Top 12 Teams Reach Sweet 16 for the First Time Since 2009
For the first time in a decade, the top 12 teams in the March Madness tournament have reached the Sweet 16. Every college basketball bettor's dream has come true, seeing almost all 'chalk' heading into regional semifinal games.
The top three seeds in each region have made it to the Sweet 16, something that's only happened once since 2000. In 2009, the same occurred where the field's top 12 teams made it this far.
Then and Now
The biggest difference from a decade ago are the schools involved. The only schools that have reached the Sweet 16 in both 2009 and 2019 are Michigan State, Duke, and North Carolina.
Of those three schools, two advanced into the Final Four. All three schools were also in different regions.
Duke, the school that didn't advance into the Final Four, was a two seed instead of a one like this year. However, UNC was a one seed in 2009 and Michigan State a two - as they are this year.
If history repeats itself all the way into the championship game, then we will see UNC defeat Michigan State.
That's not too far-fetched a thought, as both Michigan State and UNC occupy two of the top five odds to win March Madness.
Duke currently has the top odds at +300.
The 1 Seeds
Three ACC schools hold one seeds in this year's tournament. This comes to little surprise, as bookmakers strongly believe the tournament winner will come from the ACC.
This also seems logical considering the ACC has five teams remaining, which is the highest total of any conference.
Of the one seeds, UNC has been to the most Final Fours with 20 appearances. Actually, UNC has been to more Final Fours than any other school let alone the top seeds.
Duke isn't far behind, as they have 16 Final Four appearances which rank third-most ever.
Despite 22 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, Virginia has only seen two Final Fours. Gonzaga, with the same amount of appearances as Virginia, has only seen one Final Four.
If you're betting on history to repeat, it seems UNC not only reaching the Final Four but also winning the entire dance is your best route.
The 2 and 3 Seeds
Three of the current two seeds are very dangerous in terms of history. Michigan, Michigan State, and Kentucky have combined for 34 Final Four appearances with Kentucky having the most (17).
Kentucky has actually reached the NCAA Tournament more times than any other school in history.
Tennessee, the fourth two seed, has been to 22 NCAA Tournaments with zero Final Four appearances.
The three seeds are equally as dangerous, mainly because the three seeds in this year's tournament have all performed well at the dance.
Despite almost no coverage just a few years prior to 2019, LSU and Houston have combined for nine Final Four appearances.
Both LSU and Houston have more Final Four appearances than Oregon, Purdue, Virginia, Gonzaga, FSU, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Auburn and Virginia Tech.
Purdue has been to 30 NCAA Tournaments despite reaching the Final Four just twice. Their 30 appearances rank fifth-most.
What makes LSU and Houston so dangerous, aside from their successful seasons and great talent, is the fact that they are being overlooked despite great success in March Madness history.
Houston is actually in the top 10 for most NCAA Tournament appearances ever, a stat many wouldn't think to guess.
Any thought that Houston can't pull off a big run in this tournament should be forgotten, as this program has five Final Four appearances which ranks sixth all-time.
Perhaps one of the more intriguing 2 vs. 3 games in the Sweet 16 is Michigan vs. Texas Tech.
Both teams enter with top three defensive ratings in the country, with Texas Tech having the number one rating overall.
The Remaining Seeds
Auburn, FSU and Virginia Tech all have reasons for being dangerous teams as well. However, perhaps the scariest of the remaining seeds comes from Eugene.
The Ducks have now won 10 straight games going back into the regular season schedule.
Oregon enters their game against Virginia with a top 30 defense in the country, and perhaps some of the hottest players right now.
Kenny Wooten saw seven blocks in their win over UC-Irvine, only shy a few stats of recording a triple-double.
Sticking with the history theme, Oregon has now seen three Sweet 16 appearances in the last four years and four in the last seven.
Perhaps the Ducks are more legit than many realized, as it's easy to forget this team was actually ranked in the top 25 before star player Bol Bol went down.
With an entire season to figure out their roster without Bol Bol, Oregon seems to have figured out their most effective style of play at the most crucial time.
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