March Madness Sweet 16 Preview

March Madness Sweet 16 Preview

by March 23, 2022 0 comments

After an eventful opening two rounds full of awe and disappointment, we now make our way to the Sweet 16. The first weekend was headlined by several major upsets including the elimination of the number one seeded Baylor Bears, in addition to the Kentucky Wildcats and the Auburn Tigers. All three squads entered the tournament at a high seed foreseeing an easy path onto the next round. However, their opponents saw differently.

As we overlook the upcoming schedule for the Sweet 16, while the seeding may seem disproportionate, many of these squads have proven their determination. From the Cinderella story Saint Peter’s Peacocks to the hounding Miami Hurricane defense. One key matchup which is highly anticipated will be the Texas Tech vs. Duke contest. Both squads have turned up the heat as of late. Of course, we also have the number one seed. Gonzaga is a +200 championship title favorite heading into their matchup with Arkansas on Thursday. Now, we will delve into the outlook of each matchup and determine who will retain a spot for the Elite Eight.

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Arkansas (4) vs. Gonzaga (1)

Date: Thursday, March 24

Time: 7:09 pm

Where to Watch: CBS

Spread: Arkansas +9 (-110) Gonzaga -9 (-110)

MoneyLine: Arkansas +350 Gonzaga -475

Over/Under: Over 154.5 (-110) Under 154.5 (-110)

After grooving through the first two rounds, Arkansas will now face the overpowering Gonzaga Bulldogs. Led by forward Drew Timme and 19-year-old Chet Holmgren, the Bulldogs are ready to strike. After a tight contest with the Memphis Tigers, the Bulldogs proved their toughness and versatility. On the opposing side, the Razorbacks spotlight consists of forward Jaylin Williams and guard JD Notae. Both Williams and Notae brought their A-game assuring the Razorbacks to victory. Tipoff set for 7:09 pm, this matchup will be quite amusing.

Projected Winner: Gonzaga

Houston (5) vs. Arizona (1)

Date: Thursday, March 24

Time: 9:59 pm

Where to Watch: TBS

Spread: Houston +1 (+100) Arizona -1 (-120)

MoneyLine: Houston +105 Arizona -125

Over/Under: Over 145 (-110) Under 145 (-110)

After a wild ending to the TCU vs. Arizona contest, the Wildcats are stoked for their next matchup. In a game that concluded in overtime, the Wildcats were carried by stars Christian Koloko and Bennedict Mathurin. The young studs provided the Wildcat offense and guided them to victory as Mathurin put up 30 points along with Koloko’s 28. Shifting to Houston, the Cougars haven’t had much of an issue as of late. Although facing the seemingly fierce Illinois Fighting Illini, the Cougars outmatched Illinois in all aspects on the court. With Houston a five-seed, and Arizona the one-seed, many may believe this to be an obvious outcome. However, Houston has blown past their opponents and will put up a fight before anything is determined.

Projected Winner: Arizona

Providence (4) vs. Kansas (1)

Date: Friday, March 25

Time: 7:29 pm

Where to Watch: TBS

Spread: Providence +7.5 (-110) Kansas -7.5 (-110)

MoneyLine: Providence +280 Kansas -365

Over/Under: Over 141.5 (-110) Under 141.5 (-110)

After a three-point show vs. Richmond, the Friars now prepare for the menacing Kansas Jayhawks. The Friars, led by big man Nate Watson and guard Aljami Durham, have cruised their way to the Sweet 16. On the other side of the ball, the Jayhawks faced a bit more adversity in a nail bitter with the Creighton Bluejays. In a back and forth contest, the Jayhawks landed a seven-point victory steered by Remy Martin‘s key 20-point game. Both squads enter the Sweet 16 with much to take pride in. However, at the end of the day, there is only one winner.

Projected Winner: Kansas 

Texas Tech (3) vs. Duke (2)

Date: Thursday, March 24

Time: 9:39 pm

Where to Watch: CBS

Spread: Texas Tech -1 (-110) Duke +1 (110)

MoneyLine: Texas Tech -115 Duke -105

Over/Under: Over 137 (-110) Under 137 (-110)

While void of a star to rave about, the Texas Tech Red Raiders are built off of experience. With a veteran starting five, the Red Raiders have performed quite well despite the lack of high-caliber talent. In their win against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Red Raiders hounded their opponents. Forcing 11 turnovers along with eight steals, the Red Raiders pounced on every opportunity. Duke, on the other hand, has no problem conveying their talent. From future NBA prodigy Paolo Banchero to big man Mark Williams. In the game prior, against the Michigan State Spartans, Banchero supplied the Blue Devil offense with 19 points on seven boards. Banchero is a major asset to the Blue Devils, and his performance will be crucial in the upcoming matchup.

