NCAA Tournament recap: Round 2, Day 2

The opening weekend of March Madness came to a close on Sunday with eight more teams advancing to the Sweet 16

Jon Simon
March 25, 2019 - 1:23 am

Photo: Bob Donnan - USA TODAY Sports


The Round of 32 wrapped up on Sunday with eight more teams punching their tickets to the Sweet 16. The tournament’s No. 1 overall seed was almost stunned, the hometown University at Buffalo Bulls' season came to an end, and the Iowa Hawkeyes also came close to completing the biggest comeback in tournament history.

There was a lot of action on the final day of the first weekend of March Madness. Check out a full recap of the eight-game slate: 


East Region:

(1) Duke – 77, (9) UCF – 76: 

The 9-seed Knights came within inches of upsetting the top-seeded Duke Blue Devils on Sunday night. UCF hung with the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed punch-for-punch for 40 minutes, but Duke’s superstar freshman prevailed and earned the Blue Devils a one-point win. The Knights showed they were ready to battle with Duke right from the opening-tip; the Blue Devils’ largest lead was just eight points. UCF led at certain points during the first half but a 10-2 Blue Devil-run at the end of the period had the Knights down 44-36 at the break. The Knights scored the first seven points of the second half and sent the message that they weren’t going away. After going down as much as, UCF went on an 14-3 run to take their first lead of the second half, going up 57-54 with 10:24 to go. Both sides traded the lead down the stretch, but UCF took what at the time seemed like a commanding 74-70 lead with two minutes left on a put-back dunk from 7' 6" Tacko Fall, who was forced to sit much of the second half due to foul trouble. The senior finished with 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks in his final collegiate game. A three from Cam Reddish made the score 74-73 in favor of the Knights with 1:40 to go. Duke’s Javin DeLaurier had a chance to get the lead back when went to the line with 1:09 to go. But, the junior missed his only two free throw attempts of the game. UCF’s B.J. Taylor hit two free throws at the other end to put the Knights up 76-73 with 45 ticks left. Zion Williamson attempted to tie the game with a three-pointer but missed, however, DeLaurier made up for his missed free throws and grabbed the offensive rebound, giving Duke another chance. Williamson got the ball back and drove strong to the basket, hitting the layup and drawing a foul on Fall in the process. Zion went to the line with a chance to complete the three-point play, but missed the game-tying free throw. However, R.J. Barrett, Duke’s other freshman star, pulled down the offensive rebound and went right back up for a layup, putting the Blue Devils up one with 12-seconds to go. UCF got two great looks to win the game at the end. Taylor missed a runner off the backboard with three-seconds left, but Aubrey Dawkins went up, got a hand on the ball and got a great chance for a tip-in (see the photo above), but the ball bounced out and Duke escaped by the skin of their teeth. Dawkins scored 32 points for the Knights in a losing effort. Williamson scored 32 for the Blue Devils and finished with a game-high 11 rebounds. Barrett finished with 16 points along with eight rebounds, four assists and a steal.  

(4) Virginia Tech – 67, (12) Liberty – 58:

It’s been 52 years since Virginia Tech last played in the Sweet 16. On Sunday night, the fourth-seeded Hokies made history, advancing to the second weekend of the tournament for the first time since 1967 with a win over the 12-seed Liberty Flames, who upset 5-seed Mississippi State in the first round on Friday. The Flames were ahead for most of the first half on Sunday and held a slim 32-29 lead at halftime. A 9-0 Liberty run early in the second half put the Flames in front 41-36 with 15:21 to play. Virginia Tech would flip the switch after that and went on a 16-3 run over the next five minutes to take an eight-point lead. The Hokies were able to fend-off any Liberty comebacks from there, as Tech never trailed the rest of the way. Kerry Blackshear Jr. led the Hokies with 19 points and added nine rebounds. Ty Outlaw finished with a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing a game-high 11 boards. Darius McGhee was the only player from Liberty to finish in double figures, scoring 15 points. Caleb Homesley was held to just eight points on 3-of-11 shooting after scoring 30 in the first round against Mississippi State. The Hokies will face ACC rival and top-seeded Duke in the Sweet 16. In their lone meeting during the regular season, Virginia Tech beat the Blue Devils 77-72 in Blacksburg, VA.


