NCAA Men’s Tournament 2021: Sweet 16 Winners and Losers Saturday | Bleach report


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    Jeff Roberson / Associated Press

    After a wild opening weekend of the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, play resumed on Saturday with Sweet 16 action.

    The 12th-seeded Oregon State Beavers continued their Cinderella streak with a 65-58 victory over No. 8 Loyola-Chicago in a Midwest region that has presented one surprise after another.

    Game two of the day saw No. 1 seed Baylor survive his toughest test of the tournament with a 62-51 victory over fifth-seeded Villanova.

    In Game 3, Cinderella’s unlikely streak of No. 15 seed Oral Roberts came to an end in a thrilling 72-70 loss to No. 3 seed Arkansas.

    Let’s take a quick look at the biggest winners and losers of the day.

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    Darron Cummings / Associated Press

    Not many teams can shoot 17.4 percent from the floor in the first half and still have a chance to win.

    Despite those early struggles, the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers were at the center of things late in the second half, and a Tate Hall layup with 6:56 remaining cut the deficit to 45-39.

    The Ramblers defense leapt forward from there, keeping the Beavers scoreless for the next two and a half minutes, but their own offense was also silenced during that stretch as precious seconds ticked by.

    An alley-oop to Aher Uguak made it a three-point game with 3:30 remaining, but the lead rose again to seven points in less than a minute. A Keith Clemons 3-pointer with 2:24 remaining again put the Ramblers on the cusp of coming back with the lead trimmed to four points, but they just couldn’t get over the hump.

    When a three-point gaze from Braden Norris missed the mark with 49 seconds left in a 56-51 game, it was clear that the Ramblers were officially out of chances.

    Their loss turned out to be a 5-of-23 performance from beyond the arc against the Oregon state area. Give the Beavers credit for making it an awkward game from start to finish, but the Ramblers had a chance to get back in the game.

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    Darron Cummings / Associated Press

    An unexpected offensive explosion helped propel Oregon State to a surprise Pac-12 tournament win and a first-round win over No. 5 seed Tennessee.

    The defense has extended the Beavers’ tournament run.

    They capped Oklahoma State to just 27.7 percent shooting in an upset 80-70 victory, mixing and matching defensive looks to keep the Cowboys from accommodating on offense.

    It was the 2-3 zone that shone against Loyola-Chicago, helping the Beavers land their ticket to Elite Eight for the first time in 39 years.

    The Ramblers were limited to shooting 4-of-23 in the first half, and while they did improve somewhat in the second half, they still finished only 33.3 percent from the floor and 21.7 percent from beyond the arc. The Beavers also managed to throw 34 rebounds despite relying heavily on zone focus.

    At the very least, the victory showed that Oregon State doesn’t necessarily need to catch fire from downtown to continue its unlikely March run, as a disciplined defensive squad can be just as disruptive.

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    Mike Conroy / Associated Press

    Protect the basketball and pour triples.

    That’s what Villanova Wildcats teams led by Jay Wright have done for years, and this season’s team was no different with just 8.8 turnovers per game and 9.4 triples per game at 35.8 percent.

    Both strengths were nullified on Saturday.

    They set a season record with 16 turnovers, and the Baylor Bears turned those gifts into 22 points on the other end of the court.

    When they did manage to shoot, they buried just three of 17 attempts from beyond the arc, and a 16-point game by Jermaine Samuels and a 15-point showing by Justin Moore weren’t enough to overcome their lack of success with depth. ball.

    Many had the Wildcats in the first round after senior point guard Collin Gillespie missed out on the year with a torn MCL, making a point of the limit for Villanova to reach the Sweet 16. Baylor’s defense was too much for a team without their best ball handler.

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    AJ Mast / Associated Press

    The Baylor Bears are the most accurate 3-point shooting team in the nation.

    If you were to see them play for the first time, you might find it hard to believe, but they were shooting 41.5 percent from beyond the arc coming into play against Villanova. They connected in just three of 19 from a distance on Saturday.

    Why did we mention this in the “winner” section of the article?

    The Bears had previously shot below 30 percent from deep just three times this season. They were 1-2 in those games, with losses to Kansas and Oklahoma State and a scare against the 12 big mats at Iowa State.

    Finding a way to win when the offending bread and butter got away was an important statement for a team with title aspirations.

