Four exciting days of basketball are in the books, and the 2024 men’s NCAA tournament field has been cut down to 16 teams.

All four No. 1 and all four No. 2 seeds are still standings and No. 11 NC State is the only double-digit seed left standing.

That doesn’t leave the Sweet 16 with much Cinderella potential, but the potential remains for upsets, as every game will have a favorite even if the expected margin is slim.

Here are the Sweet 16 matchups. I will leave my thoughts of possible upsets starting tonight (Thursday).

No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 6 Clemson

Clemson has a shot at pulling off the upset. The Tigers already upset Baylor and were actually an underdog against No. 11 seed New Mexico in first round action. This Clemson team is looking more like the one that started the season 9-0 and had a big road win over Alabama, but Arizona is going to be a handful.

No. 1 UConn vs. No. 5 San Diego State

I like the storyline as we get a rematch of last year’s national championship game with a trip to the Elite Eight on the line. The Huskies won that game 76-59, and I am looking for a similar result this year. No upset here. The Aztecs defense is not quite as good as it was last season, and the Huskies offense is even better than it was last year, so it’s hard to see how San Diego State flips the script.

No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 4 Alabama

I do not see an upset here either. Alabama plays little defense and UNC plays a lot of offense. The Crimson Tide have a losing record when playing fellow tournament teams. They are known for taking care of business against lesser opponents. The Heels are not a lesser opponent.

No. 2 Iowa State vs. No. 3 Illinois

This matchup is a toss up so there will not be an upset here. Iowa State has one of the best defenses in the country while Illinois has a high powered offense. The Cyclones have only allowed 80 points twice all season, which is a mark the Illini have reached 20 times.

No. 2 Marquette vs. No. 11 NC State

A North Carolina State victory here would go down as a big upset. But the Wolfpack are on a roll. They were nowhere near the NCAA tournament bubble heading into the ACC tournament, but they ripped off five wins in five days to claim the automatic bid, knocking off Duke, Virginia and North Carolina along the way. They then upset No. 6 seed Texas Tech in a lopsided 80-67 game in the first round before turning the clock to midnight on No. 14 seed Oakland’s Cinderella story with an overtime victory on Saturday.

DJ Burns Jr. has been the difference for the Wolfpack. Marquette could have a tough time banging inside with his 6’9”, 260-pound frame.

No. 1 Purdue vs. No. 5 Gonzaga

The Purdue Boilermakers and Gonzaga Bulldogs have already squared off once this year, meeting up back in November at the Maui Invitational.

The Bulldogs led by as many as nine points in the first half of that game and carried a 35-30 lead into halftime, but they were outscored 43-28 during the second half en route to a 73-63 victory for the Boilermakers. This one is my upset special.

No. 1 Houston vs. No. 4 Duke

Let me throw some stats at you. The Blue Devils are 6-6 this season in games where they shoot below 45 percent from the field, and the Houston Cougars played just four games all season where they allowed the opposition to shoot above 45 percent. No upset here.

No. 2 Tennessee vs. No. 3 Creighton

This is another one that could go either way. I just don’t know who to take here. After blowout victories in the first round, the Tennessee Volunteers and Creighton Bluejays both flirted with disaster on their way to a Sweet 16 berth.

The Volunteers saw a double-digit lead in the second half against No. 7 seed Texas get whittled down to a two-point advantage before pulling away late.  Meanwhile, it took the Bluejays double overtime to send No. 11 seed Oregon packing on Saturday night.

More NCAA Fodder

I spoke last week of a few storylines I would be following during March Madness this year. Thus far, the two coaches who I felt needed to make a run this season, Matt Painter at Purdue and Rick Barnes at Tennessee, are still alive in the Sweet 16. I wondered aloud if UConn could pull off the rare feat of defending it’s national title. They, too, are in the Sweet 16. The other storyline I mentioned centered around the Mountain West faring well in the tourney. Well, they have not as only San Diego State remains of the six teams the conference placed in the tournament.