With tickets to the Sweet 16 on the line, another day of second-round action on Sunday capped off the NCAA Tournament’s exhilarating first weekend.
We’ve already seen Cinderella, seeded No. 15 at Saint Peter’s, reach weekend two with her win on Saturday, and a March Madness classic in North Carolina against No. 1 Baylor.
Sunday was all about Duke vs. Michigan State, and the second-round showdown was undoubtedly a successful one, with the Blue Devils keeping coach Mike Krzyzewski’s career alive by knocking out a resilient State team from Michigan.
Coach K at Sweet 16:Four defining moments from Duke and Michigan State’s thriller
Houston and Villanova started Sunday in impressive fashion, advancing to the Sweet 16 in the South Region with convincing wins over Illinois and Ohio State, respectively. And Iowa State became the No. 11 to reach the Sweet 16, joining Michigan, after upsetting No. 3 Wisconsin.
After a first round that saw the Big Ten go 7-3 (it improved to 8-3 on Saturday with Michigan’s upset against Tennessee), that 0-4 position moves the Big Ten to 8-7 in this year’s tournament.
A look at the winners and losers of Sunday’s eight games:
The Blue Devils (30-6) trailed five to five minutes from time but made key plays in the stretch to get away from a Michigan State team that refused to walk away and to win 85-76 in a classic second-round down-to-the-wire. While all the pregame hype was about Coach K and Tom Izzo, it was all about the Duke players rising to the occasion. The hero for the Blue Devils was Jeremy Roach (15 points, five blocks), who made a massive three-pointer with 1:18 left to give this team the winning momentum they needed to get rid of the Spartans and move forward. Mark Williams had five blocks to lead a fierce defensive effort and Paolo Banchero (19 points) led five Duke players into double digits.
“For a young group, they showed incredible courage,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game on CBS. “It wasn’t coaching. I’m so proud of them. … It looked like our ship was sinking.”
The Wildcats (33-3) got 58 points from their two stars – Ben Mathurin (30 points) and Christian Koloko (28 points) – and this duo scored the team’s final 15 points to help Arizona at the win in overtime against a determined TCU team, 85-80. Arizona made the plays down the stretch to escape the Horned Frogs and reach the Sweet 16. Mathurin, in particular, made the clutch shots at the end of regulation to help Arizona head into overtime after falling behind in the Finals. minutes.
The Red Raiders (27-9) relied on their elite defense in the final minutes to elude Notre Dame 59-53 in the second-round clash that sent Texas Tech into the Sweet 16. It was a outstanding season under the freshman coach. Mark Adams. As the Irish and the Red Raiders traded baskets in the final minutes, it was Texas Tech who forced the steals and blocked the shots that proved to be the deciding factor. Kevin Obanor (15 points) led the way at Texas Tech.
The Boilermakers (29-7) are the only Big Ten team not to underperform, dispatching Texas 81-71 to reach the Sweet 16. Jaden Ivey (18 points on the night) hit a three-point dagger with 1:03 to go. to give Purdue a 77-71 advantage after Texas cut the deficit to one possession. The All-American guard game gives coach Matt Painter a dimension he hasn’t had on some of his previous elite teams. And Trevion Williams came clutch with 22 points off the bench, as the Boilermakers held off all of Texas’ late runs.
The Cougars (31-5) lead the nation in defensive goal percentage and their stifling approach was on display in a 68-53 win over a regular-season winning Illinois team. of the Big Ten. Coach Kelvin Sampson’s team used defense for offense, seemingly controlling the momentum of the game throughout the day. Guards backcourt triplet Taze Moore (21 points), Jamal Shead ( 18 points) and Kyler Edwards (15 points) can be deadly before the Sweet 16.
The Wildcats (27-7) return to the Sweet 16 after an impressive 71-61 win over Ohio State. The strength of Coach Jay Wright’s team is experience, and Collin Gillespie embodied that with his play in this game. finished with 20 points and four assists, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Gillespie had a knee injury that kept him from completing Villanova’s Sweet 16 last year, so he’ll be ready to try and move the Wildcats further into his final season. Fellow senior Jermaine Samuels added 17 points and eight rebounds.
The Cyclones (22-12) were 2-22 overall last season, including 0-18 in the Big 12. What coach TJ Otzelberger was able to do in a short time was punctuated by the Iowa State upset against the third seed. Wisconsin 54-48 to reach the Sweet 16. Perhaps most impressive is the Cyclones’ ability to win when their top two players were terrible. Leading scorer Izaiah Brockington scored 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting, while Tyrese Hunter, the Iowa State hero against LSU with 23 points, had just four points on 1-for-10 shooting.
The Tigers (28-5) really came crashing down on the latter part of the season, punctuated by a surprise 79-61 loss to No. 10 Miami (Fla.) in the second round. Coach’s team Bruce Pearl was a No. 1 seed projected into the NCAA top 16 in late February, but went 3-3 to finish the regular season. Jabari Smith shot 3 for 16 in the season-ending loss to Miami , and this team could not do anything. 2 seeds and not progressing to the second weekend is always a disappointment and it’s the latest for Pearl in charge of the Tigers.
The Horned Frogs (21-13) had Arizona on the ropes in an 85-80 result that took overtime to see the No. 1 seed. TCU barely played like a No. 9 seed and showed his muscle on the inside, outscoring Arizona 48-44 and getting huge efforts from frontcourt players Chuck O’Bannon Jr. (23 points) and Eddie Lampkin (20 points). Coach Jamie Dixon had his team ready to play and TCU was in possession of a shocking second-round upset.
4-seeded Fighting Illini (23-10) withdrew early from the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, this time dismantled by Houston in a 68-53 loss. cooled again, and the Illini shot 6-for-25 from three-point range, providing little perimeter production to complement American big man Kofi Cockburn (19 points, eight rebounds). missed, Illini’s offense was sloppy for the second straight game after narrowly avoiding a first-round upset against Chattanooga. Against Houston’s leading national defense in field goal percentage, Illinois committed 19 turnovers and looked completely out of their element. After losing to Loyola-Chicago as the No. 1 seed last March, coach Brad Underwood once again has a disappointing fanbase.
state of michigan
The Spartans (23-13) played inspired and had a well-executed game plan – until the final five minutes – in an 85-76 loss to Duke. ball over and see the Blue Devils make key plays when it mattered most. He didn’t feel like MSU was a No. 7 seed, however, as that team made 11 three-pointers, four of which came from Gabe Brown (18 points in the loss).
The Buckeyes (20-11) clung to a superior Villanova team, but just didn’t have what it took to pull off the upset. Coach Chris Holtmann finally had his squad full, but on Sunday there was little production outside of freshman Malaki Branham (23 points, five assists) and veteran EJ Liddell (17 points, six rebounds).
The Badgers (25-7) uncharacteristically turned the ball over 17 times and shot poorly — including 2 for 23 of three — in an upset loss to Iowa State in the second round. his A game, going 0-7 from beyond the arc to finish with 17 points. Since hitting two Sweet 16s in his first two years at Madison, coach Greg Gard hasn’t managed to take the Badgers to weekend two of the NCAA Tournament in each of the last three appearances.
Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.