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Contenders And Pretenders: Sweet 16 Edition

We have seen the first two rounds of the tournaments play out. Now he head to the Sweet 16, where there are sixteen teams that are left in the field. The amount of upsets that we have seen in this tournament is by far the most I have seen in all my years of watching March Madness. This year has been chaotic, and to be honest I have loved every second of it.

Now who’s bracket is completely busted at the moment? Well if it is do I have the information for you. ESPN does a second chance bracket. That bracket gives you a second chance at filling out a bracket after yours has been busted. With that being said it is time to look at the contenders and the pretenders that are left in the field.

 

Pretender: 

Oregon State 

Oregon State has gone on a nice little run as of late. The Beavers ran through the Pac 12 tournament and became the champions of the conference. When they got put into the tournament people thought that their luck was up after drawing Tennessee in the first round. They made easy work out of the Volunteers and moved onto the second round to take on Cade Cunningham and Oklahoma State.

The Beavers defeated Cade Cunningham and company in order to move to the Sweet 16. Can the Beavers luck run them into a Final Four appearance? I think their luck will be all used up in their sweet 16 matchup against Sister Jean’s Loyola Chicago Ramblers. So with that being said Oregon State is a pretender to win the National Championship.

 

Pretender: 

Creighton

Creighton in my opinion hasn’t played great since their Big East Tournament Final loss to Georgetown. They needed a missed layup to get past UC Santa Barbara. Then they beat an Ohio team that used up all of their magic on Virginia in the first round. Now they have to take on the hands down best team in the country in Gonzaga in the Sweet 16. Shoutout to Creighton for making it to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history, but they are a pretender as far as National Championship hopes are.

 

Contender: 

Baylor 

The Baylor Bears have shown everybody why they are a number one seed this season. They haven’t disappointed in the NCAA Tournament either. Baylor beat down Hartford in the first round, and comfortably beat Wisconsin in the second round. In the Sweet 16 they get Villanova which isn’t as good as advertised. Then they would get the winner of Arkansas and Oral Roberts. Baylor is a final four team and they are a team that I hope to see play for a National Championship this season.

 

Pretender: 

Michigan

The Michigan Wolverines are without their senior guard Isaiah Livers for the rest of the tournament. Michigan won last night against a tired LSU team. The Tigers freshman Cameron Thomas played all 40 minutes yesterday and that team got tired down the stretch. Looking at Michigan’s schedule they get Florida State who is a very good team in the Sweet 16. Then they would play the winner of UCLA and Alabama. I don’t think they make it out of their region to be honest. Originally I thought they were going to lose to LSU in the second round, but their time in the NCAA tournament will be over sooner rather than later.

 

Pretender:

Houston 

Houston has had an interesting ride so far in the tournament. The Cougars ran through Cleveland State in the first round, and got some late game heroics against Rutgers in the second round. Now they have to take on Syracuse in the Sweet 16 and that isn’t the matchup that they would want to have right now. Syracuse is red hot right now and Jim Boeheim has his team rolling right now. That zone will give Houston trouble. I don’t buy Houston as a title contender right now, so they are a pretender in my eyes.

 

Contender: 

Gonzaga 

Gonzaga is hands down the best team in college basketball at the moment. Forwards Corey Kispert and Drew Timme are unstoppable at the moment. Then you add Jalen Suggs, Andrew Nembhard, and Joel Ayayi to the mix as well. Those five are going to be the reason why Gonzaga has the best chance to win their first ever National Championship. This team has it all and if one guy struggles, the rest of the team picks up the slack. Gonzaga in my opinion will be the National Champions at the end of the tournament, and are a big time contender.

 

-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)

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