Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament tipped off yesterday afternoon, and the eight Saturday games were packed full of action.
(5) San Diego State was the first to punch their ticket to the Sweet 16 after routing (13) Furman following their unlikely upset over (4) Virginia in the opening round. The second game of the afternoon featured (4) Tennessee physically dominating (5) Duke en route to a rather surprising 65-52 victory on the back of Olivier Nkamhoua's game high 27 points. The Volunteers have suddenly become legitimate contenders for a trip to the Final Four in Houston after most people wrote them off following the season-ending injury to PG Zakai Zeigler a few weeks ago.
The real chaos began with the first two games of the evening, led by (8) Arkansas knocking off (1) Kansas, the second one-seed to be eliminated before the Sweet 16. The Razorbacks ended Kansas' hopes to repeat as national champions for the first time since Florida did it in 2006 and 2007.
Immediately after that game, (15) Princeton demolished the red hot (7) Missouri Tigers behind 22 points from Ryan Langborg. In a battle of the Tigers, Princeton becomes the second 15-seed in back-to-back tournaments to claim a spot the Sweet 16.
The remaining four games finished as expected with the higher seed advancing in each of them, though (1) Houston had to erase a 10-point deficit at the half to (9) Auburn to eventually win by a whopping 17. 2-seeds Texas and UCLA both struggled a bit with their Big Ten opponents, Penn State and Northwestern, but both teams secured five-point victories to survive and advance. (1) Alabama had little trouble with (8) Maryland in their 22-point win.
The result with the biggest impact on our Tournament Challenge was definitely Kansas' loss to Arkansas. Three brackets had Kansas in the Final Four, while one bracket, aptly named "Disappointing," picked Kansas to be their champion. We have only one bracket remaining with all four Final Four teams still in place, though that number is sure to dwindle as we get further into the madness.
Here's our leaderboard after half of the games have been played in the Round of 32:
1. Trizzy Tre (350 points)
3. Back2Back (320 points)
4. winning bracket (300 points)
5. Swatson (290 points)
T6. Drew (280 points)
T6. Micah's Bracket (280 points)
The leaderboard will be updated tomorrow following the conclusion of all second round games.
Written by Nick Swatson