NCAA

NCAA Tournament 2017: Five No. 10 seeds or higher that can make the Sweet 16

NCAA Tournament 2017: Five No. 10 seeds or higher that can make the Sweet 16

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

There have been exactly 70 double digit seeds to make it to the Sweet 16 heading into this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Every single season, there is always one of the lower seeds that typically show their seeding means absolute squat.

In 2016 it was No. 10 Syracuse making it past the Sweet 16 into the Final Four.

2015 was No. 11 UCLA to the Sweet 16.

2014 was No. 11 Dayton.

2013 was No. 13 La Salle and No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast.

Bottom line, since 2007, the year 11 of the top 16 seeds made it to the regional semifinals, there has always been at least one double-digit seed to make it to the Sweet 16.

In 2017, a year that featured a strict bubble line and only five mid-major at-large teams, upsets might be hard to come by this tournament. There has been  a clear separation by the top teams in the NCAA and some of the best teams to pull out an upset will be playing each other. Underdogs may be few and far between, but there are five squads in particular that higher seeds should not take lightly.

-- No. 12 Middle Tennessee State

A common upset pick in the First Round, the Blue Raiders look to make another run this season but instead of a No. 15 seed they are now a No. 12 seed. It is rare to see but Middle Tennessee State has more NCAA experience that their opponent No. 5 Minnesota who had a program-defining year in the Big Ten.

Tournament favorites from last year Giddy Potts and Reggie Upsahaw return for Middle Tennessee but redshirt senior JaCorey Williams is the Blue Raider at the front of the charge. Minnesota though is no joke though as they finished fourth in the Big Ten regular season and were tournament runner-ups. Only one out of conference loss for the Golden Gophers this season and that was to Florida State.

If Middle Tennessee were to win in the first round, they will play the winner of No. 4 Butler and No. 13 Winthrop. Do not count on Winthrop pulling out the upset but Butler is one of the higher seeds that has had a shaky season.

-- No. 10 Wichita State

First, the Shockers should not even be on this list because they should not be a No. 10 seed. At the very least Wichita State deserved a No.7 or No. 6 seed after coming in ranked 21st in the country.

The Shockers will face the two of the toughest matchups if they were to make the Sweet 16 as they play No. 7 Dayton and potentially No. 2 Kentucky, a rematch of their thriller back in 2014. Again it was another seeding blunder by the NCAA Selection Committee, but to have Kentucky playing Wichita so early.

Wichita State played one of the toughest schedules of all the mid-majors and only non-Power 5 loss was to Illinois State which they avenged in the Mountain Valley Championship. Avenging may be what the Shockers have on their mind as they look to avenge their seed and their 2014 loss.

-- No. 11 Rhode Island

Needing an auto-bid to make the NCAA tournament never puts you down as a tournament underdog favorite, but the way the draw shook out favors the Rams. Rhode Island plays a real aggressive defense all over the court, tough for one to find a weakness. Hassan Martin on the inside is a blocking machine, and the Rams guards are highly underrated on their defensive skills.

Facing off against No. 6 Creighton, who has not faced an intricate defense like Rhode Island all season, will have to find ways to combat it with off the ball movement from their post players. Following that they will play No. 3 Oregon who is missing their stretch-four Chris Boucher because of a season ending knee injury.

Not only does Rhode Island play defense but they can score both behind the arc and in the paint, relying on both to win. On top of that the Rams have won eight straight just to make the tournament.

-- No. 12 UNC Wilmington

To make NCAA tournament runs as a mid-major you need talented players and one heck of a coach. Wilmington has both.

If there was a team that could combat No. 5 Virginia’s defensive scheme it would be the Seahawks who have faced a team that runs a similar low possession style basketball. In the CAA, the College of Charleston averaged less than 64 points against all year and UNC Wilmington won two out of three.

Making them so dangerous is their different abilities to win; Kevin Keatts’ squad can win in a shootout or win in a defensive battle. Exactly how the team will need to prepare for Virginia and perhaps No. 4 Florida.

-- No. 10 Oklahoma State

One of the hottest teams in college basketball is the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Ending the season on a 9-3 stretch to make the NCAA Tournament the Cowboys have a tough task ahead against No. 7 Michigan, the Big Ten champions, and the No. 2 Louisville Cardinals.

With a quick scoring lineup that brings in 85 points a game, Oklahoma State can keep their hot streak going in the first two rounds. Three players can take control with Jawun Evans, Jeffrey Carroll, and Phil Forte all averaging double-digits scoring.

A path of Michigan and then Louisville is a tough task, but if there is anyone that can matchup with them both it is Oklahoma State.

2019 College World Series Central: Bracket, favorites, viewing information

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USA TODAY Sports Images

2019 College World Series Central: Bracket, favorites, viewing information

The four matchups in the first round of the College World Series are set after the final two games of the tournament Super Regionals finished on Monday.

Arkansas and Auburn were the last two teams to make the CWS bracket, after each team won the rubber match in its respective Super Regional, scoring 14 runs apiece.

Of the eight teams vying for the prized college baseball title, two (Michigan and Florida State) were amongst the last four teams in the field of 64 to make the tournament. Now, they join some of the other top teams across the country. 

