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Sports March Madness reseeding: Ranking 2022 Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament teams based on national title ability

15:40  21 march  2022
15:40  21 march  2022 Source:   usatoday.com

March Madness continues: Ranking the best men's NCAA Tournament games to watch Friday

  March Madness continues: Ranking the best men's NCAA Tournament games to watch Friday Day two of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament’s round of 64 promises more of why we love March Madness. Here's a ranking of games to watch.The Friday slate features the last of the No. 1 regional seeds to take the court as well as a slew of matchups in the middle of the bracket that are sure to produce close finishes and surprises.

The Sweet 16 is set.

The first two rounds of the men's NCAA Tournament trimmed the 64 teams to 16, and there were several bracket-busting upsets this year that have added chaos.

Now, those survivors will square off Thursday through Sunday in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight with a slot in the Final Four on the line.

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

But which of these teams are cut out for the second weekend of March Madness? Which of them has the best chance to cut down the nets in New Orleans?

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  No. 12 seeds Richmond, New Mexico State look to continue Cinderella runs in March Madness A pair of No. 12 seeds, Richmond and New Mexico State, will try to punch their tickets to the Sweet 16 on Saturday.Just try telling that to New Mexico State: The Aggies won in the tourney for the first time since — drum roll, please — 1993.

MARCH MADNESS: Five key takeaways from men's NCAA Tournament's wild first weekend

USA TODAY Sports ranks the Sweet 16 teams based on the potential of winning the national championship.

1. UCLA

The Bruins (27-7) unexpectedly reached the Final Four last year, bowing out in a thrilling semifinal to Gonzaga. Virtually every player on that roster returned to set up high expectations for 2021-22, but UCLA spent a majority of the season overshadowed in the Pac-12 by Arizona. Now in the NCAA Tournament, coach Mick Cronin's group has found that extra gear that propelled them on that deep run last March. UCLA's quartet of guards – Johnny Juzang, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Tyger Campbell and Jules Bernard –  is as dangerous as any remaining in the tourney. ► No. 4 seed.

March Madness: Winners and losers from Saturday's NCAA Tournament games

  March Madness: Winners and losers from Saturday's NCAA Tournament games The NCAA Tournament's second round started off in exciting fashion Saturday, with one No. 1 seed going down and another barely avoiding an upset. North Carolina built a 25-point lead against No. 1 Baylor, only to watch it wither away play-by-play in the game's last 10 minutes, before the defending national champions finally forced overtime. UNC showed its resolve by gutting it out in the extra frame to advance to the Sweet 16. “I’m so proud of these guys," UNC coach Hubert Davis said afterward. "This is a group that shows toughness, resiliency.

2. Villanova

Coach Jay Wright has arguably the most seasoned team of this entire tournament, with the Wildcats (28-7) a main beneficiary of the NCAA's extra COVID year of eligibility. It starts with two-time Big East player of the year Collin Gillespie, who is in his fifth year running the point for the Wildcats; Gillespie (16 ppg, 41.6% from three) was on the roster the last time 'Nova won the national title in 2018. Another fifth-year senior is Jermaine Samuels, who had 17 points and eight rebounds vs. Ohio State in the second round. ► No. 2 seed.

'Great day for college basketball': Coach K, Tom Izzo set for final NCAA Tournament battle

  'Great day for college basketball': Coach K, Tom Izzo set for final NCAA Tournament battle Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Michigan State's Tom Izzo face each other Sunday with a Sweet 16 berth in the West Regional semifinals awaiting the winner.From the moment the brackets were released last Sunday, a final meeting between Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Michigan State's Tom Izzo seemed like an act of basketball predestination — a necessary conclusion between two coaches that have met more times than any other pair in the NCAA Tournament.

3. Duke

The Blue Devils (30-6) have seemed to find their identity and team chemistry at just the right time, finding an extra gear in their second-round win over Michigan State – particularly in the final five minutes. Paolo Banchero has always been this team's most talented player, but the supporting cast is starting to step up, with five players in double figures for Duke vs. the Spartans. Guard Jeremy Roach has taken over the starting point guard position, and this Duke team is playing inspired in trying to keep coach Mike Krzyzewski's final season alive. ► No. 2 seed.