West Region:

(3) Texas Tech – 78, (6) Buffalo – 58:

The third-seeded Red Raiders advanced to their second-straight Sweet 16 with a dominant 20-point win over the 6-seed Bulls. Texas Tech asserted their dominance early, starting the game with a 10-2 run and out-rebounding UB 9-1 in the first five minutes. The Red Raiders pulled down 45 rebounds to the Bulls’ 32, and the Texas Tech defense was as good as advertised. The nation’s no. 4 scoring defense held the Bulls to just 37-percent shooting from the field. UB went on an 18-5 run midway through the first half to take a 25-24 lead with 3:20 to go. It would be the only time the Bulls were ahead all night, as Texas Tech ended the opening frame with a 9-0 run of their own and led 33-25 at halftime. UB started 0-for-5 from the floor after coming back out from the locker room. The Red Raiders out-scored the Bulls 15-3 in the first six minutes of the second half and extended their lead to 20. Texas Tech dominated the rest of the way and led by as much as 29 en route to the victory. All five Red Raider starters finished in double figures, Jarrett Culver led the way with 16 points. Nick Perkins led the Bulls with 17 points and 10 rebounds in his final game for UB. Fellow senior CJ Massinburg scored 14 and will leave UB with the second-most career points in program history. UB finished the season with a program-best 32-4 record. Texas Tech will move on to face 2-seed Michigan in the Sweet 16.


South Region:

(2) Tennessee – 83, (10) Iowa – 77 (OT): 

Sunday’s games started off with an absolute thriller between the second-seeded Volunteers and the 10-seed Iowa Hawkeyes. For the second-straight game, Tennessee had some trouble taking down a double-digit seed. It took an extra five minutes of basketball for a winner to be decided, despite the fact that the Volunteers never trailed in the game. Iowa was down as much as 25 in the first half and trailed Tennessee 49-28 at the break. The tables completely turned in the second half, as the Vols committed eight turnovers in the first 12 minutes of the period and 11 overall in the final 20 minutes, allowing Iowa to make what was almost a historic comeback. The Hawkeyes had a chance tie the record for the largest comeback win in an NCAA tournament game; BYU came back from 25 points down to defeat Iona in the first round of the tournament back in 2012. Isaiah Moss hit a corner three to pull the Hawkeyes within one with 4:23 to play. A few minutes later, Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon appeared to have his three-point attempt blocked by Tennessee’s Lamonte Turner, but Turner was whistled for a very questionable foul. Bohannon made all three free throws and tied the game up for the first time since the opening tip. Bohannon led the Hawkeyes with 18 points while Moss finished second in scoring with 16. Turner drilled a three on the ensuing possession to put the Vols back up 70-67 with 2:15 left on the clock. Moss hit a jumper to make it 71-69 following a missed free throw by Tennessee’s Jordan Bowen. Joe Wieskamp grabbed a huge offensive board with 20 seconds left off of a missed shot from Bohannon. Wieskamp got fouled coming down and sank both free throws to tie the game at 71-71. The freshman went a perfect 8-for-8 from the line on Sunday, despite shooting just 1-for-7 from the field. Jordan Bone got a great shot off at the end to try and win the game for the Vols, but his three-point attempt rimmed out and the game would go to overtime. Tennessee’s Admiral Schofield didn’t play in overtime because of foul trouble. Despite being without one of their top scorers, the Vols went on a 9-2 run to start overtime and rode the clock out from there. Grant Williams came up with a huge steal in the final minute with Tennessee up 80-75 to keep it a two-possession game. The junior finished with a game-high four takeaways and three blocks. Williams and Schofield led the Volunteers with 19 points apiece. Tennessee will take on the 3-seed Purdue Boilermakers in the Sweet 16.

(1) Virginia – 63, (9) Oklahoma – 51:

The top-seeded Cavaliers bested the 9-seed Sooners in typical Virginia-fashion to advance to the Sweet 16. Oklahoma scored just 22 points in the first half and finished the night 19-for-52 from the field (37-percent). Virginia didn’t shoot the lights out, but the Cavaliers led for all but three minutes on Sunday. It was a much easier win than Virginia’s first round contest against Gardner-Webb, in which they trailed by six at halftime. Virginia scored the first seven points of the game before the Sooners went on a 13-2 run and took their only lead of the night; the Cavaliers never trailed after the 9:59 mark of the first half. Mamadi Diakite led Virginia with 14 points and nine rebounds. Virginia will face the 12-seed Oregon Ducks in the Sweet 16.

