Busting Brackets

NCAA Tournament stock up, down for every team in the Sweet 16

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Midwest Regional
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Midwest Regional / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

We are officially two weeks from the championship game and the alliterative rounds are upon us. The Sweet Sixteen is just a few days away and the bracket field is narrowing. 

Unsurprisingly, all No. 1 and No. 2 seeds remain in their regions. However, some lower-seeded teams have snuck into the Sweet Sixteen to fight for a chance at the Elite Eight.

With 16 teams remaining, how has each team performed so far in the tournament?

Stock up, down East Region

UConn Huskies. UConn Huskise. A+. No. 1 seed. Stock up

The UConn Huskies dominated their way through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. In the First Round, UConn trounced Stetson in a 91-52 victory.

In the Second Round, the Huskies continued to prove their dominance and demolished ninth-seed Northwestern by 17 points.

While UConn has yet to face a top-seeded team, I think their double-digit wins have shown that they belong at the top. As they prepare to take on the Aztecs, I don't think the Huskies have too much to worry about in the Sweet Sixteen.

No. 5 seed. Stock up. San Diego State Aztecs. sdsu. A

The Aztecs have marched their way back to the Sweet Sixteen and did so in impressive fashion.

While San Diego State's first-round win over the UAB Dragons was slightly close for comfort, the Aztec's dominant win over Yale set the team apart. Yale took down the No. 4 seed Auburn Tigers in the First Round just to lose by 28 points to SDSU.

The Aztecs are gonna have to push themselves to the limit to take down the UConn Huskies but they may just be able to pull it off.

Illinois Fighting Illini. Illinois. B+. No. 3 seed. Stock up

Illinois had some of the more impressive performances in the first two rounds of the tournament and I would argue that the Fighting Illini have shown that they belong amongst the top teams in the tournament.

After a 16-point victory over Morehead State, the Fighting Illini absolutely crushed Duquesne's hopes at a Cinderella story. In the Second Round, Illinois defeated Duquesne by 26 points.

As a three-seed, the Fighting Illini have had resounding victories over the teams that have crossed its path. Illinois may even stand a chance against the No. 2 seed Iowa State Cyclones in the Sweet Sixteen.

Iowa State. B. No. 2 seed. Stock down. Iowa State Cyclones

The Cyclones struggled in their second-round matchup against the Washington State Cougars. Eking out a 9-point over the Cougs, Iowa State ensured its spot in the Sweet Sixteen but I don't think the single-digit victory was enough to boost the Cyclones' stock.

In the First Round, Iowa State handily defeated South Dakota State in an 82-65 victory. After the Cyclones' opening game, many expected to see them easily breeze past Washington State.

ISU's close win over the Cougars spells trouble for the team as they prepare to face Illinois in the Sweet Sixteen.

Stock up, down West Region

UNC. A+. No. 1 seed. Stock up. UNC Tar Heels

The Tar Heels are looking like a championship team after the first two rounds. Similarly to UConn, North Carolina has shown that the earned and deserve the No. 1 seed in its region.

Not only did the Heels have a 28-point win the First Round, they then took down Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans.

In the Second Round, UNC stomped its way past MSU in a 16-point victory to secure its spot in the Sweet Sixteen. The Heels are set to take on the Crimson Tide and I expect UNC to end Alabama's Cinderella run.

Stock up. Alabama Crimson Tide. Bama. A. No. 4 seed

Shockingly, Alabama is one of just two SEC teams remaining in the NCAA Tournament. As the No. 4 seed in the West Region, the Crimson Tide has defeated Charleston and Grand Canyon on its way to the Sweet Sixteen.

Through Rounds 1 and 2, the Crimson Tide has amassed a win margin of 24 points. However, without having faced any top teams on their way through the first two rounds, I don't think Alabama has fully proven its worth in the tournament.

While the Tide has impressive wins over its opponents so far, I don't think they stand a chance against the Heels.

Clemson Tigers. A+. No. 6 seed. Stock up. Clemson Tigers

The Clemson Tigers have impressed me more than almost any other team in the tournament thus far. As the No. 6 seed in the region, Clemson has shocked many fans by earning a spot in the Sweet Sixteen.

In the First Round, Clemson knocked out the eleventh-seeded New Mexico Lobos before upsetting the No. 3 seed Baylor Bears.

The Tigers' 8-point victory over the Bears wildly bolstered their stock in the NCAA Tournament and showed the world that they deserve to be in this fight.

No. 2 seed. Stock down. Arizona Wildcats. Arizona Wildcats. B-

While the Wildcats have won their first two games fairly easily, I would argue that Arizona should have been able to do even more.

Caleb Love has had fairly mediocre performances in the postseason and as one of the Wildcats' star players, Love has to do more.

Arizona defeated the Dayton Flyers by only 10 points and struggled throughout the first half. As the Wildcats start to face more formidable opponents, I don't think their recently low-scoring offense will be able to keep pace.

