Sweet 16 Predictions: A Glance at the Sweet Sixteen Teams

Sweet Sixteen Teams 2014

After a week full of madness and more than a few upsets, the field for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is down to the Sweet Sixteen teams. One of the teams still standing in the round of 16 will end up as the national champion in less than two weeks time – but which team will it be? There is never an easy way to predict this tournament, but let’s take a quick look over the remaining field, region by region.

Florida Gators are Favorite of the South Region

  • Florida Gators #1 Florida is the most popular pick to walk away with the title, but nothing comes easy in March. The Gators can struggle to score at times, so shooting the ball well is crucial to their success over the next four games, especially over a motivated Dayton sqaud. Prediction: The #1 seed will come out on top over upset-minded Dayton
  • UCLA Bruins #4– A tall team who can cause matchup problems for many opponents, UCLA has the difficult task of taking on Florida in the round of 16. If there are going to continue, they are going to have to earn it against the number one team in the country. Prediction: The Bruins are playing well at the right time. Look for them to overwhelm a strong, but vulnerable Stanford team.
  • Stanford Cardinal #10 Kansas was a two seed in this tournament and one of the most talented teams in the country, but Stanford took them out of the running with an impressive win on Sunday. Star player Chasson Randle will have a lot to say about whether or not Stanford is able to move on.
  • Dayton Flyers #11 One of the surprises of the tournament, Dayton pulled off a dramatic upset of Ohio State in the first game of the round of 64. With a draw of fellow double-digit seed Stanford, a berth in the Elite Eight is a real possibility.

Sweet 16: #2 Badgers looking to upset West Region

  • Arizona Wildcats #1 Even without one of their best players in Brandon Ashley, the Wildcats are still a number one seed and will be a tough out for anybody. Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson anchor the Arizona attack. Prediction: Arizona is plagued by inconsistency, but will find their way and offensive rhythm against San Diego State.
  • Wisconsin Badgers #2 Unlike the usual Bo Ryan teams at Wisconsin, this version of the Badgers loves to score. Big man Frank Kaminsky can shoot from all over the floor, and the Badgers success is likely tied to how he performs. Prediction: Wisconsin won’t easily be shaken by Baylor. This one will be close with the Badgers eeking out a close win.
  • San Diego State Aztecs #4 Coach Steve Fisher has plenty of tournament experience, and he will have to put all of it to use to get by a tough Arizona team. However, the Aztecs will have one of the best players in the country on their side in Xavier Thames.
  • Baylor Bears #6 One of the most athletic teams in the country, Baylor overwhelmed Creighton in the last round on their way to a blowout win. Wisconsin is not likely to be dominated like Creighton was, so this game could be a shootout.

Michigan, Louisville, Kentucky highlight Midwest Region

  • Michigan Wolverines #2 Michigan was the national runner-up last season, and are a force to be reckoned with once again. Nik Stauskas, Caris LeVert and Glenn Robinson III lead a powerful offense that can score from anywhere on the court. Prediction: No doubt a strong offensive squad, Michigan’s troubled by their strong offensive teams — especially inside. A gang-attack on the boards will prove to be the difference against Tennessee.
  • Louisville Cardinals #4 Even though Louisville received a four seed in the tournament, they were one of the most-popular pre-tournament picks to win it all. They haven’t dominated in their first two games, but winning is all that counts. Russ Smith leads the way for the Cardinals, so he will be the main focus of the Kentucky defense.
  • Kentucky Wildcats #8 Pre-season, the Wildcats were ranked number one in the country, but failed to live up to those expectations. They have gotten hot at the right time, however, and can be expected to give Louisville all they can handle Friday night.  Prediction: Kentucky is a power inside. If they can keep their cool and control the game’s pace, look for the Wildcats to come out big over Louisville.
  • Tennessee Volunteers #11 Tennessee barely made it into the field of 68, but they are making the most of their chance. Winning their first two games relatively comfortably, the Volunteers will need an impressive defensive effort to slow the high-scoring Michigan attack.

MSU Spartans Wouldn’t be a Surprise to Come Out of East Region

  • Virginia Cavaliers #1 Tony Bennett has always been known as a defensive coach, and his Cavalier team certainly reflects that reputation. For Virginia to take down MSU, Joe Harris will likely need to provide some offensive punch.
  • Iowa State Cyclones #3  Although they lost one of their best players in Georges Niang to a broken foot, ISU still has the talent to reach the Final Four. With Niang out, DeAndre Kane will be tasked with trying to lead the Cyclones past Napier and UCONN.
  • Michigan State Spartans #4 Coach Tom Izzo always seems to make a deep run in the tournament, and this year is no different. The Spartans were pushed to the limit by Harvard, and will likely need a better performance to take out top-seeded Virginia. Prediction: The Spartans are finally completely healthy and there might not a be a scarier team. on both ends of the court. Look for MSU to upset.
  • Connecticut Huskies #7 A few years ago, it was Kemba Walker leading the way for UCONN to take the national title. This time, it’s Shabazz Napier who has put the team on his back. It will take a great effort to defeat a well-rounded Iowa State team. Prediction: The game will start out close, but UConn will overtake ISU in the second half as the Cyclones miss Niang.

Interbasket’s predictions for the Elite Eight?

  • Florida vs. UCLA
  • Arizona vs. Wisconsin
  • Michigan vs. Kentucky
  • Michigan State vs. Uconn

1 Comment

  • Kentucky is geting hot at the right time Lousiville has not played good Kentucky will have no trouble with Lousivlle and if kentucky keeps playing like they did last game they will surprise the nation by winning the NCAA championship there playing just that good!!!!!!!

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