It's come down to this. Only 16 teams remain standing in the 2014 NCAA tournament. One top seed has already been bounced and only two No. 2 teams survived the early action. If the round of 32 gave any inclination to what we can expect to see in the Sweet 16, we are in for a treat.
If your March Madness bracket hasn't been busted yet, give yourself a pat on the back. After all of the upsets that we've seen so far, this tournament continues to mystify even the wisest of college hoops gurus.
All Your Bracket Essentials:
Before the Sweet 16 gets under way on Thursday, let's take a look at the updated schedule and odds for each team. We'll follow that up by predicting the outcome of each highly anticipated contest.
Sweet 16 Schedule
|Region||Matchup||Time (ET)||TV Info|
|Thurs., March 27|
|South||No. 10 Stanford vs. No. 11 Dayton||7:15 p.m.||CBS|
|West||No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 6 Baylor||7:47 p.m.||TBS|
|South||No. 1 Florida vs. No. 4 UCLA||9:45 p.m.||CBS|
|West||No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 4 San Diego State||10:17 p.m.||TBS|
|Fri., March 28|
|Midwest||No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 11 Tennessee||7:15 p.m.||CBS|
|East||No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 7 Connecticut||7:27 p.m.||TBS|
|Midwest||No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 8 Kentucky||9:45 p.m.||CBS|
|East||No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 4 Michigan State||9:57 p.m.||TBS|
All of the Sweet 16 action can be live streamed on NCAA.com.
|San Diego State||+3800|
|Region||Team 1||Team 2||Pick|
|South||No. 1 Florida||No. 4 UCLA||Florida|
|South||No. 10 Stanford||No. 11 Dayton||Dayton|
|West||No. 1 Arizona||No. 4 San Diego State||Arizona|
|West||No. 2 Wisconsin||No. 6 Baylor||Wisconsin|
|East||No. 1 Virginia||No. 4 Michigan State||Michigan State|
|East||No. 3 Iowa State||No. 7 Connecticut||Iowa State|
|Midwest||No. 4 Louisville||No. 8 Kentucky||Louisville|
|Midwest||No. 2 Michigan||No. 11 Tennessee||Michigan|
Sean O'Donnell's Predictions
Two No. 1 teams will continue to roll right into the Elite Eight; however, the Virginia Cavaliers may have a difficult time with a surging Michigan State team.
Virginia vs. Michigan State in MSG is going to be fun. Please don't assign some whistle happy officials, NCAA. Let the boys battle— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) March 24, 2014
Yes, the Cavaliers looked great on Sunday, defeating Memphis by a score of 78-60. Although, that offensive output is not typical of this team. Memphis' defense was absolutely porous on Sunday, and the Cavaliers caught fire during the game.
The Spartans, on the other hand, are one of the most well-rounded teams in the tournament. The offense has been lighting up scoreboards, scoring 93 and 80 points in the team's first two games, respectively.
Defensively, Michigan State is stout enough to make it difficult for lesser offenses to keep up the pace.
This contest should be a close one; however, if Virginia can't keep up its hot hand on the offensive end, an upset could be in the making here.
Possibly the most intriguing game is No. 4 Louisville against No. 8 Kentucky.
Sweet 16 will feature a matchup of one of college basketball's best rivalries. Kentucky will face Louisville in Indianapolis. Let's go!— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 23, 2014
The Wildcats looked great on Sunday, defeating No. 1 Wichita State 78-76 in a thrilling game. Kentucky is growing up fast as a team and is looking stronger with each passing contest.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals have been struggling. Rick Pitino's squad did not look sharp against Saint Louis. In a sloppy game, Louisville turned the ball over 19 times and allowed Memphis to record nine steals. The team will have to get it together to compete with the resurgent Wildcats.
One thing that the Cardinals have going for them is the fact that they have one of the most experienced head coaches in the nation. Pitino has been stellar in Sweet 16 play and will certainly put his team in a position to succeed.
According to ESPN Stats and Info's Twitter account, Pitino is undefeated in this round of the NCAA tournament:
Louisville advances to 3rd straight Sweet 16. Cardinals fans like this stat: Rick Pitino is 11-0 in Sweet 16 games in his career.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 23, 2014
That certainly bodes well for the Cardinals.