Hopefully, none of your friends have weddings scheduled for this NCAA Sweet 16 weekend. Saturday and Sunday are all about the eight best college basketball games of the season, and you don’t want to be anywhere other than in front of your television.
Oregon State Beavers vs. Loyola Chicago Ramblers (-6.5)
The first of the eight NCAA Sweet 16 games begins with the eighth-seeded Loyola Chicago Ramblers as favorites to advance past 12th-seeded Oregon State. Loyola Chicago played one of the most complete games of the tournament when it knocked off Illinois, and look for a repeat performance against Oregon State.
Villanova Wildcats vs. Baylor Bears (-6.5)
Fifth-seeded Villanova is without its best player in Collin Gillespie, and top-seeded Baylor played great basketball during the first weekend of the tournament. Villanova played Winthrop and North Texas to get to this point, but it will be eliminated easily by a far superior Baylor team.
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (-11)
The feel-good team of the tournament is 15th-seeded Oral Roberts, but this Cinderella story comes to a close on Saturday. The Golden Eagles play good enough team basketball to keep their game with third-seeded Arkansas inside 10 points, though, so don’t be surprised if they cover.
Syracuse Orange vs. Houston Cougars (-6)
Second-seeded Houston barely got past Rutgers, and Syracuse is the most dangerous No. 11 seed in recent memory. If you’re looking to bet a big upset in the NCAA Sweet 16, this is as good a bet as you’ll find.
Creighton Bluejays vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs (-13.5)
Fifth-seeded Creighton squeaked by UC Santa Barbara and beat an overmatched Ohio squad, while top-seeded Gonzaga has looked like one of the best teams in college basketball history. The Bulldogs roll past the Bluejays by double-digits and are a good bet to cover the spread.
Florida State Seminoles vs. Michigan Wolverines (-3)
The lone Big Ten representative remaining is top-seeded Michigan, and there’s a good chance it lives to fight another day. Fourth-seeded Florida State keeps it close and possibly covers, but the Wolverines will advance.
Oregon Ducks vs. USC Trojans (-2.5)
A quarter of the NCAA Sweet 16 is from the Pac-12, and half of that group meets in this matchup between the seventh-seeded Ducks and the sixth-seeded Trojans, perhaps the best of all the Sweet 16 games. COVID-19 wiped out one of their meetings this year, and USC won the other, and both teams are coming off dominating upset wins in the second round.
UCLA Bruins vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (-6)
UCLA, an 11th seed, had a nice run to get to this point, but second-seeded Alabama looks like the favorite to win the East Region. The Crimson Tide will close out the NCAA Sweet 16 with a double-digit win and easily cover the spread.
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