Sweet 16, Elite 8 Picks Via Top College Basketball Metrics

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on March 21, 2023 - Last Updated on March 22, 2023
Sweet 16 picks

One full weekend of college hoops down, one to go. With the Sweet 16 set to begin Thursday, the March Madness field has narrowed considerably. We’ve already taken a look at how major NCAA basketball metrics viewed the bracket initially. Now, let’s see how they’ve fared and then examine which Sweet 16 picks the numbers favor.

Remember, we’re using KenPom, Bart Torvik, Haslametrics and ShotQuality as our metrics of choice.

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KenPom Sweet 16 Picks

Bart Torvik T-Rank Sweet 16 Picks

Haslametrics Sweet 16 Picks

sweet 16 picks

ShotQuality Sweet 16 Picks

sweet 16 picks

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How They’ve Done So Far

Here’s the scoring for each college basketball metric through the first two rounds, using a standard doubling system.

  • KenPom: 45
  • T-Rank: 41
  • Haslametrics: 43
  • ShotQuality: 40

Impressively enough, three of the four metrics have the entirety of their Final Four intact. Houston, Alabama, Tennessee, UCLA and Gonzaga accounted for these picks. ShotQuality lagged behind, though. It had too much faith in the Big Ten, placing both Purdue and Iowa in the Final Four. Neither won their opening game, with Purdue falling in historic fashion in a rare No. 1 vs. No. 16 loss.

In fact, anyone who followed the metrics’ collective advice finds themselves in tremendous shape, most likely. Through the numbers, we identified Kansas and Purdue as overrated top seeds. Both went down on the opening weekend.

As far as the dark horses go, we identified three teams the metrics liked quite a bit relative to their seeds: Iowa State, Creighton and St. Mary’s. Of the three, only Creighton remains, with the others falling in convincing fashion. The Jays have a legitimate shot to take the region (), with Cinderella Princeton and then top dog Alabama ahead.

Who The Metrics Like Going Forward

UCLA () appears to have been a big winner with the numbers so far. After an extremely dominant first-round win, the Bruins led almost the entire way against a Northwestern bunch that had a good season in the well-regarded (if now underperforming) Big Ten. After getting no backing to win the tournament initially, the Bruins now come out on top in both Haslametrics and ShotQuality.

If you’re looking for a lower-seeded team to make a run and win it all, the metrics would tell you to look South. Both Creighton () and SDSU () rate top 15 in everything but ShotQuality. SDSU must face Alabama immediately as large underdogs () and therefore has much longer odds.

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Mo Nuwwarah Avatar
Written by
Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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