Stock up, down South Region

A+. No. 11 seed. Stock up. NC State Wolfpack. NC State

Not only has the NC State Wolfpack shocked the world by making its way to the Sweet Sixteen, but the Wolfpack has also made the world fall in love with them.

With star players like DJ Burns Jr., DJ Horne, and Mohamed Diarra becoming iconic figures in the tournament, NC State has stolen the show in the South Region.

In the first round, NC State took down the Texas Tech Raiders with a 13-point upset victory and then ended the Cinderella story for the Oakland Grizzlies after they had defeated Kentucky. The Wolfpack will play Marquette in the Sweet Sixteen.

Marquette. B. No. 2 seed. Stock down. Marquette Golden Eagles

Shaka Smart notoriously struggles in the postseason. While Marquette obviously has yet to lose in the NCAA Tournament, the team's wins haven't been anything to write home about.

In the first round, the Golden Eagles struggled against Western Kentucky in the first half before coming out of the locker room for a resounding 87-69 win. Marquette barely escaped a loss to Colorado in the Second Round with an 81-77 win.

As the No. 2 seed, Marquette arguably should have had an easier time making its way to the Sweet Sixteen. However, I think the Eagles can easily defeat the NC State Wolfpack.

No. 1 seed. Stock down. Houston Cougars. Houston. B-

The Cougars obliterated the No. 16 seed Longwood in the First Round. Houston defeated the Lancers by 40 points and only allowed Longwood to score 46 points in the game.

In the Second Round, the Cougars struggled a bit more but were able to pass by the Texas A&M Aggies by 5 points. The Aggies were a No. 9 seed in the South Region and had already taken down the No. 8 seed Nebraska Cornhuskers.

As good as Houston is supposed to be this year, the Cougars should have easily taken down Texas A&M. I think that Houston may find a bigger hurdle against the Duke Blue Devils than many expect.

Stock up. Duke Blue Devils. Duke . A-. No. 4 seed

Yes, Duke is Duke so nobody is all that surprised to find the Blue Devils in the Sweet Sixteen. However, I think that the team has surprised us with just how well it performed in the first two rounds.

The Blue Devils glided past Vermont in the First Round with a 64-47 victory. Duke then easily took down James Madison by 38 points in the Second Round.

Duke is peaking at just the right time and I think the team's resounding victory over JMU helped the Blue Devils' stock skyrocket in the NCAA Tournament this year.

Stock up, down Midwest Region

A-. No. 1 seed. Stock up. Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue

The Boilermakers have bulled their way through the first two rounds. Purdue and star center Zach Edey demolished the teams in their way and have easily secured a spot in the Sweet Sixteen.

In Round 1, Purdue took down Grambling State in a 78-50 victory over the Tigers. The Boilermakers didn't slow down in Round 2 as they faced Utah State. Purdue once again bulldozed its opponent, defeating Utah State by 39 points.

So far, nobody has been able to slow down Edey and the Boilermakers and I expect that to continue in the Sweet Sixteen.

Gonzaga Bulldogs. Zags. A+. No. 5 seed. Stock up

The Zags have breezed through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament once again. For the ninth consecutive season, the Bulldogs have found themselves in the Sweet Sixteen.

Gonzaga blew past McNeese State in the First Round with a 21-point victory over the Cowboys. In the Round of 32, the Bulldogs stunned Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks with yet another 21-point win.

Knocking out the No. 4 seed Jayhawks to secure their spot in the Sweet Sixteen, the Bulldogs have shown that they aren't an opponent to be taken lightly.

Tennessee Volunteers. Vols. C+. No. 2 seed. Stock down

The Volunteers have been disappointing this March. After failing to secure the SEC Tournament title, many expected that Tennessee would storm through the NCAA Tournament.

While the Vols easily defeated Saint Peter's in the First Round, the 34-point victory over the Peacocks was simply an expected win.

In the Second Round, Rick Barnes and the Vols barely eked out a win over Barnes' former team, the Texas Longhorns. The 4-point win against the Horns was filled with abysmal shooting and an all-around poor offensive performance for the Vols.

Tennessee's stock plummeted due to the game against Texas and if I were Branes, I'd be worried about facing Creighton in the Sweet Sixteen.

Creighton. B. No. 3 seed. Stock down. Creighton Bluejays

Creighton slightly struggled through the first two rounds and has played a lot of basketball in the past few days. With a double overtime win against the Oregon Ducks, the Bluejays must be exhausted and should be very grateful for the nearly week-long break from game-play.

The Bluejays defeated the No. 14 seed Akron Zips by 17 points in the First Round but had a tough time getting by the Ducks, who were just a No. 11 seed in the tournament.

While Creighton has performed relatively well, I don't think that they have improved their stock through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

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