Monday, March 25, 2019

Rounds 1 and 2 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament are over! Opening Weekend proved to be one of the most intense starts in March Madness history. Startling upsets and buzzer beaters galore!

The tournament tipped off with the Florida-BYU game that went into 2OT and the weekend ended with a Texas A&M-Purdue matchup that went into OT. And somewhere in between the beginning and the end, four double digit seeds (ok 3 double digit and one No. 9 seed) advanced to the Sweet 16 and are battling out to be the Cinderella of the tourney. And the No. 1 seeded team of the entire tournament was taken out by that No. 9 seed, busting everyone’s brackets wide open.

After over 42 hours of basketball in four days, we get a three day hiatus to contemplate our picks for the Sweet 16 which tips off on Thursday, March 21. True, your brackets are already locked in for your office/internet pools. But CBSSports offers a Round by Round game that you can enter. And if your bracket is as busted as mine, most of the teams you picked aren’t in the Sweet 16 so it’s time to pick new teams!

Here’s a rundown of all the teams that made it into the Sweet 16 and their matchups. As the week goes on, I’ll do some in depth looks at some of the key points of the next round but this all the basics that you need to know to help you pick who you want to move on to the Elite 8!

South Region

No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 1 Duke

Duke duke-blue-devils

  • ACC Champs
  • Location: Durham, North Carolina
  • Nickname: Blue Devils
  • School Colors: Royal (Duke) Blue and White
  • Coach: Coach K, Mike Krzyzewski
  • Fanatical Fans: The Cameron Crazies. You do not mess with these people. They will f&%$ you up.
  • Rivals: UNC. It’s known as the Tobacco Road rivalry and is quite possibly the most famous war in sports.
  • Players to know: Kyle Singler, Jon Schever,

Purdue purdue-boilermakers

  • Big Ten
  • Location: West Lafayatte, Indiana
  • Mascot: Boilermakers
  • What is a Boilermaker?: It’s actually an old slang term for engineering. Pretty interesting story
  • School Colors: Old Gold and Black
  • Coach: Matt Painter
  • Players: Chris Kramer. Yum.

In My Brackets: Chris Kramer is so hot that he’s actually made me like Purdue. I didn’t think that was possible! I was screaming my head off for them at the end of the nail biting game, only to remember that I actually didn’t pick them in any of my brackets. But even though I’d love to see Chris for a few more weeks, I’m still going to go with Duke for my boy Mark!

No. 10 St. Mary’s vs. No. 3 Baylor


  • Big 12
  • Location: Waco, TX
  • Nickname: Bears
  • Mascot: Bruiser and Judge. also have two black bears named Joy and Lady
  • School Colors: Green and Gold
  • Why you may have heard of them: In 2003. Player Patrick Dennehy was murdered by a  former player becuase of a shocking illegal recruiting/drug scandal.

St Mary’s (College of California)

  • WCC
  • Location: Moraga, CA
  • Nickname: Gaels (formerly the Saints)
  • Mascot: Gael Force One
  • School Colors: Red and Blue
  • Fame: They just took down the No. 2 seed in their bracket, the powerhouse Villanova.

In My Brackets: Eh….. Um….. Eh….Well, since I picked Notre Dame to go to the Sweet 16, I’m kinda screwed no matter what. But St. Mary’s is not my favorite Cinderella team out of the bunch of princesses (princes?) in this big dance. I really wanted Villanova to advance to take on Duke so I’m a little ticked at that upset. I think I’m going to go with Baylor here.


East Region:

No. 12 Cornell vs. No. 1 Kentucky


  • SEC
  • Location: Lexington, KY
  • Nickname: Wildcats, Big Blue
  • School Colors: Blue and White
  • Fanatical Fans: Called “Big Blue Nation” and “Big Blue Mist”
  • Coach: John Calipari
  • Fame: The winningest program in college basketball. Also credited with beginning Midnight Madness, the night that kicks off official start of NCAA college basketball practices.



