NCAA Tournament: Preview of Sweet 16

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DALLAS, TX - MARCH 17: G Lamonte Turner (1) of the Tennessee Volunteers brings the ball up the court during the NCAA Div I Men's Championship Second Round basketball game between Loyola-Chicago and Tennessee on March 17, 2018 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This 2018 NCAA Tournament has been exciting so far and the Sweet 16 games will likely continue the trend.

NCAA Tournament: Preview of Sweet 16

Thursday Games

(3) Michigan v. (7) Texas A&M

The Michigan Wolverines do not have much size, but they keep opponents out of their usual rhythm with strong defense and the best defense left in the tournament per KenPom. The Texas A&M Aggies are huge upfront, but are weak at the guard position. The Wolverines should handle the Aggies and run away with it into the Elite Eight.

(7) Nevada v. (11) Loyola (Chicago)

This matchup should prove very exciting. The Nevada Wolf Pack have defeated two strong defensive teams in both Texas and Cincinnati. However, the Loyola Ramblers also boast a strong defense. The Wolf Pack and the Ramblers also have strong shooters. It should come down to the buzzer again. Can the Ramblers win three games at the buzzer? It seems like Sister Jean has willed it.

(4) Gonzaga v. (9) Florida State

This may turn out to be one of the closer Sweet 16 games. While the Gonzaga Bulldogs are bigger and more talented than the Florida State Seminoles, Gonzaga have not played well during the tournament. If the Bulldogs come out flat again, look for the Seminoles to steal one.

(5) Kentucky v. (9) Kansas State

The Kentucky Wildcats have won nine out of their last 10 games are playing their best basketball of the season. The Kansas State Wildcats’ hopes ride on the health of Dean Wade. If Wade plays, Kansas State have a chance, if not, look to Kentucky to roll into the Elite Eight.

Friday Games

(1) Kansas v. (5) Clemson

The Clemson Tigers have played well this season and defeated the SEC Conference regular season co-champion Auburn Tigers by 31 points. However, the Kansas Jayhawks should prove too powerful for the Tigers. It could be close, but Kansas should head to the Elite Eight.

(2) Duke v. (11) Syracuse

Interesting matchup of two zone defenses. Obviously, the Syracuse Orange have been long known for head coach Jim Boeheim’s zone defense. However, now the Duke Blue Devils also play zone. Due to Duke’s better perimeter shooting, the Blue Devils should end the improbable run of the Orange.

(1) Villanova v. (5) West Virginia

The Villanova Wildcats have been cruising through the NCAA Tournament. The West Virginia Mountaineers’ head coach Bob Huggins has the experience to not be intimidated. However, the Mountaineer press defense is unlikely to rattle Jalen Brunson. The Wildcats should win running away.

(2) Purdue v. (3) Texas Tech

The Texas Tech Red Raiders will match up well with the Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue has a strong defense and should be able to limit the Red Raiders in scoring. It will be slow and ugly, but the Boilermakers should prevail.

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