March Madness Sweet 16 Cinderella Picks

Michigan vs Wisconsin Spread & ATS Pick

March Madness Sweet 16 Cinderella Picks

There are Cinderella teams based on seeding and then there are Cinderella teams based on their opponents. Maryland is definitely a Cinderella against Kanas on Thursday even though the Terrapins are the seed in the South Region.

The reason why is because Kansas was and is the favorite to win the NCAA Tournament. Maryland should have no business beating Kansas on Thursday. Notre Dame and Wisconsin are playing in a Cinderella Sweet 16 game. Neither team figured to go this far. Although Notre Dame and Wisconsin advancing to the Sweet 16 is a surprise, Gonzaga battling Syracuse in the Sweet 16 might be the biggest surprise.  Which Cinderella teams do I like to move on?  Keep reading to find out!

2016 March Madness Sweet 16 Cinderella Picks

What: March Madness – South Region – Sweet Sixteen
Who: No. 5 Maryland Terrapins (27-8) at No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks (32-4)
When: Thursday, March 24, 2016
Start Time: 8:40 PM ET 
Where: Louisville, Kentucky
Stadium: KFC Yum! Center
Spread: N/A
Moneyline: N/A
Game Total: N/A
Watch: CBS
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Maryland vs Kansas

I love Maryland’s chances against top choice Kansas in this battle on March 24. To me, Maryland is built to beat a team like Kansas. The Jayhawks are fantastic but they haven’t faced a team with 2 starting guards like Rasheed Sulaimon and Melo Trimble. Trimble and Sulaimon were brilliant against Hawaii.

Sulaimon had 14 points and Trimble had 24. What was so magical about their performance is that both guards knew that they were cold from the three-point line. Trimble hit 1 of 6 while Sulaimon went 1 out of 4. Both guards drove the basketball and got to the foul line. Trimble hit 13 of 14 free throws and Sulaimon hit 8 out of 9.

I think that Maryland’s guards carry the Terps to an upset victory over Kansas in the Sweet 16.

Pick: Maryland

What: March Madness – East Region – Sweet Sixteen
Who: No. 7 Wisconsin Badgers (22-12) at No. 6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (23-11)
When: Friday, March 25, 2016
Start Time: 6:27 PM ET 
Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Stadium: Wells Fargo Center
Spread: N/A
Moneyline: N/A
Game Total: N/A
Watch: TBS
Stream: TBS
Listen: Wisconsin vs Notre Dame

Notre Dame and Wisconsin were tough on Sunday. Notre Dame did enough to beat hot S.F. Austin 76 to 75. Wisconsin needed a last second shot by Bronson Koenig to beat Xavier 66 to 63. Either team moving on counts as a Cinderella pick since neither team was expected to get to this point.

Out of the 2, I prefer Wisconsin. The Badgers are a gutsy bunch. Nigel Hayes, Koenig, Vitto Brown, Ethan Happ and Zak Showalter, the Badgers’ starting 5, have played with each other for a while. They know how to get things done on both offense and defense. Hayes, Koenig and Happ are all 3 terrific go to guys.

Happ and Hayes were in foul trouble for most of the second half and the Badgers still managed to keep it close enough for Koenig’s game winning shot. Notre Dame is a good team but the luck of the Irish should run out in this intriguing Friday matchup in the Sweet 16.  

Pick: Wisconsin

What: March Madness – Midwest Region – Sweet Sixteen
Who: No. 11 Gonzaga Bulldogs (28-7) at No. 10 Syracuse Orange (21-13)
When: Friday, March 25, 2016
Start Time: 8:40 PM ET 
Where: Chicago, Illinois
Stadium: United Center
Spread: Gonzaga -4.5
Moneyline: N/A
Game Total: 135
Watch: CBS
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Gonzaga vs Syracuse

When the 11 seed is favored over the 3 seed, which is what happened when Gonzaga was favored by 1.5 points in their 82 to 59 win over Utah on Saturday, the 11 seed needs to be taken seriously. That’s not to say that Gonzaga isn’t a Cinderella team. The Zags are a legitimate 11 seed with a legitimate reason to make it to Coach Mark Few’s first Final Four.

Gonzaga has been playing lights out in the tournament. The Zags took apart Big East Tournament Champ Seton Hall 68 to 52. Then, the Zags scored 82 against Utah. Syracuse is a tough squad but Syracuse hasn’t come close to battling a team as talented and as well coached as Gonzaga since the Orange took on North Carolina on Feb. 29.

This should be a close game. In the end, I think Gonzaga takes it.

Pick: Gonzaga