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March Madness: Sunday recap

By STEPHEN YOUNATAN

Now that the Sweet 16 has been decided and one perfect bracket remains, the fun part of the tournament can begin.

All but two of the top teams (Kansas and Kansas State) have made it into the Sweet 16. The two teams that took their place aren’t really shockers to anyone. Although 12 seed Oregon State has been doing all this without their star centre and upcoming NBA draftee Bol Bol.

Oregon defeats Wisconsin

Oregon’s defence helped them upset the 5 seed Wisconsin in the first round. That same defence came to play in the second round against the 13 seed UC Irvine.

Payton Pritchard led the way against the Anteaters with 18 points in a 73-54 blowout win.

Duke squeaks out win against UCF

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – MARCH 24: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils shoots the ball against the UCF Knights during the second half in the second round game of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Colonial Life Arena on March 24, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

In the highlight game, Duke came out on top by a hair 77-76 against 9 seeded UCF, nearly avoiding one of the biggest upsets in tournament history.

Zion Williamson had a monster game for Duke putting up 32 points in the tight contest while Canadian RJ Barrett finished with 16 points, 8 boards and the game-winning basket.

Aubrey Dawkins also dropped 32 points for UCF including a crucial missed put-back in the dying seconds of the game.

Virginia Tech downs Liberty

4 seed Virginia Tech advanced to the Sweet 16 defeating Liberty University 67-58. Kerry Blackshear Jr. put up 19 points and 9 rebounds in the victory while Canadian Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 6 points, 6 rebounds and 6 asists in the victory.

The Hokies are moving on for the first time in 52 years and the first time since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

Virginia beats Oklahoma State

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – MARCH 24: Jay Huff #30 of the Virginia Cavaliers shoots the ball against the Oklahoma Sooners during the first half in the second round game of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Colonial Life Arena on March 24, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

1 seed Virginia had their work cut out for them after an early first round scare against the 16 Gardner-Webb, especially after becoming the first 1 seed in NCAA tournament history to lose to a 16 seed.

However, a last minute change to the starting lineup caused a shakeup that helped Virginia take care of business against 9 seed Oklahoma State 63-51.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett decided to start Mamadi Diakite instead of Jack Salt, Diakite finished the contest with 14 points and 9 rebounds.

“Starting is big to me, it’s a big challenge” Diakite said. “(Coach) is telling you, ‘Okay, you have the responsibility to help the team, and we’re trusting you’.” And he did just that.

Tennessee avoids major meltdown


Tennessee guard Brad Woodson (12) and Tennessee forward Derrick Walker (15) celebrate a three-pointer by Tennessee guard Admiral Schofield (5) during the Tennessee VolunteersÕ basketball game against the Colgate Raiders in the first round of the NCAA Tournament held at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday, March 22, 2019.  (Photo: Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel )

One of the most exciting games was 2 seed Tennessee and 10 seed Iowa.

Tennessee avoided one of the biggest collapses in tournament history by blowing a 25 point lead to the Hawkeyes but ended up winning in OT 83-77.

Tennessee started the game very hot and took control throughout the first half. SEC player of the year Grant Williams finished with 19 points 7 rebounds and 5 assists while coming up with some clutch buckets in overtime.

North Carolina takes care of business

North Carolina took control of Washington, winning 81-59.

After getting outed by Texas A&M last year, the Tar Heels were determined not to let that happen again.

Nassir Little and Luke Maye each scored 20 points in the rout, Maye also had 14 rebounds and had his 15th double-double of the season.

Houston makes history

2 seed Houston moves on to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 35 years, defeating Ohio State 74-59.

Corey Davis scored 21 points to help lead the Cougars to a much needed victory.

Houston set a school record for victories in a season with 33, surpassing the mark set by the 1983-1984 team.

Texas Tech displays solid defence

Jarrett Culver had 16 points and 10 rebounds as 3 seed Texas Tech decimate 6 seed Buffalo.

The Red-Raiders defence was key in this matchup as they never let Buffalo in the game.

The Bulls had won 13 straight games and were scoring over 85 points per-game, which would rank them 5 in the nation, but Texas Tech held them to a season-low 36.5% from the field to end their win-streak.

The round of Sweet 16 will begin on March 28 with Gonzaga facing off against Florida State at 7 p.m.

Written by
Stephen Younatan
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