March Madness 2017: Top Social Media Highlights for Sunday's Round of 32

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2017

The opening weekend of the 2017 NCAA tournament came and went, and we're already down to just 16 teams remaining for March Madness.

The second round wrapped up on Sunday as a number of major programs were in action. Michigan, Kansas, North Carolina and UCLA all advanced, just to name a few. And they provided some highlights in the process.

Scroll through to see some of the most exciting plays of the day.

 

Michigan vs. Louisville

John Beilein and the Michigan Wolverines tipped Sunday off with an upset victory over Rick Pitino's Louisville Cardinals.

Michigan's Moritz Wagner, the 6'11" sophomore from Germany, did most of the damage. The big man, who came in averaging 11.8 points and shooting 40.4 percent from three-point land, dropped 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting on the Cardinals.

Louisville looked helpless in trying to slow him down, as these highlights from March Madness will show:

"He's like a video game character that has more weapons than any person could conceivably hold in real life," The Ringer's Rodger Sherman wrote of Wagner. "He needs a second to go to the weapons interface, pick which gun or melee item is best for this specific attack, and then he goes to work."

Michigan may have come in as a No. 7 seed, but with the kind of matchup problems Wagner creates, it could be dangerous moving forward.

 

Wichita State vs. Kentucky

No. 10 Wichita State gave Kentucky all it could handle in the next game. But in the end, it was the Wildcats defense that stood tall.

The Shockers came in with the eighth-best offense in the nation, scoring 117.1 points per 100 possessions, per Sports Reference, and shooting 47.2 percent from the field.

On Sunday, Kentucky held them to just 38.7 percent shooting and blocked jump shots on each of Wichita State's final two possessions.

March Madness showed video of the first one:

And CBS Sports posted the second, which also happened to end the game:

An abundance of athleticism is a staple for Kentucky teams under John Calipari. And when it's applied to defense, as it was Sunday, the Wildcats are a tough team to beat.

 

Michigan State vs. Kansas

On a recent episode of Locked on NBA, ESPN's Chad Ford said Kansas freshman Josh Jackson has a chance to jump Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball and into the top two of this year's draft.

The opening two games of this tournament were good indicators of why his stock is rising.

After scoring 17 points on 12 shots in just 23 minutes in Round 1, Jackson dropped 23 on Michigan State, including a quick burst of six straight that put the Jayhawks in control of the game.

And as CBS Sports tweeted, he also provided the exclamation point on what wound up being a 20-point win:

"Josh's ceiling is so much higher," Kansas coach Bill Self said of his freshman star when comparing him to point guard Frank Mason, per Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated. "About as high as anybody in the country."

And as he continues to approach that ceiling, the Jayhawks offense looks more and more difficult to slow down.

 

Arkansas vs. North Carolina

When North Carolina built up a 17-point lead over Arkansas in the first half, it sure looked like the Tar Heels would cruise to the Sweet 16.

But the Razorbacks had other ideas. A 16-6 run before the break made the deficit manageable. And continued energy into the second half eventually secured a lead change.

March Madness shared video of an Arkansas three-pointer that extended the fresh lead to four:

The Razorbacks would eventually stretch the lead to 65-60, but UNC certainly looked like a team that'd been here before when it came storming back.

The Tar Heels scored the game's final 12 points, including this jam from Isaiah Hicks that was tweeted out by March Madness:

Being down late in the second half could certainly be seen as a disappointment for the No. 1-seeded Heels, but perhaps winning ugly in the second round could be just the wake-up call they need.

 

Rhode Island vs. Oregon

The Oregon Ducks were on upset alert for much of their game against Rhode Island Sunday. The Rams were locked in early and took an eight-point lead to halftime.

The bench was understandably pumped, as seen on CBS Sports:

Oregon, though, never panicked. A slow and steady push through the second half culminated in a game-winning three from Tyler Dorsey.

CBS Sports again provided the video:

The Ducks have the 20th-best defense in the country, allowing just 94.5 points per 100 possessions, per Sports Reference, but that defense struggled to show up on Sunday.

They'll have to be better than the 50.8 percent shooting they allowed to Rhode Island to get to the Elite Eight.

 

USC vs. Baylor

After pulling off double-digit comebacks in each of its first two tournament victories, the USC Trojans finally ran out of gas against the Baylor Bears.

It looked like a third comeback may be on the way, as USC erased another big deficit. But in the end, a steady diet of Johnathan Motley around the rim proved too much.

CBS Sports tweeted out one of the big man's highlight jams:

After the win over the Trojans, Baylor is headed to yet another Sweet 16. As ESPN's Fran Fraschilla tweeted, the Bears have been extremely consistent: "Last eight years, the Baylor Bears have been to two Elite Eights and two Sweet 16s."

 

South Carolina vs. Duke

The South Carolina Gamecocks couldn't hit the broad side of a barn in the first half, scoring just 23 points and heading to the locker room down seven.

But they must've felt pretty good about the way they played, because they came out guns blazing and dropped a ridiculous 65 points in the second half on the way to an 88-81 victory over second-seeded Duke.

South Carolina fans (as well as some Tar Heels fans) were stoked when the Gamecocks started to seize momentum early in the second half, as seen on CBS Sports:

They kept on rocking as this breakaway tweeted out by March Madness all but put this one on ice:

Thanks to stellar defense throughout and hot shooting late, South Carolina has knocked off one of Vegas' favorites for the title.

 

Cincinnati vs. UCLA

It was close for most of the game, but UCLA's Lonzo Ball-led attack finally pulled away late in the second half for a 79-67 victory. Ball, as usual was brilliant.

He went for 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting, nine assists and seven rebounds. He was his typically calm, cool and collected self throughout.

His feel for the game was on display all night, particularly on this play shared by March Madness:

With Ball conducting this train, it's getting easier and easier to see the Bruins making a deep run.

Related

    C's Can't Find Robert Williams 🤔

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    C's Can't Find Robert Williams 🤔

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Former Rivals Mitchell and Allen Hug It Out

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Former Rivals Mitchell and Allen Hug It Out

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Full Draft Results 👀

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Full Draft Results 👀

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    1-and-Done Unfair to Women

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    1-and-Done Unfair to Women

    Natalie Weiner
    via Bleacher Report