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The month of madness, down to Sweet 16

By Alex Baker
On March 26, 2014

With 2014 comes another crazy and unpredictable year in March Madness. We are down to the Sweet 16. Some of the teams have shocked you while others have yet to disappoint their fan base.
Some of the most heated rivalries will be on display this weekend. One of the biggest rivalries in sports is the "battle of the Bluegrass."
Kentucky beat the fourth-seeded Louisville Cardinals back in December 73-66. Both teams were not happy about the seeding the committee gave them, and look to make a statement in Indianapolis on Friday night.
The Atlantic Coast Conference Champions - Virginia - look to try to get past tournament master-mind Tom Izzo. Virginia has very quality wins over Duke, Syracuse and other conference powerhouses, but facing a hungry Michigan State team could be their biggest challenge yet.  
Two big surprises of the season have been Dayton and Stanford. These two schools have had two of the biggest upsets of the tournament, over Kansas and Syracuse, two schools that many people had going all the way in their bracket. Either way, one of these Cinderella stories will be in the Elite Eight.
For many of the people that said that the Southeastern Conference was having an off year and the teams were just not as good, the SEC has three of the final 16 teams left in the tournament.
One of those teams is the hottest team in the tournament and may be even one of the most surprising - the Tennessee Volunteers. The Vols have already beaten three teams in a week. Conzo Martin looks to quiet his critics in Knoxville even more than he already has against last year's runner-up, The University of Michigan.
The No. 1 Florida Gators have not lost a game since Dec. 2, to Connecticut. Many of the fans in Gainesville believe that Billy Donavan has an even better team than his two national championship teams in 2006 and 2007. The UCLA Bruins, hope to shatter the hope of the Gator Nation, showing that they are no slouch.
Jim Calhoun is one of the most successful coaches in the tournament, with three national titles and an excellent tournament record, but will the three seed Iowa State Cyclones be too much for the Hall of Fame coach? The Cyclones have quality wins over teams such as Kansas, Texas and Baylor.
Baylor has been an upset-minded team all year, but have also had stretches throughout the season where they did not play their best ball. It is just a question of what team shows up, the team that beat Kentucky and Oklahoma or the team that lost seven out of eight games earlier in the season, whether or not they can pull off the upset against a good Wisconsin team.
Both San Diego State and Arizona could probably make a case that they are the best team left in the tournament. On Nov. 14, the Aztecs lost to the Wildcats 69-60. Both teams dominated their conference and only suffered four losses throughout the season.
Whoever you have in your bracket, just look how things can turn around in the blink of an eye in the NCAA Tournament. The odds of filling out a perfect bracket is 9.2 quintillion to one, so don't feel bad about getting a few wrong.
 


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