The NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 is set, and it’s a college basketball dream.
Just two teams from outside the NCAA’s power conferences survived the tournament’s first weekend, and that includes top-seeded Gonzaga, a heavyweight in its own right.
Here are five takeaways to get you ready for another week of madness, courtesy of the Washington Post.
• Chalk talk: All top three seeds advance, with two No. 4 seeds and a No. 5 joining them. The power conferences will be well represented among the final 16: ACC (5 teams), SEC (4), Big Ten (3), Big 12 (1) and Pac-12 (1).
• No. 12 seed Oregon, which played in a Final Four as recently as 2017, is your Cinderella. The Ducks made it into the tournament by winning the Pac-12. Up next: a Sweet 16 matchup with No. 1 Virginia. We’re also still waiting for our first buzzer-beating, game-winning, Madness-defining shot. Not your typical March.
• Duke’s Zion Williamson has been as good as advertised, but his Blue Devils, the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, were fortunate to survive No. 9 Central Florida in the round of 32.
• It’s not just Williamson. The tournament’s standout individual performers have included Purdue’s Carsen Edwards (68 points on 13-for-28 shooting from three), Murray State’s Ja Morant (45 points, 20 assists, 16 rebounds), UCF’s Aubrey Dawkins (46 points), Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver (55 points) and Houston’s Corey Davis Jr. (47 points).
• Duke still has some work to do to reach the Final Four, with a matchup against ACC rival Virginia Tech, which beat the Blue Devils last month, followed by a date with either No. 2 Michigan State or No. 3 LSU.
Sweet 16 schedule
Anaheim, Calif. (West Region)
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 4 Florida State, 7:09 p.m., CBS
No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Texas Tech, 9:39 p.m., CBS
Louisville (South Region)
No. 2 Tennessee vs. No. 3 Purdue, 7:29 p.m., TBS
No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 12 Oregon, 9:59 p.m., TBS
Washington, D.C. (East Region)
No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 3 LSU, 7:09 p.m., CBS
No. 1 Duke vs. No. 4 Virginia Tech, 9:39 p.m., CBS
Kansas City, Mo. (Midwest Region)
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 5 Auburn, 7:29 p.m., TBS
No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 3 Houston, 9:59 p.m., TBS