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3 ,2,1…BUSTED. At the start of this year’s first round, there were over 14 million brackets filled out via ESPN. That quickly changed after the round because of the unprecedented amount of upsets, so much so, that like never before, by the time Round 2 began all brackets were officially busted.

Day 1

8 Loyola Chicago 71
1 Illinois 58

9 Wisconsin 63
1 Baylor 76

11 Syracuse 75
3 West Virginia 72

6 Texas Tech 66
3 Arkansas 68

10 Rutgers 60
2 Houston 63

15 Oral Roberts 81
7 Florida 78

13 North Texas 61
5 Villanova 84

12 Oregon State 80
4 Oklahoma State 70

Key Matchups:

8 Loyola Chicago vs 1 Illinois

This matchup kicked off Round 2 of the tournament, and boy did it set the tone for the games to come throughout the day! Loyola Chicago pulled off the major upset over Illinois, who for some had Illinois making it all the way to the Final Four. Loyola Senior Center Cameron Krutwig led the surge by recording a double-double, scoring 19 points and 12 rebounds. Aside from this dominant performance, the rest of the Loyola Ramblers did their part by going 51% from field goal range and shooting 40% from the 3-point stripe. Sister Jean and the Loyola Ramblers are onto the Sweet 16!

11 Syracuse vs 3 West Virginia

Syracuse pulls off, yet again, another upset win over West Virginia in the 2nd Round. They were the first double digit ranked team to advance to the Sweet 16. The Orange were led to victory by another strong performance by Buddy Boeheim, going 46.2% from 3-point range and scoring 25 points. The game came down to West Virginia’s last possession in the final seconds, and it was Syracuse’s elite defense that caused a costly turnover and sealed the victory.

15 Oral Roberts vs 7 Florida

The Cinderella story that is Oral Roberts continues! Yet again, they pull off another MAJOR upset in the 2nd Round as the highest seed defeating Florida and advancing to the Sweet 16. Oral Roberts Foward Kevin Obanor put the team on his back by recording a double-double, leading them with 28 points and 11 rebounds. This was another game that came down to the final possession. In the end, it was Oral Roberts’s defense causing Florida to commit 20 turnovers in the game that made the difference.

12 Oregon State vs 4 Oklahoma State

What better way to wrap up Day 1 of the Second Round with yet ANOTHER upset that was Oregon State defeating Oklahoma State. Oregon State pulled off this win with huge contributions from their two big Seniors. Ethan Thompson had a game high 26 points going 45% from field goal range. Roman Silva crashed the boards with another big rebounding game, recording a game high 12 rebounds. It was the performance of these two elite Seniors, as well as Oregon State going 41.2% from field goal range and nearly doubling the rebounds that of Oklahoma State, that punched their ticket into the Sweet 16. The story continues.

Day 2

7 Oregon 95
2 Iowa 80

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8 Oklahoma 71
1 Gonzaga 87

14 Abilene Christian 47
11 UCLA 67

13 Ohio 58
5 Creighton 72

8 LSU 78
1 Michigan 86

5 Colorado 53
4 Florida State 71

10 Maryland 77
2 Alabama 96

6 USC 85
3 Kansas 51

Key Matchups:

7 Oregon vs 2 Iowa

Rusty…I think not! Oregon was able to advance to the 2nd round via a “no contest” due to a positive COVID test on the opposing team. But by no means did it mean that they got a free pass, as they showed why they deserved to be a part of the tournament playing against Iowa. They scored the second-highest offensive points total on the day with 95 points. This dominating performance was led by Oregon Senior Guard Chris Duarte with 23 points, shooting an efficient 75% from field goal range, and 7 assists. The score didn’t indicate it, but this was a close game as both teams had the same amount of rebounds and were effective with keeping turnovers to a minimum. The difference-maker was Oregon’s offensive efficiency, going 55.9% from field goal range and 44% from the 3-point stripe that put them over the top and helped punch their ticket into the Sweet 16.

8 Oklahoma vs 1 Gonzaga

Undefeated Gonzaga keeps on rolling! Coming out the gates in the first half, Oklahoma gave Gonzaga a run for their money, getting off to an early 12-4 lead. Gonzaga trailing isn’t something they’re normally used to with the offensive juggernaut their team possesses. And it didn’t take long for the Zaggies to get it going. Sophomore forward Drew Timme nearly recorded a triple double, leading the team in all 3 offensive categories posting 30 points, shooting an amazing 85.7% from field goal range, 13 rebounds and 4 assists. Gonzaga was able to come out ahead in the second half by shooting 36.4% from 3-point range and outrebounded Oklahoma by collecting 34 rebounds. Another dominant performance by Gonzaga sees them rolling onto the Sweet 16.

8 LSU vs 1 Michigan

Michigan definitely got their fair share of tough competition in the 2nd Round. Michigan rolled past Texas Southern in the 1st Round but LSU wasn’t going down without a fight! LSU got off to a fast start going up 15-7. Michigan doesn’t tend to trail very often, so when they do, the sense of urgency shifts and it’s all hands on deck. Michigan was led by Senior Guard Eli Brooks, scoring 21 points on 63.6% shooting from field goal range along with 7 assists. Freshman Center Hunter Dickinson also made a huge impact contributing a double-double scoring 12 points and 11 rebounds. In the tale of 2 halves, Michigan turned up the heat in the 2nd half shooting 53.8% from field goal range and 40% from the 3-point stripe to help seal the victory!

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