Building momentum is extremely important in the NCAA tournament, and a few teams took this task seriously on Friday.
Some schools were able to impress by recording an incredible upset. For others this was not possible, as they were the favorites, but that did not stop them from delivering a dominant performance.
Regardless of seeding, the teams that played with confidence and avoided errors were the ones that stood out among the madness.
Here are the most impressive teams from Friday’s action to finish up the round of 64.
No. 2 Ohio State 95, No. 15 Iona 70
The Buckeyes were fully expected to blow out Iona, but their impressive offensive performance is what turned heads.
The team’s defense has little left to prove, and point guard Aaron Craft was up to his usual tricks, finishing this game with six steals. But there have been concerns all season about Ohio State’s inability to score consistently.
Deshaun Thomas has been the only player who has impressed on the offensive end throughout this year. He delivered another quality performance by making eight of his 12 field goals for 24 points. But Sam Thompson also contributed to the scoring effort with 20 points to go with his 10 rebounds.
The Buckeyes had a second scorer in this game, and any time this happens, Thad Matta’s team can compete with anyone in this competition.
No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast 78, No. 2 Georgetown 68
How far will Florida Gulf Coast go in the tournament?
This was the most shocking upset of the tournament thus far, but it did not appear to be a case of missed opportunities for Georgetown. Florida Golf Coast simply outplayed the Hoyas.
The athletes on this Eagles roster are incredibly explosive, and it was truly shocking to watch a No. 15 seed dunk all over a No. 2 seed again and again.
Sherwood Brown and Bernard Thompson proved to be fantastic scorers, while Brett Comer drove Georgetown crazy with his creative passing. This team absolutely has a chance to beat San Diego State and advance to the Sweet 16.
This is one Cinderella that is looking very good after the round of 64.
No. 3 Florida 79, No. 14 Northwestern State 47
With No. 1 Kansas looking unimpressive in the first half against No. 16 Western Kentucky and No. 2 Georgetown getting bounced from the tournament, Florida had a chance to establish itself as the favorite to come out of the South region.
If the Gators play defense like they did in the second half of their game against Northwestern State, they will be in the Final Four. Florida is ranked No. 2 in KenPom.com’s defensive efficiency ratings, and it proved why on Friday.
Even though the Demons were averaging 81 points per game before the tournament, the Gators clamped down and held them to just 15 points in the second half. Northwestern State shot 36 percent from the floor and just 18.8 percent from three-point range.
Florida is extremely efficient on both ends of the floor and is off to a hot start at the tournament.
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