Mar 16, 2012; Greensboro, NC, USA; Xavier Musketeers guard Tu Holloway (52) reacts after scoring against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the first half of the second round of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
Now that the ashes have settled - just barely - from the opening rounds, lets take a look at who will be one step closer to New Orleans.
I'm just going to come out and say it right here. I apologize for anyone that took my advice when filling out any of the brackets. Unless you took my advice and went against it, in which case you probably are winning your office's pool. I went a personal low 18 for 32 on my bracket - proving that just because you think you write about sports doesn't mean you will be able to predict history happening in the first round.
With that said, the Sweet 16 provides a whole host of intriguing and entertaining match-ups. So let us get down to business shall we?
No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats vs. No. 4 Indiana Hoosiers: Without revealing the final twist at the end of my original bracket, I'm going to let you know that I am very high on the Wildcats. Coach Calipari has finally prepared his team of beyond elite athletes to succeed at all levels. The story going into this game is that Indiana already beat Kentucky once this year - which is a bit unfortunate as no team beat Kentucky twice this year. Wurps. Sorry Indiana but it looks like you got excited a bit too early. Kentucky is playing like the only top seeded team truly locked in on the end goal. Kentucky advances.
No. 3 Baylor Bears vs. No. 10 Xavier Musketeers: Were you one of the many people across the nation who saw a Xavier team ruthlessly dispatching foes left and right and then later left for NCAA bubble dead? Xavier was a dangerous team going into the Notre Dame game with one of the best back courts in the nation. It is tough to gauge how well the team is playing considering they nicely put away a team that had played out of its mind to beat Duke. Baylor on the other hand struggles against teams with really good guards who score a lot of points (e.g. South Dakota State) but has no problem eliminating teams that have trouble scoring (e.g. Colorado). Xavier has experience and has been here before. Xavier advances.
No. 1 Michigan St. Spartans vs. No. 4 Louisville Cardinals: Louisville has done the least convincing job of winning each game so far. People keep saying they are playing well but I see a team that has beat a mediocre Davidson team by seven and a only-kind-of good New Mexico team by three. So what happens when they come up against a very good Michigan State team? Michigan State advances.
No. 3 Marquette Golden Eagles vs. No. 7 Florida Gators: Sure Florida scored 84 points the other day. They also did it against a team that you have no idea where the campus is. This will be one of the more entertaining Sweet 16 match-ups because even though Florida can score with the best of them, the team that will be able to keep up is the one shoving a four guard line-up out there. Marquette has been a tough out all year and will be too tough this time around. Marquette advances.
No. 1 Syracuse Orange vs. No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers: The lack of Fab Melo will eventually knock Syracuse out of the running. But the Orange won't need too much help on defense as Wisconsin's offense is the opponents best defense. Wisconsin looked great against an over matched Montana team and then barely squeaked by Vandy. Remember, Syracuse can play some solid defense even without Melo on the floor. The Orange's time will come, but not quite yet. Syracuse advances.
No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats: This is going to be an ugly ugly game. Both teams are perfectly capable of grinding out some hard earned victories, but since they beat my Zags, I'm going to pick Ohio State to start winning a lot of games so the loss tastes better. Ohio State advances.
No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. No. 13 Ohio Bobcats: Make no mistake, the loss of Kendall Marshall is a very tough blow for these Tar Heels and very well could cost them a spot in the Final Four. But they will advance at least one more round against the team not named Ohio State. The Bobcats had a very favorable match-up to make it into the Sweet 16 and the favoritism will end. North Carolina advances.
No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks vs. No. 11 N.C. State Wolfpack: They say that misery loves company so that is the only reason I can think of that Kansas was trying to lose that game against Purdue. Luckily for the Jayhawks, that near loss should be the eye-opener required to push past the Wolfpack. The Wolfpack are playing with nothing to lose and that makes them a very dangerous team - just not dangerous enough. Kansas advances.
If you're one of the heavy majority whose bracket is a mess right now, worry not. SB Nation has an updated bracket available for you populated with the Sweet 16 competitors still alive.
Stay with us here at SB Nation Seattle for NCAA Bracket Scores and Updates starting on Thursday, as the action picks back up . For schedule, game times, TV Announcers, and more, head to our NCAA Tournament Schedule and Info StoryStream.
Head over to our NCAA Predictions StoryStream to check out SBN Seattle's crack team of bracketologists' picks and game previews to see how we stacked up and check back for further predictions of the Sweet 16, because we know there are a ton of games to keep track of.