NCAA Tournament recap: Round 2, Day 1

Eight teams earned spots in the Sweet 16 on Saturday

Jon Simon
March 24, 2019 - 12:42 am

Photo: Robert Deutsch - USA TODAY Sports

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Eight teams punched their tickets to the Sweet 16 on during Day 1 of the second round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday. The defending national champions went down, one team advanced thanks to a last-second, game-winning basket, and a few teams won with relative ease.

Check out a full recap of Saturday’s games below: 

 

East Region:

(3) LSU – 69, (6) Maryland – 67:

Maryland hadn’t won an NCAA tournament game in which they trailed at halftime since 2001 heading into Saturday afternoon’s showdown with LSU. Unfortunately for the six-seed Terrapins, who made an incredible comeback to make it a one-possession game in the final minute, the drought continues. The third-seeded Tigers went up as much as 15 in the first half and led 38-29 at the break. Maryland shot a poor 10-for-35 from the field in the opening period and for a little while it looked like the SEC regular season champions were going to walk their way into the Sweet 16. LSU went back up by double-digits thanks to an 8-2 run in the first four minutes of the second half, but Maryland started to crawl their way back. The Terps trailed 54-45 with 10:20 to go and proceeded to go on a 12-1 run and took their first lead of the game with 5:48 left following a pair of free throws from Jalen Smith, who led Maryland with 15 points. Skylar Mays hit a three with 40-seconds remaining to give LSU a 67-64 lead. Mays scored a game-high 16 points to lead the Tigers and added five assists, two steals and a block. Smith answered the Mays triple just 10-seconds later with a three of his own to knot the game at 67-67, putting the Maryland defense in a spot where they needed a stop to force overtime. LSU waited until there was about eight seconds left on the clock before running their final play. Tremont Waters drove to his right and with a pick, and a slight hesitation move, Waters passed by three Maryland defenders and scooped in a layup off the backboard to put the Tigers up 69-67 with 1.6-seconds left on the clock. Maryland got one last shot off at the buzzer but it didn’t come close. The Terrapins were 15-0 in games this season when holding their opponents to under 40-percent shooting. The Tigers shot just 37-percent, finishing 24-for-65 from the field on Saturday, breaking Maryland’s streak. LSU will make their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2006, where they’ll take on the two-seed Michigan State Spartans.

(2) Michigan State – 70, (10) Minnesota – 50:

The second-seeded Spartans played an immensely better first half on Saturday night than they did against 15-seed Bradley in Round 1. Michigan State opened the game on an 11-2 run and shot 61-percent in the first half. Despite not scoring over the final 4:53 of the opening period, the Spartans led the 10-seed Gophers 33-19 at halftime. Minnesota had an abysmal first half, shooting 23-percent from the field and going 2-for-16 from three. The Gophers All-Big Ten forward Jordan Murphy missed most of the game with a back injury and his absence was awfully noticeable. Murphy, a senior and the Big Ten’s second all-time leading rebounder, was subbed into the game in the final two minutes to get a proper send-off from the Minnesota fans. Without Murphy, Minnesota was forced to shoot the three, something that they hadn’t done well all season. The Spartans committed 11 turnovers in the first half but were saved by a 14-0 run midway through the period, along with great defense and rebounding. Michigan State grabbed 25 boards to the Gophers’ 10 in the first 20 minutes. The Spartans went through a five-minute slump early in the second half and let the Gophers get back within nine. Cassius Winston would proceed to go on a personal 7-0 run to put Michigan State up 47-31 with 12:37 to play. Winston finished with 13 points, nine assists, four rebounds and two steals while Xavier Tillman led the Spartans in scoring with 14 points. Kenny Goins had a bounce-back game after going 1-for-10 from the field and 0-for-7 from three against Bradley. The senior hit a pair of triples and finished with nine points, eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal. With the win the Spartans will head to their first Sweet 16 since 2015 when they made a run to the Final Four.

 

West Region:

(1) Gonzaga – 83, (9) Baylor – 71:

The top-seeded Bulldogs used a big first-half run to get past the nine-seed Baylor Bears and into the Sweet 16 for a fifth consecutive year. Gonzaga led by as much as 18 in the first half and were up on the Bears 39-23 at the break. Baylor scored the first 10 points of the second half got within five before the Bulldogs went on a 9-1 run to go up 52-39 with 13:17 to play. Gonzaga didn’t have to go on another big run in the final 10-12 minutes as they maintained their double-digit lead down to the final buzzer. A Baylor comeback never really seemed like it was going to happen despite the Bears ability to hang around and keep things semi-interesting. Baylor didn’t shoot nearly as well as the Bulldogs, who finished 31-for-57 from the floor, good for 54-percent. The Bears shot a formidable 42-percent overall but finished a measly 4-for-21 from three (19-percent). Brandon Clarke led Gonzaga with a game-high 36 points and threw down a handful of poster-worthy dunks. Clarke also recorded eight rebounds, five blocks, three assists and two steals.

(2) Michigan – 64, (10) Florida – 49:

The second-seeded Wolverines handled the 10-seed Gators right from the opening-tip to earn a trip to the Sweet 16 for a third-straight year. Michigan never trailed the Gators by more than two points and led the game from the 5:02 mark of the first half all the way to the final buzzer. Neither team had a good day offensively, as the Wolverines and Gators shot 42-percent and 35-percent from the field respectively. Florida only trailed by four at the midway point, but found themselves down 43-28 with 17:50 to go after Michigan went on an 11-0 run to start the second half. The Wolverines seemingly coasted to the victory from there, despite being unable to decisively pull away from Florida until the final minutes. Michigan gave the Gators chances to get back in the game but Florida’s offense just couldn’t put anything together. Florida shot a poor 3-for-14 from three in the second half, good for just 21-percent. The Gators failed to score for over five and a half minutes down the stretch in the second half, allowing Michigan to take a 16-point lead with 2:00 left, the Wolverines’ largest of the game. Michigan had only two players finish in double figures. Jordan Poole scored a game-high 19 points and Isaiah Livers finished with 10. Zavier Simpson scored nine points to go with nine assists and nine rebounds. Jon Teske grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and scored eight points for the Wolverines as well. Michigan will take on the winner of the three-seed Texas Tech against six-seed Buffalo matchup in the Sweet 16.

