Sweet 16: The madness begins again


March Madness is a great time of year. Nothing beats filling out brackets, watching four games at once, and following to see if your bracket stays perfect. The bracket started with sixty eight teams. After the first weekend, only sixteen remain. 

  Gonzaga vs. Arkansas

Gonzaga is coming off of a back and forth game on Saturday versus Memphis. Memphis was up 10 at halftime to the number 1 overall seeded Gonzaga in the tournament. Gonzaga battled back, and survived with a 82-78 victory. The Arkansas Razorbacks are coming off wins versus 13-seeded Vermont, and 12seeded New Mexico State. Both were close victories. 

Gonzaga enters this game still with only three losses, but have shown they are beatable right now. The Razorbacks will have to stop the Zags’ leading scorer Drew Timme who averages 18.2 points per game and is a monster in the post. Arkansas has their own scorer, however, in J.D Noate who also averages around 18 points a game. I think this will be a really close game. However, I think the Zags escape and win, 81-80. 


Michigan vs. Villanova

This game will be a rematch of the 2018 national championship game when Villanova captured its third national title in program history. Michigan is the eleventh seed in the tournament and is coming off a shocking win over the number three-seeded Tennesee Volunteers. They will take on the two seeded Wildcats of Villanova. The Cats escaped with a win on Sunday versus the Ohio State Buckeyes. Coach Jay Wright knows a thing or two about going on a run in this tournament. 

Michigan is led by big man Hunter Dickinson who averaged 18 points a game and 8 rebounds. Villanova will have to find a way to stop him, otherwise the Wolverines could pull off the upset. Villanova is led by senior Collin Gillispee who averages 16 points a game and is a very smart player on the court. Michigan is the underdog here, but don’t count them out. However, I do think Villanova wins this game by a score of 68-64. 


  Duke vs. Texas Tech

The big story around Duke this year is obviously Coach K’s final season as head coach. The Michigan State Spartans almost sent him into retirement, but the Blue Devils won a great back-and-forth game and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. As for Texas Tech, they’re coming off a gritty win versus a good Notre Dame team. 

The Red Raiders are known for their stellar defense, only allowing an average of 60 points per game. Duke is led by standout freshman Paolo Banchero who averages 17 points per game. Also a huge factor for the Blue Devils is big man Mark Williams, who is a monster on the glass and is difficult to stop. Texas Tech is led by Bryson Williams who averages 13.9 points per game. They also have some Sweet Sixteen experience with Oral Roberts’ transfer Kevin O’Banner. He was on the Oral Roberts’ team last year that made the Sweet Sixteen as a 15-seed. I think it’s hard to play lockdown defense against a team like Duke with so many scorers. I don’t think this will be Coach K’s last game. Give me Duke beating Texas Tech, 74-66. 


Arizona vs Houston

Arizona just finished a crazy game versus TCU, where they had a chance to win the game in regulation as time was winding down. However, Arizona’s Dalen Terry went in for a dunk instead of laying it in for the win. The Wildcats eventually won in overtime. Houston is a team that is red hot. They are coming off two wins, one versus University of Alabama Birmingham, where they won by 14, and another against 4th seeded Illinois. 

Arizona is led by one of the best players in the country in Bennedict Mathurin, who averages 17.8 points per game. Houston is led by Kyler Edwards, who averages 13.9 points per game. Arizona was very close to getting upset versus TCU. I think Houston wins this game, 73-71, and pulls off the upset.