What you need to know: Sweet 16

Wisconsin+celebrates+after+defeating+the+defending+champions.

AP

Wisconsin celebrates after defeating the defending champions.

Gracie Thies, News Editor

East Region

8 Wisconsin

  • Previously defeated number one seed Villanova and Virginia Tech
  • Coach: Greg Gard
  • Bronson Koenig PG
    • 14.5 ppg
    • 90.2% free throw
  • Ethan Happ F
    • 13.8 ppg
    • 9.1 rebounds per game
    • 2.8 assists per game
  • Nigel Hayes F
    • 13.8 PPG
    • 6.6 RPG

     With Koenig and Happ on the court, anything is possible for Wisconsin. When the whole team is in the rhythm and Koenig is hitting all the threes, there’s no stopping them. Many people doubted this team, but after beating the defending champs, Villanova, there is a chance that they could go all the way.

4 Florida

  • Previously outscored UVA and ETSU
  • Coach: Mike White
  • KeVaughn Allen PG
    • 13.4 PPG
    • 87.8% FT %
  • Devin Robinson
    • 6.3 RPG
  • Kasey Allen
    • 4.5 APG
    • 3.1 TOPG

     Florida has been great this year even after losing John Egbunu. They have a physical lineup and can beat almost any team with 3-pointers alone. They are the fourth seed for a reason, and this matchup will be an interesting game to watch.

 

East Region

3 Baylor

  • Defeated USC and New Mexico state
  • Coach: Scott Drew
  • Johnathan Motley F
    • 17.3 PPG
    • 82.8 FT%
    • 9.9 RPG
  • Manu Lecomte G
    • 3.9 APG
    • 2.0 TOPG

     Johnathan Motley is a very valuable asset to this multi-dimensional team that can shoot well in the paint. In his last game, he has 32 points and 22 rebounds. Baylor needs to be careful with fouls because in the last game, a few players had at least three fouls.

7 South Carolina

  • Defeated Duke and Marquette
  • Coach: Frank Martin
  • Sindarius Thornwell G
    • 21.4 PPG
    • 82.8 FT%
    • 7.3 RPG
    • 2.9 APG

     South Carolina outfought Duke for a spot in the Sweet 16. Any team that can do that has a chance in this tournament. This team is famous for its suffocating defense that can put their opponents in a tough spot. They struggle to shoot from the field, but they strive when attacking the basket off of turnovers and missed shots.

 

West Region

1 Gonzaga

  • Defeated Northwestern and South Dakota State
  • Coach: Mark Few
  • Nigel Williams-Goss G
    • 16.7 PPG
    • 90.3 FT%
    • 4.7 APG
  • Johnathan Williams F
    • 6.6 RPG

     Any team that plays Gonzaga will have a tough time overcoming their size and physicality. They are a big, strong team and have great odds of winning the championship.

4 West Virginia

  • Defeated the fifth seed Notre dame and Bucknell
  • Coach: Dana Holgorsen
  • Jevon Carter G
    • 13.3 PPG
    • 76.5 FT%
    • 3.8 APG
  • Nathan Adrian F
    • 6.0 RPG

     The last time West Virginia won the championship was in 2010. Their first two wins came in Buffalo, which is where they will be playing this week. The location gives the team a little more confidence going into the matchup. This team runs a full-court pressure defense and hold the best turnover ratio in major college basketball. They’ve forced 724 turnovers, while committing 442.

 

West Region

11 Xavier

  • Defeated the sixth seed Maryland and third seed FSU
  • Coach: Chris Mack
  • Trevon Bluiett G
    • 18.5 PPG
    • 75.3 FT%
  • RaShid Gaston F
    • 6.1 RPG
  • Quentin Goodin G
    • 3.4 APG
    • 1.9 TOPG

     The Musketeers lost their leading point guard, Edmond Sumner, to a season ending injury and have been playing even better without him. Kaiser Gates and Trevon Bluiett are the most dangerous players on offense right now. Xavier has a lack of size and it’s hard for them to guard anyone that is seven feet tall. This team obviously knows what it takes to compete for a championship, but do they have enough talent?

