March Madness 2024: Re-seeding the Sweet 16 teams in NCAA Tournament

The Sweet 16 field is set for the 2024 NCAA Tournament. How would the last 16 teams be re-seeded if March Madness started fresh from here?

Utah State v Purdue
Utah State v Purdue / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The field of 68 has been reduced to 16 after one wild weekend of March Madness play. Cinderella essentially left the building after Friday night as only two teams outside the top five seed lines are still dancing: 11-seed NC State in the South Region and 6-seed Clemson in the West.

The end result was plenty of blowouts in the Round of 32 but a much deeper Sweet 16 than we've seen in a long time as almost everyone still in the NCAA Tournament has a legitimate case to cut down the nets in Phoenix on April 8.

Let's break down the Sweet 16 from a power rankings perspective.

March Madness bracket: Re-Seeding the Sweet 16

16. NC State Wolfpack

The only double-digit seed still alive is the Wolfpack, whose miraculous run through March continued as they upset Texas Tech and held off Cinderella candidate Oakland in overtime to advance to the Sweet 16 with their seventh win in the past 12 days. KenPom isn't very high on NC State, which is far and away their worst team remaining in the field, and it feels like the magic carpet ride will certainly come to an end in Dallas.

15. Clemson Tigers

A strong two-game showing for Clemson is encouraging but it is still hard to erase their struggles in the back half of ACC play from memory. The Sweet 16 feels like a hard ceiling for this team, which steps up in weight class significantly with a matchup against Arizona on Thursday night.

14. San Diego State Aztecs

Last year's national runner-up took advantage of an upset from Auburn to beat a pair of double-digit seeds to get to the Sweet 16. Another shot at UConn awaits and the Aztecs will have to try turning the game into a rock fight for a shot at revenge for last year's national championship game.

13. Alabama Crimson Tide

Much like San Diego State, Alabama took advantage of an upset to beat two double-digit seeds to reach their second straight Sweet 16. Although the Crimson Tide can outscore anyone in the country, they have the worst defense remaining in the field, which significantly lowers their ceiling against stronger competition.

12. Gonzaga Bulldogs

This isn't a vintage Gonzaga team but the Bulldogs still had enough strong guard play to reach their ninth consecutive Sweet 16. Unfortunately for them, their lack of depth on the interior will hurt them with a matchup against Zach Edey and Purdue on tap.

11. Illinois Fighting Illini

The Big Ten Tournament champs weren't really pushed in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament and narrowly won their conference tournament matchups against Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Illinois is 0-4 against teams who are in the Sweet 16 and that lack of a signature win speaks volumes about their ability to advance too much farther from this point.

10. Tennessee Volunteers

Things have been trending in the wrong direction for Tennessee, which narrowly lost to Kentucky at the end of the regular season, got blown out by Mississippi State in the SEC Tournament and had to hang on for dear life to beat Texas in the Round of 32. Rick Barnes' teams have generally underachieved in the NCAA Tournament and the way the Volunteers are playing certainly increases the odds of that trend continuing.

9. Creighton Bluejays

Winning a white-knuckler against Oregon on Saturday night could either be just the test Creighton needs to go on a Final Four run or a sign they'll get beaten by Tennessee on Friday night. The top-end talent on the Bluejays' roster is elite but their lack of depth could prove problematic going forward.

8. Duke Blue Devils

The Blue Devils were a trendy national title pick in the preseason and showcased their top form in Brooklyn, handling Vermont and punishing a James Madison team that demolished Wisconsin in the Round of 32. It certainly appears as if Duke has flipped a switch towards dominance but they need more out of Kyle Filipowski to beat the top teams in the bracket.

7. Marquette Golden Eagles

Shaka Smart is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2011 and Tyler Kolek made it through two games unscathed, which is critical with the Golden Eagles' best player battling an oblique injury. Marquette has the talent to get to the Final Four but if Kolek aggravates the oblique issue things could go south quickly.

6. Houston Cougars

The Cougars would have been higher on this list if not for the shocking collapse down the stretch against Texas A&M, who scored 17 points in the final 1:17 to force overtime against the South's top seed. A highly physical contest led to some major foul trouble for Houston, which managed to win with four starters on the bench due to fouling out in overtime, and exposed a serious lack of depth that could hurt them.

5. Arizona Wildcats

There appear to be few lingering affects from last year's shocking upset to Princeton for Arizona, which cruised through their first two games to reach the Sweet 16. The last remaining Pac-12 school in the dance is highly motivated to get to the Final Four, where they would essentially be playing home games in Phoenix.

4. Iowa State Cyclones

The Cyclones are one of just two Big 12 teams standing thanks in large part to their rugged defense, which KenPom rates as the best in the country. The style that Iowa State plays isn't aesthetically pleasing but it is quite effective in the one-and-done format of the NCAA Tournament.

3. North Carolina Tar Heels

The way that North Carolina was able to essentially flip a switch and go to another level after a slow start against Michigan State in the Round of 32 is the stuff that champions are made of. The Tar Heels have plenty of perimeter shooting and enough of an interior presence to cut down the nets if they maintain their defensive intensity the rest of the way.

2. Purdue Boilermakers

It appears that Zach Edey took last year's loss to 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson personally. Edey has been unstoppable so far in the NCAA Tournament, racking up a combined 53 points and 35 rebounds over the first two rounds, and his presence down low may be enough for Purdue to follow Virginia's path from losing to a 16-seed one year to winning the national championship the next.

1. UConn Huskies

The defending national champions have been the most dominant team in the tournament thus far, completely burying Stetson and Northwestern by halftime of their matchups. The rugged East region draw has also played much more favorably than anticipated for the Huskies, who have an excellent chance to become the first repeat national champion since the 2007 Florida Gators.

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