Sweet 16 Bracket: Picking Winners for Each of Friday's Matchups

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIMarch 30, 2017

LEXINGTON, KY - MARCH 23: Peyton Siva #3 of the Louisville Cardinals gestures as he walks off the court after defeating 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

Four more Sweet 16 matchups are set for Friday night as the grueling nature of the NCAA tournament continues to reveal contenders and send pretenders packing.

A few of the heavy-hitters will take the floor Friday, but there are some Cinderellas still looking to bust a few more brackets.

The competition is stiffer now, and the atmosphere is continuing to grow more intense. Every player in each game will be under immense pressure. 

Be sure to use the links at the bottom to see the bracket, scores and live video for the games. Now, here are my picks for each remaining Sweet 16 game.


No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 1 Louisville

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.

When: 7:15 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS 

The selection committee’s decision to give Oregon a 12-seed attracted plenty of criticism, and the Ducks have proved through two games that they were vastly underrated.

Dana Altman’s team has cruised into the Sweet 16 with hustle and defensive discipline. However, Louisville has set the standard in both of these areas this season. 

With Peyton Siva and Russ Smith spearheading the full-court press, and Gorgui Dieng protecting the basket in the half court, no team plays better defense than the Cardinals. While Oregon has been impressive, its run will end Friday night.

Prediction: Louisville 66, Oregon 54

No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 1 Kansas

Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas 

When: 7:37 p.m. ET

Watch: TBS 

This matchup presents an intriguing clash in style. Kansas is one of the best defensive teams in the country, while Michigan is one of the most dangerous offensive squads in college basketball.

The Wolverines stormed into the Sweet 16 with two incredibly impressive scoring performances. Kansas, however, stumbled slightly in its first game before recording a solid but unspectacular win over North Carolina. 

There is little to separate these two teams, and because of this, the hotter team has the advantage. Right now, that is clearly Michigan.

Prediction: Michigan 74, Kansas 72


No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Duke

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind. 

When: 9:45 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS 

There may not be a better coaching matchup for the remainder of the tournament than the showdown between Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski. These two are arguably the best coaches in all of college basketball.

This game will also feature contrasting styles, as the Spartans are excellent defensively, and the Blue Devils have several potent offensive threats.

Even though Michigan State is riding high after an incredible performance from Adreian Payne in the last round, Duke’s senior leadership will prevail in this game.

Prediction: Duke 68, Michigan State 63


No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 3 Florida

Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas

When: 9:57 p.m. ET 

Watch: TBS 

This tournament would have been significantly less exciting without Florida Gulf Coast, but the team’s run will not last much longer.

Georgetown and San Diego State’s predictable and one-dimensional offenses doomed them against the aggressive Eagles, but the Gators have balance on both ends of the floor.

Billy Donovan’s team is incredibly efficient, while FGCU seems to thrive on chaos at times. The fast-paced style that has led to so much recent success for Andy Enfield will not work against Florida’s disciplined and experienced squad.

Prediction: Florida 78, Florida Gulf Coast 70


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