2 Arizona

  • Defeated North Dakota and Saint Mary’s
  • Coach: Sean Miller
  • Lauri Markkanen F
    • 15.8 PPG
    • 83.8 FT%
    • 7.2 RPG
  • Parker Jackson-Cartwright
    • 4.1 APG
    • 1.3 TOPG

     Arizona has one of the highest seeds for a reason and there’s no doubt that they will show up in this game.

 

Midwest Region

1 Kansas

  • Defeated UC Davis and Michigan State
  • Coach: Bill Self
  • Frank Mason III G
    • 20.8 PPG
    • 79.1 FT%
    • 5.2 APG
  • Landon Lucas F
    • 8.6 RPG

     It’s hard to say that Kansas isn’t leading the pack of teams in the Sweet 16. Their appearance in the championship last year says enough.

4 Purdue

  • Defeated Vermont and Iowa State
  • Coach: Matt Painter
  • Caleb Swanigan F
    • 18.5 PPG
    • 78.5 FT%
    • 12.6 RPG
  • Dakota Mathias G
    • 3.7 APG
    • 1.5 TOPG

     Caleb Swanigan has been everything Purdue could want in a player. He’s a very tough matchup for Kansas. There’s no way that Kansas has figured out how they are going to limit Swanigan’s production.

 

Midwest Region

3 Oregon

  • Defeated Iona and URI
  • Coach: dana Altman
  • Dillon Brooks F
    • 16.4 PPG
    • 74.2 FT%
  • Jordan Bell F
    • 8.3 RPG
  • Payton Pritchard G
    • 3.8 APG

     This team is built on Tyler Dorsey and Dillon Brooks. Even though the rest of the team is important too, Dorsey and Brooks make this team hard to beat on any day.

7 Michigan

  • Defeated Oklahoma State and Louisville
  • Coach: John Beilein
  • Derrick Walton Jr. G
    • 15.4 PPG
    • 87.3 FT%
    • 4.9 APG
  • D.J. Wilson F
    • 5.3 RPG

     The Wolverines are one of the sneaky teams in the tournament that can play physical and have one of the best three point shooters in the field. Even though their chances aren’t great, they could come out swinging when no one is looking.

 

South Region

1 UNC

  • Defeated Texas Southern and Arkansas
  • Coach: Roy Williams
  • Justin Jackson F
    • 18.1 PPG
    • 74.8 FT%
  • Kennedy Meeks F
    • 9.1 RPG
  • Joel Berry II G
    • 3.7 APG

     UNC has had too many turnovers in the last few games. If they want to win this matchup, they will need to protect the ball better.

4 Butler

  • Defeated Winthrop and Mid Tennessee
  • Coach: Chris Holtmann
  • Kelan Martin F
    • 16.0 PPG
    • 77.9 FT%
    • 5.8 RPG
  • Tyler Lewis G
    • 4.0 APG

     Butler has limited opponents to ten offensive boards through the last two rounds. The Bulldogs need to stay competitive off the glass.

 

South Region

3 UCLA

  • Defeated Kent State and Cincinnati
  • Coach: Steve Alford
  • TJ Leaf F
    • 16.2 PPG
    • 68.6 FT%
  • Thomas Welsh C
    • 8.7 RPG
  • Lonzo Ball G
    • 7.6 APG

     UCLA is looking good going into this matchup, but there are a few more things to work on before LaVar Ball opens his mouth again.

2 Kentucky

  • Defeated Northern Kentucky and Wichita State
  • Coach: John Calipari
  • Malik Monk G
    • 20.0 PPG
    • 83.0 Ft%
  • Edrice Adebayo F
    • 8.1 RPG
  • De’Aaron Fox
    • 4.6 APG

           Kentucky is feared in basketball just like Duke is. If Kentucky closes this game out, it won’t exactly come as a shock.