NCAA Sweet 16 Predictions: Any upsets in the making?

The NCAA Tournament has reached the final 16 with most of the top seeds still in play. The lowest seeded teams remaining are Auburn (5) and Oregon (12). Here’s a run down on all eight games.

Florida State (4) versus Gonzaga (1)

Florida State enters coming off a 90-62 win over Murray State. They are 29-7 and 5-1 over their last six. They are “burning hot” and at +5.46 on the NCAAB Team Oscillator. Gonzaga defeated Baylor by the score of 83-71 in the last round and are 32-3 on the season and 5-1 over their last six and are “burning hot”. The Playoff Simulator on average upset level gives Gonzaga a 61% chance of winning the game. The pick is for Gonzaga to win and cover.

Texas Tech (3) versus Michigan (2)

Texas Tech defeated Buffalo by 19 in the previous round for their fifth win in their last six games. They are 28-7 on the season, “burning hot” and +1.07. Michigan too care of Florida by the score of 64-49 for their fourth win in their last six games. They are 30-6 on the season, “burning hot” and +8.3. The Playoff Simulator shows a 59% chance of victory by a nine point margin for Michigan. The pick is for Michigan, but by a smaller margin.

LSU (3) versus Michigan State (2)

LSU squeaked by Maryland by two in the last round. They are 5-1 over their last six and “burning hot down” and +6.59 on the NCAAB Team Oscillator. Michigan State is coming off a 20-point blowout for six wins in their last six and are 30-6 for the season. They are also “burning hot” and +3.95 on the Team Oscillator. With a 61 percent chance of winning with a margin of 11 points, it appears LSU has little shot. I disagree and while I think Michigan State will come on top, the margin will be much less than eleven.

Auburn (5) versus North Carolina (1)

Auburn had am impressive 89-75 win over Kansas in the last round. The win put them 6-0 over their last six and 28-9 for the season. North Carolina defeated Washington by 22 and are 5-1 over their last six and 29-6 for the season. Both teams are “burning hot”, while North Carolina has a +4.85 to -5.16 edge on the NCAAB Team Oscillator. Interestingly enough, North Carolina is given only a 51 percent chance of winning by a single point margin. If any number one seed were to fall in this round, it could be North Carolina. If you want to take a risk, this might be the game to do so. I still think North Carolina wins but an upset would not be surprising.

Houston (3) versus Kentucky (2)

Houston took down Ohio State by 15 in their last game and are 5-1 over their last six. The are “burning hot” and +9.02 compared to “burning hot” and +5.04 for Kentucky, who defeated Wofford by six points last round. Kentucky is 5-1 over their last six and 29-6 on the season. Despite the slightly lower seed, Houston is given a 61 percent chance to win with a margin in double digits. The margin of victory is higher than I predict, but do think Kentucky goes down in this round.

Purdue (3) versus Tennessee (2)

Purdue routed Villanova by 26 in the last round and are 4-2 over their last six games. At 25-9 for the season, Purdue is “burning hot” and -5.16 versus Tennessee, who are “burning hot” at +2.95. Tennessee has won four of their last six and are 31-5 for the season and are given a 61 percent chance of winning using the Playoff Simulator with an 11 point margin of victory. Tennessee should come on top in a game decided by five to nine points.

Virginia Tech (4) versus Duke (1)

Duke narrowly escaped the last round, defeated UCF by the score of 77-76. Virginia Tech defeated Liberty by nine are 4-2 over their last six. Both teams are “burning hot” according to the NCAAB Team Oscillator, however Virginia Tech has a higher rating surprisingly at +3.37 to -2. Duke has a 61 percent chance of winning and the pick is by 11 points using the Playoff Simulator on average upset level. Duke should win, but the margin will be less than 11.

Oregon (12) versus Virginia (1)

Virginia took down Oklahoma in the last round by 12, while Oregon beat UC Irvine by 19. Despite the number 12 seed, Oregon is 6-0 over their last six, “burning hot” and +2.27. Virginia is also “burning hot” and +8.22, but for being a top seed, has only a 53 percent chance of winning according to the Playoff Simulator. With a margin of three points using the simulator, it is tempting to bet on Oregon for a major upset. If one wants to take a big risk but the potential for huge payout, go with Oregon. Virginia will probably win, but an Oregon upset is not out of the realm of possibility.

 

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