NCAA Tournament Bracket Breakdown: Sweet Sixteen (Sunday Games)

(1) Gonzaga vs (5) Creighton

Line: Gonzaga –13.5

O/U: 158.5

Time: Sunday 2:10 PM

The clash of two high-powered offenses will be meeting in this match-up. Gonzaga is widely considered the most explosive offense. They feature 3 All-Americans who can fill up the stat sheet in every way imaginable. They will push the pace the entire game while relying on turnovers or missed shots to push the ball in transition. Gonzaga does not have much depth in their lineup but their starting five may be the most talented in the tournament. If their 3-point shots are not falling at first look for them to feed Drew Timme the ball and create offense from the inside to out.

Creighton survived by one point in the first round against UCSB and then handled business against Ohio. They have not had as good of a season as everyone imagined but they have the players that can get hot at any moment. They are led by guard Marcus Zegarowski who can take almost anyone in the country off the dribble and can light it up from deep. His supporting cast of Mitch Balloch, Denzel Mahoney, and Damien Jefferson will have to bring their A-game to pull off this upset. They like to play fast as well so look for them to try and match Gonzaga’s pace and knock down some shots. The key match-up will be Suggs vs Zegarowski at point guard as they are two of the best in the country.

(1) Michigan vs (4) Florida State

Line: Michigan –2

O/U: 143

Time: Sunday 5:10 PM

In the only 1 vs 4 game in this tournament, Michigan will be facing the 10-man rotation of FSU. Michigan will look to continue its hot streak on offense after posting two 80+ point games in the first two rounds. They have such a well-rounded attack with senior guard Eli Brooks, Franz Wagner on the Wing, and Hunter Dickinson at center. They provide a steady attack from the perimeter and have Dickinson down low to clean the offensive glass. Senior Chaundee Brown provides a spark off the bench and gives teams a huge problem if he gets hot. This team is at their best when they are moving the ball around and working from outside in. Watch for them to get into the paint and then kick out for open looks in order to get their offense going.

Florida State has an endless roster of weapons. They play 10 guys and when at their best, play a high-intensity defense in the hopes of creating turnovers. They are the tallest team in the tournament and make it hard for most teams to run their normal offense. RaiQuan Gray, Anthony Polite, M.J. Walker, Balsa Kopravica, and Scottie Barnes are all names to look out for. They can beat teams in so many ways but if the 3-ball starts falling, it will be hard for any team in the country to beat them. The biggest match-up will be between Dickinson and Kopravica as whoever wins the battle down low will likely win the game. Expect a full-court press at some point and if Michigan reacts poorly, The Seminoles will have a field day with them.

(2) Alabama vs (11) UCLA

Line: Alabama –6.5

O/U: 145

Time: Sunday 7:25 PM

Alabama and UCLA meet in the Sweet Sixteen with almost exactly opposite records in the round. The Crimson Tide are 1-7 during this round while the Bruins are 7-2, though they have not seen an Elite Eight game since 2008. Historical performance indicates an easy lock for UCLA, but Alabama is favored by 6.5 points for good reason. They are solid across the board and have no obvious weakness. The Bruins have their toughest game of the tournament tonight after wins against Michigan State, BYU, and Abilene Christian.

Alabama is led by two Seniors, John Petty Jr., and Herbert Jones. Although Jones has taken home the accolades, receiving the SEC Player of the Year and SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors, Petty Jr. Is turning on the offense with 20 or more points in four of the last five games. During the regular season, Petty Jr. Averaged 12.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game while shooting from beyond the arc at 37.3 percent. Herbert is similarly impressive averaging 11.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game. Furthermore, he’s scoring 44.5 percent of his field attempts and 37 percent of his 3-pointers.

The UCLA Bruins have their hands full with a Crimson Tide offense that left a tough Maryland defense in the dust. In order to pull off this upset, UCLA needs to maintain its offensive efficiency. Although slow in pace, the Bruins maintain a 47 percent shooting average in the tournament and will need to maximize that if they hope to beat Alabama. With five players that average more than 10 points a game, UCLA has the firepower to hang around, it is just a matter of whether their defense can stand the pressure that the Crimson Tide will bring. The team will look to its leaders Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez, Jaquez will be especially important and have to show exactly why he earned second-team All-Pac-12 Defensive honors.

(6) USC vs (7) Oregon

Line: USC –2

O/U: 138

Time: Sunday 9:55 PM

In an all Pac-12 matchup, the Oregon Ducks will look for revenge after losing to the USC Trojans in a brutal 72-58 road loss. The Trojans also have something to prove after losing out to the Ducks for the Pac-12 regular-season title.

Powered by Evan Mobley, Isaiah Mobley, and Tahj Eaddy, Oregon faces a tough prospect on their path to even the series with the Trojans. Redshirt senior guard Eaddy has the experience and offensive firepower to cripple the ducks while the Mobley brothers put in work on the defensive side of the ball. The paint is firmly the territory of USC with four starters taller than 6-foot-7, including 7-foot freshman Evan Mobley who won Player of the Year, Freshman of the year, and Defensive Player of the Year in the Pac-12. Mobley is averaging 16.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 3 blocks per game. The last time Mobley faced off against the Ducks he dominated the boards even without the help of his older brother Isaiah and he will continue to be a problem for their Pac-12 rivals.

The Oregon Ducks is led on both sides of the court by Senior Chris Duarte, possibly one of the best two-way wings in college basketball. Duarte is one of the five finalists for the Naismith Jerry West Award, which goes to the top shooting guard in the country and is averaging 17 points per game while shooting 53.3 percent from the field. He is also lethal from range, scoring on 42.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. There is more to the offense than just Duarte however, Eugene Orouyi and LJ Figueroa have turned up just in time for the tournament. Although they averaged over double digits in the regular season, Omoruyi has averaged 17.3 points per game in the last seven games, and Figueroa is averaging 16.9 in the same stretch