It’s the same thing every year, but it’s still hard to grasp just how quickly the NCAA Tournament unfolds. Just a week ago we were making our predictions on the field of 68 teams. Now we are down to the Sweet 16 and by this time next week we will know what teams will be headed to the Final Four.
NCAA Tournament Recap & Sweet 16 Preview
There was plenty of excitement over the first two rounds. Most notably, UMBC became the first ever number 16 seed to defeat a 1 seed with their upset of overall No. 1 Seed Virginia in the opening round. Other upsets of note included (13) Buffalo over (4) Arizona, (11) Loyola Chi. over (6) Miami, (13) Marshall over (4) Wichita St., and (11) Syracuse over (6) TCU.
The Round of 32 did not disappoint either. The second No. 1 seed to leave the tournament, Xavier, was upset by (9) Florida State, while 11 seeds Syracuse and Loyola-Chicago also advanced to the Sweet 16.
This year’s bracket seems to have more upsets than in previous years, so I went back and looked at all of the Sweet 16 matchups since 1985 to see just how this year has stacked up.
Using the sum of the seeds of the teams in the Sweet 16 (we can assume bigger seeds = more upsets), we can safely say that this year’s bracket ranks among the top 5 in terms of unexpected teams making it this far.
For reference, here are the top seasons in terms of total seed sum for the Sweet 16:
1986 – 89
1990 – 88
1999 – 88
2018 – 85
2000 – 85
2013 – 81
2010 – 80
2011 – 80
Find out who Vegas thinks is the best team left in the field with our updated odds to win the NCAA Tournament.
If you are looking for a blank Sweet 16 bracket, you can grab one here.
March Madness Sweet 16 Bracket, Schedule & Betting Odds
Thursday, March 22nd
- 7:07 PM ET – (11) Loyola-Chi. vs. (7) Nevada
- 7:37 PM ET – (7) Texas A&M vs. (3) Michigan
- TBA – (9) Kansas St. vs. (5) Kentucky
- TBA – (9) Florida St. vs. (4) Gonzaga
Friday, March 23rd
- 7:07 PM ET (5) Clemson vs. (1) Kansas
- 7:27 PM ET (5) West Virginia vs. (1) Villanova
- TBA – (11) Syracuse vs. (2) Duke
- TBA – (3) Texas Tech vs. (2) Purdue