(4) Florida State – 90, (12) Murray State – 62: 

Projected NBA lottery pick Ja Morant did all he could to push Murray State into the Sweet 16. Morant scored a game-high 28 points and went 5-for-6 from three to go with five rebounds, four assists and two steals. However, that was not nearly enough as the fourth-seeded Florida State Seminoles blew the doors off the 12-seed Racers to clinch a trip to the Sweet 16 for a second-straight year. Morant started the game hot, hitting a trio of three-pointers in the first five minutes and going 5-for-5 from behind the arc in the first half. The Racers led 13-7 at the first media timeout but from there it was all Seminoles. Florida State led 50-34 at halftime and started the second half with a 10-4 run to really take control of the game. The Seminoles largest lead of the night was 31 points, they out-scored the Racers 20-12 over the final 11 minutes. Mfiondu Kabengele had a team-high 22 points off the bench for Florida State. The Seminole bench out-scored the Murray State reserves 46-6. Terance Mann led the Florida State starters with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The Seminoles will face the top-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs in what will be a Sweet 16 rematch from a year ago. Florida State was a nine-seed last year when they knocked the Bulldogs, who were a four-seed, out of the tournament in the regional semifinals.

 

South Region:

(3) Purdue – 87, (6) Villanova – 61: 

A new champion crowned this year as the 2018 title winners and six-seed Villanova Wildcats were boat-raced by the three-seed Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday evening. Carsen Edwards scored his first points of the night with a three-pointer to give Purdue a 7-5 lead 2:37 into the game. Edwards would finish the night with a career and tournament-high 42 points and the Boilermakers would never trail over the last 37 minutes. Purdue was the better team from the opening-tip all the way to the final buzzer. The Boilermakers shot 54-percent from behind the arc (16-for-30). Edwards made nine of the 16 Purdue triples, a school record for three-pointers in a single game. The Boilermakers led by as much as 35 in the second half, cruising into the Sweet 16 for a third-straight year. Matt Haarms finished with a team-high nine rebounds along with 18 points for Purdue. Eric Paschall led Villanova with 19 points in his final game for the Wildcats. Fellow senior Phil Booth scored 15 points and eclipsed the 1,500-point mark for his career. Purdue will face the winner of the matchup between the two-seed Tennessee Volunteers and the 10-seed Iowa Hawkeyes in the Sweet 16.

 

Midwest Region:

(2) Kentucky – 62, (7) Wofford – 56: 

The seven-seed Wofford Terriers were arguably the hottest team coming into this year’s tournament, having won 21-straight games including Thursday’s first round victory over Seton Hall. The second-seeded Kentucky Wildcats put an end to the Terriers’ record-breaking run on Saturday afternoon with a tight 62-56 victory. Wofford’s Fletcher Magee, who became the NCAA’s all-time leader in career three-pointers on Thursday night, failed to add to his 509 career total against the Wildcats. He finished with just eight points and shot a tournament record 0-for-12 from behind the arc on Saturday. The Terriers led or were tied with the Wildcats for the first 19:06 of first half. Kentucky took their first lead of the game with 54 seconds left in the opening period and were up 28-26 at the break thanks to a 10-2 run that closed the first half. The Wildcats were unable to put Wofford away in the second half despite the Terriers’ shooting struggles. Wofford would briefly go back in front before giving the lead back to Kentucky with 14:30 to go. The Wildcats never trailed from that point, but also never led by more than eight points. The Terriers managed to hang around and found themselves down two with just 40 seconds to go after a Keve Aluma tip-in made it 58-56 in favor of Kentucky. Reid Travis, who led the Wildcats in points and rebounds with 14 and 11 respectively, hit two free throws to make it a two-possession game with 18-seconds left, sealing the win for Kentucky. The Wildcats managed to get out of the first weekend of the tournament without leading scorer P.J. Washington, who is out with an injury. Kentucky will face either three-seed Houston or 11-seed Ohio State in the Sweet 16.

(5) Auburn – 89, (4) Kansas – 75:

The fourth-seeded Jayhawks became the second Final Four team from last year to be eliminated from this season’s tournament, falling to the fifth-seeded Tigers in a game that for the most part wasn’t all that close. Auburn shot 53-percent from the field and 44-percent from three. The Tigers jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first five minutes and led 51-25 after 20. In their previous 155 NCAA tournament games, the Jayhawks never trailed by as many as 26 points at halftime.  Kansas turned their play around in the second half and shot pretty well when they came out of the locker room after halftime. The only problem was that Auburn matched them shot-for-shot and never let the Jayhawks get back in the game. Despite scoring 50 points in the second half, Kansas never got back within single-digits. Senior Bryce Brown led Auburn with 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Jared Harper finished second in scoring for the Tigers with 18 points and dished-out a game-high six assists. The Jayhawks’ Dedric Lawson finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, becoming the first player to have back-to-back 25-point and 10-rebound games in the tournament since Blake Griffin did it for Oklahoma in 2009. The junior scored 25 points and had 11 rebounds in the first round against Northeastern. With the victory Auburn will be making their first appearance in the Sweet 16 for the first time in…wait for it…16 years! The Tigers will face the winner of one-seed North Carolina vs. nine-seed Washington in the regional semifinal.

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