Sweet 16: The second wave begins


After a thrilling slate of games yesterday, the Sweet sixteen continues with four more games. 

St. Peters vs. Purdue

The Cinderella story. There’s always one team that comes out of nowhere every year and goes on a magical run. This year it’s the 15-seeded Saint Peter’s Peacocks. They are only the third 15-seeded team to make the sweet sixteen. They took out 2-seeded powerhouse Kentucky in the round of 64 in one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history. They will take on the 3-seeded Purdue Boilermakers, who finished the season with a record of 27-7. Saint Peters is led by head coach Shaheen Holloway who installs a “New York” toughness to his team. The Peacocks leading scorer is Daryl Banks who averages 11.4 points per game. Purdue has a lot of guys who can score. Jaden Ivey is considered one of the best guards in the country, as he averages 17.6 points per game. Down low, they have Treveon Williams who is a bully in the post, while also being a good passer. We can’t forget the Boilermakers 7’4” center Zach Edey who can dunk without barely leaving his feet. He will be a huge factor in this game. I think this will be a good matchup. However, I think the Cinderella story ends and Purdue defeats St. Peters 71-58. 


Kansas vs Providence

The Kansas Jayhawks came into the tournament with a 28-6 record and earned a number 1-seed in the tournament. They blew out Texas Southern in the round of 64, and won a nail biter in the round of 32 against Creighton. The Providence Friars are a team coming into the tournament that nobody was high on, despite being a number 4-seed. The media said they were “lucky” and won a lot of close games that they should’ve lost. Now they’re in the sweet 16. They finished with a record of 25-5, and won the Big East conference regular season title. Kansas is led by one of the best guards in the country in Ochai Agbaji who averages 19.3 points a game. Providence is led by Nate Watson, who averages 13.5 points a game. Kansas is the favorite, but I think the Friars get the upset and win 69-67. 


North Carolina vs UCLA

8-seeded North Carolina destroyed Marquette in the round of 64, and is coming off an upset win vs 1-seeded Baylor in the round of 32. 4-seeded UCLA is coming off a win versus 5-seeded St. Mary’s. Coach Mick Cronin’s team went on a historic run to the final 4 last season as an 11-seed. North Carolina lived on “the bubble” for a lot of their season but that changed when they beat Duke in coach K’s final home game. UCLA finished with a record of 25-7, and finished second in the Pac-12. North Carolina is led by Armando Bacot who averages 16.4 points a game and 12.5 rebounds. UCLA will also have to keep an eye on Brady Manek, who dropped 26 points versus Baylor. UCLA is led by Johnny Juzang who averages 15.7 points per game. He and Tyler Campbell are a great guard duo that can cause a lot of problems. UCLA also has a dominant forward in Jamie Jaquez who is questionable for the game. He’s been on a roll, and if he plays he will be a huge factor in this game. Overall, I think North Carolina matches up well with UCLA, and I think they win 70-66. 

Miami vs Iowa State

Both of these squads are coming off upset wins. 10-seeded Miami just took down 2-seeded Auburn in the round of 32, and 11-seeded Iowa State took down 3-seeded Wisconsin. A year ago, the Cyclones finished with a record of 2-22. They are now 22-12 and in the sweet 16 with a lot of credit due to head coach TJ Otzelberger. Miami is a team that hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2018. This is their first sweet 16 appearance since 2016. Iowa State is led by Izaiah Brockington who averages 17.1 points per game. Miami has a guard trio of Charlie Moore, Isaiah Wong, and Kameron Mcgusty. Mcgusty stirs the drink on offense averaging 17.5 points per game. This will be an interesting matchup between two lower seeded teams. I think Miami will defeat Iowa State 66-64.