The first games of the sweet 16 have ended and the rest are on deck tonight. We have some surprising teams in the mix.
Many from Southwest Missouri, or really anywhere associated with the Missouri Valley Conference likely have some bracket similarities. Over the past few years they may have had Wichita State winning a game or two more than they should. Wichita (not a state) is not in the conference anymore, however.
There is a new sheriff in town. After winning the MVC title, the Loyola Ramblers headed into the tourney as an 11-seed. Now, they just keep winning. The Ramblers are elite 8-bound, and are surely surprised to see 9-seed K-State as their opponent instead of Virginia, Arizona, or even Kentucky.
A few spots down on the bracket, 9-seed Florida State has clawed their way into the elite 8 as well, with arguably one of the tougher schedules to get there. They have gone through Missouri, one-seed Xavier, and now Gonzaga, who was coming off a trip to the final. They will meet 3-seed Michigan. The left side of the bracket has been WILD.
Who knows what will happen, really. The tournament is crazy each year; hence the name "March madness". The East and Midwest quadrants of the bracket have been comparatively more predictable thus far.
1-seeds are still alive over here with Villanova (who will play 5-seed West Virginia) and Kansas (who plays 5-seed Clemson). That means there are likely a few brackets out there that may be ugly, but still have a chance to be decent.
Texas Tech (3-seed) will face Purdue (2-seed) tonight. Both teams have looked sharp. The biggest surprise on this side of things has been 11-seed Syracuse, owners of back-to-bck upsets after making the tourney via play-in game. They have another tall task ahead, facing 2-seed Duke.
NCAA women's tourney
The first wave of sweet 16 games starts this evening on the ladies' side of things. 1-seed Mississippi State faces off with 4-seed NC State. 1-seed Louisville is set to play 4-seed Stanford. All 1-seeds are still accounted for to this point, so the madness has not quite affected the women as it has the men.
Oregon State (6-seed) faces Baylor (2-seed), who has dominated their competition so far. The other matchup tonight should be a good one with UCLA (3-seed) and Texas (2-seed) set to play in Kansas City. Our next look at UConn will wait until tomorrow, when they face Duke.
For more NCAAM and NCAAW basketball, check back tomorrow on The Basketball Movement for more updates and previews as the tournaments move forward.