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B/R Expert NCAA Bracket Picks 2014: Round of 32 Predictions and Updated Results

Bleacher Report College Basketball StaffFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2014

B/R Expert NCAA Bracket Picks 2014: Round of 32 Predictions and Updated Results

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Lofty hopes for perfect brackets were completely obliterated in the second round, and the upsets didn't stop during an action-packed third round.

    Dayton kept its Cinderella run alive with a shocking victory over Syracuse, then Stanford knocked off Kansas. While the Jayhawks' talented freshmen are headed back to Lawrence, Kentucky's fantastic first-years delivered another stunner by making Wichita State the only No. 1 seed not to reach the Sweet 16. 

    Our experts gave their predictions, and now that a wild round of 32 is in the books, it's time to look at the results to see who's still dancing and who's going home.

     

    Unless otherwise noted, all statistics are courtesy of ESPN.com or KenPom.com (subscription required).

     

     

     

Stanford 60, Kansas 57

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Despite the last-gasp efforts of freshman Conner Frankamp, Kansas fell short against a Stanford team that took advantage of its strength in the paint.

    Stanford outrebounded Kansas, 37-35, and forced Tarik Black to foul out of the game with just over five minutes left.

    The trio of Josh Huestis, Stefan Nastic and Dwight Powell dominated Black and Perry Ellis down low as they combined for 31 points and 19 rebounds.

    Frankamp came off the bench to deliver a buzzer-beating shot at the end of the first half before he hit two triples to keep the Jayhawks in the game until the final second.

    The Jayhawks failed to get any production from star freshman Andrew Wiggins, who scored just four points and made only one field goal.

     

    Top Performers

    Powell scored a team-high 15 points for the Cardinal, and he hit five of his six foul shots. Chasson Randle contributed 13, while Black led all players with 18 in the loss. 

     

    X-Factor

    Huestis only scored six points, but he did snag eight rebounds and make two blocks as well as dish out two assists.

     

    Next Round

    Stanford will now take on No. 11 Dayton in Memphis on Thursday in the unlikeliest of Sweet 16 games.

     

    Update by Joe Tansey. 

Kentucky 78, Wichita State 76

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The best game of the college basketball season came down to the final shot.

    Down by two with 3.2 seconds left, Fred VanVleet's three-point shot hit the right part of the rim and ended Wichita State's undefeated season. 

    The Shockers and Kentucky traded punches during every second of the 40-minute game, with big shot after big shot being made by the stars on either side of the court. 

    The Wildcats received plenty of strong performances from their freshmen. The Harrison twins, Aaron and Andrew, combined for 39 points, while Julius Randle recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

    Cleanthony Early willed Wichita State through the second half on his way to a game-high 31 points, but in the end, it was not enough. 

     

    Top Performers

    Early's 31 points led all scorers. He shot 12-of-17 from the field and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Ron Baker added 20 for the Shockers, while Andrew Harrison hit the 20-point mark for Kentucky.

     

    X-Factor

    It is hard to pick just one player here, but Randle is the choice thanks to his all-around showing and tremendous hustle. He had six assists and made five of his six foul shots. 

     

    Next Round

    Kentucky will now face its biggest rival, Louisville, in the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis on Friday night.

     

    Update by Joe Tansey. 

Iowa State 85, North Carolina 83

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    DeAndre Kane was certainly able to provide down the stretch for Iowa State as he made two key layups to propel the Cyclones into the Sweet 16.

    After James Michael McAdoo tied the game at 83-83, Kane drove into the lane and made a bucket with 1.6 seconds left. 

    Just before that, Kane benefited from a Marcus Paige turnover to hand the Cyclones a two-point lead with 23.1 seconds remaining. 

    North Carolina had a chance to send the game to overtime after the second Kane layup, but the Tar Heels managed the clock poorly and never got a shot off or called a timeout in time. 

    The win made the Cyclones the first Big 12 team to clinch a berth in the Sweet 16.

     

    Top Performers

    Kane delivered a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field. Marcus Paige was one of five Tar Heels in double figures as he scored a team-high 19.

     

    X-Factor

    Naz Long scored all of his points for the Cyclones from beyond the arc. He shot 4-of-8 from three-point range while recording an assist, rebound and a steal. 

     

    Next Round

    Iowa State will make the trip east to Madison Square Garden to play UConn in the Sweet 16 on Friday night. 

     

    Update by Joe Tansey

Tennessee 83, Mercer 63

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Cinderella just got sent home. No. 14-seeded Mercer, which pulled off the tournament's biggest upset so far, lost to No. 11 Tennessee 83-63 in a Midwest Region third-round game.

    The Bears were coming off a 78-71 shocker over Duke on Friday in the round of 64, but they ran into a much more physical Volunteers team.