March Madness 2022: Monday's action brings second day of women's second round, sets Sweet 16 field

  March Madness 2022: Monday's action brings second day of women's second round, sets Sweet 16 field March Madness action continues Monday with a slate of women's games, including No. 1 N.C. State against No. 9 Kansas State.The action continues Monday with a slate of evening games in the women's bracket starting at 4 p.m. ET. No. 1 seed N.C. State tips off the eventful evening, playing No. 9 Kansas State. The night ends with last year's national championship runner-up, Arizona, hosting North Carolina in 4-5 matchup.

4. Gonzaga

The Bulldogs (28-3) aren't nearly as talented and dynamic as they were on last year's national runner-up team, but they still have all the pieces to win it all and become coach Mark Few's first team to cut down the nets. Drew Timme (18.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is having an excellent NCAA Tournament – going for 32 points and 13 rebounds vs. Georgia State and then 25 points and 14 rebounds vs. Memphis. The 'Zags lead the nation in scoring (87.8 ppg) and field goal percentage (53%). Guard Andrew Nembhard has been an unsung hero for this group, while freshman standout Chet Holmgren, who has yet to fully hit his potential, has the ability to change the game if he's playing physical on the interior. ► No. 1 seed.

5. Texas Tech

The Red Raiders (27-9) have an elite defense behind first-year coach Mark Adams, ranking first in the nation in KenPom's defensive efficiency ratings. It was on display in the closing minutes vs. Notre Dame in the second round as well as in a bundle of close Big 12 victories. There aren't any elite offensive players on this team, but Bryson Williams (13.9 ppg) leads a group with five players averaging nine points or more. ► No. 3 seed.

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Texas Tech forward Kevin Obanor, left, greets guard Davion Warren , second from left, after a shot during the first half of a second-round NCAA college basketball tournament game against Notre Dame, Sunday, March 20, 2022, in San Diego. Texas Tech won 59-53. © Denis Poroy, AP Texas Tech forward Kevin Obanor, left, greets guard Davion Warren , second from left, after a shot during the first half of a second-round NCAA college basketball tournament game against Notre Dame, Sunday, March 20, 2022, in San Diego. Texas Tech won 59-53.

6. Kansas

The No. 1-seeded Jayhawks (30-6) have benefited from an added dimension to their already potent offense with the emergence of Remy Martin, an Arizona State transfer who took more of a backseat this year but has broken out as a lethal scorer in this NCAA Tournament. Martin led KU in scoring in both of its first-round games. Ochai Agbaji (19.4 ppg) is Kansas' All-American guard and Christian Braun is a glue guy who does the little things (blocks, clutch buckets) for the Jayhawks. ► No. 1 seed.

7. Arizona

The Wildcats (33-3) got 58 points from their two best players, Bennedict Mathurin (30 points) and Christian Koloko (28 points) in a second-round overtime win over TCU. Mathurin and Koloko scored Arizona's final 15 points, but if point guard Kerr Kriisa, recovering from an ankle injury, can provide more offense (he was 1-for-10 in the TCU) along with others, Arizona can be more of the full package in the second weekend.► No. 1 seed.

8. Purdue

The Boilermakers (29-7) have made it further than some of their Big Ten counterparts and have all the pieces to get coach Matt Painter to his first Final Four. It starts with Jaden Ivey (17.6 ppg), a dynamic playmaker who can carry the team offensively. Ivey and the rest of this veteran cast have the second most efficient offense in the country, per KenPom. Purdue's strength is also on the glass, ranking second nationally in rebounding margin. ► No. 3 seed.

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9. North Carolina

The No. 8-seeded Tar Heels (26-9) found another gear and discovered its identity when it embarrassed Duke in Krzyzewski's final home game March 5. The team's backbone is Armando Bacot (16.4 ppg, 12.5 rpg), whose play on the interior gives UNC an advantage. But it's been the guard play of Caleb Love (23 points vs. Marquette in the first round) and R.J. Davis (30 points in win vs. Baylor). Brady Manek is North Carolina's X-Factor. If the 6-9 senior big man is hitting from beyond the arc, Hubert Davis' team is really hard to stop. ► No. 8 seed.

