9:30 PM PDT, March 24, 2013
The losers this week: 99 percent of all brackets, Gonzaga alumni, Big East brainiacs (Georgetown and Notre Dame).
The winners this week: paper shredders, the Big Ten, Florida Gulf Coast's marketing department and Marshall Henderson's future agent.
Gonzaga was a goner. Florida Gulf Coast taught us how quickly a school only 15 years old can make history. The Big Ten went 10-2 with Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State alive to stir thoughts of an all-league Final Four.
The NCAA tournament has been up to its typical pandemonium.
Here's a region-by-region look at how this season's Sweet 16 was formed.
Welcome to the new Wild West.
Gonzaga's early exit sparked chaos.
The first No. 1 seed to drop out prompted an I-told-you-so smirk from the Bulldogs' critics as they fell to Wichita State in the third round, opening the door in the anything-can-happen region.
The Shockers and their "angry defense" ticked off a lot of Zags supporters with their third-round victory.
That sets up an improbable matchup between former bubble team No. 13 seed La Salle and No. 9 seed Wichita State.
Explorers history is remembered only by grandparents. They won the tournament title 59 years ago.
La Salle, which obliterated Kansas State and edged Ole Miss, is led by senior guard Ramon Galloway.
La Salle or Wichita State will move on to the Elite Eight to face either No. 6 seed Arizona or No. 2 seed Ohio State.
Ohio State's cool-as-ice point guard Aaron Craft became a tournament hero by sinking a last-second 3-pointer to beat pesky Iowa State and move on to the Buckeyes' fourth straight Sweet 16.
The pregame plot will be all about Ohio State coach Thad Matta and his former assistant Sean Miller, now leading Arizona.
Top-seeded Louisville has played like a true No. 1.
The Cardinals and their smothering defense led to two tournament victories by an average of 28.6 points. They limited the two opponents to 52 points.
If Louisville advances past Oregon, get ready to hear "Russdiculous" about 2 million more times.
The disrespected Ducks (really, a 12 seed?) can't afford to be slippery with the ball. They average about 15 turnovers per game, while Louisville forces 19 per game.
No. 3 seed Michigan State faces another blueblood in No. 2 Duke, which eliminated Creighton on Sunday night. The Spartans are playing by their familiar March script, making their fifth Sweet 16 appearance in six years.
No. 4 Michigan will meet No. 1 Kansas.
The Wolverines beat South Dakota State by 15 points and surprisingly took care of VCU with a 25-point victory with stellar guard play.
Despite a 0-for-9 night from Ben McLemore and 23 turnovers, the Jayhawks managed to post a 70-58 third-round victory against old friend Roy Williams and North Carolina.
Third-seeded Florida appeared on a mission with a 78-64 victory against Minnesota in the third round. They will meet tournament surprise Florida Gulf Coast. The Eagles beat San Diego State on Sunday to become the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16.
Victor Oladipo came to the rescue for top seed Indiana by hitting a game-clinching shot to overcome Temple. The Hoosiers are in back-to-back Sweet 16, where they will face No. 4 seed Syracuse in Washington, D.C.
Fearless third-seeded Marquette is making a third straight trip to the Sweet 16 after giving Butler ample opportunity to deny it.
Coach Buzz Williams' endless supply of energy came in handy as he was sprinting between games and practices, trips to a Lexington hospital to see his wife, who had an appendicitis after making the trip, and caring for two of his children.
Marquette will face No. 2 Miami, a winner against Illinois in the third round. The Hurricanes are about as complete a team as there is in the tournament with excellent guards, led by Shane Larkin, size, experience, depth and a winning coach in Jim Larranaga.
With three No. 1 seeds alive, is the chaos out of the way now that the Sweet 16 has arrived?
NCAA tournament, we know you too well to assume that.
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