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Weekly Picks: Predicting the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen

After a slew of upset on opening weekend, what can we expect to happen in the middle rounds?

Darius Thompson and the Volunteers will look to advance to the Elite Eight
Darius Thompson and the Volunteers will look to advance to the Elite Eight

Opening week of the NCAA Tournament managed to burst everyone's brackets. With all major bracket contests reporting that only a handful of perfect bracket remained, Dayton knocking off Syracuse ensured that no more than 3 brackets would remain unblemished. Last second baskets and last second misses were a thing of beauty in the first weekend and now we get to look forward to another week of exciting games. Here are a few of the can't miss games:

11 Dayton vs 10 Stanford

In the first game of the sweet sixteen, the Flyers will face off against the Cardinal on Thursday night at 7:15 pm EDT on CBS. Dayton has recorded wins in six of their last seven games, but their two wins in the tournament have been closely contested. Knocking off 6th seeded Ohio State and 3rd seeded Syracuse gives the Flyers confidence against Stanford. Stanford has won five of six after beating New Mexico and an injured Kansas team. Stanford knows that they can compete with anyone but the question is which team will show up, the one that has beat two higher seeded teams or the one that lost by 25 in the Pac-12 Tournament.

Winner: Dayton

4 UCLA vs 1 Florida

Thursday night at 9:45 pm EDT on CBS the Bruins will take on the top seeded Gators. UCLA is on a 5-game winning streak, including beating Arizona in the Pac-12 Championship, and has cruised through the first two rounds. With 17 point wins in their games against Tulsa and SF Austin, the Bruins are looking to use their momentum to overcome the confident Gators. Florida is looking to their 29-game win streak as a confidence booster going up against the Bruins and is looking to prove the committee chose the top one seed correctly. Florida has had a few close games, but will not quit fighting. This should be a good game and could be the first upset of the second weekend.

Winner: UCLA

11 Tennessee vs 2 Michigan

Friday night at 7:15 EDT on CBS the Volunteers will face the Wolverines. Tennessee has won eight of their last nine with their loss coming in the SEC championship game to Florida. In a week they have gone from the play-in game winner to the Sweet Sixteen and they don't want to stop there. Michigan has won nine of ten and have two tournament wins by 16 and 17 points. Michigan knows that they can play with Tennessee and will not let the Tennessee hype get to them while trying to advance to the Elite Eight. This is where the Volunteers run will come to an end.

Winner: Michigan

4 Michigan State vs 1 Virginia

Friday night at 9:57 EDT on TBS the Spartans will take on the Cavaliers in another four vs one match-up. Michigan State comes into the game having won six of seven and have appeared comfortable in the tournament to this point. They will look to continue their run against a widely underrated Virginia team. Virginia comes into the game having won 18 of their last 19 with their only loss coming in overtime. Double-digit wins in both of their tournament games will provide a sense of invincibility as they run their sets and look to knock off the best team they have faced in the tournament.

Winner: Virginia

We would ask what other games you are watching, but we know that everyone will be watching all the games from here on out. Let us know what you think of the Sweet Sixteen in the comments below.