The Sweet Sixteen Is Set
Posted by John Hitchcock on 2012/03/19
Day 1 of the field of 64 saw very few upsets, and those upsets were mild. Day 2 of the field of 64 saw major upsets, with two 2-seeds and a 4-seed falling. Then came the round of 32.
Day 1 of the round of 32 saw very few upsets, while Day 2 of the round of 32 once again saw the more major upsets.
And the Sweet Sixteen has been set.
Of the remaining 16 teams, four are from the Big Ten and four are from Ohio. That makes 7 of the 16 teams remaining from either the Big Ten or Ohio. In the case of THE Ohio State University, it is from both. And it’s guaranteed an Ohio team will be in the Elite Eight. It’s impossible not to be. Because THE Ohio State University faces Cincinnati in the Sweet Sixteen.
The 16 teams that remain:
Kentucky (number one overall, 1 seed in the South, SEC, 34-2, lost to Indiana by 1 and Vanderbilt by 7)
Indiana (4 seed in the South, Big Ten, 27-8, 11-7 in the Big Ten, defeated then-number 1 Kentucky and then-number 2 Ohio State)
Baylor (3 seed in the South, Big Twelve, 29-7, 12-6 in the Big Twelve, lost to Missouri by 1, 15, 15, lost to Kansas by 18, 14, beat Kansas by 9)
Xavier (10 seed in the South, an Ohio team, Atlantic 10, 23-12, 10-6 in the Atlantic 10, beat Vanderbilt by 12 in overtime, beat Cincinnati by 21, beat Purdue by 3)
Meatchicken State (1 seed in the West, Big Ten, 29-7, 13-5 in the Big Ten, Big Ten co-champs (with Ohio State and Meatchicken), Big Ten Tourney champs, lost to North Carolina by 12, lost to Duke by 5, beat Wisconsin by 3 (OT), 14, 13, beat Indiana by 15, lost to Indiana by 15, beat Ohio State by 10, lost to Ohio State by 2, beat Ohio State by 4)
Louisville (4 seed in the West, Big East, 28-9, 10-8 in the Big East, beat Vanderbilt by 2 (OT), lost to Kentucky by 7, lost to Marquette by 11, beat Marquette by 13, lost to Syracuse by 1, 9, lost to Cincinnati by 4, beat Cincinnati by 6, beat Ohio by 5)
Marquette (3 seed in the West, Big East, 27-7, 14-4 in the Big East, beat Wisconsin by 7, lost to Vanderbilt by 17, lost to Georgetown by 7, beat Georgetown by 14, lost to Syracuse by 7, beat Louisville by 11, lost to Louisville by 13, beat Cincinnati by 17, lost to Cincinnati by 11)
Florida (7 seed in the West, SEC, 25-10, 10-6 in the SEC, lost to Ohio State by 7, lost to Syracuse by 4, lost to Vanderbilt by 10, lost to Kentucky by 20, 15, 3)
Syracuse (1 seed in the East, Big East, 33-2, 17-1 in the Big East, beat Florida by 4, beat Marquette by 7, beat Georgetown by 3 (OT), beat Louisville by 1, 9, beat Cincinnati by 7, lost to Cincinnati by 3, beat 16-seed UNCA by 7)
Wisconsin (4 seed in the East, Big Ten, 26-9, 12-6 in the Big Ten, lost to North Carolina by 3, lost to Marquette by 7, lost to meatchicken state by 3 (OT), 14, 13, lost to Ohio State by 6, beat Ohio State by 3, beat Indiana by 7, 8, beat Vanderbilt by 3)
Cincinnati (6 seed in the East, Ohio team, Big East, 26-10, 12-6 in the Big East, lost to Xavier by 21, beat Georgetown by 4, 2 (2OT), beat Louisville by 4, lost to Louisville by 6, lost to Marquette by 17, beat Marquette by 11, beat Syracuse by 3)
THE Ohio State University (2 seed in the East, Ohio team, Big Ten co-champions (with meatchicken and meatchicken state), 29-7, 13-5 in the Big Ten, beat Florida by 7, beat Duke by 21, lost to Kansas by 11, lost to Indiana by 6, beat Indiana by 17, beat Wisconsin by 6, lost to Wisconsin by 3, lost to meatchicken state by 10, beat meatchicken state by 2, lost to meatchicken state by 4)
North Carolina (1 seed in the Mid-West, ACC, 31-5, 14-2 in the ACC, beat Wisconsin by 3, lost to Kentucky by 1, beat Florida State by 33 (yes, 33), lost to Florida State by 3, beat North Carolina State by 19, 12, 2, lost to Duke by 1, beat Duke by 18)
Ohio University (13 seed in the Mid-West, Ohio team (and my youngest brother is a tenured English professor there), MAC, 28-7, 11-5 in the MAC, lost to Louisville by 5, beat meatchicken by 5)
North Carolina State (11 seed in the Mid-West, ACC, 24-12, 9-7 in the ACC, lost to Vanderbilt by 7, lost to Indiana by 11, lost to Syracuse by 16, lost to North Carolina by 19, 12, 2, lost to Duke by 5, lost to Florida State by 14, beat Georgetown by 3)
Kansas (2 seed in the Mid-West, Big 12, 29-6, 16-2 in the Big 12, lost to Kentucky by 10, beat Georgetown by 4, lost to Duke by 7, beat Ohio State by 11, beat Baylor by 18, 14, lost to Baylor by 9, lost to Missouri by 3, beat Missouri by 1 (OT))
Having spent my first 44 years in central Ohio (with an exceedingly brief few months in Fort Wayne prior to reaching school age), I am a Buckeye through-and-through. That means I’m also a major fan of the Big Ten Conference (which has 12 teams; go figure). That also means that I know Ohio State’s loss to Kansas occurred at Kansas while Jared Sullinger, who is not long for college ball despite his sophomore status, was sidelined with injury.
Of the top seeds, Syracuse is absolutely the weakest and absolutely the most vulnerable. And they are going up against a Wisconsin team that is exceedingly dangerous. This is the most likely upset of a 1 seed in the Sweet 16. I’ll give even odds in this game.
Kentucky, the number 1 overall, faces an Indiana team that already beat Kentucky in Indiana. It is exceedingly difficult to defeat a strong team twice in one season, and this game will be on a neutral court. Kentucky by 4.
Louisville is, in my book, the weakest 4 seed remaining. Meatchicken state is a very strong team. Meatchicken state by 8.
North Carolina against Ohio? I predict North Carolina pulls its starters with 7 minutes remaining. Tarheels in a double-digit walk.
Having spent so many years living in Ohio, I know Xavier tends to be more powerful than its appearance. So, despite my daughter’s two step-sons rooting for Baylor, I’m calling Xavier an over-time win.
When Marquette is good, the team is very good. But when Marquette is bad, it stinks. It will be a double-digit victory for whoever wins. And I predict Florida will win.
Cincinnati and THE Ohio State University are both strong teams. Absolutely no team can match Ohio State’s starting five, but Ohio State always has an exceedingly shallow bench, due to the 1-and-out (this year, 2-and-out) players Ohio State gets, which is very detrimental to a deep run in the NCAA Championships. Ohio State by 6. (And there’s a strong likelihood in my book that at least one starter from each team will foul out.)
Kansas is the weakest 2 seed in the tournament, but has lucked out in facing a 10 seed. But NC State is a 10 seed that is peaking at just the right time. This game will come down to the final shot. The ghost of Jimmy V will once again run across the floor, desperately looking for someone to hug.
And there are my predictions for the Sweet 16.
March Madness, Round Of 64
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