March Madness Continues With Sweet 16 After A Tumultuous First Two Rounds

By Ian John
March 23, 2023

What a sensational opening two rounds of action we have seen in the NCAAB Basketball Championship!

We have seen two of the top seeds tumble out of the tournament in shocking fashion, with just two top seeds amongst the remaining 16 teams.

There has also been action and drama aplenty, with last second buzzer beaters, incredible shocks, outstanding team play and of course, some of the favourites have shown precisely why they were short odds to do well in this tournament.

So let’s quickly recap all that has happened in the first two rounds of the tournament before we highlight the draw for the Sweet 16 round.

Remember, all odds shown in this article are from bet365 Sport and were correct at the time of writing but may have changed in the meantime.

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NCAAB Basketball Championship – Results So Far

First Four

  • West Arizona State (11) 98-73 Nevada (11)
  • Midwest – Mississippi State (11) 59-60 Pittsburgh (11)
  • East – Texas Southern (16) 61-84 FDU (16)
  • SouthTexas A&M-CC (16) 75-71 SE Missouri State (16)

West Bracket

  • Kansas (1) 96-68 Howard (16)
  • Arkansas (8) 73-63 Illinois (9)
  • St Mary’s (5) 63-51 VCU (12)
  • UConn (4) 87-63 Iona (13)
  • TCU (6) 72-70 Arizona State(11)
  • Gonzaga (3) 82-70 Grand Canyon (14)
  • Northwestern (7) 75-67 Boise State (10)
  • UCLA (2) 86-53 UNC Asheville (15)

West Bracket Second Round

  • Kansas (1) 71-72 Arkansas (8)
  • St Mary’s (5) 55-70 UConn (4)
  • TCU (6) 81-74 Gonzaga (3)
  • Northwestern (7) 63-68 UCLA (2)

The West Bracket has pretty much gone with the seedings, bar one game which saw an epic ending as Arkansas outlasted the top seeds Kansas by a single point, when Kansas tried to miss from the free-throw line to try and score the two-pointer needed to tie, but unfortunately, the ball found the net and Arkansas managed to hold position to claim the win and the spot in the Sweet 16.

The eight seeds are joined by UCLA, Gonzaga and UConn in the Sweet 16.

Midwest Bracket

  • Houston (1) 63-52 N.Kentucky (16)
  • Iowa (8) 75-83 Auburn (9)
  • Miami Fl (5) 63-56 Drake (12)
  • Indiana (4) 71-60 Kent State (13)
  • Iowa St. (6) 41-59 Pittsburgh (11)
  • Xavier (3) 72-67 Kennesaw St (14)
  • Texas A&M (7) 59-76 Penn St. (10)
  • Texas (2) 81-61 Colgate (15)

Midwest Bracket Second Round

  • Houston (1) 81-64 Auburn (9)
  • Miami Fl. (5) 85-69 Indiana (4)
  • Pittsburgh (11) 73-84 Xavier (3)
  • Penn St (10) 66-71 Texas (2)

Rather like the West Bracket, there hasn’t been too many upsets in the Midwest divison despite a number of lower seeds upsetting the top seeds in the first round. In the end, only Indiana of the top four seeds didn’t make it through to the Sweet 16.

Houston, Texas and Xavier have all made comfortable progress and Miami Fl.’s big win over Indiana means that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the next round.

East Bracket

  • Purdue (1) 58-63 FDU (16)
  • Memphis (8) 65-66 Fl. Atlantic (9)
  • Duke (5) 74-51 Oral Roberts (12)
  • Tennessee (4) 58-55 Louisiana (13)
  • Kentucky (6) 61-53 Providence (11)
  • Kansas St (3) 77-65 Montana St (14)
  • Michigan St (7) 72-62 USC (10)
  • Marquette (2) 78-61 Vermont (15)

East Bracket Second Round

  • FDU (16) 70-78 Fl.Atlantic (9)
  • Duke (5) 52-65 Tennessee (4)
  • Kentucky (6) 69-75 Kansas State (3)
  • Michigan St (7) 69-60 Marquette (2)

For only the second time in NCAAB Championship history, a top ranked seed fell at the first hurdle against a 16th seed as FDU defeated Purdue in one of the huge shocks of the tournament.

