A bad day for brackets and for higher seeds, as a number 1 (Xavier) and two number 2’s (Cincinnati and North Carolina) lost, while Syracuse (number 11), Kansas State (number 9) and Florida State (number 9 too) made an impressive case for lower seeds heading into the Sweet Sixteen.
#9 Florida State 75 #1 Xavier 70: The Seminoles reach the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2011, leaning on the terrific play from their bench to send home another #1 seed. Braian Angola led the scoring with 15 points.
#7 Nevada 75 #2 Cincinnati 73: The Wolf Pack pull off a massive come back to stun the Bearcats, making it to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2004, hoping to make it further this time, something that’s never been done in program history. Cody Martin was close to unstoppable, finishing with 25 points.
#13 Marshall 71 #5 West Virginia 94: No surprises in the WV rivalry game, as the Mountaineers forced 18 turnovers and held Marshall to 39% shooting. Jevon Carter led WVU with 28 points.
#5 Clemson 84 #4 Auburn 53: The Tiger clash ended poorly for the higher seed and SEC team, shooting just 25.8% from the field while being unable to control Gabe DeVoe with 22 points in a fine tournament for him so far. This is the first Sweet Sixteen for Clemson since 1997.
#16 UMBC 43 #9 Kansas State 50: An ugly game put an end to the Cinderella story of UMBC, turning the ball over 17 times and failing to recreate their 3-point shooting performance from the first game. Barry Brown led the Wildcats with 18 points.
#11 Syracuse 55 #3 Michigan State 53: Michigan State lost despite 29 offensive rebounds, but shooting poorly from the line and losing the turnover battle cost them the game, as Tom Izzo’s poor record against the Williams-Coach K-Boheim trio continues. Tyus Battle led the Orange with 17 points.
#7 Texas A&M 86 #2 North Carolina 65: A&M reach the Sweet 16 for the second time in 3 years with an impressive performance against the Tar Heels, holding the stepping down national champions to 33.3% from the field and just 19.4% from beyond the arc. T.J. Starks led the Aggies with 21 points.
#10 Butler 73 #2 Purdue 76: The only number 2 seed that didn’t get bounced, Purdue shot 45.8% from three and go 20 points from Vincent Edwards, making it back-to-back sweet sixteen appearances.