The first two rounds of this year’s NCAA tournament have provided viewers with excitement, heartbreak and most importantly, busted brackets.

We can only expect an increase in the level of competition as the Sweet 16 slowly approaches.

With that, I will be previewing each Sweet 16 game, providing analysis and predicting a winner.

Midwest Region

Louisville vs. Oregon

Right now, the Cardinals are playing like the best team in the country. They plowed through their first two tournament games, one of which was against a very good Colorado State team.

Teams win games in the tournament with their guard play, and Louisville has had some of the best consistent scoring from Peyton Siva and Russ Smith.

As for their defense, it seems that no team has been able to handle the Pitino press in the last two months. Oregon is a good team and was underseeded as a No. 12 seed at the beginning of the tournament, but I doubt they’ll be able to handle Louisville’s star power.

Lousville wins 70-55

Duke vs. Michigan State

I originally took Michigan State in this game when filling out my bracket.

But Duke’s last game, a comfortable win without a good performance from Seth Curry, impressed me.

The matchup to watch will be Adreian Payne and Ryan Kelly. Both are 6’10” power forwards who can stretch the floor and hit the three.

Duke wins 65-60


West Region

Ohio State vs. Arizona

This Ohio State team has really grown on me.

They have a go-to scorer in Deshaun Thomas, a clutch point guard who can defend Aaron Craft and multiple perimeter shooters.

The only skill they are lacking is an inside presence. Arizona was great at the beginning of the year but slowed down as the tournament approached.

I think Ohio State has too many weapons for Arizona to get past in this game.

Ohio State wins 75-65

Wichita State vs. La Salle

Who would’ve thought we would have a No. 9 seed and a No. 13 seed playing each other in the Sweet 16? Both teams have played extremely well in both tournament games they have played so far.

Wichita State (Kan.) beat Gonzaga (Wash.), the No. 1 seed, in the their last game. They were lights out from behind the arc, and I just cannot see myself picking against them after they took down Gonzaga like they did.

Wichita State wins 72-60

South Region

Kansas vs. Michigan

I am going to take the upset in this one. Kansas is the No. 1 seed and has made it to this point in the tournament, but they definitely haven’t impressed me.

The Jayhawks were just able to get by against Western Kentucky, and were down nine to North Carolina at halftime before making a comeback in the second half. Meanwhile, Michigan is coming off one of its best games of the year.

Freshman Mitch McGary provides the team with an inside presence that the team had been lacking all through the year and will be a huge help containing Jeff Withey on both sides of the ball.

Michigan wins 75-72

Florida vs. Florida Gulf Coast

I’ve loved the excitement Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) has brought to the tournament this year, but the Cinderella story ends Friday night.

Florida will be way too athletic for FGCU to handle, and Billy Donovan will make sure his team is prepared so they will not overlook FGCU, as their first two opponents did.

The Eagles will keep it close in the first half, but the Gators will pull away in the second.

Florida wins 73-61


East Region

Indiana vs. Syracuse

Once again, I am predicting a No. 1 seed to go down before the week is over.

The Hoosiers were not the same team they have been all season against Temple.

They also showed the country they are not the same team offensively when Cody Zeller does not get his points and is limited on the offensive side of the ball.

Jim Boeheim’s zone will take Zeller’s inside presence, and Victor Oladipo’s ability to get to the rim, out of the game, forcing the Hoosiers to hit their jump shots.

The Orange hasn’t been great this season but has shown enormous improvement, beginning with their play in the Big East Championship.

Syracuse wins 67-64

Miami vs. Marquette

Miami is the superior team in this matchup.

Even without center Reggie Johnson, the Hurricanes should be able to take care of the Eagles.

Marquette is not that great of a team talent-wise but has thrived off-defense, coaching and timely shot-making.

I just think that Miami’s backcourt will be too much for Marquette to handle.

Miami wins 72-65

By Brian Chavkin 

Photo Courtesy of Indiana Public Media, Flickr

+ posts

The Emory Wheel was founded in 1919 and is currently the only independent, student-run newspaper of Emory University. The Wheel publishes weekly on Wednesdays during the academic year, except during University holidays and scheduled publication intermissions.

The Wheel is financially and editorially independent from the University. All of its content is generated by the Wheel’s more than 100 student staff members and contributing writers, and its printing costs are covered by profits from self-generated advertising sales.