The Sweet Sixteen in the 2013 NCAA Tournament is made up of four Big Ten teams (Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Ohio State), three from the Big East (Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette), two from the Pac-12 (Oregon, Arizona), two from the ACC (Duke, Miami) and one from the Big 12 (Kansas), SEC (Florida), MEAC (Florida Gulf Coast), Atlantic 10 (La Salle) and MVC (Wichita State).
Louisville Cardinals (Midwest)
The Cardinals have played like a number one so far, no doubt. They began the tournament with a 79-48 win over North Carolina A&T, followed by a surprisingly dominant 82-56 win over Colorado Stat, led by Russ Smith who finished with 27 points. A #1 seed, they’re currently riding a 12 game winning streak which helped them grab a share of the Big East regular season title and winning the conference, making the Sweet Sixteen for the second year in a row.
Kansas Jayhawks (South)
Another number one team that hasn’t been having too much trouble so far. They opened the tournament with a win over Western Kentucky, followed by a 70-58 win over North Carolina, as Travis Releford stood out with 22 point. The Jayhawks have won 12 of their last 13 games (losing to Baylor), winning both the Big 12 regular season (shared with State) and tournament title. It’s their third consecutive visit to the Sweet Sixteen.
Indiana Hoosiers (East)
The Hoosiers were probably the number one favorites to win the tournament for most of the season, but losing to Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament hurt their reputation. Their tight win (58-52) over Temple in the third round didn’t do much good, as Victor Oladipo didn’t get too much help from those around him. The Hoosiers did win the regular season title, making it to the Sweet Sixteen for the second consecutive year.
Duke Blue Devils (Midwest)
With Ryan Kelly in the lineup, Duke have only one loss this season, in the conference tournament to Maryland. They went through Albany and Creighton in the tournament, winning both game in double digits up to this point. They missed out on either of the ACC titles for the second year in a row, making it to the Sweet sixteen for the first time since 2011.
Miami Hurricanes (East)
After a breezer of a first round against Pacific, the Hurricanes showed they’re worthy of where they are with a 63-59 win over the very tough Illinois, making it into the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2000. Rion Brown led them against the Illini with 21 points, in a season which seems to be going their way, winning the ACC regular season and tournament title, the program’s first ever “double.”
Ohio State Buckeyes (West)
Probably the favorites among the “number 2’s”, the Buckeyes had an easy time against Iona in the opening round, followed by a very rough 78-75 win over Iowa State, needing Aaron Craft to pull off some clutch-magic, while Deshaun Thomas does most of the work (22 points, 5 rebounds). The Buckeyes are in the Sweet Sixteen for a fourth consecutive time after winning the conference tournament for the second time in three years.
Michigan State Spartans (Midwest)
As always, Tom Izzo’s team look their strongest at the right time during the season. After not being as impressive as some thought in the easy second round, they beat Memphis 70-48 to, enjoying a very good day from Gary Harris, scoring 23 points. They’re in the Sweet Sixteen for the second year in a row and third time in four years.
Florida Gators (South)
Another team that have looked impressive in both their games, beginning with an easy opening game against Northwestern State, followed by beating Minnesota 78-64, getting 25 points from Mike Rosario. The Gators finished on top of the SEC for the second time in three years, making the Sweet Sixteen for a third consecutive season.
Marquette Golden Eagles (West)
It’s been the rough road for this Big East team, part of the new Big East based on the Catholic 7. Marquette have been at the mercy of the ability of Vander Blue to close games; first against Davidson and then against Butler, winning by a combined margin of 3 points. They won a share of the Big East title for the first time in the conference, making the Sweet Sixteen for a third consecutive season.
Michigan Wolverines ( Midwest)
Despite the warnings of being a team based on one player, Michigan aren’t stopping. They began with a win over South Dakota State, followed by destroying a VCU team that many thought would give them a lot more problems. Michigan missed out on the conference title, but have made it into the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1994, when the Fab Five were ruling the land.
Syracuse Orange (East)
After beating Montana by 47 points, Syracuse faced a much tougher challenge in California, beating the Golden Bears with some impressive defense and a big night from C.J. Fair and his 18 points. They had a disappointing 11-7 season in the Big East, but end up making the Sweet Sixteen for the fourth time in five years.
Arizona Wildcats (West)
The highest ranked remaining member of the Pac-12, the Wildcats had no problem beating both Belmont and Harvard by an average of 20 points per game. Arizona missed the conference title by one game, finishing behind UCLA, making it to the Sweet Sixteen for the second time in three years.
Wichita State Shockers (West)
One of the more surprising teams to find in the Sweet Sixteen, the Shockers began by upsetting Pittsburgh 73-55 and causing another huge one, by beating number one ranked Gonzaga in the Round of 32. They finished second during the season behind Creighton in the MVC, making it to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2006 and for only the fifth time in the program’s history.
Oregon Ducks (Midwest)
No one, not even Louisville, wants to play the surging Ducks, propelled by getting a lower-than deserved seeding for the tournament, winning twice, in double digits, against Oklahoma State and then Saint Louis. They won the conference tournament for only the third time ever, making it into the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2007 and the fourth time overall.
La Salle Explorers (West)
The Explorers began with a two point upset of Kansas State, followed by another two point upset, this time over the red hot Ole Miss Rebels, led by Ramon Galloway with 24 points. They only finished fourth during the season in the Atlantic 10, losing in the first round of the conference tournament. It’s the school’s third ever Sweet Sixteen, and first since 1955.
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (South)
The first ever #15 seed in the Sweet Sixteen, shocking Georgetown following up with a win over San Diego State, earning the nickname Dunk City along the way, and a game against the top school in their state along the way. Do we even need to mention it’s their first ever trip to the Sweet Sixteen?