South Region Sweet 16 Matchups

Written by: Miles Jordan

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March Madness 2024 Sweet Sixteen South Region

The Round of 32 finished dramatically, with multiple overtime thrillers, setting the stage for the Sweet Sixteen. Here is a look at the South Regions Matchups.

South Region

Friday, March 29 (Sweet 16)

(2) Marquette vs. (11) NC State | 7:09 p.m. | CBS

(1) Purdue vs. (5) Gonzaga | 7:39 p.m. |TBS/truTV

No. 1 Houston

Houston guard Jamal Shead advances to the Sweet Sixteen

The No. 1 seed in the East, the Houston Cougars narrowly escaped the Round of 32, choking a 10-point lead to the Texas A&M Aggies and allowing a game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer from A&M forward Andersson Garcia. However, the Cougars prevailed by five points, defeating the Aggies 100-95 in OT. Houston guard Jamal Shead finished with a game-high 30 points before fouling out in OT. For Houston to advance to the Elite Eight, they must avoid foul trouble. A significant part of A&M’s comeback was four of Houstons' players fouled out. Houston's starters must remain on the court to defeat the red-hot Duke Blue Devils on March 29.

No. 4 Duke

Duke Freshman Jared McCain sets school record for most threes made in March Madness

Freshman guard Jared McCain took over the Round of 32, scoring 30 points in 31 minutes, including setting a school Duke record for most three-pointers made in a tournament game, shooting 8-11 from three. The Blue Devils made quick work of the JMU Dukes, leading by 22 at halftime, which led to a final score of 93-55. The remainder of Dukes’ backcourt, Tyreese Proctor and Jeremy Roach, combined for 33 points and 11 assists. It is widely known that dominant guard play is a significant factor in the NCAA tournament, and the Blue Devils have clearly shown they can have any of their starting guards take over the game. Like Houston, Duke plays a limited number of players a game, with only seven players recording 10+ minutes. This means the Blue Devils must also avoid foul trouble to keep their star players on the court.

No. 2 Marquette

Marquette advances to Sweet Sixteen

The danger of Maquette is that they are an excellent all-around basketball team. In their Round of 32 81-77 victory over the No. 10 Colorado Buffalos, Marquette only played seven players, and five scored 10+ points. This shows that anyone on the Golden Eagles is a threat to NC State in the Sweet 16. However, Marquette only defeated Colorado by four points, which gives hope to the No. 11 seed Wolfpack that they will be able to compete with the Golden Eagles. This is Maquette's first time reaching the Sweet Sixteen since 2013.

No. 11 NC State

DJ Burns Advances to the Sweet Sixteen

The Cinderella No. 11 Wolfpack took college basketball by storm in March, capturing seven straight wins, including five wins in five days in the ACC tournament, to capture the ACC title. In their five-game run in the ACC tournament, the Wolfpack defeated the UNC Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils, who hold a No. 1 and No. 4 seed respectfully in the NCAA tournament. NC State looks to continue its magical run by knocking off the No. 2 seed in the South, the Marquette Golden Eagles. Wolfpack center D.J. Burns Jr. recorded 24 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists in NC State's overtime victory over No. 14 seed Oakland Golden Grizzlies. He will be the player to watch against Marquette; his dominant play in the post has been a significant factor in NC State's success these past seven games.