(12) Oregon – 73, (13) UC Irvine – 54:

The round of 32 was capped-off with an unusual matchup of double-digit seeds late Sunday night. The 12-seed Ducks played a solid first half and led the 13-seed Anteaters by 13 after 20 minutes. UC Irvine came sprinting out of the gates to start the second half and opened the period with a 14-0 run. The Anteaters went ahead 37-35 with 14:28 to go, taking their first lead since it was 6-5 at the 17:16 mark of the first half. Oregon missed their first 11 shots of the second half. The Ducks finally locked in and went on a 20-7 run to go up 11 with less than six minutes to play. Oregon would lead by as much as 22 points in the final two minutes, coasting their way to a victory and advancing to the Sweet 16 for the third time in the last four seasons. Payton Pritchard led the Ducks in scoring for the second-straight game, finishing with 18 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Louis King finished with 16 points and Kenny Wooten grabbed a team-high eight rebounds to go with 11 points as well. It was a tough end to a great season for UC Irvine, who finished the year 31-5. For the Ducks, they’ve now won 10-straight games and could be considered one of the hottest teams left in the tournament.


Midwest Region:

(1) North Carolina – 81, (9) Washington – 59: 

After getting a scare from 16-seed Iona in the first half of their first round matchup on Friday, the top-seeded Tar Heels had little to no trouble handling the 9-seed Huskies in the round of 32. North Carolina wasted no time building a lead in this one, going up double digits less than seven minutes into the game. The Heels kept their foot on the gas pedal and scored 33 points in the first 12 minutes. Despite their offensive outburst, UNC committed 10 turnovers in the first half, allowing Washington to keep the game interesting. The Huskies’ defense deserved some of the credit. Seven of the Tar Heels’ 10 turnovers were steals, and Washington’s strong play in their end resulted in success on offense. UNC kept the Huskies from going on any big run to end the first half and led 41-33 at the break. Washington pulled within five early in the second half before Carolina put them away. The Tar Heels went on a 13-0 run and led 54-36 with 14:20 to play. UNC would lead by as much as 25 in the second half. The Tar Heels finished the afternoon 32-for-63 from the field, good for 51-percent and shot 43-percent from behind the arc. The Tar Heels held Washington to just 39-percent shooting and out-rebounded the Huskies 48-24. Luke Maye finished with a double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds. Nassir Little also finished with 20 points and seven rebounds for the Heels. Coby White scored 17 points with 12 coming in the first half. The freshman also had six rebounds, two assists and a steal. North Carolina will make their 10th Sweet 16 appearance under head coach Roy Williams. The Tar Heels will take on the 5-seed Auburn Tigers on Friday night for a spot in the Elite Eight. 

(3) Houston – 74, (11) Ohio State – 59:

The third-seeded Cougars defeated the 11-seed Buckeyes on Sunday to clinch their first trip to the Sweet 16 in 35 years. The last team from Houston to make the Sweet 16 was the 1983-84 Cougars squad, who also held the school-record for wins in a single season. With their win on Sunday, this year’s Cougars broke the aforementioned record and improved to an NCAA-best 33-3. Ohio State hit seven of their first 12 shots from three-point range and held a slim 24-21 lead midway through the first half. The momentum swung in Houston’s favor as the Cougars ended the half on a 14-6 run and led 39-31 at the break. The Buckeyes pulled within four early in the first half before the Cougars went on another run to put the game away. A layup from Corey Davis Jr. gave Houston a 60-49 lead with 7:27 to go and they rode out the clock from there. Davis Jr. led all scorers with 21 points to go with six rebounds. Galen Robinson Jr. finished second in scoring for Houston with 13 points and registered a game-high six steals. The Cougar defense put on a solid performance, forcing 14 turnovers and holding the Buckeyes to 39-percent from the field (19-for-49). C.J. Jackson scored 18 points to lead Ohio State while Kaleb Wesson finished with 15. Houston will take on the 2-seed Kentucky Wildcats in the Sweet 16.

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