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March Madness: Sweet 16 upset picks

Profile Picture: Andrew Champagne

March 27th, 2021

The Sweet 16 is upon us! The second week of the 2021 NCAA Tournament tips off on Saturday, and we’ll know the Final Four by the end of the day on Tuesday. 

It’s an exciting series of days filled with high-quality matchups, and more upsets certainly appear to be in the offing. Let’s take a look at three games that may end with the betting favorites heading home.

#11 Syracuse vs. #2 Houston

Syracuse was one of the last at-large teams to make the tournament, but they’ve made the college basketball world take notice with wins over San Diego State and West Virginia. 

Houston, meanwhile, pulled out an improbable 63-60 win over Rutgers by scoring 14 of the game’s last 16 points. Now the Cougars have to contend with Syracuse’s omnipresent 2-3 zone and an offense peaking at the right time.

#4 Florida State vs. #1 Michigan

The Wolverines are the lone remaining Big 10 team left standing in the Big Dance after a disastrous opening weekend for the conference. It wasn’t easy, either, as Michigan fended off a game LSU squad in the second round. 

The Seminoles, meanwhile, bounced back from a shaky first-round performance against UNC-Greensboro by thumping the Colorado Buffaloes, 71-53. At their best, this is a team that can beat almost any other squad in the country. Michigan could be in trouble on Sunday.

#7 Oregon vs. #6 USC

This isn’t much of an upset seed-wise, but USC did top Oregon when they met earlier this season. The Ducks, however, are flying high (catchy verbiage, huh?) following a 15-point win over Luka Garza and the Iowa Hawkeyes, and head coach Dana Altman’s teams tend to peak in the postseason. 

Can Oregon exorcise the demons from Pac-12 play and advance to the Elite Eight? We’ll find out on Sunday night!

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