     

    Top Performers

    Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes' physical presence was too much for Mercer. The 6'8", 260-pounder scored 17 points and had 18 rebounds. Guard Josh Robinson led the Volunteers with a game-high 26 points.

     

    X-Factor

    Mercer's rebounding, or lack thereof. The Bears were outrebounded 41-19, and the disparity was even more pronounced in a first half, when they managed just four rebounds (just one from their starting five) as Tennessee rolled to a 42-27 lead.

     

    Next Round

    Tennessee advances to the Sweet 16 and will play No. 2-seeded Michigan.

      

    Update by Gideon Rubin

UCLA 77, Stephen F. Austin 60

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The NCAA's longest winning streak you've never heard of just ended. No. 4-seeded UCLA defeated No. 12 Stephen F. Austin 77-60 in a South Region third-round game that snapped the Lumberjacks' run of 29 straight victories. The Bruins are back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008.

     

    Top Performers

    Jordan Adams, Norman Powell and Kyle Anderson. UCLA's backcourt threesome combined for 50 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists. More importantly, they took care of the ball exceptionally well, as UCLA committed just four turnovers, including going more than 30 minutes without giving away a possession.

     

    X-Factor

    Tony Parker. No, not that Tony Parker. UCLA's backup forward, who happens to have the same name, made a big impact with eight points, three rebounds and two assists.

     

    Next Round

    UCLA advances to the Sweet 16 and will play No. 1-seeded Florida.

      

    Update by Gideon Rubin 

Baylor 85, Creighton 55

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Creighton's first Sweet 16 appearance in school history will have to wait at least one more year.

    No. 6-seeded Baylor upset the No. 3 Bluejays, 85-55, in a West-region game that eliminated Creighton from the Round of the 32 for a third straight year.

    Baylor shot 63.8 percent from the field (30-of-47) and a stunning 61.1 percent (11-of-18) from beyond the arc.

     

    Top Performers

    Baylor guard Kenny Chery scored 14 points and had four rebounds and three assists. He hit two three-pointers during a 19-2 run in the first half that sent the Bears into intermission with a commanding 40-20 lead.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve sophmore forward Rico Gathers made a big impact for Baylor. The 6'8", 270-pounder scored six points and snagged nine rebounds.

     

    Next Round

    Baylor advances to the Sweet 16 and will play No. 2-seeded Wisconsin.

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

     

Virginia 78, Memphis 60

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    Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

    Virginia is in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1995. The top-seeded Cavaliers defeated Memphis, 78-60, in a East Region round-of-32 matchup. Memphis couldn't get much going against a Cavaliers defense that averages the nation's fewest points allowed (55.5). Virginia out-rebounded Memphis 40-28, and the Tigers didn't help themselves by only making 9-of-21 free throw attempts (42.9 percent).

     

    Top Performers

    Virginia guard Joe Harris scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds, while forward Mike Tobey added 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks.

     

    X-Factor

    Virginia reserve forward Anthony Gill scored 13 points and had eight rebounds and two blocks. His tip-in late in the first half capped a 16-2 run that sent the Cavaliers into the intermission with a 35-20 lead.

     

    Next Round

    Virginia advances to the Sweet 16 and will play No. 4-seeded Michigan State.

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

     

Arizona 84, Gonzaga 61

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Arizona's lackluster performance in its round-of-64 victory over Weber State on Friday left many Wildcats fans nervous. They can relax after the West Region's top-seeded team's easy 84-61 victory over a No. 8 Gonzaga team with a history of tournament upsets. Arizona's defensearguably the nation's toughestforced 21 turnovers and had 15 steals and seven blocks.

     

    Top Performers

    Forward Aaron Gordon led the Wildcats with 18 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals. Guard Nick Johnson added 17 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks.

     

    X-Factor

    In a game in which Gonzaga had enough to worry about with Arizona's starting five, reserve forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson broke the Bulldogs' back. The 6'7" freshman scored 18 points and had five rebounds, five assists and four blocks.

     

    Next Round

    Arizona advances to the Sweet 16 and will play No. 4-seeded San Diego State.

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

     

Florida 61, Pittsburgh 45

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    No. 1 Florida asserted its dominance in the second half of its game against No. 9 Pittsburgh. 

    The Gators were involved in a rock fight for most of the first half with the stingy Panthers, but they pulled away in the second half to become the first team to advance to the Sweet 16. 

    Scottie Wilbekin helped drive the Gators with a game-high 21 points as he shot 9-of-15 and took over in the second half when his team needed someone to step up. 

    Florida also dominated on the glass with 14 of its 38 rebounds coming on the offensive end.

    Pittsburgh, who scored 46 points in the first half against Colorado on Thursday, failed to reach that total in 40 minutes against the Gators. 