Michigan beat a No. 1 UCLA team 2-1 in the Los Angeles Super Regional, a Bruins team which hadn't lost a series all season. The Wolverines proved they are a force to be reckoned with as they head to their first CWS appearance since 1984.

Like Michigan, Auburn made the CWS for the first time in over 10 years (the Tigers' last CWS appearance was in 1997).

It's the second consecutive year that Mississippi State, Arkansas and Texas Tech have made the final bracket. Last year, Arkansas was the runner-up after losing to Oregon State in the finals. Mississippi State made it to the semifinals before Oregon State defeated the Bulldogs and went on to win the tournament. 

2019 NCAA COLLEGE WORLD SERIES BRACKET & BROADCAST SCHEDULE

CWS Final Game 3*: Michigan vs. Vanderbilt, Wed. 6/26 at 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

(*if necessary)

FINALIZED RESULTS

Game 1: Michigan 5, Texas Tech 3, Sat. 6/15
Game 2: Florida State 1, Arkansas 0, Sat. 6/15 
Game 3:  Vanderbilt 3, Louisville 1 Sun 6/16
Game 4: Mississippi State 5, Auburn 4, Sun. 6/16 
Game 5: Texas Tech 5, Arkansas 4, Mon. 6/17 | Arkansas eliminated
Game 6: Michigan 2, Florida State 0, Mon. 6/17
Game 7: Louisville 5, Auburn 3, Wed. 6/19 | Auburn eliminated
Game 8: Vanderbilt 6, Mississippi State 3, Wed. 6/19  
Game 9: Texas Tech 4, Florida State 1, Wed. 6/19 | Florida State eliminated
Game 10: Louisville 4, Mississippi State 3, Thurs. 6/20 | Mississippi State eliminated
Game 11: Michigan 15, Texas Tech 3, Fri. 6/21 | Texas Tech eliminated, Michigan advances to final
Game 12: Vanderbilt 3, Louisville 2, Fri. 6/21 | Louisville eliminated, Vanderbilt advances to final

CWS Final Game 1: Michigan 7, Vanderbilt 4, Mon. 6/24 | Michigan leads series 1-0
CWS Final Game 2: Vanderbilt 4, Michigan 1, Tues. 6/25 | Series tied 1-1

FUN FACTS

  • Vandy Rockstar: The Commodores' freshman right-hander Kumar Rocker threw a complete game no-hitter (and 19 Ks) in Game 2 against Duke in the Nashville Super Regional to keep Vanderbilt's championship hopes alive. 
  • Sweeps on Sweeps: Florida State, Louisville and Mississippi State each swept its respective Super Regional. The most notable was the Cardinals' sweep of the East Carolina Pirates, where Louisville outscored ECU 26-1. 
  • No Repeats: Texas Tech defeated the reigning champion Oregon State in the Lubbock Super Regional to ensure there will be a new school crowned champion. 

 

Maryland hosts Notre Dame, Purdue faces Virginia in 2019 Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchups

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ACC Men's Basketball

Maryland hosts Notre Dame, Purdue faces Virginia in 2019 Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchups

The annual matchup continues and we’ve got big news. For the 21st season, two of the prominent conferences will face off in the 2019 Big Ten/ACC Challenge.   

All 14 Big Ten teams will battle against 14 of the 15 ACC teams, with Virginia Tech the lone school not participating. The Challenge will include a total of 14 games spread across Monday, Dec 2nd - Wednesday, Dec. 4th.  

This year’s Challenge will feature eight first-time meetings in the event: Maryland at Notre Dame, Penn State at Wake Forest, Boston College at Northwestern, Florida State at Indiana, Georgia Tech at Nebraska, Iowa at Syracuse, Louisville at Michigan, Pitt at Rutgers. 

Maryland will host Notre Dame on Wednesday, December 4th. The matchup will be the first meeting between the Terps and the Fighting Irish since the 2013-14 season, before the Terps left the ACC. 

In 2018-19, Maryland finished 23-11 overall, good for fifth in the Big Ten. Notre Dame tied for last place in the ACC, finishing a disappointing 14-19. 

Virginia, the reigning national champions will travel to Indiana to take on Purdue. Virginia and Purdue will battle for the third time in the Challenge and fourth time overall. In the 2000 Challenge between the Cavaliers and the Boilermakers, Virginia won 98-79. A few years later in 2006, Purdue beat Virginia 61-59. 'In the Challenge, UVA has an all-time record of 13-6, including a five-game winning streak. UVA beat former ACC rival Maryland 76-71 in last season’s Challenge. 

The Cavaliers and Boilermakers recently faced off against each other in this year’s Elite Eight game. Virginia defeated Purdue 80-75 in overtime.

The ACC has not lost the Challenge since 2015. 

Tip-off times, networks and more information have not yet been provided.

The 2019 Challenge matchups:

Monday, December 2:

Clemson at Minnesota 

Miami at Illinois

Tuesday, December 3:

Michigan at Louisville 

Iowa at Syracuse 

Rutgers at Pitt

Northwestern at Boston College 

Duke at Michigan State 

Florida State at Indiana 

Wednesday, December 4:

Notre Dame at Maryland 

Virginia at Purdue 

Wisconsin at NC State 

Wake Forest at Penn State 

Nebraska at Georgia Tech 

Ohio State at North Carolina

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