The entire college basketball nation realized this tournament would be one of the best in years. Not because that’s just what us sports fan say every time it rolls around “This will be my team’s year” or because we were falling victim to the NCAA hype. You could just look at the teams this year and realize there is no clear cut winner. In college sports, there are always dynasties or powerhouse programs that you expect to be favored as a National Championship contender but this year it is somewhat wide open. Even the number one seeds have several losses on their record (Kansas with 4 and Virginia with 7) which rarely happens, but there have already been a host of firsts in the 2016 tournament. Here are a couple plus get a look at the upcoming match-ups as the Sweet 16 kicks off Thursday, March 24th.
- 1st time ever the 13 (Hawaii), 14 (Stephen F. Austin) and 15 (Middle Tennesee State) seeds have all upset their opponent to advance into the field of 32.
Clearly the biggest surprise here was Middle Tennessee State beating Michigan State sending everyone’s bracket into the trash in record time, including President Obama who chose the Spartans to make it to this year’s Final Four.
- 1st time ever a conference has advanced six teams in the Sweet 16, ACC was dominate this year (including two #1 seeds in Virginia and UNC).
Now onto the bracket, is your team still alive? What do your brackets look like at this point? Here are the final 16 teams remaining in this year’s NCAA March Madness Tournament:
(1) North Carolina vs. (5) Indiana
(6) Notre Dame vs. (7) Wisconsin
Although they have the lowest seed remaining in this region, the most dangerous team aside from the number one seed may be Wisconsin. Ever year there is a remarkable story of a group coming together in the face of adversity and pulling together both on the court as well as off. Look no further as their coach lost his father during the season forcing things beyond basketball to strengthen their bond, one that has already been in place for years (Wisconsin is making their fourth consecutive trip to the Sweet 16). Last night they overcame adversity on the court as well, trailing by 3 with 12 seconds left before Bronson Koenig hit two clutch 3-pointers to win the game.
— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) March 21, 2016
(1) Virginia vs. (4) Iowa St.
(11) Gonzaga vs. (10) Syracuse
Gonzaga beating #3 Utah 82-59 only looked like an upset on paper, college hoops fans know otherwise. The Zags are one of the toughest programs when March arrives, they are synonymous with success in this tournament despite coming from a smaller West Coast Conference.
(1) Kansas vs. (5) Maryland
(3) Miami vs. (2) Villanova
This region may be the most competitive left in the tournament, outside of the West Region, given two of the teams have played multiple times already being in the same conference (Miami and Virginia). Maryland’s program hasn’t been in the Sweet 16 since 2002 but they have a tough task facing off against Wayne Selden Jr. and Kansas. In case you missed it, watch below as he takes flight against Baylor to help earn a spot in the tournament creating a poster that has yet to be topped in March.
March. Madness. goodnight. https://t.co/aXXWkcmSrV
— Larry Jr. (@larrysjr12) March 12, 2016
(1) Oregon vs. (4) Duke
(2) Oklahoma vs. (3) Texas A&M
Last but not least we have the West Region, you are not reading those numbers incorrectly – the four best teams in the region are actually matching up against each other. No upsets out West but there was plenty of drama as Texas A&M almost lost to a Northern Iowa team that upset Texas on a half court buzzer beater. The Aggies were down by 12 points with only 44 seconds remaining, then everything changed. Watch below as one of the most unbelievable comebacks we have ever seen gave us more reason to love March Madness.
In honor of the Sweet Sixteen and March Madness fever, we want to know what your favorite 16 is currently. Hit us @SwaysUniverse and let us know what your favorite verse of all-time is! Or is there a verse right now that puts you in a completely different zone when you’re in the gym, before a big meeting or game? Maybe just when you’re riding around enjoying the weather with the windows rolled down. Let’s see which verses make our Final Four! Follow us on IG/Twitter @SwaysUniverse