Projected Winner: Duke

Michigan (11) vs. Villanova (2)

Date: Thursday, March 24

Time: 7:29 pm

Where to Watch: TBS

Spread: Michigan +4.5 (-110) Villanova -4.5 (-110)

MoneyLine: Michigan +175 Villanova -210

Over/Under: Over 135.5 (-110) Under 135.5 (-110)

Despite the uncertainty, the Michigan Wolverines have overcome the impossible. As an 11-seed, Juwan Howard and his boys didn’t expect to get passed the second round. They battled two resilient teams and proved all the haters wrong, embodied by 7’1″ center Hunter Dickinson and guard Eli Brooks. Villanova, constructed around guard Collin Gillespie, have rolled their way to the Sweet 16. After cruising towards victory in the first round, Villanova didn’t have much of an issue in the second round either. Up against E.J. Liddell and his Ohio State Buckeyes, the Wildcats were deemed victorious. While Villanova seems to be the favorite, Michigan has done the unimaginable and the Madness of March can take effect at any moment.

Projected Winner: Villanova

Saint Peter’s (15) vs. Purdue (3)

Date: Friday, March 25

Time: 7:09 pm

Where to Watch: CBS

Spread: Saint Peter’s +12.5 (-110) Purdue -12.5 (-110)

MoneyLine: Saint Peter’s +650 Purdue -1000

Over/Under: Over 135.5 (-110) Under 135.5 (-110)

The 2022 cinderella story pertaining to the Saint Peter’s Peacocks has been the headline of March Madness. A mid-level college located in New Jersey, the Peacocks have come from the abyss. With Doug Edert and KC Ndefo leading the pack, the Peacocks have made a statement for many other mid-major colleges. On the Purdue side, the Boilermakers faced a blood-thirsty Texas Longhorn squad consisting of star point guard Marcus Carr. Thankfully, the Boilermakers matched the Longhorns and culminated in a victory. Guided by Trevion Williams‘ 22-point night, the Boilermakers seemed to have the edge throughout the contest.

Projected Winner: Purdue

North Carolina (8) vs. UCLA (4)

Date: Friday, March 25

Time: 9:39 pm

Where to Watch: CBS

Spread: North Carolina +2 (-110) UCLA -2 (-110)

MoneyLine: North Carolina +110 UCLA -130

Over/Under: Over 142.5 (-110) Under 142.5 (-110)

After knocking off Marquette in the first round, North Carolina was set to face the number-one-seeded Baylor Bears. In a matchup that seemed lopsided, North Carolina came in with a ton of momentum. Forcing the Bears into overtime, the Tar Heels came through when it mattered most. Guard RJ Davis and forward Brady Manek (before his ejection) were the forces that supplied the Tar Heel offense. Their upcoming opponent, the UCLA Bruins, has some smack to display as well. The Bruins have a powerhouse of talent consisting of Johnny Juzang, Tyger Campbell, Jules Bernard, and Jaime Jaquez Jr. While UCLA struggled to obtain victory over Akron, they stomped over the St. Mary’s Gaels to set aside a spot for the Sweet 16.

Projected Winner: UCLA

Iowa State (11) vs. Miami (10)

Date: Friday, March 25

Time: 9:59 pm

Where to Watch: TBS

Spread: Iowa State +2.5 (-105) Miami -2.5 (-115)

MoneyLine: Iowa State +120 Miami -140

Over/Under: Over 133.5 (-110) Under 133.5 (-110)

One of the more shocking matchups of the Sweet 16, Iowa State and Miami were undervalued by many. Iowa State, led by guards Izaiah Brockington and Gabe Kalscheur, generated two massive upsets over LSU and Wisconsin. Kalscheur, a guard from Minnesota, was electric in the second round. While his teammates struggled from the field, Kalscheur was on fire and provided 22 points. Miami, a defensive-minded team, knocked off two championship contenders. Up against USC and Auburn, the Hurricanes had no problem sweeping them off their feet. Aided by Isaiah Wong and Kameron McGusty, the Hurricanes knocked off Jabari Smith and his Tigers. Both of these squads have proven their capability and will go head-to-head to obtain a slot in the Elite Eight.

Projected Winner: Miami


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