13) Oral Roberts 81, Florida 78:
Long time ago, on Oral Roberts’ home court, this was stamped on each baseline:
“Expect a miracle”
Not sure if it’s there anymore; they’re not on TV much.
Well, a 15-seed making the Sweet 16 is pretty darn close to a miracle.
— Florida Gulf Coast (2013) was only previous #15-seed to make Sweet 16.
— ORU shot 59.3% inside arc; their two stars never came out of the game.
— Golden Eagles prepped for this; they played 3rd-hardest non-league schedule in country.
Ironically, when Florida Gulf Coast finally lost in 2013, they lost to Florida in the regional semifinals. Today, the Gators were the victims.
12) Loyola, Chi 71, Illinois 58:
— Loyola’s big man Krutwig had 19 points, 12 boards, 5 assists.
— Loyola was +6 in turnovers (17-11); they got most of the loose balls.
— Not only did the #1-seed lose, they never led in this game.
11) Loyola is a #8-seed in the Sweet 16. Since 1990, here is how 8-9 seeds have done in the Sweet 16:
— 10-8 SU in regional semifinal
— 10-7-1 ATS in those games; 1-2 ATS when favored, 9-5-1 otherwise.
— Loyola plays in O State in the regional semi-final this coming weekend.
10) This is the first NCAA Tournament ever to have at least four teams seeded #13 or lower make it into the second round.
9) Arkansas 68, Texas Tech 66:
— Hogs held Tech to 29.3% inside arc; they denied MacClung the ball a lot- he only took six shots.
— Arkansas basically played six guys; a 7th guy played only 3:00.
— Arkansas plays #15-seed Oral Roberts in their next game.
8) Baylor 76, Wisconsin 63:
— Baylor got seven games in after a 21-day COVID pause, before NCAA tourney.
— Bears turned ball over only four times, scored 1.19 ppp.
— Wisconsin started four seniors; if all those guys came back next year, and they can if they want, Badgers would have older starters than some NBA teams.
7) Houston 63, Rutgers 60:
— Cougars outscored Rutgers 13-2 over the final 4:33.
— Houston had 43-29 rebounding edge, with 16 offensive boards.
— This was first NCAA Tournament for Rutgers since 1991, so an excellent season for them.
6) Syracuse 75, West Virginia 72:
— Syracuse made 14-31 on the arc, shot 61.9% inside arc.
— Orangemen led 30-16 early; West Virginia led 53-52 with 9:15 left.
— Mountaineers ended season losing four of their last six games.
5) Villanova 84, North Texas 61:
— North Texas pulled big upset Friday, didn’t have much left here.
— Wildcats shot 15-30 on the arc, scored 1.42 ppp.
— Villanova had lost in this round four of last six years, so had to be a relief to get to the Sweet 16, especially with their point guard out for the year.
4) Shaka Smart’s NCAA Tournament resume:
2011— Won five tournament games, lost national semi-final (11-seed).
2012— Won one, lost one (12-seed).
2013— Won one, lost one (5-seed).
2014— Lost in 1st round (5-seed)
2015— Lost in 1st round (7-seed)
2016— Lost in 1st round (6-seed)
2018— Lost in 1st round (10-seed)
2020—Lost in 1st round (3-seed)
3) Oregon State 80, Oklahoma State 70:
— Oregon State only got in because they won Pac-12 tourney; they’re red-hot now.
— Lot of whistles: Beavers were 32-35 on foul line, Oklahoma State 26-38.
— Loyola-Oregon State is the rare 8-12 seed game next weekend.
2) Since 1997, Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton is 14-9 SU in NCAA tournament games.; underdog was 18-5 ATS in those games.
He was 3-10 ATS when favored, 8-2 when the underdog.
1) Think the Houston Texans regret not trading Deshaun Watson already? They could’ve gotten a huge haul for him last month, but now Watson seems to be facing an off-field legal battle, which at least will be a big distraction. Do other teams still want to trade for him?