  • Ivy League Champs
  • Location: Ithaca, NY
  • Mascot: Big Red (apparently, from looking at the logo, Big Red is a scary Teddy Bear)
  • School Colors: Carnelian Red and White
  • Coach: Steve Donahue
  • Funny Facts and Legends: “According to legend, if a virgin crosses the Arts Quad at midnight, the statues of Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White will walk off their pedestals, meet in the center of the Quad, and shake hands, congratulating themselves on the chastity of the University.” -Wikipedia

In My Brackets: Kentucky. I don’t care about all the crap surrounding John Calipari. He is one of my favorite coaches and has been for years. I don’t really like Kentucky, but I like him! Cornell is the lowest seed that advanced to the Sweet 16, which gives them Cinderella rights. And they totally beat the crap out of Wisconsin to the shock of…well, everyone. But as much as I would love for the little guys to pull off another upset, I just don’t see them being able to take down the Big Bad Wildcats.


No. 11 Washington vs. No. 2 WVU


  • Pac-10
  • Location: Seattle, Washington
  • Nickname: Huskies (used to be the Sun Dodgers because as Twilight fans will tell ya, that area is the rainiest, least sunny area in the country!)
  • Mascot: Harry the Husky. Also, Dubs, an Alaskan Malamute similar to a husky is known to make an appearance….
  • School Colors: Purple and Gold
  • Fan Section: The Dawg Pack
  • Coach: Lorenzo Romar
  • Claim to Fame: The Huskies like to take credit for the invention of the ultimate crowd reaction “The Wave.” Rumored to have been created in October 1981 in a game against Stanford.

Western Virginia University


  • Big East
  • Location: Morgantown, West Virginia
  • Mascot: Mountaineers
  • School Colors: Old Gold and Blue
  • Coach: Bob Huggins
  • Roll out the red, er, blue and gold carpet: The team gets to walk down their very own VIP carpet during home games! Oh and John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is like an unofficial school song.
  • Players to know: Da’Sean Butler and Joe Mazzulla

In My Brackets: Hmmm….. very interesting. WVU just barely beat Missouri. While Washington took down No. 3 New Mexico as if the Lobos were a crappy seed instead of team expected to dominate the tournament. Ya know, I’m think I’m going to pledge my loyalty to the Huskies here. But I reserve the right to change my mind over the next few days as I carefully weigh all the factors. WVU’s Joe Mazzulla and Da’Sean Butler are very sexy…..


West Region

No. 5 Butler vs. No. 1 Syracuse

Butler butler-bulldogs

  • Horizon
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Mascot: Bulldogs
  • Student Fan Section: The Dawg Pound
  • School Colors: Blue and White
  • Coach: Brad Stevens
  • Claim to Fame: The final championship in the 1986 movie Hoosiers was filmed in Butler’s basketball arena!
  • *** This is a great little team to root for. Once a virtual unknown, in the last decade, they have really made a name for themselves as a regular in the NCAA tourney!

Syracuse syracuse

  • Big East
  • Location: Syracuse, NY
  • Nicknames: Orange, Orangemen
  • Mascot: Otto The Orange
  • School Colors: Orange….. are you noticing a theme here?
  • Coach: Jim Boeheim
  • Home Court : The Orange play in the Carrier Dome–I’ve even heard of it! It’s the largest domed college stadium in the country. My school had a dome. It was small.
  • Players:  Arinze Okanadu (Jonny Flynn, last years key player is now a player in the NBA on the Minnesota Timberwolves)
  • Fame: VP Joe Biden

In My Brackets: Syracuse. Even with Arinze Okanadu injured the Orange have had no problems dominating through the tourney and Butler looks like one more little hurdle on their road to the Final Four. Butler on the other hand struggled with UTEP and almost lost in the final seconds to Murray State.

