NCAA Bracket 2011: Which Lower-Seeded Team Will Advance Through the Sweet 16?
A number of upsets have already been accounted for thus far in the tournament. Now that we're deeper into the game, will we see more and more higher-seeded teams come out victorious?
The lowest-seeded team coming into the Sweet 16 is the A-10 powerhouse Richmond, who got lucky when Morehead State surprised Louisville and advanced to the Round of 32.
Will they continue their streak?
Richmond isn't the only team in a position to wow the fans and screw up brackets across the nation. Marquette and VCU both come in at 11-seeds, and then there's Butler at the 8-seed.
At 7:15 this evening, we'll see the first Sweet 16 game and everything that happened up until that point will just be forgotten.
No. 1 Ohio State Vs. No. 4 Kentucky
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Both teams are coming off big wins in the Round of 32, but what team has the edge?
Kentucky showed in the first round that an Ivy League team could stay with them, but bounced back against West Virginia, beating them by eight.
For Ohio State, they are showing the world that they are the true No. 1 team so far. Both of their victories came with a 20-point-plus differential.
Can the freshmen on the Wildcats squad stay with the Buckeyes? No one knows yet.
No upsets here, Ohio State keeps on rolling their way into the Elite Eight.
No. 11 Marquette Vs. No. 2 North Carolina
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Could this be the end of the Cinderella story for the Marquette Golden Eagles?
Well, if there's going to be an upset game, this would have to be the one.
Marquette is hot, there's no doubt about that. UNC just squeezed by with their last game, only beating 7-seed Washington by three.
Harrison Barnes and the rest of North Carolina lose to Marquette by a small margin, but the Golden Eagles won't be going any farther.
It'll be a little difficult for them to get past Ohio State.
No. 1 Duke Vs. No. 5 Arizona
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This game is really a toss-up. Arizona and Duke both have just come off of close, down-to-the-last-second games. Both teams aren't taking this game with a grain of salt—it's equally important to both parties.
It's safe to say that the Wildcats have the best shot at being the team to upset a No. 1 seed in the remainder of the tournament, but Coach K and the Blue Devils aren't quitting just yet.
Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler will be shooting the lights out all night and Arizona will not be able to find an answer.
Or Derrick Williams becomes too hot to handle for the Blue Devils.
Either Duke wins by a favorable margin or Arizona will win by a buzzer-beater.
No. 3 UConn Vs. No. 2 San Diego State
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If UConn, because they are the lower seed, were to win this game, it wouldn't be considered an upset. When you have the No. 2 versus the No. 3 seed, you can expect to see a tight, fast-paced game.
What this game can come down to is this: Does the conference that each team plays in become a factor for this game? UConn is from one of the best in the NCAA, the Big East, whereas San Diego State is from the Mountain West.
Regardless of that, the man you see above is going to bring UConn to the Elite Eight. Kemba Walker will be too much for the Aztecs.
No. 1 Kansas Vs. No. 12 Richmond
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Tyshawn Taylor hasn't even played in the Sweet 16 yet and he's already dancing. Is he that confident that the Jayhawks of Kansas will beat the Spiders of Richmond?
For Richmond to beat Kansas would be very unlikely, just look at what Richmond has done so far in the tournament: Three-point win over 5-seed Vanderbilt in the first round, then a nine-point win over 13-seed Morehead State.
Agreed, the win over Vanderbilt was a great one and was one of the first upsets of the tournament. BUT, if it had not been for Morehead State knocking off 4-seed Louisville in the first round, would Richmond be in the position that they are in now?
I'm going with "no."
Like I said before, it would be very, very hard for the Spiders to upset Kansas tomorrow night. Is it entirely impossible? Of course not. Anything can happen, but given the circumstances, it doesn't seem plausible.
Kansas will win comfortably.
No. 11 VCU Vs. No. 10 Florida State
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These two teams are among the strongest lower-seeded teams in the entire tournament. VCU beat Purdue by a big margin while Florida State upset Notre Dame in the same fashion.
But who has the upper hand?
When the two play, the game could easily be mistaken for a 3-seed versus a 2-seed game. Both the Seminoles and Rams didn't just get by their opponents, they cruised by them. There weren't any buzzer-beaters or nail-biting games, they beat their opponents by at least seven points (in their first round game against Texas A&M, Florida State beat them by seven points.)
Expect a very close game in this contest, with Florida State coming out on top.
No. 8 Butler Vs. No. 4 Wisconsin
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Will Butler do it again? Will they have a repeat of last year's tournament, advancing through the Sweet 16 en route to a national championship opportunity? Or will they relive 2007 where they fell to a higher-seed by eight in the Sweet 16?
No team in the tournament has more upset history than Butler does, and they have the chance to do it again against 4-seed Wisconsin.
The Badgers haven't been to the Sweet 16 since 2008 when they were a 3-seed, only to be upset by the 10-seed in Davidson. Last time they advanced through this round was in 2005 as a 6-seed.
So will history play out in this game? For Wisconsin, they could be creating a new three-year pattern. Three years ago they didn't make it to the Elite Eight, three years later (present time) they might make it farther.
In Butler's situation, could they continue to repeat their trend of upsetting teams and making it all the way to the national championship again?
I have to say, Butler is going to do it again.
No. 2 Florida Vs. No. 3 BYU
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These two teams met last year, except it was in the first round. Who won? Brigham Young came out of the game victorious.
But let's look at the history of BYU's tournament play: This is their first time making the Sweet 16. Florida? It's only their seventh time coming this far, no big deal.
Jimmer Fredette will be the reason why BYU has a chance at winning this game, his offensive performances have been remarkable this season.
Just like the UConn and San Diego game, this contest, regardless of the winner, isn't considered an upset game. Both teams are very talented and have an equal shot at winning.
The only question is, will history continue to repeat itself and have the Florida Gators advancing past the Sweet 16 for the fourth time? Or will BYU make it past the round for the first time in team history?
Florida will come out on top in this high-scoring game.