March Madness viewer’s guide for the Sweet 16

Mar 22, 2022, 12:26 AM | Updated: 12:30 pm

Saint Peter's guard Doug Edert (25) celebrates at the end of a college basketball game against Kent...

Saint Peter's guard Doug Edert (25) celebrates at the end of a college basketball game against Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Indianapolis. Saint Peter's won 85-79 in overtime. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

A No. 1 seed and two No. 2s did not get past the first weekend. A band of Peacocks from Jersey City took down a blue blood to reach the Sweet 16. They will be joined by a team that won two games last season.

March Madness lived up to its billing in the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament and turns the corner to the Sweet 16 this week. If history is any indication, we can expect some next-level madness as the bracket winds toward the Final Four in New Orleans.

Here’s a few things to watch as the tournament shifts to San Francisco, San Antonio, Chicago and Philadelphia for the regional rounds:


Gonzaga (1 seed). The Zags needed a while to get going against Georgia State and had a stiff test against Memphis, but found a way to reach the Sweet 16 for the seventh straight season.

Arizona (1). These swashbuckling Wildcats have a flair for the dramatic and, as their coach has said, a razor-thin margin for error. But know this: Tommy Lloyd’s bunch is fun to watch when they get rolling.

Kansas (1). Another NCAA Tournament, another Sweet 16. That’s 32 now for the Jayhawks, who have the type of roster to keep it going.

Duke (2): The Blue Devils had to wrestle out a win against Michigan State to keep Coach K’s final run through the bracket going. They face another grinder against Mark Adams’ roughneck Red Raiders.

Villanova (2). Any team led by Jay Wright and Collin Gillespie is going to be a tough out.


Saint Peter’s. The small Jesuit school in Jersey has quickly become America’s hoops crush. Taking down No. 2 seed Kentucky in the first round had something to do with it. So does being led by a back-up guard sporting a rad ‘stache.

Iowa State. Two wins last season to two opening NCAA Tournament wins. Two more and these scrappy Cyclones will play in the Final Four for the first time since ’44.

Miami. Jim Larrañaga’s scramble defense left the Hurricanes’ first two opponents feeling trapped. Now they’re one of three ACC teams left standing.

Providence. Ed Cooley’s crew is in the Sweet 16 for the first time in 25. They’ve left bruised and battered opponents in their wake.

Michigan. Usually hard to call the Wolverines an underdog, but they are an 11 seed that barely got into the bracket. The preseason projections of greatness are finally coming to fruition.


Drew Timme, Gonzaga. Footwork of a ballerina, knows all the angles, lives for the big moments. Great ‘stache, too.

Jaden Ivey, Purdue. Anticipation on his drives to the basket is like waiting for a rocket to burst in the air — his dunks are more like explosions.

Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona. Spring loaded and clutch. And don’t make him mad — TCU found that out the hard way.

Doug Edert, Saint Peters. Has turned into a March folk hero with that caterpillar under his lip and penchant for hitting big shots.

Ochai Agbaji, Kansas. Has a knack for making the biggest plays down the stretch.


Gonzaga vs. Arkansas, West Region, Thursday in San Francisco. The Zags wants to play fast. The Muss Bus will look to slow their roll.

North Carolina vs. UCLA, East Region, Friday in Philadelphia. Blue bloods facing off, an Elite Eight spot on the line? Yes, please.

Iowa State vs. Miami, Midwest Region, Friday in Chicago. One of these two defensive-minded upstarts is going to the Elite Eight. First one to 50 may get it.

Texas Tech vs. Duke, West Region, Thursday in San Francisco. The fate of Coach K’s farewell tour could be in the diabolical defensive hands of Red Raiders coach Mark Adams.

Arizona vs. Houston, South Region, Thursday in San Antonio. The Wildcats weren’t supposed to go this far in their first season under Tommy Lloyd. Neither were the Cougars after losing two starters to injury. Neither is going to give an inch now that they’re here.


A few Sweet 16 odds, according to FanDuel Sportsbook:

Best bet to win the championship: Gonzaga plus-240, Kansas plus-500, Arizona plus-650.

Worst title odds: Saint Peter’s plus-35,000, Iowa State plus-10,000, Providence plus-7,500.

Biggest spread: Purdue minus-12.5 over Saint Peter’s.

Smallest spread: Duke minus-1 over Texas Tech.


The TV and streaming schedule is tantalizing, keep the remote handy:

Thursday, March 24: West Region semifinals in San Francisco on CBS, South in San Antonio on TBS.

Friday, March 25: East Region semifinals in Philadelphia on CBS, Midwest in Chicago on TBS.

Saturday, March 26: West and South regional finals on TBS.

Sunday, March 27: East and Midwest finals on CBS.


More AP coverage of March Madness: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

March Madness viewer’s guide for the Sweet 16