March Madness viewer’s guide for the Sweet 16

Mar 22, 2022, 12:26 PM | Updated: 12:47 pm
Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) drives past Memphis forward DeAndre Williams (12) during the second ...

Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) drives past Memphis forward DeAndre Williams (12) during the second half of a second-round NCAA college basketball tournament game, Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

(AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

A No. 1 seed and two No. 2s did not get past the first weekend. A band of Peacocks from Jersey City took down a blue blood to reach the Sweet 16. They will be joined by a team that won two games last season.

March Madness lived up to its billing in the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament and turns the corner to the Sweet 16 this week. If history is any indication, we can expect some next-level madness as the bracket winds toward the Final Four in New Orleans.

Here’s a few things to watch as the tournament shifts to San Francisco, San Antonio, Chicago and Philadelphia for the regional rounds:

TOP SEEDS

Gonzaga (1 seed). The Zags needed a while to get going against Georgia State and had a stiff test against Memphis, but found a way to reach the Sweet 16 for the seventh straight season.

Arizona (1). These swashbuckling Wildcats have a flair for the dramatic and, as their coach has said, a razor-thin margin for error. But know this: Tommy Lloyd’s bunch is fun to watch when they get rolling.

Kansas (1). Another NCAA Tournament, another Sweet 16. That’s 32 now for the Jayhawks, who have the type of roster to keep it going.

Duke (2): The Blue Devils had to wrestle out a win against Michigan State to keep Coach K’s final run through the bracket going. They face another grinder against Mark Adams’ roughneck Red Raiders.

Villanova (2). Any team led by Jay Wright and Collin Gillespie is going to be a tough out.

UNDERDOGS

Saint Peter’s. The small Jesuit school in Jersey has quickly become America’s hoops crush. Taking down No. 2 seed Kentucky in the first round had something to do with it. So does being led by a back-up guard sporting a rad ‘stache.

Iowa State. Two wins last season to two opening NCAA Tournament wins. Two more and these scrappy Cyclones will play in the Final Four for the first time since ’44.

Miami. Jim Larrañaga’s scramble defense left the Hurricanes’ first two opponents feeling trapped. Now they’re one of three ACC teams left standing.

Providence. Ed Cooley’s crew is in the Sweet 16 for the first time in 25. They’ve left bruised and battered opponents in their wake.

Michigan. Usually hard to call the Wolverines an underdog, but they are an 11 seed that barely got into the bracket. The preseason projections of greatness are finally coming to fruition.

KEY PLAYERS

Drew Timme, Gonzaga. Footwork of a ballerina, knows all the angles, lives for the big moments. Great ‘stache, too.

Jaden Ivey, Purdue. Anticipation on his drives to the basket is like waiting for a rocket to burst in the air — his dunks are more like explosions.

Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona. Spring loaded and clutch. And don’t make him mad — TCU found that out the hard way.

Doug Edert, Saint Peters. Has turned into a March folk hero with that caterpillar under his lip and penchant for hitting big shots.

Ochai Agbaji, Kansas. Has a knack for making the biggest plays down the stretch.

MUST-SEE GAMES

Gonzaga vs. Arkansas, West Region, Thursday in San Francisco. The Zags wants to play fast. The Muss Bus will look to slow their roll.

North Carolina vs. UCLA, East Region, Friday in Philadelphia. Blue bloods facing off, an Elite Eight spot on the line? Yes, please.

Iowa State vs. Miami, Midwest Region, Friday in Chicago. One of these two defensive-minded upstarts is going to the Elite Eight. First one to 50 may get it.

Texas Tech vs. Duke, West Region, Thursday in San Francisco. The fate of Coach K’s farewell tour could be in the diabolical defensive hands of Red Raiders coach Mark Adams.

Arizona vs. Houston, South Region, Thursday in San Antonio. The Wildcats weren’t supposed to go this far in their first season under Tommy Lloyd. Neither were the Cougars after losing two starters to injury. Neither is going to give an inch now that they’re here.

THE ODDS

A few Sweet 16 odds, according to FanDuel Sportsbook:

Best bet to win the championship: Gonzaga plus-240, Kansas plus-500, Arizona plus-650.

