March Madness

16 Storylines We're Looking Forward to in the March Madness Sweet 16

The March Madness Sweet 16 is approaching, and 32 teams in the men’s and women’s brackets are all still dancing. Here are the top 16 must-see storylines ahead of the matchups.

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“You should be dancing, yeah.” 

Well, 32 teams across the men’s and women’s March Madness brackets are still dancing ahead of the Sweet 16.

Whether it’s for bragging rights between siblings or for program history, teams across the country will be battling it out for a spot into the Elite Eight beginning Thursday.

Ahead of March Madness’ Sweet 16, here are 16 must-see storylines:

Two sites, not four

This year's women's tournament has a twist for the tournament's Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. There will be two regional sites instead of the usual four with Greenville, S.C., and Seattle each hosting eight teams.

March Madness TV deal for women

The women's title game will be broadcasted on ABC thanks to increased TV ratings that have continued to trend upward. This milestone marks the first women's basketball title game on network television since 1995.

Gonzaga-UCLA meet again

UCLA and Gonzaga are set to reunite on Thursday night in the NCAA Tournament's West Region semifinals.

The last time these two powerhouse programs faced off at the NCAA Tournament was in the 2021 Final Four, when Gonzaga defeated UCLA 93-90 in overtime thanks to an iconic buzzer-beater from Jalen Suggs.

The Bruins are looking to book a spot in the Elite Eight for just the second time in the last 15 years, while the Bulldogs are trying to make it for the fifth time in nine years.

Coaches' sons Hurley and Musselman to meet for spot in Elite Eight

It will be a battle between the legendary coaches’ sons when UConn coach Dan Hurley and Arkansas coach Eric Musselman meet up in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.

Dan is the youngest son of famed high school coach Bob Hurley, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Eric is the son of well-respected coach Bill Musselman, who coached various teams across the NCAA, ABA, WBA, CBA and NBA.

UCLA, UConn, Miami: Double trouble

UCLA, UConn and Miami are dancing into the Sweet 16 -- in both the men's and women's programs.

Over a 29-year period, 95 pairs have made it past the Sweet 16 to reach the iconic mark.

Lucky number 15

No. 15 seed Princeton pulled off two remarkable wins in the men's bracket to find themselves in the Sweet 16. First, the Tigers upset No. 2 Arizona before knocking out No. 7 Missouri in the second round.

Princeton is set to face No. 6 Creighton in the Sweet 16.

White brothers to face off in Tennessee-FAU

At least one White brother will book a spot in the Elite Eight.

No. 4 seed Tennessee and No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic are set to battle it out on Thursday with brothers Danny (UT) and Brian White (FAU) on opposing sidelines.

“It’s not ideal,” Brian White said. “But it’s a reality at times.”

“We always get kind of silent about competition amongst each other,” Danny White added. “We talk trash about a lot of things but not about our teams competing against each other.”

Cavinder twins reach Sweet 16 after transferring

Haley and Hanna Cavinder are in the Sweet 16 of the women's bracket after No. 9 Miami upset No. 1 Indiana on Monday.

The twins joined the Hurricanes after playing three seasons at Fresno State with the goal to make the NCAA Tournament.

The Hurricanes are set to face No. 4 Villanova for a spot in the Elite Eight. 

Ramadan during March Madness

Ramadan began on Thursday, right as the Sweet 16 commences. 

During Ramadan, Muslims refrain from drinking, eating, smoking and sexual intercourse from sunrise until sunset. For those who observe the holy holiday, a tiny sip of water or a small bite of food is enough to invalidate the fast.

Whether any competitors in March Madness are observing the holiday is unclear. 

All brackets busted

Upset central. There are no more perfect brackets on the men's or women's sides of the tournament as we approach the Sweet 16. 

On the men's side, the remaining perfect brackets were busted when No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson upset No. 1 Purdue, while on the women's side, No. 8 Ole Miss defeated No. 1 Stanford to eliminate the one remaining perfect bracket. 

San Diego State faces Alabama in Sweet 16 amid Tide’s Brandon Miller fatal shooting case

Alabama is set to face San Diego State as the Aztecs are in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2004, winning 11 of their last 13 games.

The game comes amid Crimson Tide All-American freshman Brandon Miller's involvement in a fatal shooting case that took place in Alabama on Jan. 14. According to police testimony, Miller brought a gun to the scene that then-teammate Darius Miles used to shoot and kill 23-year-old Jamea Harris. Miles and another man were charged with capital murder. Attorney Jim Standridge said Miller did not handle the gun and was not aware of the intended criminal activity.

Maddy Siegrist leads Villanova to Sweet 16 berth for first time in 20 years

The fourth-seeded Wildcats have booked their spot into the Sweet 16 for the second time in program history.

Forward Maddy Siergrist scored 31 points, had four blocks and four steals against No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast on Monday to send Villanova past the second round for the first time in 20 years.

The Wildcats have a tough matchup against Miami on Friday to earn a spot in the Elite Eight. 

Arkansas' Nick Smith Jr. in tears of joy after booking spot in Sweet 16

Guard Nick Smith Jr. was emotional after No. 8 seed Arkansas found a way to edge No. 1 Kansas on Saturday to clinch a spot in the Sweet 16.

It hasn't been smooth sailing for the freshman, who missed the first six games of the season due to injury, returned for five games, then sat out again from mid-December until mid-February. 

The Razorbacks will face No. 4 UConn on Thursday.

Houston basketball family affair

What's better than winning alongside your family? That's exactly what Houston men's basketball gets to celebrate.

Head coach Kelvin Sampson has some notable favorites on his staff, including his daughter Lauren and son Kellen. Lauren is the director of operations for the No. 1 Cougars, while Kellen is the team's top assistant. 

Houston faces No. 5 Miami in the Sweet 16 on Friday.

Dawn Staley remains invincible 

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley was named the USBWA (U.S. Basketball Writers Association) National Coach of the Year for the third time in four seasons.

Staley has led her team to an overall 36-0 season, winning the SEC regular season and tournament titles for the seventh time.

No. 1 South Carolina is set to face No. 4 UCLA on Saturday.

Kansas State’s Markquis Nowell reaches Jason Kidd’s record

Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell set an impressive personal record on his way to leading the Wildcats to the Sweet 16.

Nowell is the first player to tally at least 25 points and 20 assists across his first two NCAA Tournament games since Jason Kidd did in 1993.

No. 3 Kansas State is set to take on No. 7 Michigan State on Thursday.

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