NCAA Bracket 2013: Picks and Predictions for Sweet 16

Alex KayCorrespondent IMarch 28, 2013

LEXINGTON, KY - MARCH 23: Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals reacts with his team after a play in the second half against the Colorado State Rams during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena on March 23, 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Sweet 16 round of the 2013 NCAA tournament is merely hours away from tipping off, with eight exciting games set to take place over the course of Thursday and Friday evening.

As if you aren’t stoked enough for the Big Dance to continue, one great way to make these thrilling March Madness contests even more awesome is to put a wager down on the action.

We’re here to provide some betting advice and predict some final scores, but first let’s take a look at some updated brackets and check out the Sweet 16 schedule.



An updated printable bracket is available here, while a live bracket is available to follow along with here.


Schedule and Lines

All times ET, Odds via VegasInsider. * Indicates further information below.



Start Time




(3) Marquette vs. (2) Miami (FL)

Thursday, Mar. 28

7:15 p.m.


Miami -5

Miami -5

(6) Arizona vs. (2) Ohio State*

Thursday, Mar. 28

7:47 p.m.


Ohio State -3.5

Ohio State -3.5*

(4) Syracuse vs. (1) Indiana

Thursday, Mar. 28 

9:45 p.m.


Indiana -5.5

Syracuse +5.5

(13) La Salle vs. (9) Wichita State

Thursday, Mar. 28 

10:17 p.m.


Wichita St. -4.5

La Salle +4.5

(12) Oregon vs. (1) Louisville*

Friday, Mar. 29

7:15 p.m.


Louisville -10

Louisville -10*

(4) Michigan vs. (1) Kansas

Friday, Mar. 29 

7:37 p.m.


Kansas -2

Michigan +2

(3) Michigan State vs. (2) Duke

Friday, Mar. 29 

9:45 p.m.


Duke -2

Duke -2

(15) Florida Gulf Coast vs. (3) Florida*

Friday, Mar. 29 

10:07 p.m.


Florida -13 

Florida Gulf Coast +13*


Picks and Predictions

*These are the top games to look out for in Sweet 16.

Florida Gulf Coast Advances

The FGCU Eagles have been the Cinderella of this tournament, shocking the world by knocking off No. 2 Georgetown as a No. 15 seed, then stunning No. 7 San Diego State in the third round.

With an impending matchup with No. 3 Florida, the Eagles are heavy underdogs and once again are being overlooked by both the oddsmakers and general public.

However, the true odds are much closer than 13 points, as the small program based out of Fort Myers has the chops, talent and coaching to hang around with the big Gators from Gainesville.

While it’s not going to be easy, the Eagles could soar into the Elite Eight if they are able to establish the pace. UF may possess plenty of athleticism, but the players aren’t used to running for 40 straight minutes and trying to halt a run-and-gun opponent.

Don’t be surprised when the Eagles continue dancing by putting on another “Dunk City” clinic on Friday evening.


Louisville Dominates

The Cardinals earned the No. 1 overall seed in this event and have absolutely lived up to expectations thus far.

However, Rick Pitino’s squad could be facing its first real test on Thursday, as the No. 12-seeded Oregon Ducks attempt to continue their magical run in this Sweet 16 matchup.

The Ducks have been playing extremely well as of late, but they simply don’t have the defensive capabilities to shut down a UL offense that features Russ Smith, Peyton Siva, Gorgui Dieng and a number of elite role players.

Louisville still has a ways to go to prove itself worthy of claiming a national championship, but should alleviate a number of doubts by shellacking a good opponent in Oregon.


Ohio State In Overtime

One of the most intriguing matchups in the Sweet 16 is Ohio State against Arizona.

The Buckeyes are lucky to be here, as Aaron Craft went from goat (for missing free throws) to hero (taking a controversial charge and nailing the game-winning three-pointer) in about two minutes flat against Iowa State.

These Wildcats haven’t been challenged yet, drawing Belmont and Harvard in back-to-back contests to waltz into this matchup.

Despite the different paths to the Sweet 16, these teams look to be evenly matched on paper, and the outcome of this contest should come right down to the wire—possibly not even being settled until after overtime.

With Mark Lyons, Arizona’s best player, being marked by Craft, Ohio State’s best defender, you can believe that the role players are going to play a larger part in determining which side advances.

However, we’re giving the edge to the Buckeyes, as leading scorer Deshaun Thomas has been uncontainable and Sam Thompson seems to be making a leap forward during this tournament.

Expect a great contest, but lean towards OSU if you are betting as they tend to pull away late.


Link to Printable PDF

Link to Live Bracket

Make your picks for the 2013 NCAA tournament here with the Bracket Challenge Game and follow the action with March Madness Live