March Madness is widely considered as one of most interesting sporting events all season. Every year there is that one low seed that everyone roots for, that grand upset specialist.
In this tournament, there are several.
Between Butler, VCU, Florida State, Marquette, and Richmond, there are plenty of Cinderellas to root for.
While they have made it this far, there is no guarantee they will all get through.
So at the end of the Sweet 16, who's still wearing their dancin' shoes?
Led by Marcus and Markieff Morris, the Jayhawks might have the easiest path of any one-seed to the Final Four with only double-digit teams remaining.
Hold on now, that doesn't mean we should count out Richmond.
The Spiders have been a quietly good team. They haven't been hyped as the next Cinderella, but that is largely because their Round of 32 matchup was against Morehead State.
With any hope of beating Kansas, Richmond will have to count on big games from Justin Harper and Kevin Anderson in addition to quality contributions from everyone else.
I just can't see it happening.
Prediction: Kansas 73, Richmond 60
The key to a win for both sides is answered by the cliche, "Defense wins championships."
Ohio State has been rolling as of recent, putting up 90 points with ease. Their offense has been incredible, and their defense has been alright as well.
Kentucky on the other hand, has been changing cylinders for both games.
Josh Harrelson and Darius Miller were the keys to game one against Princeton in the tournament, while Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight were the keys to the second game against West Virginia.
As good as Ohio State is, Kentucky will step up by getting everyone involved.
Prediction: Kentucky 68, Ohio State 66
Chris Singleton has the ability to change the outcome of this game.
If he is fully healed like we believe he is, than he could sway the outcome of this game.
Florida State has won its past two games without major contributions from him. Think what they could do with him if he becomes a factor.
On the other hand, we have VCU.
The Rams might be the hottest team in the country right now, torching opponents they weren't supposed to beat. Bradford Burgess has been a force both scoring and rebounding.
As hot as VCU is, I have to go with who FSU, who's play without big contributions from their star has been amazing.
Prediction: FSU 59, VCU 58
This matchup should be one of the more interesting, as it could go either way.
Marquette handled its first matchup against No. 6 Xavier surprisingly well. Then, against Syracuse they pulled out a shocker.
North Carolina has had more than its fair share of breaks. LIU got close and tied the game at one point in their first round matchup, and it wasn't until the second half that they pulled away.
Against Washington, some lucky breaks resulted in a W.
First, Henson tipped an inbounds pass when they were still up one. Then, instead of letting the ball go out of bounds to seal a win, Henson touched it.
Luckily, the clock was set at 0.5 seconds and Isaiah Thomas missed a shot (which was almost goal-tended by Henson).
The Tar Heels have allowed 75 or more points in their past four contests.
But make no mistake, the Tar Heels won't let this one slip away.
Prediction: UNC 79, Marquette 69
This game was one of the hardest to pick.
Both of these teams are deserving of going to the Elite Eight, as Walker has been spectacular for UConn and Leonard has done his own thing for San Diego State.
Both of them have also been as clutch as can be and stepped up when their teams needed them in close games.
The key to this game is stopping Kemba Walker. While he won't disappear completely, if SDSU can force other people to make plays, than the upper hand is with them.
For UConn, Oriakhi will need to have a big day on the boards. Controlling the rebounding margin could be the difference.
As much as I love UConn, SDSU has the advantage here by spreading the ball around and having a balanced inside attack. Since it's in Anaheim, expect to see a large showing of SDSU fans.
Prediction: SDSU 61, UConn 59
Studies show that Jimmer-Mania is at an all time high.
Research shows that all the hype is due to him putting the team on his back and willing them to victory by scoring around a billion points every game.
Jimmer will always have a good game. That goes without question.
Florida will need to rely on big men to exploit the absence of suspended forward Brandon Davies.
The Gators avenge a Double OT loss in last year's tourney with Chandler Parsons and Alex Tyus usingtheir interior strength to beat the Cougars despite another 30 or more point game from the Jimmer.
Jimmer-Mania was born with the Gators—and ends with them too.
Prediction: Florida 72, BYU 67
Though Kyrie Irving is back, Nolan Smith is still the undoubted leader of the team.
A POY candidate, Smith has shown he can do it all.
Duke is the defending National Champion, and hopes to continue their quest to another title by stopping Arizona. They breezed through a match with the No.16 seed and survived a scare by Michigan.
Arizona is fresh off two wins in which they have needed late heroics from none other than Derrick Williams to win, whether it be a no-look and one-shot or a buzzer beating block.
Someone has to lose here, and Arizona is the one to bow out in the Sweet 16.
Prediction: Duke 74, Arizona 67
Butler could very well repeat as Cinderella.
Everyone thought that losing Gordon Hayward would be the end of Butler, and that they wouldn't be able to recover. But everyone underestimated the power of Brad Stevens as a coach.
Shelvin Mack and Matt Howard return to lead this squad on offense, and Ronald Nored is the star of the defense.
Unfortunately for them, the other team has its stars as well. Wisconsin is led by Junior guard Jordan Taylor and Senior forward Jon Leuer. The star of the defense is, well, the entire team.
Even with this formidable one-two punch and great defense, the Badgers have been prone to having severe droughts on offense.
Jordan Taylor could be held in check by Ronald Nored if he guards him, but Wisconsin also has the ability to knock down threes with their big men.
If Wisconsin gets into a part late in the game where they get fouled, they can pull it out in a close one thanks to their as of now NCAA record free-throw shooting percentage.
Prediction: Wisconsin 58, Butler 54
A quick review of the predictions:
Kansas 73, Richmond 60
Kentucky 68, Ohio State 66
FSU 59, VCU 58
UNC 79, Marquette 69
SDSU 61, UConn 59
Florida 72, BYU 67
Duke 74, Arizona 67
Wisconsin 58, Butler 54