Before the men's 2021 NCAA tournament field was revealed, we made 68 predictions for March Madness and while some predictions were off-base (that the Pac-12's teams would win just three games in the tournament), others have come to fruition (that either Ohio State or Iowa wouldn't advance to the Sweet 16).
Now we're back to make another round of predictions for the second round —16 predictions in honor of the 16 second-round games.
1. Of the eight double-digit seeds that advanced to the second round, three will advance to the Sweet 16. We can guarantee that at least one double-digit seed will appear in the Sweet 16 since No. 11 seed UCLA and No. 14 seed Abilene Christian will face off on Monday. But we think two more teams seeded No. 10 or worse will move on, too.
2. No. 11 Syracuse will be one of them, beating No. 3 seed West Virginia in a game between old Big East foes. Syracuse made the Final Four as a No. 10 seed in 2016 and it went to the Sweet 16 in 2018 as a No. 11 seed after starting in the First Four. Buddy Boeheim, the son of coach Jim Boeheim, has scored at least 30 points in each of his last two games, including 16 of Syracuse's first 19 points against San Diego State.
3. At least one No. 1 seed will trail at halftime, but all four will advance to the Sweet 16. Gonzaga will win by at least 15 points, Baylor and Illinois will win by between eight and 15 points, and Michigan will win by fewer than eight points.
4. The winner of the Houston-Rutgers matchup will score 64 points or fewer. These teams have two of the 20 best defenses in the country and the Cougars play at one of the country's slowest tempos.
5. There will be at least 22 made 3-pointers in the Florida-State Colorado matchup. The Buffaloes made 16 in their first-round win over Georgetown.
6. At least one of No. 6 seed USC or No. 7 seed Oregon will advance to the Sweet 16 in the West region. And we think there's a chance both could.
7. There will be a true buzzer-beater in the second round. We define "true buzzer-beater" as no time is left on the clock. Not 1.4 seconds, not 0.4 seconds. Zero seconds.
8. Ohio's Jason Preston, who finished with 13 rebounds, 11 points and eight assists in the Bobcats' upset win over No. 4 seed Virginia, will record a triple-double against No. 5 seed Creighton.
9. There will only be eight protected seeds (No. 1 through No. 4 seeds) in the Sweet 16. Twelve remain after the first round.
10. There will be one Sweet 16 matchup that will be a rematch of a game played earlier this season. Could it be Arkansas-Florida? Maybe USC-Oregon?
11. Not only are all of the perfect brackets long gone, but no one will correctly pick more than 14 of the 16 teams that will advance to the Sweet 16.
12. Another one of the eight most popular national championship picks will be eliminated from the NCAA tournament in the second round. Ohio State, the fifth-most popular pick (3.2% of all entries) in the Bracket Challenge Game, was upset by No. 15 seed Oral Roberts. Who will be the next to go?
13. At least four Big 12 teams will advance to the Sweet 16. There are currently six left — No. 1 seed Baylor, No. 3 seed Kansas, No. 3 seed West Virginia, No. 4 seed Oklahoma State, No. 6 seed Texas Tech and No. 8 seed Oklahoma.
14. There will be strong cases to be made for at least three of the four regions as to which one is responsible for the most chaos.
15. At least one team among No. 13 seed North Texas, No. 13 seed Ohio, No. 14 seed Abilene Christian or No. 15 seed Oral Roberts will advance to the Sweet 16. Only one No. 15 seed has ever won two games in the NCAA tournament — Florida Gulf Coast in 2013.
16. Of the two halves of a region that have been upset-free so far (the bottom half of the West region and the top half of the East region), at least one will be home to at least one upset in the second round.