The first day in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32 was filled with blowouts, but also some nail-biting drama, mostly coming in the form of clutch shots – One that propelled Michigan over Houston, and the other sending Cinderella Loyola-Chicago over Tennessee into the Sweet Sixteen.
#9 Alabama 58 #1 Villanova 81: A dominant performance by the Wildcats, leaning on 23 points by Mikal Bridges and a stunning 17 off the bench by Donte DiVincenzo to reach the Sweet 16.
#7 Rhode Island 62 #2 Duke 87: The Blue Devils looked better and dominant from start to finish. Marvin Bagley finished with 22 points, Gary Trent added 18 and the entire starting lineup finished in double figures.
#13 Buffalo 75 #5 Kentucky 95: Kentucky’s defense held Buffalo to just 22% from three and 38.8% from the field, all the while getting big games from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (27 points) and Hamidou Diallo (22 points).
#6 Houston 63 #3 Michigan 64: Jordan Poole hit a buzzer-beating three to send Michigan into the Sweet Sixteen and Houston to wipe their tears. An ugly game with poor shooting which worked well for the Cougars, until the final possession that is.
#5 Ohio State 84 #4 Gonzaga 90: One of the best games in the tournament so far, with the Zags making the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive year. Zach Norvell came up big again, this time with 28 points, supported by Rai Hachimura off the bench, scoring 25.
#6 Florida 66 #3 Texas Tech 69: The Red Raiders are living up to their terrific regular season by making the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2005. Keenan Evans was once again leading the charge, finishing with 22 points while Zhaire Smith added 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists.
#11 Loyola-Chicago 63 #3 Tennessee 62: The magic of the Ramblers continues, this time getting a game-winning jumper from Clayton Custer to top the Vols, and send the Missouri Valley champions to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1985.
#8 Seton Hall 79 #1 Kansas 83: The Pirates pushed and shoved, but Kansas didn’t topple in the end. Malik Newman stepped up to score 28 points while others on the Kansas team seemed a bit shell-shocked at times. This is Kansas’ third consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearance.