March Madness Update: Round of 32 (Day Two)
Just like that, the round of 32 is done and dusted.
The Pacific-12 Conference had a day to remember as a couple upsets turned complete dominations shaped the plot line for Monday's action.
A lot of the title favorites have been knocked out already: today, eight teams officially continued their hunt for the elusive championship trophy.
#2 Iowa 80, #7 Oregon 95
The Ducks continued the PAC-12 Conference's strong audition for national television slots next season by defeating one of the most consistent teams this year, the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The nation's only unanimous AP All-American in Luke Garza refused to go down quietly as he exploded for 36 points (14-20 FG) and nine rebounds, but aside from 17 points from Joe Wieskamp and 10 from Patrick McCaffery, the supporting cast was nowhere to be seen. Three Iowa starters were blanked while the rest of the team combined for 17 points.
Oregon was led by 23 and 21 points from Chris Duarte and LJ Figueroa while a season-high 25 assists paved the way for Ducks to advance forward.
#1 Gonzaga 87, #8 Oklahoma 71
The Bulldogs appeared as steady as ever, opening up a 12-point first half lead and responding to Oklahoma's second half surges to cross the finish line ahead of the opposing Sooners.
Drew Timme was good for 30 points, 13 rebounds and four assists while Corey Kispert and Jalen Suggs mirrored each other with 16 points.
Austin Reaves nearly matched Timme's output with 27 points for the losing side but could not overcome the absence of second-leading scorer De'Vion Harmon, who had been ruled out of the first two rounds due to a positive COVID-19 test.
#11 UCLA 67, #14 Abilene Christian 47
The Bruins became the lone play-in team to move into the Sweet Sixteen, cruising past a smaller and outmatched Abilene Christian squad.
The Wildcats had shot a horrible 29.9% from the field and 16.7% from three in their upset over #3 Texas two days prior but won by taking the ball away and rebounding the ball effectively; against UCLA they converted on 29.8% of field goals and 21.1% of threes but lost the turnover and rebounding battles.
Johnny Juzang was the Bruins' leading scorer for the second consecutive game while Cody Riley and Jaime Jaquez Jr. joined him in double figures.
#5 Creighton 72, #13 Ohio 58
This game will be remembered as a Marcus Zegarowski masterpiece, as the Blue Jays' star won the dual between two elite point guards.
Creighton used their well-drilled fundamentals to create easy looks at the basket, shooting 45% from the floor and 42.9% from three. In contrast, the Bobcats struggled against the scrambling defense of Creighton, posting a poor 7-30 mark from beyond the arc.
Jason Preston only managed four points on the losing side of the affair, coming up drastically short of his 16.3 season average.
#1 Michigan 86, #8 LSU 78
The Wolverines danced into the Sweet 16 despite missing their third leading scorer, Isaiah Livers, thanks to 21 points and seven assists from Eli Brooks.
Cameron Thomas went for 30 and Javonte Smart had 27 for the now-eliminated Tigers, though each player took their turns missing big shots in the home stretch.
This game appeared to highlight a disparity in coaching ability: as LSU drew within striking range in the waning moments of the game, Will Wade seemed to be content with his two stars playing "hero ball" while Juwan Howard's squad stuck to their principles and were rewarded with a ticket to the next round.
#4 Florida State 71, #5 Colorado 53
This game exactly how a matchup between a large, physical Seminole team and a smaller, streaky Colorado team should have gone.
Anthony Polite scratched for a career-high 22 points while the FSU defense benefitted from 10 steals as they overwhelmed the Colorado ball handlers.
McKinley Wright shot a poor 4-12 from open play for the Buffs and wrapped up his senior season averaging 15.4 points and 5.8 assists, leaving behind a tremendous legacy.
#2 Alabama 96, #10 Maryland 77
The Crimson Tide put on a clinic in moving the ball to the open man against the Terrapins, led by Jahvon Quinerly's 14 points and 11 assists off the bench.
Aaron Wiggins was largely a solo act for Maryland, exceeding twice the amount of the second-highest point scorer on his team with 27 and six rebounds to boot.
Shooting figures aside, Maryland only collected 19 rebounds while Alabama snatched 40: it is hard to win any game in that fashion.
#3 Kansas 51, #6 USC 85
Boy, if there were any concerns about the PAC-12, they were met with resounding approval Monday night.
The Trojans obliterated the Jayhawks thanks to five members of the roster managing a double-figure scoring night, along with a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double from freshman sensation Evan Mobley.
Kansas has been known as a second half team this year: tonight, there fortunes changed, as USC piled onto their 19-point halftime lead, outscoring KU 45-30 in the closing period.
#8 Loyola Chicago vs #12 Oregon State
#1 Baylor vs #5 Villanova
#3 Arkansas vs #15 Oral Roberts
#2 Houston vs #11 Syracuse