Following several upsets in the first weekend of the 2017 NCAA March Madness Tournament, we now know which teams will be battling it out in the Sweet 16 round of play! Yes, the bracket busting is well underway and March Madness is once again living up to its name. Just making the Sweet 16 is always an accomplishment teams should be proud of, after all, they are the final 16 teams left standing after a long grueling season. However, losing in the Sweet 16 can be one of the most bitter sweet losses in a college basketball player’s career.
Right now none of the teams remaining want to think about next weekend, they just want to take one day to let it soak in that they are heading into the promised land of the Sweet 16 bracket.
While many teams that were supposed to be Sweet 16 bound have made it, others that were highly favored to make it to the Sweet 16 and beyond are already looking ahead to the 2017 season – namely the Villanova Wildcats and Florida State Seminoles.
According to a CBS Sports report, the defending champion Wildcats’ season came to an end Saturday afternoon when they fell to the Wisconsin Badgers 65-62.
Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes scored 19 points, but none bigger than the two he scored on a driving lay-up dropping with 11.4 seconds left to put Wisconsin ahead for good, 64-62. The Badgers will now play next week at New York’s Madison Square Garden against the Florida Gators.
Right behind Villanova in the bracket busting department are the Duke Blue Devils and Florida State Seminoles. FSU was a No. 3 seed and predicted by many experts to cruise into the Sweet 16 round, however, Xavier didn’t get the memo.
After an incredible season, the Seminoles had high hopes of a national championship run, but they ran into a very good and underrated Musketeers squad.
Trevon Bluiett led the way for Xavier with 29 points and Kaiser Gates added 14 off of the bench as the No. 11 Musketeers crushed FSU 91-66. The win shouldn’t surprise March Madness fans who do their homework.
The Musketeers will now advance to their second straight Sweet 16 appearance in a row. It will also be the eighth time in program history that X has made it to the Sweet 16. This team just has a knack for doing well in the NCAA Tournament.
Duke was shocked late last night by the South Carolina Gamecocks 88-81. Just like Villanova, this loss not only shocked many NCAA fans, but it destroyed a lot of tournament brackets heading into Sweet 16 play.
Sindarius Thornwell had 24 points and Chris Silva added 17 as the seventh-seeded South Carolina stunned No. 2 seed Duke Sunday night.
So now what?
While Kansas, North Carolina and Gonzaga were all expected to be here by most college hoops gurus, Michigan, South Carolina, Butler and Xavier were not. Hold on to your hats fans, this year’s Sweet 16 round could be one of the wildest of all!
Below is a look at the complete NCAA March Madness Sweet 16 schedule, and the current odds to win the 2017 NCAA championship. You can click here for all the updated bracket information.
Thursday, March 23
- 7:09 p.m. ET — Oregon vs. Michigan (Kansas City, Mo.)
- 7:39 p.m. ET — Gonzaga vs. West Virginia (San Jose)
- 9:30 p.m. ET* Kansas vs. Purdue (Kansas City, Mo.)
- 10:05 p.m. ET* Arizona vs. Xavier (San Jose)
Friday, March 24
- 7:09 p.m. ET — Butler vs. North Carolina (Memphis)
- 7:20 p.m. ET — Baylor vs. South Carolina (New York, N.Y.)
- 9:35 p.m. ET — UCLA vs. Kentucky (Memphis)
- 9:45 p.m. ET — Florida vs. Wisconsin (New York, N.Y.)
Sweet 16 Odds To Win NCAA Title
- Kansas 4/1
- North Carolina 9/2
- Gonzaga 5/1
- Arizona 11/2
- UCLA 7/1
- Florida 12/1
- Kentucky 12/1
- Baylor 15/1
- Oregon 15/1
- Wisconsin 15/1
- Michigan 18/1
- West Virginia 18/1
- Purdue 20/1
- Butler 50/1
- South Carolina 50/1
- Xavier 100/1
[Featured Image by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]