It's on to the weekend that many consider the defining mark of a season. I had OR vs. MI in the Sweet 16, and with the injury to Chris Boucher and the run that MI has been on, I have no reason yet to pick against the Wolverines. Coach Sean Miller, steaming toward his first Final Four, is known for his pack-line defense, but he also has elite scorers in guard Allonzo Trier (17.1 ppg) and 7-footer Lauri Markkanen (15.8), who are hot at the right time.
In 2009, Kansas, Missouri and OU made it. No Big Ten team was seeded higher than No. 4 Purdue, yet three of the conference's seven tournament teams advanced to the Sweet 16, matching last year's total. It is worth noting that only No. 11 USC has outperformed its seeding, but just having those three top-three seeds advance is a major improvement for the Pac-12.
The conference that had a down year, that was so second-rate it didn't merit anything better than a No. 4 seed, has three teams in the Sweet 16, tied for most of any conference.
The conference that had the toughest early rounds was the Atlantic Coast Conference. The win means UNC advances to the Sweet 16 to face Butler as they continue their quest to return to the national title game following last year's heartbreaking ending. The No. 3 seed Terps are back in the Sweet 16 after failing to make it out of College Park last season. Baylor, the No. 3 seed in the East, will be joined in NY by South Carolina (No. 7 seed), Wisconsin (No. 8 seed) and Florida (No. 4 seed) in the only region that has lost its top seed. The Ducks move on to face No. 2 seed Duke on Monday at 3:30 p.m.
ALL WET: This tournament has started a new postgame tradition, spraying everybody with water in the locker room.
"We have a tough league", Painter said emphatically, "across the board". Coach Mike Krzyzewski explained what happened in his locker room after the game. I'm disappointed that we didn't win tonight. "And so as a result, I told everybody, 'Just wait'". It was never really that important.
"You guys seem to get a theme, whether it's good or bad". They're not an eighth seed. No. 7 MI took down second-seeded Louisville on Sunday.
The top two seeds are alive in the West and South, while the Midwest lost second-seeded Louisville. "I know that we have the heart of a champion". We were just overrated. "They can't put that into a formula to come out with a percentage chance to win, and that's the things that we have". "Whether it's the 3-ball or not, it's finding multiple different ways to win and taking what the game gives us". So you get judged by that. Sure, you could watch the NIT or something. Much of it will probably be a bit premature - we tend to overreact and over-narratize the first few days of the Tournament.
BIG REMATCH: Back on December 3, Kentucky and UCLA met in Lexington.
In 2015, the Big 12 had two teams in the Sweet 16 - OU and West Virginia.
When they met the first time, UCLA was ranked 11th in the country and the Wildcats were No. 1.
Miami, also, peaked too soon, beating Virginia in Charlottesville and then Duke in one week in late February, before losing by 25 to North Carolina in Brooklyn, then losing by 20 to Michigan State in the Round of 64. North Carolina might be the best team left in the field, but the Bulldogs won't be afraid of their Sweet 16 opponent. "People that don't think our league is any good, tell them to go play Wisconsin. Makes for a great matchup".