Their big win however wasn’t enough against ninth seed Florida Atlantic who won their second round clash to move into the Sweet 16.

Tennessee and Kansas State joined them but there was a surprise in the final second round game when Michigan State defied their 7th seed odds to beat second seed Marquette.

South Bracket

  • Alabama (1) 96-75 Texas A&M-CC(16)
  • Maryland (8) 67-65 Virginia Tech (9)
  • San Diego State (5) 63-57 Col of Charleston (12)
  • Virginia (4) 67-68 Furman (13)
  • Creighton (6) 72-63 NC State (11)
  • Baylor (3) 74-56 UCSB (14
  • Missouri (7) 76-65 Utah State (10)
  • Arizona (2) 55-59 Princeton (15)

South Bracket Second Round

  • Alabama (1) 73-51 Maryland (8)
  • San Diego St (5) 75-52 Furman (13)
  • Creighton (6) 85-76 Baylor (3)
  • Missouri (7) 63-78 Princeton (15)

For the third straight year and the 10th time in NCAAB Championship history, a 15th seed defeated a second seed in the First Round as Princeton produced a huge upset defeating one of the favourites for the National Championship Arizona.

Furman then followed that upset with a win over fourth seed Virginia, coming back from 3 points down with 30 seconds to go as the South produced two huge first round upsets. Furman hitting a crucial three-pointer after Virginia’s Clark threw the ball away.

Princeton’s fantastic performance continued with another stunning win over seventh seed Missouri, while top seed Alabama joined San Diego State and Creighton in the Sweet 16.

Sweet 16 Round (All Brackets)

  • (South) Alabama (1) v San Diego St. (5)
  • (South) Creighton (6) v Princeton (15)
  • (East) Fl.Atlantic (9) v Tennessee (4)
  • (East) Kansas State (3) v Michigan St. (7)
  • (Midwest) Houston (1) v Miami Fl (5)
  • (Midwest) Xavier (3) v Texas (2)
  • (West) Arkansas (8) v UConn (4)
  • (West) Gonzaga (3) v UCLA (2)

With Kansas already out, there will be a new National Champion this season but who will that be?

Currently, bet365 has Alabama as the 7/2 favourites ahead of Houston at 4/1.

There is then something of a large gap to Creighton and UConn at 9/1, with UCLA a 10/1 chance alongside Tennessee.

Gonzaga and Texas are 12/1 and then we head into the outsiders, with Michigan State 20/1, Kansas State 22/1, Arkansas and Xavier both 30/1, San Diego State and Florida Atlantic 40/1 and Miami Florida 50/1.

Princeton, who offer no Basketball scholarships as an Ivy League school, are the rank outsides at 200/1 having already well surpassed expectations to reach the Sweet 16 stage.

Our Picks

Outlined below are our picks for each of the Sweet 16 ties:

  • (South) Alabama (1) v San Diego St. (5) – Alabama – 2/7
  • (South) Creighton (6) v Princeton (15) – Creighton – 2/11
  • (East) Fl.Atlantic (9) v Tennessee (4) – Tennessee – 5/13
  • (East) Kansas State (3) v Michigan St. (7) – Michigan State – 4/5
  • (Midwest) Houston (1) v Miami Fl (5) – Houston – 10/33
  • (Midwest) Xavier (3) v Texas (2) – Xavier – 167/100
  • (West) Arkansas (8) v UConn (4) – UConn – 25/48
  • (West) Gonzaga (3) v UCLA (2) – UCLA – 4/5

And our pick for who to back to win the Championship? We’d take UCLA, who are a 10/1 shot to claim the National Championships with bet365.

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