How Sweet (16) It Is

March 21, 2022 How Sweet (16) It Is

By: Carlos Alvarez

The Sweet 16: One 1-Seed, Two 2s and Two 3s Exit Early in Bracket of Chaos

Zero — I repeat, zero — perfect brackets remain. The madness continues! After the first full weekend of the NCAA Tournament, the Sweet 16 is set, and it looks nothing like anyone thought. Among the top storylines were four double-digit seeds advancing to the second weekend, including 15-seed Saint Peter’s winning again. 8-seed North Carolina knocked off 1-seed Baylor for the first top-seed takedown. Two 11-seeds punched out the pair of 3-seeds who won their conference — #3 Tennessee and #3 Wisconsin.


Meanwhile, the Big Ten, who started the tourney with nine teams, is now down to two — #3 Purdue and #11 Michigan. The West Region went chalk, but the East and Midwest Regions became a murky swamp of upset chaos. In the Round of 32, 12 of the 16 games were decided by 10 points or less. All four of the 1-vs-8/9 matchups were decided by single digits, including two overtime thrillers. After the dust settled, only one thing is certain… Chaos.


2nd-Round Highlights


West Region

#1 Gonzaga def. #9 Memphis (82-78)

#4 Arkansas def. #12 New Mexico State (53-48)

#3 Texas Tech def. #11 Notre Dame (59-53)

#2 Duke def. #7 Michigan State (85-76)


East Region

#8 North Carolina def. #1 Baylor (93-86, OT)

#4 UCLA def. #5 Saint Mary’s (72-56)

#3 Purdue def. #6 Texas (81-71)

#15 Saint Peter’s def. #7 Murray State (70-60)


South Region

#1 Arizona def. #9 TCU (85-80, OT)

#5 Houston def. #4 Illinois (68-53)

#11 Michigan def. #3 Tennessee (76-68)

#2 Villanova def. #7 Ohio State (71-61)


Midwest Region

#1 Kansas def. #9 Creighton (79-72)

#4 Providence def. #12 Richmond (79-51)

#11 Iowa State def. #3 Wisconsin (54-49)

#10 Miami def. #2 Auburn (79-61)


Conference Check-In

Through the first weekend, the Big Ten (9 teams) and SEC (6 teams) took a beating. Both conferences have lost 11 of their 15 combined bids, including five teams seeded on the 4-line or higher. The Big 12 and ACC have proven their power thus far with a combined record of 17-5, and that includes two losses against each other.


Records by Conference (Teams Remaining)

Big 12: 10-3 (3)

ACC: 7-2 (3)

Big Ten: 8-7 (2)

Big East: 5-4 (2)

Pac-12: 4-1 (2)

SEC: 5-5 (1)

Other: #1 Gonzaga (WCC), #5 Houston (AAC), #15 Saint Peter’s (MAAC)


Complete Men’s NCAA Tournament Bracket


The Sweet 16 tips off on Thursday!


Additional Storylines

FOX Sports: Top Moments of the 2022 Men’s NCAA Tournament

SI: Saint Peter’s Embodies a First Week That Brought the Best of College Basketball

ESPN: Duke Basketball Faced Down the End of Coach K’s Career — And Grew Up When It Mattered


Photo: Stacy Revere / Getty Images