So … how’s your bracket? Yeah, we comprehend.
The very first 2 rounds have actually offered us historical minutes and thrilling wins. Keep in mind when Furman beat Virginia on a 3-pointer in the last seconds on Thursday? We do not either. Due to the fact that ever since, Fairleigh Dickinson and Princeton made more substantial upsets that rapidly took Furman’s 15 minutes of popularity.
Michigan State was competitive however plainly flawed through Huge 10 play. Still, it’s Tom Izzo, so the Spartans remain in the Sugary food 16 as soon as again. Kansas and Purdue, both 1-seeds, are back house. Huh?
Our effort to reseed the Sugary food 16 is closer to a ranking system based upon our belief of where these groups stand now, and how far our company believe they can go. The complete body of work matters, however the existing state of a program is impactful, too. Simply ask Arkansas, which weathered an 8-11 stretch prior to this competition run.
Here is our effort to reseed the Sugary food 16:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Initial Seed: No. 1. Reseed: 1
Nate Oats’ team appears to have an equipment that maybe even Houston– the just other staying No. 1 seed in the NCAA competition– may not have the ability to reach. In the 21-point win over Texas A&M- Corpus Christi on Thursday, Brandon Miller (groin injury) went scoreless and played simply 19 minutes, however the Crimson Tide still signed up 132 points per 100 belongings. Miller returned for Alabama’s 22-point win over Maryland in the 2nd round with 19 points, 7 rebounds.
The Crimson Tide– 3rd in adjusted protective effectiveness on KenPom– showed they can likewise play exceptional defense, too. The balance connected to this Alabama group is unequaled in college basketball today. Miller is a top-five NBA possibility on every respectable mock draft board and leads a group efficient in offending barrages and protective shutdowns. It’s not inconceivable that Alabama may stroll through its next 2 challengers on its method to the Last 4.
Up next: vs. San Diego State (Friday, 6:30 p.m. ET, TBS)
2. Houston Cougars
Initial Seed: No. 1. Reseed: 1
Houston may not be one hundred percent however Jamal Shead (knee) and Marcus Sasser (groin) both contributed in the second-round win over Auburn on Saturday– reigniting the Cougars’ hopes of ending up being the very first host school in Last 4 history to really play in the Last 4. Down 10 points at halftime, Houston demonstrated how harmful it can be when it is (mainly) healthy as it outscored the Tigers 50-23 in the 2nd half. Sasser hammered out nasty difficulty however still handled to score 22 points in 31 minutes. Shead (10 points) had his battles however played 34 minutes. Tramon Mark (26 points) signed up with Sasser as the very first duo in Houston history to score 20 points or more in the NCAA competition because 1984.
It was a dominant, come-from-behind effort by a Cougars group that should have all the Last 4 buzz that appeared to diminish when Sasser re-aggravated his groin injury in Thursday’s win over Northern Kentucky in the preliminary. Houston is back on its perch.
Up next: vs. Miami (Friday, 7:15 p.m. ET, CBS)
3. UCLA Bruins
Initial Seed: No. 2. Reseed: 1
Towards completion of Saturday’s win over Northwestern, Mick Cronin hovered over David Singleton (9.1 PPG, 43% from the 3-point line) after the sharpshooter and starter suffered an ankle injury. At this moment, the injury bug seems UCLA’s biggest danger. Jaylen Clark, the Pac-12 Protective Gamer of the Year, has actually been out because the conference competition; Adem Bona, a first-class hire, returned after 2 video games out due to a shoulder injury to bet Northwestern.
Yet, Cronin’s group continues to get rid of those obstacles. How? Jaime Jaquez Jr. (21.5 PPG, 17-for-28 inside the arc, 40% from 3 in the NCAA competition), the forecasted All-American, has actually been among the leading gamers in the postseason so far. First-class hire Amari Bailey (15.5 PPG in 2 NCAA competition video games) has actually become a more constant scoring danger. And Tyger Campbell has simply 2 turnovers in UCLA’s previous 4 video games. That’s how.
Up next: vs. TCU/Gonzaga (Thursday, 9:45 p.m. ET, CBS)
4. Texas Longhorns
Initial Seed: No. 2. Reseed: 1
When Chris Beard was fired in January, Rodney Terry was extensively deemed a momentary service for a Texas opening that has actually been connected to a few of the most significant names in college basketball. Terry was simply the man up until Texas discovered the next man, right?
