Michigan Wolverines in the Sweet 16. FSU (18-6, 11-4 in ACC) is the No
The Seminoles defeated No. 13 UNC Greensboro 64-54 in the first round and beat No. 5 Colorado 71-53 on Monday in the second round. FSU has won based on strong defense by senior guard M.J. Walker, center Balsa Koprivica and guard Scottie Barnes, one of the top freshmen in the ACC. They are coached by Leonard Hamilton, who is coaching injured.
Michigan (22-4, 14-3 in Big Ten) is the No. 1 seed in the East Region. The Wolverines beat No. 16 Texas Southern 82-66 in the first round and bested No. 8 LSU 86-78 on Monday in the second round. With star senior Isaiah Livers sidelined with a foot injury, the Wolverines have been led by sophomore guard Franz Wagner and freshman center Hunter Dickinson. They are coached by Juwan Howard, part of Michigan's famous Fab Five teams of the '90s.
Sunday's Sweet 16 action will be for the memory banks as it will mark the final time this season that most of the day is devoted to college basketball. The first game begins at 2:10 p.m. ET with top overall seed Gonzaga taking on No. 5 seed Creighton, and the play will last until late at night when No. 7 seed Oregon takes on No. 6 seed USC.
By the end of the night, the full Elite Eight will be set. It's been a wild NCAA Tournament so far, so it's only reasonable to expect more insanity on Sunday. With No. 1 seeds Gonzaga and Michigan in action and No. 2 seed Alabama facing No. 11 seed UCLA, there are some potential upsets on the docket.
Sweet 16 picks and previews for all eight games this weekend. Listen to the latest episode of Eye on College Basketball below. The seedings held to form in only one men's Sweet 16 matchup—No. 1 Michigan and No. 4 Florida State in the East region.
The Wolverines are the lone Big Ten team remaining and are making their fourth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance on Sunday. They just topped LSU 86-78 in the Round of 32. Meanwhile, the Seminoles posted double-digit victories over UNC Greensboro and Colorado to advance to their third straight Sweet 16.
And now, two decades later, Leonard Hamilton and Juwan Howard have come full circle since their time together at the Wizards as they prepare to face-off in the Sweet 16.
“Our relationship runs deep,” Howard said during a Zoom call with reporters Thursday. “It goes back to the time when I played for coach Hamilton when I was playing for the Washington Wizards. The respect that I have for a coach as a man as a father and also as a coach, obviously, during his time coaching the University of Miami as well as Florida State. He’s had amazing success, great knowledge for the game of basketball, people and his resume speaks for himself.”
The showdown between Pac-12 rivals Oregon and USC is interesting, too. USC beat Oregon 72-58 in their only meeting during the regular season, but the Ducks have won seven of their last eight games since that loss and looked elite offensively in a second-round victory over Iowa.
Our team of writers has sized up each matchup and come up with picks both straight up and against the spread. Odds via William Hill Sportsbook
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This may seem like a massive spread to cover against a quality opponent, but Gonzaga puts up massive point totals, and Creighton would need a prolific outside shooting performance to keep pace. The Bulldogs beat Oklahoma by 16 in their second round game, and this should be a similar type of challenge. Creighton beat a No. 12 seed and No. 13 seed to reach this point, and it will struggle against Gonzaga's ultra-efficient offense. Prediction: Gonzaga 89, Creighton 72 -- Cobb