Dramatic, intense, enthralling, action-packed, powerful—these are all words that describe Thursday night's Sweet 16 action.
The 2014 NCAA tournament continues to be a sight to behold. That statement rang true during Day 1 of the Sweet 16. Each of the remaining 16 teams standing look to get a coveted spot in the Elite Eight; however, it will be a tough road for them all.
Now that the first four games are in the books, let's take a look at what transpired.
Dayton 82, Stanford 72
The Dayton Flyers continued their improbable March Madness run on Thursday, defeating Stanford in decisive fashion.
Dayton continues to be a very well-rounded team with great depth. Three on the Flyers' five starters finished with double-digit points against Stanford. Jordan Sibert looked great once again, connecting on seven of 12 attempts from the floor for a team-high 18 points.
Forward Devin Oliver dominated in the paint, coming away with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Stanford played a solid game, as four of its five starters earned double-digit points. Chasson Randle recorded 21 on the game; however, he shot just 5-of-21 from the floor.
That was a driving factor in Stanford's decline, as the team shot just 37.9 percent from the field.
Dayton began hot, earning a 42-32 lead by halftime. After the break, Stanford came back with a nice run; however, the Flyers answered right back and didn't allow the Cardinal a comeback bid.
The Flyers will have a tough one ahead, as they are set to face No. 1 Florida in the Elite Eight.
Wisconsin 69, Baylor 52
The Badgers have looked great during the 2014 NCAA tournament. After defeating American 75-35 and Oregon 85-77, the Badgers picked right up where they left off on Thursday against Baylor.
Wisconsin dominated early in the game. Offensively, the Badgers got great looks and hit buckets from all over the court. They sliced through Baylor's zone defense and took open looks from the perimeter when they got the chance.
On defense, Wisconsin shut down the Bears' powerful attack. Baylor had a difficult time penetrating the Badgers and scoring points in the paint. They settled for jumpers and three-pointers often but weren't given many good looks.
This got the Badgers out to a 29-16 lead at the break. The team was relentless and wouldn't allow the Bears to get back in the game after halftime.
Midway though the second half, Wisconsin built its lead to 20 and didn't look back. Even schematic changes by Baylor couldn't right the ship—Wisconsin was on a level of its own.
Forward Frank Kamisnky was fantastic on Thursday, recording 19 points and adding four rebounds, three assists and six blocks. Ben Brust was solid from downtown, connecting on three of five three-pointers and finishing with 14 points of his own.
Isaiah Austin and Co. put forth an admirable effort for the Bears. Austin, Cory Jefferson and Kenny Chery finished with 12, 15 and 12 points, respectively. Brady Heslip had a rough night, connecting on just one of his six attempts from the field for three points.
We should be in for a treat, as a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup will take place in the Elite Eight. Wisconsin will look to keep their hot streak alive against the surging Arizona Wildcats.
Florida 79, UCLA 68
The Gators' remarkable run continues. Florida looked as solid as ever on Thursday night against the Bruins.
Michael Frazier II was on point against UCLA, dropping a game-high 19 points, including going 5-of-8 from behind the arc, adding six rebounds and three assists. Casey Prather and Scottie Wilbekin looked great as well, recording 12 and 13 points, respectively.
Ball distribution played a big role in Florida's success against the Bruins. The Gators accrued 22 assists on 28 shots made. Guard Kasey Hill was instrumental in this process, accounting for 10 of the team's assists.
Florida was solid on the defensive end as well. The team held UCLA to shoot just 42.2 percent from the field while out-rebounding the Bruins 40-30.
UCLA held its own early in the game, entering the break down just 36-30. However, the Gators had an answer for everything and wouldn't give the Bruins a shot at a comeback bid.
Jordan Adams was UCLA's top scorer, as he recorded 17 points and added four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Kyle Anderson looked great down low once again, accounting for 11 points and nine rebounds on the day.
Florida continues to look like the tournament's top team and will face No. 11 Dayton in the Elite Eight. Dayton is highly unpredictable, but the Gators will be the team's toughest test to date.
Arizona 70, San Diego State 64
The San Diego State Aztecs gave the top-seeded Arizona Wildcats a big scare on Thursday night. It appeared as though the Aztecs caught the Wildcats off guard in the early going of the game, as San Diego State entered the break up 32-28.
However, it was the depth and experience of Arizona that pulled the team through to victory.
With three starters and one bench player scoring double-digit points against San Diego State, the Wildcats used a variety of weapons to get the job done.
Nick Johnson led the way, scoring 15 points and adding eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Aaron Gordon was great in the paint, recording 15 points and adding seven rebounds of his own.
Ball distribution was great on Arizona's offense. The team recorded 14 assists on 23 shots made. This was a big difference between the Wildcats and Aztecs, as San Diego State finished with just three assists on the game.
It was a one-man show for San Diego State. Xavier Thames lit up the scoreboard, recording a game-high 25 points. However, he didn't get enough help from his supporting cast to overtake the Wildcats.
Arizona's defense got the job done in the second half, holding the Aztecs to shoot just 38.9 percent from the field for the game. This allowed the Wildcats to outscore San Diego State 42-32 after the break to clinch the game.
The Wildcats will now move on to face a very strong Wisconsin team in the Elite Eight. This matchup should bring a great amount of intensity and can be expected to come with a thrilling conclusion.
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