The trend of lower seeds winning didn’t stop on the third day of the NCAA Tournament, but the round of 32 was less about shock. Number one seeds kept on moving with Kansas, North Carolina and Virginia all winning by double digits. Indiana upset Kentucky with some excellent defense, Duke beat Yale while Gonzaga crushed Utah, although the 11 over 3 seed victory wasn’t as surprising as it might have been with a different team.
#9 UConn 61 #1 Kansas 73: The Jayhawks destroyed UConn on the boards (44-24) and held them to just 33.9% from the field on their way to the Sweet 16, with Wayne Selden Jr. scoring 22 points, helped out by Perry Ellis with 21. Sterling Gibbs scored 20 points.
#9 Providence 66 #1 North Carolina 85: The game was tied until 15:35 left in the second half, but North Carolina simply had too much for Providence to handle, especially with foul trouble hurting them as the game went on. Brice Johnson had himself another double double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while both Justin Jackson and Joel Berry added 15. Joel James had fun too.
#9 Butler 69 #1 Virginia 77: Butler managed to hang in there with the Cavaliers until about 8 minutes to go in the game. Malcolm Brogdon got hot and the whole Virginia team with him on their way to the Sweet Sixteen. Brogdon scored 22 points and Anthony Gill finished with 19. Virginia had just two three pointers the entire game (20% from beyond the arc).
#11 Wichita State 57 #3 Miami 65: Miami started the game with a 27-6 run. Easy morning game, right? Nope. The Shockers came back and even grabbed a 43-42 lead in the second half, but Angel Rodriguez took over, including a big three pointer with less than 90 seconds to go to finally pull away, in a game that had a combined 33 turnovers, with the Hurricanes making the most of those. Rodriguez led Miami with 28 points.
#5 Indiana 73 #4 Kentucky 67: Fantastic defense and patient offense leads Indiana into the Sweet Sixteen at the expense of Kentucky and John Calipari, who before the tournament complained that the 4 seed is too low for his team, and saying it’s not fair to the teams on their side of the bracket. Tyler Ulis scored 27 points, Jamal Murray helped out with 16, but Thomas Bryant with 19 points and Yogi Ferrell with 18 led a much more balanced and cool headed Hoosiers team. It sent some Kentucky band members into tears.
#11 Gonzaga 82 #3 Utah 59: Not just an upset but a dismantling of yet another Pac-12 team, as Gonzaga move on to the Sweet Sixteen against a double-digit seed (Syracuse or Middle Tennessee). They didn’t turn the ball over, killed the Utes on the boards and scored very easy points. Eric McClellan had 22 points, Domantas Sabonis had himself another double double (19 points, 10 rebounds) and Kyle Wiltjer finished with 17. The two teams combined had just 14 free throws.
#12 Yale 64 #4 Duke 71: The cinderella run ended for the Bulldogs despite 22 points from Brandon Sherrod. Grayson Allen couldn’t stop tripping players, but he also had a fantastic shooting night with 29 points while Brandon Ingram, maybe the favorite to get picked #1 overall in the draft, finished with 25.
#12 Arkansas-Little Rock 61 #5 Iowa State 78: The magic of the upset against Purdue faded. What’s left is a team that’s a bit overmatched against Georges Niang with 28 points and a Cyclones team that shot 52.4% from beyond the arc. Arkansas-Little Rock had just one transition possession all game long.