Following an exciting first round, we had an action-packed Round of 32. As teams began punching their tickets to the Sweet Sixteen, others were sent home.
#8 Loyola Chicago 71 – #1 Illinois 58
We saw the first number 1-seed upset early Sunday afternoon. In the battle of Illinois, the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers came out victorious. The Ramblers were led by their senior big man, Cameron Kurtwig. Kurtwig finished the game with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Along with his offensive output, Kurtwig did a great defensive job. Illinois has had a lot of success in the post this season with Kofi Cockburn. With that taken away, the Illini struggled. Loyola is on pace for yet another tournament run as the Sister Jean legacy continues. The Ramblers will be facing Oregon State in the Sweet 16.
#11 Syracuse 75 – #3 West Virginia 72
Buddy Boeheim continued his hot shooting in the Round of 32. Boeheim hit six threes and finished with 25 points, leading Syracuse to a 3 point win. Along with Boeheim, Syracuse shot very well as a team. The Orange finished the game 14-31 from three and over 50% overall. West Virginia came into this game on fire but was still unable to break Syracuse’s zone defense, only scoring 29 first half points. Syracuse will have their toughest test yet in the Sweet 16 against the Houston Cougars.
Buddy Boeheim said he’s a “bucket” after making a 3 😳 pic.twitter.com/XFZEsMQvuv
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 21, 2021
#15 Oral Roberts 81 – #7 Florida 78
After a major upset in the first round, Oral Roberts followed it up with another in the Round of 32. As we saw against Ohio State, Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor can lead this team to a win. Obanor finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Abmas finished with 26 points and 7 assists. This team can go as far as these two players can take them. The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles will be facing Arkansas in the Sweet 16. This is going to be a battle of star players and high-tempo offenses.
Oral Roberts is going to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1974.
The Golden Eagles are the second 15th seed to reach the Sweet 16, joining Florida Gulf Coast in 2013.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 22, 2021
#12 Oregon State 80 – #4 Oklahoma State 70
The Oregon State win streak continues as the Beavers pick up a Round of 32 win. After winning the Pac-12 tournament and upsetting Tennessee in the first round, they did it again. This was a tough test for the Beavers. Oklahoma State has arguably the best player in college basketball with Cade Cunningham. Cunningham finished with 24 points but only shot 6-20 from the floor. With his struggles and another good shooting night for Oregon State, the Beavers were able to finish it easily. Oregon State will be facing Loyola in the Sweet 16.
We had a great slate of games on Sunday. Arkansas beat Texas Tech in a very close game. Houston made a late-game comeback to beat Rutgers. Baylor and Villanova both cruised to double-digit victories. Just like the first round, the Round of 32 did not disappoint.
If you were looking for offense, this was the game for you. Both teams came out firing from the beginning. After a back-and-forth first half, Oregon found themselves up 10 at the break. Iowa never was able to bounce back. The Ducks finished with four scores over 15 points. When Oregon is on fire like this, they’re impossible to beat. This team can hit the three, drive to the hoop, and has big men who can finish. Oregon will be going up against USC in the Sweet 16.
With every other Big 10 team already losing, Michigan still looks dominant. The Michigan Wolverines showed their dominance as they beat a red hot LSU team. The Wolverines got a great day from Chaundee Brown. Brown finished with 21 points and 3 threes after coming off the bench. LSU had a great day from Cameron Thomas. Thomas had a team-high 30 points and played 40 minutes. Michigan will be facing Florida State in the Sweet 16.
Oh how sweet it is!
— Michigan Men's Basketball (@umichbball) March 23, 2021
We did not see as many close games on Monday as we did on Sunday. Gonzaga beat Oklahoma by 16. Creighton topped Ohio by 14. Florida State beat Colorado by 18. UCLA ended Abilene Christian’s run in a 20 point stomping. To finish the night, we saw Alabama beat Maryland by 19 and USC beat Kansas by 34. Just like March Madness has its upsets, it also has its blowouts.
The first four days of March Madness were packed with great basketball. March is finally back and better than ever.
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