10. Houston

The Cougars (31-5) lead the nation in field goal percentage defense and their smothering approach was on full display in their second-round win over Illinois. Coach Kelvin Sampson's team often feeds off its defense to generate offense, which leads to Houston controlling the game's tempo and taking opponents out of their offensive rhythm. The backcourt trio of guards Taze Moore (21 points against Illinois), Jamal Shead (18 points) and Kyler Edwards (15 points) can be lethal in the Sweet 16. ► No. 5 seed.

11. Arkansas

The Razorbacks (27-8) are back in the NCAA Tournament's second weekend for consecutive years. Coach Eric Musselman has a dangerous team that was overshadowed in the SEC by teams like Kentucky and Tennessee that are no longer dancing. JD Notae (18.4 ppg, 3.6 apg) is a game-changer with his ability to create for himself and his teammates off the bounce and Jaylin Williams (10.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 1.1 bpg) ignites this team in the frontcourt. ► No. 4 seed.

Duke basketball: Coach K's 42 Blue Devils teams, ranked: Which one is No. 1?

  Duke basketball: Coach K's 42 Blue Devils teams, ranked: Which one is No. 1? Mike Krzyzewski has won five titles and had 13 teams reach the Final Four. But he won't get into a debate on which of his teams ranks No. 1.“Just like I don’t rate my daughters or my grandchildren,” he said last week.

12. Providence

The Friars (27-5) defeated Richmond in the second round by 28 points after silencing a dangerous South Dakota State team in the first round. Coach Ed Cooley believes his Big East regular-season champions can extend this deep run with Providence in its first Sweet 16 in 25 years. If the Friars can shoot well from three the way they did against Richmond (12-for-22 from beyond the arc), they have a shot at beating anyone in this tournament. ► No. 4 seed.

13. Saint Peter's

The Peacocks (21-11) have a chance to do what no other No. 15 seed has ever done in reaching the Elite Eight. Coach Shaheen Holloway has gotten this team to play inspired, first stunning No. 2 Kentucky in the first round and then No. 7 Murray State in the second. The formula has included a poised offense and relentless defensive effort. KC Ndefo is a sparkplug on both ends, evidenced by his stat line of 17 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks vs. Murray State. In both wins, Doug Edert has come off the bench to provide clutch shot-making, which will be needed in the Sweet 16. ► No. 15 seed.

14. Miami (Fla.)

The No. 10-seeded Hurricanes (25-10) stunned No. 2 Auburn to get to the Sweet 16 and took down a solid USC team in the first round. Coach Jim Larrañaga has a team that's peaking at the right time after playing itself off the bubble in late February. Guard play is what Miami is good at, with seniors Kameron McGusty (17.5 ppg) and Charlie Moore (12.7 ppg, 4.6 apg) giving the Hurricanes a fighting chance against just about any team. ► No. 10 seed.

15. Iowa State

The Cyclones simply being here is an epic story line considering this program was 2-22 last season and 0-18 in the Big 12. Getting this team to the bubble and even in March Madness was an accomplishment for coach T.J. Otzelberger. Can they advance further? It's unlikely. But one thing this team has going: Its two best players were horrible in a second-round upset of Wisconsin, and the Cyclones still won. Leading scorer Izaiah Brockington had 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting, while Tyrese Hunter, Iowa State's hero vs. LSU in Round 1 with 23 points, had just four points on 1-for-10 shooting. If either of those players play up to their ability, look out. ► No. 11 seed.

16. Michigan

The Wolverines (19-14) have gone from a team on the NCAA Tournament bubble to one in the Sweet 16. After a season of struggles, Michigan is finally playing like the team it was expected to be as a preseason No. 6 team. Hunter Dickinson, a 7-foot-1 big man with a great touch and passing ability, had 27 points and 11 rebounds in Michigan's upset of Tennessee. But the X-factor for this team may be guard play, where Eli Brooks and Devante' Jones can cause havoc on both ends for opponents. Jones wasn't at full strength in the Tennessee win so having him healthy will be a must. ► No. 11 seed.

Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: March Madness reseeding: Ranking 2022 Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament teams based on national title ability

Duke basketball: Coach K's 42 Blue Devils teams, ranked: Which one is No. 1? .
Mike Krzyzewski has won five titles and had 13 teams reach the Final Four. But he won't get into a debate on which of his teams ranks No. 1.“Just like I don’t rate my daughters or my grandchildren,” he said last week.

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