impressive had fought wins, and that momentum will be dragged with them to San Antonio on Thursday. Michigan’s backcourt has to be ready to get bombed on. If Villanova can get their offense rolling, it could cause problems for the Wolverines. On the other hand, Villanova’s defense has not been special either. They have struggled against big teams and Hunter Dickinson will be a problem for them. Even if the Wildcats move on Thursday, Michigan will keep the game close, and cover the five points.
Best Bet: Michigan (+5)
North Carolina (+2.5) vs. UCLA
One of the best games of the week is UNC vs. UCLA. Carolina is coming off an upset against the one-seed Baylor, while the Bruins blew out Saint Mary’s last Saturday. Even though the Tar Heels blew their 25-point lead against Baylor, they still have looked like a top seed this March. Brady Manek has been a star, and Armando Bacot has complemented him very well in the paint. North Carolina’s biggest weakness all season was their defense, but their defense has shown major improvement this month. In their last three games, their opponent’s shooting average has dropped about seven percent. UCLA will give UNC their toughest game all month, but Hubert Davis and Co. have it in them to end the Bruins season.
Best Bet: Noth Carolina (+2.5)
Iowa State vs. Miami (-2.5)
Miami showed up to play in March. The Hurricanes had a very impressive win against Auburn beating them by almost 20. On the other hand, Iowa State played the best defense all tournament long against Wisconsin. Throughout the history of March Madness, having well-experienced guards has always proven to work. Miami has exactly that. Led by Charlie Moore and Isaiah Wong, the Canes have an experienced and talented backcourt duo. Jim Larranaga is ready for a challenge in Chicago, and there’s no doubt that Miami will be playing over the weekend.
Best Bet: Miami (-2.5)
Saint Peter’s (+12.5) vs. Purdue
The Peacocks have no doubt been the best story this march. They are only the third 15th seed to reach the second weekend in NCAA tournament history. Saint Peter’s is a scrappy and tough team, and nothing less should be expected from them against Purdue. Shaheen Hollaway built a roster that is not scared to put it all on the line. Likewise, he knows there is nothing to lose for his team. The Peacocks proved to themselves and the world that they are able to compete with the bluebloods and keeping this game in single digits is expected from them.
Best Bet: Saint Peter’s (+12.5)
Follow Sam Singer on Twitter @samsinger__
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images