    Davion Mitchell was the only double-figure starter with 14 points, and Adam Flagler provided a spark with 16 points and a pair of 3-pointers off the bench, but it was defense that led the Bears to the day.

    They didn’t do their best and still avoided disaster.

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    Max abmas

    Max abmasRobert Franklin / Associated Press

    The tournament’s most compelling Cinderella story finally came to an end when a three-point attempt at the buzzer from Oral Roberts star Max Abmas narrowly missed its mark.

    The Golden Eagles gave No. 3 seed Arkansas everything they could handle in a 72-70 thriller, with postseason stars Max Abmas (25 points) and Kevin Obanor (12 points, 11 rebounds) again impressing.

    A defense that seemed like the team’s greatest weakness limited the Razorbacks to 37.7 percent shooting and 1-for-9 from beyond the arc, but the lack of effectiveness on the defensive backboards proved to be their downfall.

    Arkansas grabbed 18 offensive rebounds, and all those second chances got them through a mediocre shooting night.

    So what’s next for Oral Roberts?

    The starting lineup on Saturday was three sophomores (including Abmas) and two juniors (including Obanor), so they could possibly return most of their rotation as long as there are no early NBA transfers or aspirations.

    Cinderella’s career is over, but they are expected to be big favorites in the Summit League next season.

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    Davonte davis

    Davonte davisDarron Cummings / Associated Press

    Oral Roberts forward Francis Lacis split a pair of free throws with 32 seconds left to tie the game at 70-70, giving Arkansas a chance to play the last shot.

    Arkansas coach Eric Musselman chose not to call for a timeout, and commissioned Jalen Tate to prepare the final look.

    He dribbled for the clock, then drove down the lane and found Davonte Davis on the right wing. Davis dribbled around the closing defender and buried a short jump with four seconds remaining to put the Razorbacks on the high for good.

    Davis, a 4-star pick who was the No. 119 prospect in the 2020 drafting class, worked his way up to the starting lineup mid-season and became a reliable scorer for the Razorbacks.

    He had 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting on Saturday, and it speaks volumes that he was given that final attempt at advantage.

    With seniors Justin Smith and Jalen Tate ready to move on and freshman star Moses Moody landed a ticket for a spot in the draft lottery, Davis will take on a prominent role next season. This decisive blow could be the start of a great career in Arkansas.

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    Michael Conroy / Associated Press

    Syracuse Orange was arguably the hottest offensive team in the nation to enter the Sweet 16.

    They hung a season-high 78 points on an excellent defense from San Diego state in the first round, then posted a 75-72 victory over West Virginia to reach the Sweet 16 as the No. 11 seed.

    Buddy Boeheim scored 55 points in those two games, and he’s averaged 26.0 points per game on 54.0 percent shooting overall and 48.5 percent from beyond the arc in six games since the schedule switched to March coming into play on Saturday.

    However, the Houston Cougars defense was the top group in their quest for a spot in the Elite Eight.

    The Orange were limited to 46 points, the season low, on 14 of 50 shots (28.0 percent) from the floor and 5 of 23 (21.7 percent) from beyond the arc.

    Boeheim tied for the team record with 12 points, but did so with 3 of 13 from the field and 1 of 9 from long range in 36 minutes of action.

    It was simply a commanding performance by one of the nation’s elite defenses, extinguishing what had been a red-hot offensive squad.

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    AJ Mast / Associated Press

    Three free throws by Syracuse star Buddy Boeheim tied the game at 20-20 with 4:56 remaining in the first half in what was shaping up to be a low-scoring two-leg battle.

    A Quentin Grimes 3-pointer with 2:50 left sparked a flurry of offensive activity for Houston, and by the halftime bell the Cougars had started a 10-0 run to take a 30-20 lead in the break. .

    The two teams didn’t know it at the time, but the game was over.

    A Kadary Richmond 3-pointer with 12:42 left in the second half cut Houston’s lead to four points, but that’s as close as things could get.

    The lead had again increased to double figures at the 6:51 mark and the Cougars claimed victory behind another stellar defensive game and a well-balanced offensive attack that saw 15 assists on 23 shots on the night.

    A showdown with No. 12 seed Oregon State awaits at Elite Eight, and after they conquered the Loyola-Chicago defense in early game Saturday, they can’t be taken lightly.



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