The 2018 NCAA Tournament returns to our lives on Friday night with the first games of the Sweet 16 set to take place. A total of four games will be held on Thursday and the remaining four on Friday, as we dwindle the field of 64 down to the Elite 8.
Ahead of the Sweet 16, ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas decided to re-rank the teams to see how things could play out when the teams return to the court.
According to Bilas, the best team remaining in the tournament is the Duke Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils are the most talented team. And they are healthy. No team has trended up more than Duke has since Feb. 8, when the Blue Devils lost on the road to North Carolina. Since then, Duke has been Syracuse South, playing zone defense as its primary defense. Since that time, Duke has become one of the nation’s best defensive teams. Over its past 11 games (since Feb. 11), Duke has allowed 91.1 points per 100 possessions, the third-best defensive efficiency in Division I. In that span, Duke has played zone defense 93 percent of the time, compared to 29 percent earlier in the season. Duke is the only team in the nation to rank in the top 10 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. Duke has scored at least 85 points in back-to-back NCAA games for the first time since 2004, when it lost to UConn in the Final Four.
As for the worst team remaining in the tournament, sorry Kansas State.
Where does Bilas see your favorite team with the tournament set to resume on Thursday?
A full look at the Sweet 16 rankings can be seen below:
5. Michigan Wolverines
And here are the bottom five:
13. Florida State
16. Kansas State
For a full look at Bilas’ rankings and reasoning, click here.