The 2021 NCAA Tournament has been nothing short of spectacular and the Sweet 16 showed yet again why this time of year is known as March Madness. While all three remaining No. 1 seeds cruised into the Elite Eight, there were some stunning upsets over the drama-filled weekend as two double-digit seeds (and nearly a third) made their way into the final eight in Indianapolis, setting up some interesting matchups on Monday and Tuesday.
But what would those matchups look like if the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament were reseeded?
All three remaining No. 1 seeds cruised in the Sweet 16 but two double-digit seeds pulled off upsets
All three remaining No. 1 seeds in the 2021 NCAA Tournament cruised into the Elite Eight and only one, South Region top seed Baylor, ran into even a little trouble on Sweet 16 weekend. The Bears were completely outplayed by fifth-seeded Villanova in the first half on Saturday evening and trailed by seven at halftime before pouring it on over the final 20 minutes as they outscored the Wildcats 39-21 in the second half to earn a 62-51 victory.
Undefeated Gonzaga let fifth-seeded Creighton hang around early but then proved once again why they’re the top overall seed in the tourney as they blew the game open and waltzed to an 18-point victory.
In the East, the top-seeded Michigan Wolverines also cruised to an 18-point win as they took the lead five minutes into their matchup with fourth-seeded Florida State and never looked back. Juwan Howard‘s club shot close to 70% in the second half as they made just one shot outside the paint over the final 20 minutes on their way to a 76-58 win.
Three of the other five Sweet 16 matchups saw the higher seed come out on top. Sixth-seeded USC dominated No. 7 Oregon in the West, No. 2 Houston took care of 11th-seeded Syracuse in the Midwest, and third-seeded Arkansas ended the Cinderella run of 15th-seeded Oral Roberts in the South…barely.
There were a couple of upsets, however, as 12th-seeded Oregon State continued their surprising run by knocking out No. 8 Loyola-Chicago while the 11th-seeded UCLA Bruins became just the second team in NCAA Tournament history to go from the First Four to the Elite Eight as they stunned No. 2 Alabama in overtime.
What the actual Elite Eight of the 2021 NCAA Tournament looks like
Before we get into what the NCAA Tournament bracket would look like if we reseeded the Elite Eight, here’s how things actually stand following Sweet 16 weekend. And because we’re in such a generous mood, we’ll go ahead and provide the TV info for each game as well. (All times Eastern.)
- (1) Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. (6) USC Trojans — Tuesday, March 30 — 7:15 p.m., TBS
- (1) Michigan Wolverines vs. (11) UCLA — Tuesday, March 30 — 9:57 p.m., TBS
- (1) Baylor Bears vs. (3) Arkansas Razorbacks — Monday, March 29 — 9:57 p.m., CBS
- (2) Houston Cougars vs. (12) Oregon State Beavers — Monday, March 29 — 7:15 p.m., CBS
What the NCAA Tournament bracket would look if the Elite Eight were reseeded
As we did when we reseeded the Sweet 16 of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, we’re going to go strictly by the numbers when reseeding the Elite Eight. So while Michigan may have looked slightly better than Baylor over the weekend, the Bears will still get the No. 2 seed behind Gonzaga as we know they were ranked ahead of the Wolverines heading into the tourney. And while 11th-seeded UCLA may have had to play in the Final Four, they’re still seeded higher than Oregon State so we’re putting the Bruins into the No. 7 slot in this new bracket over the Beavers.
So here’s what the Elite Eight would look like if the teams were reseeded.
- (1) Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. (8) Oregon State Beavers
- (4) Houston Cougars vs. (5) Arkansas Razorbacks
- (3) Michigan Wolverines vs. (6) USC Trojans
- (2) Baylor Bears vs. (7) UCLA Bruins
And there you have it. All of these matchups are obviously still possible as the madness that is the NCAA Tournament rolls on.
Scores and schedules courtesy of NCAA.com