No. 6 Xavier vs. No. 2 Kansas State

Xavier xavier

  • Atlantic 10
  • Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Nickname: Musketeers
  • Mascot: “D’Artagnan the captain of Musketeers of the Guard” and also, The Blue Blob. Um. Okay.
  • School Colors: Navy Blue, Grey, White
  • Coach: Chris Mack
  • Rivals: Cincinnati Bearcats. They play each other in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout

Kansas State

  • Big 12
  • Location: Manhattan, KS
  • Nickname: Wildcats
  • School Colors: Purple and White
  • Coach: Frank Martin
  • Rivals: Kansas. They even have a Sunflower Showdown between the two teams
  • Famous Alumns: Michael Beasley, Miami Heat

In my Brackets: Eh. I think it’s a safe bet to now bet against all things Kansas after KU’s disasterous loss to UNI. I’m going Xavier. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth to think about rooting for Kansas State if KU is not in the tourney too.


Midwest Region

No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 2 Ohio State

Tennessee tennessee-volunteers-logo

  • SEC
  • Location: Knoxsville, Tenn
  • Nickname: Volunteers.  That’s just plain weird. Also shortened to just Vols
  • Why?: Because Tenn is known as the volunteer state. The people are historically known to jump in and fight any war, from the Revolutionary War to the Civil and even the Alamo. Which was in Texas.
  • Mascot: Smokey IX the Bluetick coonhound
  • School Colors: Orange and White
  • Coach: Bruce Pearl
  • Song: the official fight song is “Down the Field” but the most popular request for The Pride to play is “Rocky Top.”  I personally would request “Tennessee” by Arrested Development. Or “Tennessee Line” by Chris Daughtry

Ohio State ohio-state-buckeyes

  • Big Ten
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio
  • Mascot: Buckeyes
  • What the heck is a buckeye?: It it Ohio’s offical state tree. Hmmm….
  • School Colors:  Scarlet and Grey
  • Coach: Thad Matta
  • Facts: Ohio State fans scare the bejeezus out of me. They are CR-Razy and die hards. They rival Florida’s Gator Nation for “peeps you don’t want to hear you talking smack about their team.”

In My Brackets: Well Tennessee took down one Ohio team already……..  Ohio State actually struggled with Georgia Tech a bit where Tennessee rolled right over Ohio. But Ohio State is not Ohio. They are going to play hard. Even though Tennessee’s creamcicle looking sneakers are one of my fave things about the tourney (if they were to win the whole tourney I really think someone needs to make a commercial that says “it’s gotta be the shoes….”) I’m still going to go with OSU.

No. 9 Northern Iowa (UNI) vs. No. 5 MSU

Northern Iowa norhtern-iowa

  • Missouri Valley
  • Location: Cedar Falls, Iowa
  • Mascot: Panthers. The actual mascot, TC (The Cat) Panther is award winning. But I have no idea what awards….
  • School Colors: Purple and Old Gold
  • Claim to Fame: Been ranked “best in the Midwest” by the Princeton Review a lot
  • Coach: Ben Jacobson
  • Fun Tradition: ” The UNI campus comes alive Friday night of Homecoming week each year. At the stroke of midnight, students flock around the tower to sneak a kiss from a long time lover or someone you just met.” Wikipedia
  • Fame: They just took down the No. 1 team in the entire tournament Kansas. In fact, UNI lead almost the entire game.

Michigan State mich-state-spartans

  • Big 12
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Mascot: Spartans
  • School Colors: Green and White
  • Coach: Tom Izzo (for shizzo)
  • Players: Kalin Lucas, Derrell Summers, Delvon Roe
  • Claim to Fame: They have won 2 Championships. The most notable was the 1979 game that pitted Spartan Ervin “Magic” Johnson against Indiana’s Larry Bird. Perhaps you have heard of them? That win fueled the rivalry that extended into the NBA with Magic on the Lakers and Bird ont he Celtics.
  • A Cinderella Story: Last year MSU were the Cinderellas in the Big Dance. They made it all the way to the championship against UNC!

In My Brackets: I…….. geez. This is like when someone asks me to choose between cheese and chocolate. Or McDreamy and Josh Jackson. Those kind of intense decisions make me freeze up. Here’s the problems.

