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ESPN’s March Madness Sweet 16 Bracket, Predictions, & Expert Picks

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ESPN March Madness Sweet 16 Bracket, Predictions, & Expert Picks 2023
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The ESPN staff released their March Madness bracket, predictions, and expert picks for the 2023 NCAA Tournament, and now multiple top-seeded teams lost prior to the Sweet 16. However, staff writer Jeff Borzello still has the National Championship matchup being between No. 1 Alabama and No. 1 Houston at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. BetOnline odds and picks are featured below.

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ESPN March Madness 2023 Bracket | Sweet 16 Update

ESPN writer Jeff Borzello is confident in No. 1 Alabama winning the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Plus, the college basketball analyst expects No. 1 Houston to advance far. On Friday, Houston takes on No. 5 Miami in the Sweet 16 round at 7:15 p.m. ET. “This is Houston’s region to lose, though,” said Borzello.

“The Cougars are physical, well coached, capable of forcing their style on any opponent, and they have more talent than recent seasons… Assuming Marcus Sasser is healthy for the tournament, Houston will be the heavy favorite to come out of this region.” More picks and predictions are below.


ESPN March Madness 2023 Predictions & Picks

Leading into the Sweet 16 round of March Madness for the 2023 NCAA Tournament, some predictions were nailed while other ones were off by a mile. ESPN anchor Joe Lunardi had No. 5 Duke reaching the Final Four. That never happened. And Kyle Soppe believes No. 6 Creighton will advance to the Elite Eight. Furthermore, Jeff Borzello feels No. 1 Alabama will defeat No. 1 Houston in the National Championship.

No. 1 Houston over No. 3 Gonzaga in Final Four (+350) | Free March Madness Picks

First off, the ESPN staff are mixed on this prediction. Lunardi believes No. 1 Houston will defeat No. 3 Gonzaga to advance to the Final Four. That’s the most probable matchup. Though, it’s also important to take it one game at a time. The Cougars have to beat No. 5 Miami this Friday in the Sweet 16 round.

Sportsbooks show Houston as a 7-point favorite over Miami. “The Cougars are 6-1 at a neutral site, 33-3 as favorites, and they’ve won their last 10 games played on a Friday,” said Jeff Borzello. “I like their odds of reaching the Elite Eight.” Houston is also 15-1 in its past 16 contests.

No. 6 Creighton to Elite Eight (+1200) | Free March Madness Picks

Next, ESPN anchor Joe Lunardi had No. 5 Duke upsetting No. 1 Purdue in the Sweet 16. Of course, the Blue Devils lost 65-52 against No. 4 Tennessee in the second round. So, that pick is out. Meanwhile, writer Kyle Soppe is trusting No. 6 Creighton reach the Elite Eight. Although, he’s not counting on the Bluejays to win the national title.

“Remember that team we all liked three months ago? Well, they’re back and disguised as a 6-seed in this exercise,” said Soppe. “They’ve held the top-spot in my power rankings since Christmas and I regret nothing.

“The path that comes with being a lower seed is why I don’t have the Bluejays winning the whole thing. This is the ‘don’t get sidetracked by the full body of work’ résumé team.” More March Madness predictions are on the main page.

No. 1 Alabama over No. 1 Houston to win National Championship (+550) | ESPN Picks

Lastly, Jeff Borzello expects No. 1 Alabama to defeat No. 1 Houston at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. “I’m going Houston over UConn in the Final Four,” said Borzello. “At that point, Sasser will be 100 percent. They’re playing in their home city. I’m setting up what I think have been the two best teams since the start of the year.

“It’s a rematch of a game I think we saw at the beginning of the year, and Alabama won that one on Houston’s home floor. I think they’re [Alabama] going to repeat that. It’s not on their home floor, but I’m going to go Alabama over Houston in the title game.” More March Madness predictions from the ESPN staff are on the main page.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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