Worst title odds: Saint Peter’s plus-35,000, Iowa State plus-10,000, Providence plus-7,500.

Biggest spread: Purdue minus-12.5 over Saint Peter’s.

Smallest spread: Duke minus-1 over Texas Tech.

HOW TO WATCH

The TV and streaming schedule is tantalizing, keep the remote handy:

Thursday, March 24: West Region semifinals in San Francisco on CBS, South in San Antonio on TBS.

Friday, March 25: East Region semifinals in Philadelphia on CBS, Midwest in Chicago on TBS.

Saturday, March 26: West and South regional finals on TBS.

Sunday, March 27: East and Midwest finals on CBS.

___

More AP coverage of March Madness: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              Purdue's Jaden Ivey and Yale's Bez Mbeng go after a loose ball during the second half of a first round NCAA college basketball tournament game Friday, March 18, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
            
              Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin , left, puts up a shot against the defense of TCU forward Xavier Cork, right, during the first half of a second-round NCAA college basketball tournament game, Sunday, March 20, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
            
              Saint Peter's guard Doug Edert (25) celebrates at the end of a college basketball game against Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Indianapolis. Saint Peter's won 85-79 in overtime. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
            
              Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) drives past Memphis forward DeAndre Williams (12) during the second half of a second-round NCAA college basketball tournament game, Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

AP

In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, Senior Airmen Andrew Whitener and Tyler Glodgett 341s...
Associated Press

Nuclear strike chief seeks cancer review of launch officers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Air Force general in charge of the nation’s air- and ground-launched nuclear missiles has requested an official investigation into the number of officers who are reporting blood cancer diagnoses after serving at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The illnesses became publicly known this week after The Associated Press obtained […]
17 hours ago
FILE - An Amazon Fresh grocery store stands in Warrington, Pa., on Feb. 4, 2022. In an email to Pri...
Associated Press

Amazon axes free grocery delivery on Prime orders under $150

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is axing free grocery delivery for Prime members on orders less than $150. Customers who get their groceries delivered from Amazon Fresh — and pay less than $150 — will be charged between $3.95 and $9.95, depending on the order size, the company said in an email to Prime members […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Fireworks explode over the ancient Parthenon temple at the Acropolis hill during New Year ce...
Associated Press

Fitch ups Greece’s rating to a notch below investment grade

NEW YORK (AP) — Credit ratings company Fitch has raised Greece’s credit rating to one notch below investment grade. In a report issued Friday, Fitch estimates that Greece’s deficit will shrink to 1.8% of its gross domestic product in 2024 from an estimated 3.8% last year. “There is some uncertainty around fiscal policies after the […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt speaks during an interview in Tokyo, Thursday, Dec. 1, ...
Associated Press

Usain Bolt fires business manager over Jamaica fraud case

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt told reporters Friday that he is baffled over how $12.7 million of his money has gone missing from a local private investment firm that authorities are investigating as part of a massive fraud that began more than a decade ago. Bolt also said he has […]
17 hours ago
This image taken from video provided by the NAOJ & Asahi Shimbun, shows spiral swirling through the...
Associated Press

Camera captures night sky spiral after SpaceX rocket launch

HONOLULU (AP) — A camera atop Hawaii’s tallest mountain has captured what looks like a spiral swirling through the night sky. Researchers believe it shows the aftereffects of a SpaceX rocket launch when the company’s Falcon 9 rocket sent a GPS satellite into orbit. The images were captured on Jan. 18 by a camera at […]
17 hours ago
FILE - In this April 10, 2020, file photo, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at the state Capito...
Associated Press

North Dakota landowners at odds in carbon pipeline plans

North Dakota landowners testified for and against a carbon capture company’s use of eminent domain Friday, as Summit Carbon Solutions moves forward in constructing a massive underground system of carbon dioxide pipelines spanning 2,000 miles across several states and under hundreds of people’s homes and farms in the Midwest. The proposed $4.5 billion carbon pipeline […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
March Madness viewer’s guide for the Sweet 16