March Madness Sweet 16 game picks, predictions: More upsets in NCAA regional semifinals
We are down to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament and there are some surprise participants still in the March Madness field.
The biggest surprise? No. 15 seed Princeton, which upset No. 2 seed Arizona and No. 7 seed Missouri to make the regional semifinals.
Other surprises include No. 8 seed Arkansas, which stunned No. 1 Kansas in the second round, and No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic, which is in the Sweet 16 thanks to wins over No. 8 seed Memphis and No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson.
Will we see more upsets in Thursday and Friday's games?
Check out the schedule for the Sweet 16, as well as our picks and predictions for the games. All times MST.
March Madness Sweet 16 game picks, odds: Michigan State vs. Kansas State | Arkansas vs. UConn | Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee | Gonzaga vs. UCLA | San Diego State vs. Alabama | Miami vs. Houston | Princeton vs. Creighton | Xavier vs. Texas
Thursday's March Madness Sweet 16 games
No. 3 Kansas State vs. No. 7 Michigan State, 3:30 p.m., TBS
Michigan State has impressed in wins over USC and Marquette, the No. 2 seed that it upset 69-60, and the Spartans are actually favored in this game. Kansas State, however, looked good against Kentucky and is battle tested after a grueling Big 12 schedule. We're going with the Wildcats to advance to the Elite 8.
Prediction: Kansas State 70, Michigan State 67
No. 4 UConn vs. No. 8 Arkansas, 4:15 p.m., CBS
We admit it, we did not think Arkansas would upset Kansas in the second round. Can the Razorbacks upset UConn in the Sweet 16? Anything is possible when Eric Musselman is your coach. UConn cruised in its first two matchups, but Arkansas will keep it close against the Huskies and rally for the victory late.
Prediction: Arkansas 75, UConn 74
How to watch NCAA Tournament regional semifinal games: Michigan State vs. Kansas State | Arkansas vs. UConn | Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee | Gonzaga vs. UCLA | San Diego State vs. Alabama | Miami vs. Houston | Princeton vs. Creighton | Xavier vs. Texas
No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic, 6 p.m., TBS
As Memphis and Fairleigh Dickinson have found out, there is a reason Florida Atlantic went 31-3 before the NCAA Tournament. The Conference USA champions can play and even though the odds favor the Volunteers, something tells us that the Owls can keep dancing into the Elite 8.
Prediction: Florida Atlantic 67, Tennessee 62
No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 3 Gonzaga, 6:45 p.m., CBS
There's a reason this game has the lowest point spread of the regional semifinals. This game could go either way and we're expecting a thriller between two teams that could end up winning the Final Four. Since we have to pick one, we're going with the Pac-12's last hope, UCLA, in a thriller.
Prediction: UCLA 72, Gonzaga 71
NCAA Tournament schedule, TV: March Madness game times, channels, announcers, how to watch
Friday's March Madness Sweet 16 games
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 5 San Diego State, 3:30 p.m., TBS
Alabama is currently the favorite to win the national championship and it's not hard to see why. The Crimson Tide have looked good in wins over Texas A&M-CC and Maryland, but San Diego State is a big step up in competition. Not a big enough step up, however, to upset Alabama. Nate Oats' team will be too tough for the Aztecs late.
Prediction: Alabama 78, San Diego State 70
No. 1 Houston vs. No. 5 Miami, 4:15 p.m., CBS
We debated pulling the trigger on the upset here, and we do think that Miami's pace can cause fits for the Cougars, but Houston is just too solid all around. The Hurricanes will test Houston, but they'll run out of gas late as Houston gets closer to the Final Four.
Prediction: Houston 74, Miami 68
No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 15 Princeton, 6 p.m., TBS
Princeton has impressed in its first two games to reach the Sweet 16 and we don't think the Tigers are done yet. Creighton is playing well, but the scrappy Princeton team is just finding ways to win, despite not shooting well in the tournament. Imagine if its players find their stroke against the Bluejays.
Prediction: Princeton 65, Creighton 61
No. 2 Texas vs. No. 3 Xavier, 6:45 p.m., CBS
Sean Miller's team had to beat No. 14 Kennesaw State and No. 11 seed Pittsburgh to make this game. Texas is on an entirely different level than those teams and had a bit of a wake-up call against Penn State. We've got to go with the Longhorns ending the Musketeers' run in the Sweet 16.
Prediction: Texas 80, Xavier 73
NCAA Tournament odds: 2023 March Madness point spreads, money lines, over/unders for games
March Madness odds: Alabama, Houston, UCLA, UConn 2023 men's NCAA Tournament favorites
Reach Jeremy Cluff at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: March Madness Sweet 16 game picks, predictions for NCAA Tournament