NCAA Tournament Round 2 Day 2 Recap
Well, Sunday certainly was more exciting than Saturday was. We saw Iowa erase a massive deficit and force overtime and then the game of the tournament was played by Duke and UCF. The tournament has gone chalk in the 2nd round but there are some monster matchups coming for the Sweet Sixteen.
Tennessee 83 Iowa 77 F/OT
Despite a 21-point halftime deficit and the lead extending to as much as 25, the Hawkeyes never quit and forced overtime against Tennessee in what looked like a continuation of yesterday’s blowouts. The Hawkeyes took advantage of foul trouble for Williams and Schofield, and got hot shooting the ball. In the end, Tennessee’s defensive intensity and shooters were too much for Iowa.
North Carolina 81 Washington 59
The Huskies simply couldn’t keep up with North Carolina. The pace of play by the Tar Heels was killer and their stars came to play. Maye and Little had 20 points each while Coby White had 17 points of his own. Tough to beat them when they score like that. Washington had a big game from Noah Dickerson who kept them in it at the half. But the Heels were too much on the glass (+24) and shredded the Washington zone seemingly every time down the floor.
Duke 77 UCF 76
Wow, what a game we saw between these two teams. A game of runs where each team had leads came down to the very last second. Zion was phenomenal for Duke but the play of the game was RJ Barrett cleaning up Williamson’s miss on the game tying free throw and putting the ball in to give Duke the late lead. BJ Taylor drove hard and missed of the glass and somehow, someway, the Aubrey Dawkins follow didn’t fall. Heartbreak for UCF. Dawkins was sensational in the game and Tacko Fall played very well for the Knights. Easily the game of the tournament so far.
Texas Tech 78 Buffalo 58
The most important stat in this game is that Texas Tech held Buffalo scores for 56 minutes of real time. The Red Raiders looked like the high quality defensive team they are and were able to score it a little bit. Jarrett Culver continues to improve his NBA Draft stock as his team moves on. What a disappointing end for Buffalo, a team I loved and thought could make a run, they lose a ton from this Senior class.
Virginia Tech 67 Liberty 58
Scottie James and the Flames could never really get it going offensively as the Hokies clamped down hard on Liberty shooters not named Darius McGhee. McGhee was the high scorer for the Flames with 15 points on 5 threes. While Virginia Tech rode their big men Outlaw and Blackshear to the tune of 29 points and 20 rebounds.
Virginia 63 Oklahoma 51
A very cold shooting night for Oklahoma, the exact opposite of the game they played against Ole Miss, was the mix of missed shots, bad shot selection, and good defense from Virginia. The Hoos put the slow start against Garnder-Webb behind them and won by double digits. Jerome, Hunter, and Diakite were all in double digits for Virginia.
Houston 74 Ohio State 59
Do we notice a trend yet? The strong defensive teams are winning. Houston is another one of the nation’s best on the defensive end and they knocked off Ohio State. Turnovers and poor shooting did the Buckeyes in. They took 29 threes because of the Houston defense and only hit 34% of them. All-in-all that’s usually not bad, but considering they made just 9 2-point field goals, that ain’t gonna cut it. Houston was paced by Corey Davis Jr’s 21 points and the team’s 12 steals.
Oregon 73 UC Irvine 54
Despite going nearly 8 minutes without scoring to start the 2nd half, Oregon got hot and went 13-18 from the field to close the game. The Ducks were consistently able to work the clock, make Irvine defend for 25+ seconds and hit 3’s as the clock expired. Pritchard was excellent for Oregon, much like he was on Friday against Wisconsin. The dream season for Irvine will end as Oregon is the only double-digit seed to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.