If your 2014 NCAA tournament bracket is still showing some signs of life at this point in March Madness, you've done well for yourself. However, don't get too comfortable, as the Sweet 16 is sure to bring some unexpected results.
Now, the surviving 16 teams will begin their journeys to reach the coveted title of national champions. However, each will be heavily tested along the way.
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The upcoming action will be tremendously intense and not a moment should be missed. Let's take a look at the Sweet 16 schedule and give some bold predictions of what may transpire during the tournament's fourth round.
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|
Each Sweet 16 game can be live streamed on NCAA.com.
No. 4 Michigan State Takes Down No. 1 Virginia
Virginia could be the next top-seeded team to bite the dust in the 2014 NCAA tournament.
The Cavaliers don't match up particularly well with the Spartans.
Virginia v. Michigan State should be a doozy.— Ken Pomeroy (@kenpomeroy) March 24, 2014
Virginia still boasts the nation's top defensive unit; however, the size, speed and aggressiveness of the Spartans may be too much to handle.
While the Cavaliers are incredibly difficult to score on, they haven't exactly been efficient down low. Virginia only averages 24.6 defensive rebounds per game, while Michigan State averages 26.1. This should give the Spartans plenty of added scoring opportunities against the Cavaliers.
Did you know? Over half of all @CBSSports brackets have Michigan State in the Final Four.— CBSSports.com (@CBSSports) March 23, 2014
Speaking of scoring opportunities, the Spartans have the nation's 55th-ranked offense and are ranked 31st in field-goal percentage and sixth in assists per game. Virginia has trouble putting points on the board, ranking 294th in the nation and 122nd in field-goal percentage.
What these statistics show is that Michigan State is a much more well-rounded team. This is partly credited to head coach Tom Izzo. He has been dominant in this tournament for a long time, and according to ESPN Stats and Info's Twitter account, 2014 bodes well for the coach:
Every 4-year scholarship player at Michigan State under Tom Izzo has been to the Final Four. Can Sparty extend the streak this year?— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 17, 2014
Michigan State will continue surging into the Elite Eight and possibly beyond.
No. 6 Baylor Topples No. 2 Wisconsin
Watch out, the Baylor Bears are on a hot streak.
This club has looked fantastic since entering the 2014 NCAA tournament and are showing no signs of slowing down. The Bears were lighting up scoreboards and playing some stout defense over the first two rounds of the tournament.
Baylor took care of Nebraska with ease, defeating the Cornhuskers 74-60 in Round 2. The Bears followed that up with an impressive win against Creighton on Sunday by a score of 85-55.
Creighton's Doug McDermott looked unstoppable heading into Sunday's game; however, once he met the Bears defense, he lost his luster. McDermott finished the game with just 15 points.
During a postgame press conference with The Associated Press, via ESPN.com, Bears coach Scott Drew simply remarked, "We did a good job making it tough on him."
Wisconsin doesn't have a McDermott-caliber player but is very deep. During its third-round win over Oregon, all five starters scored double-digit points.
The Badgers relied heavily on their stout defense throughout most of the season, but that has changed of late. They allowed 77 points to the Ducks on Saturday.
Baylor's defense should make it very difficult for the Badgers to replicate their recent offensive prowess. Meanwhile, after Oregon exposed Wisconsin's defense, the Bears have plenty of film to study in order to potentially duplicate that success.