Action Sports 1 year ago

March Madness: Sweet 16 power rankings

  • March Madness: Sweet 16 power rankings

March Madness is best enjoyed when there's chaos early on, and good form holds later.

Most have stated that Arkansas Little Rock over Purdue was pure magic, but the same people will tell you it'll be Arkansas or North Carolina for the title. 

March Madness has delivered the best of both worlds, with 10 victories by double-digit seeds in the first round. But the four biggest names headline a scorching Sweet 16: North Carolina, Duke, Kansas and Indiana.

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Let's rank the 16.

1. North Carolina: If guards Joel Berry II and Marcus Paige keep playing the way they have, the Tar Heels will be tough as tar to beat. Next: vs. Indiana

2. Kansas: The No. 1 overall seed is as impressive as NC. But the Tar Heels have a slight edge, because when they've got a fully healthy team, they really perform. Next: vs. Maryland 

3. Indiana: They get instant respect for winning against Kentucky, but they should be prepared for a tougher week. Next: vs. North Carolina 

4. Virginia: Look like No. 1 seeds, but unless the offense keeps up, this week could be costly. Next: vs. Iowa State 

5. Villanova: It will mean a whole lot to a program that lost in the round of 32 the previous two years – as a No. 1 and No. 2 seed. Next: vs. Miami

6. Oregon: They're the last Pac-12 team and needed some late clutch shooting from Tyler Dorsey to preserve what little pride the conference had. Next: vs. Duke

7. Duke: CBS held their breath as Yale pulled within four points in the final minute. The TV ratings survived. Next: vs. Oregon

8. Miami: They had one of the best offensive showings of the weekend with 55 percent shooting from the field against Wichita State’s usually smoking defense. Next: vs. Villanova

9. Guard Buddy Hield reminded us why he's the top player against VCU (29 points in the second half). He can't do it alone though. Next: vs. Texas A&M

10. Coach Jim Boehim makes the Sweet 16 for the 17th time. The Orange needs to pull out all the stops. Next: vs. Gonzaga

11. Iowa State: The Cyclones made an early exit last season. Georges Niang helped make amends by scoring 28 points in both ISU’s wins. Next: vs. Virginia 

12. Gonzaga: Defense rules as the Zags have one of their best NCAA runs after one of their worst regular seasons. Next: vs. Syracuse

13. Texas A&M: We’ll remember them for having the biggest last-minute deficit comebacks in college basketball history. Now, the Aggies face their former Big 12 rival. Next vs. Oklahoma

14. Maryland: Challenged early, the Terps had a late surge against Hawaii. Now they set up a showdown between the Associated Press preseason poll’s No. 3 and 4 teams.

15. Notre Dame: The Irish were lucky against SFA, but under great coaching and a fantastic guard (Demetrius Jackson), qthey could be in the Elite Eight. Next: vs. Wisconsin

16. Wisconsin: J.J. Watt’s favorite team made it to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in six years after Bronson Koenig threw a final second dagger. Next: vs. Notre Dame

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