Sweet 16 Starts Thursday

March 25, 2024 by CollegeFootballPoll.com Staff

With rounds 1 and 2 of the NCAA men's basketball championship in the books, the Sweet 16 gets underway Thursday. This weekend will be the first time since 1979 that all 8 of the 1- and 2-seeds advance.

UConn, the over-all No. 1 seed, continues to be the favorite to win the national title and, according to FanDuel.com National Championship odds, is a 10.5-point favorite to knock off 5-seed San Diego State in Boston on Thursday. The Huskies eliminated 9-seed Northwestern 75-58 after taking out 16-seed Stetson 92-51 in round one.

All the No. 1 seeds survived, but Houston (32-4) needed overtime to escape 9-seed Texas A&M (21-15) 100-95 on Sunday. The Cougars will take on 4-seed Duke in Dallas on Friday.

The updated NCAA Men's Basketball Bracket shows North Carolina will battle 4-seed Alabama in the late game in Los Angeles on Friday, while Purdue will face 5-seed Gonzaga in Dallas on Friday.

All of the teams on the 2-line also went chalk with Iowa State advancing out of Omaha, Marquette out of Indianapolis, Tennessee out of Dallas, and Arizona out of Salt Lake City.

A pair of 3-seeds were knocked out with 6-seed Clemson taking down Baylor on Sunday in Memphis, and Oakland shocking Kentucky in the opening round on Thursday in Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, 3-seeds Illinois and Creighton are still chasing the dream, though the Blue Jays were forced into two overtimes for their 86-73 win over Oregon.

Among the 4-seeds, Auburn was upset 78-76 by Yale on Friday in Spokane, and Kansas was easily dismissed by 5-seed Gonzaga 86-68 in Salt Lake City on Saturday. Duke moves on after easy wins over Vermont and JMU. Alabama got all it wanted from Grand Canyon on Sunday in Spokane after the12-seed Antelopes took out 5-seed Saint Mary's 76-66 on Friday. 'Bama's first game was a 109-96 win over the 13-seed College on Charleston.

NC State is easily the surprise of the tourney, thus far. The 11-seed Wolfpack are.12,000:1 odds to win it all with 2-seed Marquette up next on the agenda on Friday in Dallas. where the winner will face the victor of the Houston-Duke contest.

The ACC has 25% of the Sweet 16 teams with NC State and the Blue Devils, along with North Carolina and Clemson, as those members are looking to track down that conference's 16th title and break a tie with the PAC-12.

The PAC-12 only has Arizona, while the Big East has UConn, Creighton and Marquette, the Big 10 has Illinois and Purdue, the Big 12 has Iowa State and Houston, and the SEC has Alabama and Tennessee.

SDSU is the only remaining team from the MWC, and Gonzaga continues to be the standard-bearer for the West Coast Conference with the Bulldogs making it for the ninth straight postseason. The all-time record for consecutive Sweet 16 appearances belongs to North Carolina with 13 straight from 1981 to 1993. Gonzaga has been the runner-up twice in their span, while the Tar Heels managed to win championships in 1982 and 1993 during their run under Dean Smith.

Sweet 16 Matchups

Thursday, March 28 -- Boston

  • (1) UConn vs. (5) San Diego State, 7:39 p.m. | TBS/truTV
  • (2) Iowa State vs. (3) Illinois, 30 minutes following Game 1 

Thursday, March 29 -- Los Angeles 

  • (2) Arizona vs. (6) Clemson, 7:09 p.m. | CBS
  • (1) North Carolina vs. (4) Alabama, 30 minutes after Game | CBS

Friday, March 29 -- Dallas 

  • (2) Marquette vs. (11) NC State , 7:09 p.m. | CBS
  • (1) Houston vs. (4) Duke, 30 minutes after Game 1 | CBS

Friday, March 29 -- Detroit

  • (1) Purdue vs. (5) Gonzaga, 7:39 p.m. | TBS/truTV
  • (2) Tennessee vs. (3) Creighton , 30 minutes after Game 1 | TBS/truTV

Final Four

Saturday, April 6 -- 6:09 p.m. start (TBS)
State Farm Stadium -- Glendale, Arizona

National Championship

Monday, April 8 -- 8:49 p.m. (TBS)
State Farm Stadium -- Glendale, Arizona