Terry had other strategies. The Longhorns’ go to the Sugary food 16– their very first because 2008– need to provide him the within track on protecting that task completely. This Texas group was deemed a possible Last 4 group prior to the season. Terry has actually assisted this program on the course to reach that ceiling, and he should have credit– and an agreement– for that. Saturday’s triumph over Penn State 71-66 on Saturday showcased the depth of this group. Timmy Allen’s defense on Jalen Pickett (5-for-13, 11 points) restricted the All-American’s effect. Dylan Disu (28 points, 10 rebounds) brought his group on offense. Over the previous month, Texas is 8-2 (consisting of 2 wins over Kansas). If the Longhorns play like this moving forward, they’ll have a possibility to get to the Last 4 for the very first time in twenty years.
Up next: vs. Xavier (Friday, 9:45 p.m. ET, CBS)
5. UConn Huskies
Initial Seed: No. 4. Reseed: 2
Through UConn’s very first 2 video games, there have actually been numerous minutes where the electronic camera has actually concentrated on Adama Sanogo waiting on the bench to encounter the video game and create chaos. Sanogo has actually been the most dominant force in the very first weekend of the NCAA competition. His numbers checked out like they’re from an Xbox video game: 28 points (13-for-17), 13 rebounds and a block versus Iona; 24 points (11-for-16), 8 rebounds and a block versus Saint Mary’s. Connecticut won its very first 2 NCAA competition video games by a margin of 39 points integrated as an outcome of those efficiencies. The Huskies are likewise 22-for-47 from the 3-point line. They’re getting a great deal of offending rebounds and both Iona and Saint Mary’s signed up simply 95 points per 100 belongings versus their protective pressure. Dan Hurley’s team is playing some championship-level basketball today.
Up next: vs. Arkansas (Thursday, 7:15 p.m. ET, CBS)
6. Tennessee Volunteers
Initial Seed: No. 4. Reseed: 2
Long prior to strength and conditioning programs in college basketball ended up being fashionable, Rick Barnes had actually dedicated to establishing an unequaled level of physicality within his programs. Ranked initially in adjusted protective effectiveness on KenPom, Tennessee’s brawn added to its 65-52 second-round win over Duke— which had actually won 10 video games in a row– and the program’s seventh journey to the Sugary food 16 because 2000. Duke, a top-10 offending rebounding group in America, protected simply 21% of its second-chance chances versus the Vols. And 6-foot-9, 236-pound Olivier Nkamhoua (27 points) bullied heaven Devils, specifically in the 2nd half.
Turnovers had actually been a concern following Zakai Ziegler’s season-ending injury, however the Vols dedicated simply 9 versus Duke. If this plodding, enforcing, protective juggernaut continues to play a sensible brand name of basketball, Barnes might reach the Elite 8 for the very first time because the 2007-08 season when he was at Texas.
Up next: vs. FAU (Thursday, 9 p.m. ET, TBS)
7. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Initial Seed: No. 3. Reseed: 2
Throughout their 11-game winning streak, the Bulldogs have actually won each video game by approximately 18.4 PPG. While they do not have a Jalen Suggs, Chet Holmgren or another forecasted lottery game choice, their offending ceiling enables them to separate themselves, even in tight video games. Down the stretch versus a ruthless TCU team on Sunday, Gonzaga relied on Drew Timme and likewise played strongly around the rim to secure free toss efforts.
It worked, and now Gonzaga is back in the Sugary food 16 for the 8th year in a row. This is an elite group that’s improving at the correct time. It’s likewise the worst Gonzaga defense in 16 years. That might be an issue for a group with a lot of offending benefits and a difference-maker figured out to get them to the 3rd weekend.
Up next: vs. UCLA (Thursday, 9:45 p.m. ET, CBS)
8. Kansas State Wildcats
Initial Seed: No. 3. Reseed: 2
Jerome Tang thought Kansas State had a chance to start an instant turn-around last summer season, when he left Baylor– where he was associate head coach and won a nationwide title with the Bears in 2021. He was right. With Keyontae Johnson getting here from Florida and Markquis Nowell returning for another run, he had a set of anchors who charged this group’s very first go to the Sugary food 16 because 2018.
Nowell in specific has actually been a secret for opposing backcourts so far. His playmaking capability and success with pick-and-roll circumstances make Kansas State a difficulty for any defense. He has actually likewise shot 43% from 3 in the NCAA competition. Plus, the Wildcats took apart the offending rhythms of both Montana State and Kentucky, a set of groups that dedicated turnovers on 23% of their belongings versus them. Tang’s team has a high level of self-confidence getting in the Sugary food 16. It’s simple to see why.