     

    Top Performers

    Wilbekin raised his play in the second half as he was one of just three players in the entire game to score in double figures. Talib Zanna also had 10 for the Panthers. 

     

    X-Factor

    Patric Young's play on the court rarely goes unnoticed, and with two big slams early in the second half, he ignited the pro-Florida crowd and his teammates. 

     

    Next Round 

    The Gators will make the trip to Memphis for the South Region semifinals where they will play No. 4-seeded UCLA.

     

    Update by Joe Tansey. 

Louisville 66, Saint Louis 51

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Make no mistakes about it, No. 4 Louisville's win over No. 5 Saint Louis was not pretty. 

    The two teams combined for 41 points in the first half, and although the points showed up more in the second half, the play on the court was still ugly for both teams. 

    Saint Louis never found its rhythm because big man Rob Loe was stuck in foul trouble for most of the game. Loe picked up three fouls in the first 10 minutes and only put home 10 points for the Billikens. 

    Louisville's top scorer, Luke Hancock, was also mired in foul trouble, but he took advantage of his time on the court as he made four threes on his way to 21 points. 

    The two teams committed a combined 37 turnovers and both shot near 40 percent from the field in the Midwest Region game.

     

    Top Performers:

    Hancock carried the momentum from his strong finish against Manhattan into the third-round game as he was a spark in the Louisville offense with 21 points, three steals and three assists. Dwayne Evans recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Billikens. 

     

    X-Factor: 

    Russ Smith may not have scored much on Saturday, but he brought all of his intangibles to the party. Smith was 5-of-6 from the line and had seven assists. 

     

    Next Round: 

    The Cardinals' Sweet 16 game will be a rivalry game with No. 8 Kentucky in Indianapolis on Friday night. 

     

    Update by Joe Tansey. 

Michigan 79, Texas 65

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    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    Michigan set a team tournament record in three-pointers with 14 triples on its way to eliminating Texas from the 2014 NCAA tournament. 

    Nik Stauskas led the charge from beyond the arc with four triples, while five other players hit the other 10 in the third-round victory. 

    The Wolverines held a comfortable lead for most of the game and they weathered a few runs by the Longhorns in the second half. 

    Michigan was also able to limit the contributions of the Texas big men as Cameron Ridley and Jonathan Holmes combined for 15 points. 

    Texas did receive a stellar performance from Isaiah Taylor, who led the Longhorns with 22 points.

     

    Top Performers

    Taylor was the leading scorer, but his teammates did not put together a balanced attack like Michigan did. Stauskas led the way for Michigan with 17 and three more Wolverines scored 14 or more.

     

    X-Factor

    Jordan Morgan was one of four Wolverines to score in double figures. The big man also pulled down 10 rebounds and was 7-of-8 from the line. 

     

    Next Round

    The Wolverines will have a Cinderella team on their hands in the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis when they face No. 11 Tennessee.

     

    Update by Joe Tansey. 

San Diego State 63, North Dakota State 44

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    San Diego State's tough defense faced as formidable a test as it will see in the tournament.

    And the No. 4 seeded Aztecs passed with flying colors in a 63-44 victory over No. 12 North Dakota State to advance to the Sweet 16.

    The Aztecs feature the nation's No. 2 ranked defense, allowing 57.0 points per game. They held the nation's best shooting team to a 31.3 percent shooting clip from the field (15-of-48) that's more than 20 points below its 50.9 percent season average.

    The Bison shot just 18.2 percent from beyond the arc (2-of-11).

    The Aztecs trailed by five late in the first half when they went on a 12-1 run that gave them a lead they'd never relinquish.

    The Bison trailed 47-40 with 7:14 left in the game when the Aztecs went on a 16-4 run to end the game.

    The Aztecs are in the Sweet 16 for just the second time in school history. They'll play close to home in the next round in at Anaheim's Honda Center.

     

    Top Performers

    Aztecs guard Xavier Thames scored 30 points and had six assists. Forward Josh Davis added six points and 13 rebounds. Kory Brown scored 13 points and had four rebounds in defeat for the Bison.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve forward Dwayne Polee II made a big impact for the Aztecs, contributing 15 points and six rebounds off the bench. The Aztecs bench outscored North Dakota State's 20-9.

     

    Next Round

    San Diego State advances to the Sweet 16 and will play top-seeded Arizona.

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

     

Dayton 55, Syracuse 53

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Syracuse had an aura of invincibility after a 25-0 start. A late-season slide culminated with a giant thud as the No. 3 seeded Orange, ranked No. 1 in the nation for most of the season, were upset by No. 11 Dayton in a South Region game.

    Horrendous perimeter shooting doomed the Orange. They were 0-of-10 from beyond the arc, failing to hit a three-pointer for the first time in a game since 1994, per Reuters (via The Baltimore Sun).

