Rothstein: 16 Reasons to Be Excited About the Sweet 16

Jon Rothstein
Jon Rothstein@JonRothstein
Rothstein: 16 Reasons to Be Excited About the Sweet 16

This is March!

Check out our story below as we give you 16 reasons to be excited about the Sweet 16.

In no particular order:

16 Reasons to Be Excited About the Sweet 16

Donovan Clingan

UConn's 7-3 center had eight blocked shots in Sunday's win over Northwestern. He had 11 in six NCAA Tournament games last season. He's listed at +650 odds to be the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, per the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Jaedon LeDee

San Diego State has no chance of beating UConn if LeDee doesn't play like an All-American. In two NCAA Tournament games, the 6-9 power forward is averaging 29.0 points and 8.5 rebounds. This kid is a problem.

Illinois' Wings

Terrence Shannon Jr. and Marcus Domask are combining to score more than 55 percent of the Illini's points in the NCAA Tournament.

T.J. Otzelberger

Iowa State has won four NCAA Tournament games in the last three seasons with this guy as its head coach. The Cyclones are a 1.5-point favorite over Illinois.

Armando Bacot

This veteran big man could be the difference against Alabama this week. In two NCAA Tournament games, the 6-11 Bacot is averaging 19.0 points and 11.0 rebounds.

Mark Sears

A poor man's Jalen Brunson? Don't be shocked if those comparisons hit social media in the next few days. Sears is averaging 28.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 5.5 assists in the NCAA Tournament.

Clemson's Poise

The Tigers had only 11 turnovers in Sunday's win over Baylor. They'll need a similar number if they hope to stay close to Arizona in the Sweet 16.

Caleb Love

Is Love the X-Factor to Arizona reaching its first Final Four since 2001? It certainly feels that way. Remember: If the Wildcats beat Clemson and North Carolina beats Alabama, Love will face his old team this weekend in the Elite Eight.

Houston's Connectivity

The Cougars lost three perimeter starters --- Jamal Shead, LJ Cryer, and Emanuel Sharp --- to foul issues and still beat Texas A&M in the Round of 32. They are a 4.5-point favorite over Duke.

Jared McCain

Duke's star freshman has scored a combined 45 points in two NCAA Tournament games and is 10-17 from three-point range during that span.

Kevin Keatts' Magical Ride

NC State was 17-14 at the conclusion of the regular season but has won seven straight games. Keatts also earned a two-year contract extension by winning the ACC Tournament. That's a heck of a couple of weeks!

Tyler Kolek

Last season's Big East Player of the Year looks like he's determined to will Marquette to the Final Four. Marquette is a 6.5-point favorite versus NC State.

Purdue's quest

The Boilers are just two wins away from going to the Final Four for the first time since 1980. If they do that, it takes some of the sting off last year's loss to Fairleigh Dickinson.

Ryan Nembhard

Gonzaga's star point guard has 44 assists in four postseason games.

Creighton's "Big Four"

Steven Ashworth, Trey Alexander, Baylor Scheierman, and Ryan Kalkbrenner combine to score 80 percent of the Jays' points.

Tennessee Attempts to Get Over the Hump

The Vols have not gotten past the Sweet 16 under Rick Barnes despite winning an average of 24 games in each of the previous six seasons. They are 2.5-point favorites versus the Bluejays.

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Jon Rothstein is not a FanDuel employee. The reporting of Rothstein is not subject to FanDuel's verification and does not represent the views or input of FanDuel. Betting based on Rothstein's reporting will not guarantee a successful outcome. Always do your own due diligence and use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.

Rothstein has been a college basketball insider for CBS Sports since 2010 and a contributor to the CBS Broadcast Network since 2016. He joined FanDuel in 2022 as a Content Creator. Rothstein is also the host of the College Hoops Today Podcast via Compass Media Networks.