Up next: vs. Michigan State (Thursday, 6:30 p.m. ET, TBS)
9. Xavier Musketeers
Initial Seed: No. 3. Reseed: 3
Timing matters. A group that needs to handle a significant injury simply prior to the start of the NCAA competition– see: Kansas’ loss to Arkansas in the 2nd round with Expense Self sidelined for numerous video games following heart surgical treatment– may have difficulty changing in time to discover itself once again. However Xavier lost Zach Freemantle (15.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG) to a season-ending foot injury Feb. 1. While it was a terrible loss for the program, it occurred early enough for Sean Miller to reconfigure his lineups.
Jerome Hunter, Freemantle’s replacement in the beginning lineup, is balancing 19 PPG (14-for-21 inside the arc) through 2 NCAA competition video games. And a Xavier team that has actually lost simply one video game because Feb. 21 (7-1) held Kennesaw State and Pitt to approximately 94 points per 100 belongings. However the Musketeers will need to beat much better competitors to reach the Last 4.
Up next: vs. Texas (Friday, 9:45 p.m. ET, CBS)
10. Creighton Bluejays
Initial Seed: No. 6. Reseed: 3
Chosen to win the Big East prior to a rough start this season, Creighton is showcasing the adaptability that has actually made the Bluejays a genuine championship game competitor. Ryan Nembhard, bro of Indiana Pacers standout Andrew Nembhard, had 30 points versus Baylor as his group made 46% of its 3-point efforts Sunday. On Friday, when the Bluejays ended up 3-for-20 from beyond the arc in their win over NC State, Ryan Kalkbrenner, a 7-foot-1 star who has actually made 73% of his shots inside the arc, ended up with 31 points.
The Bluejays have a varied offense that depends on size, balance and the hot hand. After Creighton stumbled early in the season, it was simple to question its postseason goals. However the Bluejays are 14-4 in their previous 18 video games after reaching the Sugary food 16 for simply the 2nd time because 1974.
Up next: vs. Princeton (Friday, 9 p.m. ET, TBS)
11. Arkansas Razorbacks
Initial Seed: No. 8. Reseed: 3
From Dec. 28 to March 4, Arkansas went 8-11 and made simply 32% of its 3-point efforts. Yes, the Razorbacks have 3 NBA potential customers ( Nick Smith Jr., Anthony Black and Ricky Council IV), however Eric Musselman had a hard time to turn that skill into wins at the time. Lost in the discussion, nevertheless, was Arkansas’ effort to end up being a harder protective group in the paint. Its challengers balanced simply 46% of their shots inside the arc (No. 22 in the nation) throughout those rocky months.
Why does that matter? In Arkansas’ NCAA competition wins over Illinois and Kansas— causing Musselman’s 3rd successive Sugary food 16 look at Arkansas– the Illini and the Jayhawks signed up a 49% clip integrated inside the arc. Illinois (55%) and Kansas (53%) fell listed below their particular standards versus an Arkansas group that’s more major about defense nowadays. That, plus the introduction of gamers like Davonte Davis (21 points in the 2nd half versus Kansas), suggests the Razorbacks now appear like a Last 4 sleeper complete of energy and guts, and with an upset of a No. 1 seed on their rÃ©sumÃ©.
Up next: vs. UConn (Thursday, 7:15 p.m. ET, CBS)
12. San Diego State Aztecs
Initial Seed: No. 5. Reseed: 3
In their 75-52 win over Furman on Saturday, SDSU head coach Brian Dutcher reduced the effects of the group (the Paladins were 16-for-50 from the field) that disturbed Virginia. That’s been the standard for among America’s finest protective groups. The Aztecs’ capacity to advance to the Elite 8 and possibly beyond centers on their protective expertise. Throughout its existing six-game winning streak, SDSU’s challengers have actually balanced simply 85 points per 100 belongings. For context, Tennessee– ranked initially in adjusted protective effectiveness on KenPom– held its SEC challengers to 92.6 points per 100 belongings this season.
SDSU, which shoots 60.5% from inside the arc, likewise got rolling on offense versus Furman. If Matt Bradley (among 4 double-digit scorers Saturday) & & Co. continue to play defense at this level and discover methods to get containers, they’ll be a hard challenger to fix.