    They weren't that good from inside the arc, either, shooting 38.9 percent from the field (21-of-54).

    Trailing 54-53, the Orange had a chance to take the lead after a Jordan Sibert turnover with 15 seconds left, but Tyler Ennis missed from just inside the arc with 11 seconds left.

    After Dayton split a pair of free throws, Ennis also missed a potential game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer.

    The Flyers are in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1984.

    Dayton survived a dreadful free-throw shooting night. The Flyers were 10-of-18 from the charity stripe, making just seven of their first 14 attempts before Dyshawn Pierre made three of four crucial free throws in the last 23 seconds to seal the win.

     

    Top Performers

    Forward Dyshawn Pierre led the Flyers with 14 points and six rebounds. Forward Devin Oliver added seven points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals.

    Guard Tyler Ennis led the Orange with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists. Forward C.J. Fair added 14 points and 10 boards.

     

    X-Factor

    Dayton guards Khari Price and Jordan Sibert were huge factors defensively shutting down Syracuse's perimeter shooting. Much was made of Syracuse's zone defense, but the Flyers' unheralded backcourt duo had the last laugh.

     

    Next Round

    Dayton will play another team that pulled off a major upset in third round, No. 10 Stanford, in the Sweet 16. 

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

Wisconsin 85, Oregon 77

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    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    Wisconsin is if nothing else one adaptable team. Just two days after shutting down one of the tournament's most methodical teams, the No. 2 seeded Badgers stood their ground against one of the fastest squads in an 85-77 West Region third-round victory over No. 7 Oregon.

    The Badgers were coming off a 75-35 win over an American Eagles team that features a Princeton-style offense.

    They kept the Ducks below their 81.8 season scoring average.

    The Badgers trailed 75-74 with just over a minute left when when Ben Brust hit a three-pointer that gave them the lead for good.

    Brust's fourth three-pointer on the night was his 228th career from beyond the arc, setting a school record, according to ESPN Stats and Info

     

    Top Performers

    Forward Frank Kaminsky led the Badgers with 19 points and five rebounds and guard Traevon Jackson added 16 points and eight boards. All five Badgers starters reached double figures in scoring. Guard Joseph Young scored a game-high 29 points in defeat for the Ducks.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve guard Jason Calliste scored 20 points for Oregon. The Ducks' bench outscored Wisconsin's 29-13.

     

    Next Round

    Wisconsin advances to the Sweet 16 and will play No. 6 seed Baylor.

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

Michigan State 80, Harvard 73

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    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Michigan State was good enough to stay afloat in the intensely competitive Big Ten despite being dogged by injuries for most of the season.

    Now that the No. 4 Spartans are at full strength, they're dangerous. And they're going to the Sweet 16 after an 80-73 victory over No. 12 Harvard in a East Region third round game.

    Harvard, playing in the round of 32 for a second straight year, was coming off a 61-57 upset over No. 5 Cincinnati. The Spartans, however, presented a much tougher challenge.

    Michigan State shot 49.1 percent from the field on Saturday (28-of-57).

    The Spartans are making their 12th Sweet 16 appearance since Tom Izzo took over the program in 1995.

     

    Top Performers

    Guard Branden Dawson scored 26 points and had nine rebounds to lead the Spartans. Guard Wesley Saunders scored 22 points in defeat for the Crimson.

     

    X-Factor

    The Crimson trailed 63-62 after Spartans guard Travis Trice hit a three-pointer with 6:52 left in the game, sparking a decisive 8-1 run.

     

    Next Round

    Michigan State advances to the Sweet 16 and will play top-seeded Virginia.

     

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

     

Connecticut 77, Villanova 65

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Villanova experienced a prolonged shooting drought and never recovered. As a result, No. 7 seed Connecticut is on its way to the Sweet 16 after upsetting the No. 2 Wildcats 77-65 on Saturday.

    The Wildcats went more than 10 minutes without a field goal in the first half after taking a 20-10 lead 9:45 into the game.

    They didn't make another shot from the field until Ryan Arcidiacono hit a three-pointer with nine seconds left in the half. Villanova scored just one point over that 10:06 stretch, and went into the intermission trailing 25-24.

    Connecticut's defense, ranked 37th in the nation in points allowed, held Villanova to 35.3 percent shooting (18-of-51).

     

    Top Performers

    Shabazz Napler scored 25 points and had five rebounds and three assists to lead the Huskies. Arcidiacono led the Wildcats with 18 points.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve guard Lasan Kromah led a deep Huskies bench with 12 points and four steals. The Huskies bench outscored Villanova's 26-5.

     

    Next Round

    Connecticut will play No. 3 Iowa State at Madison Square Garden on Friday night. 

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

     

     

     

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