NCAAB: Make your Sweet 16 Picks Sweeter with our Quick Guide

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
NCAA Basketball Sports News


  • March Madness has reached the Sweet 16 with four games on Thursday night and four on Friday.
  • The Final Four will be at State Farm Stadium in Arizona.
  • The Atlantic Coast Conference leads the way with four teams in the Sweet 16, followed by three from the Big East. Three other conferences have two teams each.

How Sweet it is! 

After a thrilling first two rounds, we’ve reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Michigan Sportsbooks have odds and props on each of the eight Sweet 16 games. Caesars and FanDuel have markets on which team will win each region and reach the Final Four and cut down the nets in Arizona. 

Here’s a quick look at the eight Sweet 16 games and a piece of advice for each.


WEST (2) Arizona vs. (6) Clemson, 7:09 p.m.

Line: Arizona by 7

Have we realized if Arizona gets to the Final Four, they’ll have an amazing homecourt advantage in Phoenix? The Wildcats are 22-11-2 against the spread this season, Clemson is 19-14-1. These two teams haven’t played since 2012.

EAST (1) UConn vs. (5) San Diego State, 7:39 p.m.

Line: U. Conn by 10

The Huskies remain the favorite to win the title. This is the highest spread of any of the games. It’s a rematch of the 2023 national final won by the Huskies 76-59. U. Conn has won nine games in a row, seven of those wins were by 10 points or more. The last two U. Conn games have hit the under.

WEST (1) North Carolina vs. (4) Alabama, 9:39 p.m.

Line: North Carolina by 4.5

Neither of these two teams are great against the spread. North Carolina is 9-1 straight up in their last 10, but only 6-4 against the spread. The average margin of victory in those nine wins is 15.5 points for the Tar Heels. Bama has averaged 71.6 points in their last five games. They’re 2-4 in their last six games against the spread.

EAST (2) Iowa State vs. (3) Illinois, 10:09 p.m.

Line: Iowa State by 2.5.

The Cyclones play the fifth best defense in the nation, allowing only 62.1 points per game. Iowa State has won five in a row against the spread and is a whopping 24-10-2 overall against the spread this season. Illinois has won four in a row against the spread and is 26-10 over/under this season.


SOUTH (2) Marquette vs. (11) NC State, 7:09 p.m.

Line: Marquette by 6.

NC State is the 27th No. 11 seed to reach the Sweet 16. They are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games and that only loss was by a half-point to Oakland in the second round. The Wolf Pack are the lowest seed remaining and just 18-19-1 against the spread.

MIDWEST: (1) Purdue vs. (5) Gonzaga, 7:39 p.m.

Line: Purdue by 4.5.

These two teams played in November, with Purdue closing strong to win 73-63. The Boilermakers are 19-15-1 against the spread, and Gonzaga is even worse at 17-16, but the Zags are 5-1 in their last six and have won each NCAA Tournament game by 21 points each.

SOUTH (1) Houston vs. (4) Duke, 9:39 p.m.

Line: Houston by 4.

These two teams have never met. Both teams are under .500 in the totals. Duke star Kyle Filipowski has averaged 14.7 points in his last 10 games and has only scored 17 points this whole tournament. Houston’s defense is No. 1 in the nation allowing 56.9 points a game. They allowed 95 to Texas A&M in the second round. Both teams are 20-14 against the spread.

MIDWEST (2) Tennessee vs. (3) Creighton, 10:09 p.m.

Line: Tennessee by 2.5.

The last time Creighton was 2.5-point underdogs they beat U. Conn 85-66. The BlueJays are 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games. Five of the last six Tennessee games have hit the under.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.