  • MSU beat KU last year in the tourney yet went on toe become my last year’s Cinderella Story.
  • UNI beat KU this year in the tourney yet is now going on to be my this year’s favorite Cinderella Story.
  • Erik’s team is MSU and I have spend 42 hours in the last 4 days watching basketball at his house.
  • UNI is Nic and Luke’s team and they are both very hot boys (this is not to imply that Erik is not a hot boy. He is too!)
  • UNI’s Ali Farokhmanesh is a cutie patootey with a sick 3-point shot that does funny things for me, even though his shot was the nail in KU’s coffin. But his name has a KH and an M strung together with no vowels. That’s just crazy.
  • MSU’s Korie Luscious sunk the 3-pointer that won the game against Maryland at the buzzer. And he is hot too. And his last name looks like it’s lush-iss even though it’s pronouned loo-shush.

What do you think? Who should round off my Super Sweet 16? MSU or UNI? Leave a comment below or shoot me a tweet @StilettoSportsJ and let me know your thoughts!


About the author: Jennifer Taglione is the owner of this fabulous website Stiletto Sports. Despite writing well over 500 posts, she still maintains that she is not a sports writer! She is however a huge fan of Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Mark Sanchez, the Celtics, and totally kicks butt on March Madness brackets! Connect with her by following her on Twitter @StilettoSportsJ and subscribing to her weekly newsletter. For more info check out the About the Editor page!

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4 Responses

  1. Nic Lake Said,

    Here’s the thing about the UNI/MSU matchup…
    1) UNI plays 10 players. We aren’t going to be tired, and we’re getting ready to butt heads with the Big 10. We’ve shown that we can do that already (obviously).
    2) MSU’s Kalin Lucas is likely out with a torn Achilles suffered in today’s game. Chris Allen still has a sprained arch of his foot, though he is going to attempt to recover and play on Friday.
    3) Today’s 85-83 game will not be repeated on Friday. Mich. St. was playing an up-tempo game to match/beat Maryland and to defeat their extremely weak full-court press, and it was successful. However, UNI has a much better defense (#2 in the nation, 2nd to Princeton), and will control the tempo of the game until it is a slow crawl. Expect a game in the low/mid 60s.
    4) Ali Farokhmanesh’s 3-pointers. Jordan Eglseder’s size. Kwadzo Ahelegbe’s aggressiveness. Jake and Adam Koch’s grit and determination. And last but not least, Lucas O’rear’s sideburns. You can’t beat that.

    Right now, Northern Iowa is on a mission and a hot streak, and they’re getting just a little bit lucky. Plus, they’re playing in St. Louis, a city that they are very very familiar with (the Missouri Valley Conference tournament is held there every year). If they are able to combat the press that Tom Izzo is going to apply, then the Panthers will advance to Sunday’s matchup against (I believe) Ohio State.
    .-= Nic Lake´s last blog ..What Do You Want To Know? =-.

    Posted on March 21st, 2010 at 9:17 pm

  2. Christine Alvine Said,

    Oh man, isn’t this why we tune into March Madness… we got upsets all over the place but in the West Bracket, Syracuse and Kansas State the number one and two seeds both were able to get to the sweet 16. To add to that Butler and Xavier got there and they are no team to take lightly. I am sure I am not the only one who waits all year to see basketball played at this caliber. Any team could honestly go on in this bracket to the Elite Eight.

    If you are as confused as I am, and most people for that matter on who to take going into the Eight Eight and Final Four, you might want to check out this write up @ … it has full in depth write-ups on all sixteen teams as well as predictions for all eight games in the sweet sixteen round.

    So who you got in the West Bracket? I have to take the favourites in Syracuse and Kansas State, they are simply playing the best basketball out of any team in the bracket… But anything is possible, especially this year!!!

    Posted on March 21st, 2010 at 9:27 pm

  3. Pamala Said,

    Thanks a lot, this site is great. i spent one hour trying to find team names for college and university basketball. Then I found this site. It’s great. Look forward to football with the help of ya’ll. Have a good one.

    Posted on March 26th, 2010 at 9:24 am

  4. Stiletto Jen Said,

    aw i’m glad it helped! The post i’m working on now is all about all the funny team names out there like the Hawaii Rainbows and the Southern Illinois Salukis! I can’t wait for football to come back to start writing about it again!

    Posted on March 26th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

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