5 March Madness Upset Picks for the 2022 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Round
March Madness is well underway and only a quarter of the teams remain as the Sweet 16 is slated to begin on Thursday, March 24.
The Big Dance has featured plenty of surprising twists already, so The Duel is here with our top five March Madness upset picks for the Sweet 16 round.
March Madness Upset Picks
5. No. 11 Michigan Over No. 2 Villanova
The Michigan Wolverines have been one of the Cinderella stories so far this tournament, upsetting No. 6 Colorado State and No. 3 Tennessee to make it to the Sweet 16. Despite Villanova being the 4.5-point favorite in this matchup, Michigan is 3-1 straight up in its last four times as the underdog. Although the Wildcats are one of the best teams in the nation for a reason, it might take a bit more to stop the Wolverines.
4. No. 5 Houston Over No. 1 Arizona
Sticking with the South Region, Houston is only a 2-point underdog against Arizona this round. The Wildcats have been on an offensive roll to begin the tournament, averaging 86.0 PPG in their first two contests. Things won't be easy against a Cougars team that's been solid defensively, holding their first two opponents to 60.5 PPG. With the spread being as close as it is and with Arizona not really facing any tough defensive teams just yet, look for Houston to squeeze out an upset.
3. No. 8 North Carolina Over No. 4 UCLA
The North Carolina Tar Heels have a ton of momentum behind them after upsetting the No. 1-seeded Baylor Bears in Round 2. Now, North Carolina has a Sweet 16 date against the UCLA Bruins. Despite being a No. 8 seed, the Tar Heels are the No. 20 team, according to KenPom rankings. Adding on to that, they're only a 2.5-point underdog. After North Carolina put up 93 points against Baylor, anything is possible going forward.
2. No. 11 Iowa State Over No. 7 Miami
As a No. 7-seeded team, the Miami Hurricanes are the lowest-ranked favorite in the Sweet 16. That opens up the door for the Iowa State Cyclones to upset them this week. Iowa State has already upset No. 6 LSU and No. 3 Wisconsin to make it this far, so it isn't like Miami is too tough a task to deal with. The Hurricanes are just 2.5-point favorites in this situation and are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games against Big 12 opponents. Taking the above into account, the setting is set for another Cyclones upset.
1. No. 3 Texas Tech Over No. 2 Duke
Although the seeding implies that Duke should be the favorite in this situation, it's actually Texas Tech that's favored by 1.5 points. If that wasn't convincing enough, the Red Raiders are the No. 6-ranked KenPom team, whereas the Blue Devils come in at No. 9. Texas Tech has shown that it can play both low- and high-scoring styles, which bodes well for its chances to advance if the Red Raiders can limit Duke's scoring opportunities.
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.