Worth keeping in mind? A Charleston– Furman course to the Sugary food 16 was the most convenient in the field.
Up next: vs. Alabama (Friday, 6:30 p.m. ET, TBS)
13. Miami Hurricanes
Initial Seed: No. 5. Reseed: 4
Miami got a substantial increase with the schedule of Norchad Omier, who was doubtful for the NCAA competition after suffering an ankle injury in the ACC competition. However he was cleared and now has 19 points and 31 rebounds through 2 NCAA competition video games.
Isaiah Wong (27 points versus the Hoosiers) continues to sustain a Miami group that reached the Sugary food 16 for the 5th time in school history with its win over Indiana on Sunday. The last ACC group in the field pressed the rate versus Drake and IU and will try to do the very same in the Sugary food 16. Miami’s defense has actually been an issue all season (108th in adjusted protective effectiveness on KenPom) however it has actually likewise played a few of the very best defense of this season over the previous couple days. If this ends up being the standard, a team that boasts among America’s a lot of powerful offending attacks (37% from the 3-point line, 54% inside the arc) will have a possibility to reach the Elite 8 for the 2nd successive season.
Up next: vs. Houston (Friday, 7:15 p.m. ET, CBS)
14. Michigan State Spartans
Initial Seed: No. 7. Reseed: 4
Among the styles of any NCAA competition that includes Tom Izzo is that you most likely should not wager versus Tom Izzo. A lot of carried out in his group’s match versus Marquette, the Big East routine season and competition champ, on Sunday. That was an error. Now, Izzo is on his method to his 15th Sugary food 16 in spite of leading a Michigan State team that does not have the NBA skill that has actually specified a few of his finest groups.
Tyson Walker has actually declined to yield in this NCAA competition. He hasn’t dedicated a turnover through 2 video games, and he has actually balanced 17.5 PPG. That’s the sort of management Izzo relied on previous NCAA competitions. Believe Mateen Cleaves, Kalin Lucas, Denzel Valentine and other strong guards who assisted the Spartans bloom in the dance. The Spartans have actually linked on 55% of their shots inside the arc in this year’s, and restricted both USC and Marquette’s second-chance chances. Izzo is outcoaching his peers today and his group is outworking theirs, too.
Up next: vs. Kansas State (Thursday, 6:30 p.m. ET, TBS)
15. Princeton Tigers
Initial Seed: No. 15. Reseed: 4
After suffering losses to groups like Delaware (234th on KenPom), Brown (173rd) and Dartmouth (260th), there were no signs the Ivy League regular-season and competition champs would in some way make a go to their very first Sugary food 16 look because 1967. However the Princeton Tigers have actually highlighted the magic of March as a 15-seed that beat 2-seed Arizona and 7-seed Missouri to accomplish the accomplishment.
Can they keep the momentum going? Mitch Henderson’s capability to manage the pace in the NCAA competition has actually worked up until now. In spite of Arizona leading by double digits late on Thursday, the Wildcats could not extend the lead due to the fact that Princeton dipped into such a systematic rate. Missouri had a comparable concern– it tried to get away a double-digit hole in the 2nd half however could not get the additional belongings required to cut into Princeton’s lead Saturday. Princeton has actually balanced simply 8.8 turnovers per video game throughout its six-game winning streak, too. This disciplined group is still a hazard for another upset.
Up next: vs. Creighton (Friday, 9 p.m. ET, TBS)
16. Florida Atlantic Owls
Initial Seed: No. 9. Reseed: 4
Often the NCAA competition has to do with the fortuitous advancements that lead the way to the 2nd weekend. That occurred for FAU. Memphis gamers quarrelled in the last minutes of the Owls’ win in the preliminary. And rather of dealing with 1-seed Purdue in the 2nd, the Owls played Fairleigh Dickinson, which was ranked 298th on KenPom prior to the 2nd 16-over-1 disturbed versus the Boilermakers.
On their method to the very first Sugary food 16 in school history– they won their very first NCAA competition video game this year, too– Dirty May’s team signed up 108.5 points per 100 belongings and simply 16 turnovers in 2 video games. Johnell Davis (20.5 PPG in the NCAA competition) has actually been a gem for a group that will be valued on its school permanently. Sure, luck assisted FAU reach the 2nd weekend. However the Owls have actually made this too.
Up next: vs. Tennessee (Friday, 9 p.m. ET, TBS)