On to the Sweet Sixteen!
After the first two rounds of the 83rd annual March Madness tournament, the Sweet Sixteen will bring the best 16 teams to their respective regional showdowns starting on Thursday the 24th.
This year's tournament has showcased several underdog teams make their way to the third round. 15-seed Saint Peter's, 11-seed Michigan, 11-seed Iowa State and 10-seed Miami have all won their first two games and are in contention to become the lowest seeded winner of this tournament.
Saint Peter's University is the lowest seed to make this year's Sweet Sixteen. The team is coached by Shaheen Holloway, who himself made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the year 2000 as a point guard for Seton Hall. The team is led by guard Daryl Banks III and forward KC Ndefo, two upperclassmen who excel on defense and have led their team to a 21-11 record, a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title, and two wins so far in the March Madness tournament on their way to making this Sweet Sixteen.
Michigan has had an up-and-down season, with tough losses, injuries and fights between coaches making headlines. Head coach Juwan Howard has done a great job collecting a group of team-first players who work hard on both sides of the floor. Sophomore center Hunter Dickson leads the team on the floor, his statistical season is good enough for one of the best in the nation, with 18.7 points per game on 57% shooting, with 8.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
Iowa State and Miami are also underdog teams in this tournament who happen to be facing off against each other on Friday. Iowa State is led by Senior guard Izaiah Brockington with 17 points and almost 7 rebounds per game. Miami has one of the deepest starting rosters in the country, with 4 different players averaging over 10 points per game. Their matchup will inevitably knock one of these low seeds out of the tournament assuring only 3 teams with a below-8 seed make it to the Elite 8.
As for the teams that "should be here" We still have 3 1-seeds in the running, Gonzaga, Arizona and Kansas. Two 2-seeds, Duke and Villanova and two 3-seeds, Texas Tech and Purdue. These teams not only had spectacular seasons and have a long history of greatness in their programs, but they're the homes of some of the brightest futures the NBA will see very soon. The 2022 NBA Draft will see 6-to7 players drafted in the first 10 selections who will be participating in this year's Sweet Sixteen.
Duke's Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin and Mark Williams, Purdue's Jaden Ivey, Arizona's Bennedict Mathurin, Kansas' Ochai Agbaji are all regarded as elite talents, with Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren seen as the clear #1 pick come April. All of these players have had a good tournament so far and are expected to lead their teams to a few more wins leading to the Final Four.
Starting Thursday and ending Sunday, the rounds Sweet Sixteen and Elite 8 will commence leaving only four teams battling for this year's championship trophy. Saint Peter's will face Purdue, Michigan will face Villanova, Texas Tech will go against Duke, Houston versus Arizona, Providence and Kansas, UNC battles UCLA and finally Iowa State and Miami. Fan favorites Saint Peter's, UNC and Michigan will need some luck to defeat their higher-ranked opponents. Duke and Gonzaga will face off against each other if both are victorious in this round, setting up what could be legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski's last game. Once the Elite 8 is set in stone the games will be even more thrilling and will truly show which teams are the best in the 2022 season.
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We will be continuing our coverage of the 2022 March Madness tournament throughout March and April and post regular articles leading through the Final Four and championship game on