March Madness 2016: Top Social Media Highlights for Sunday's Round of 32

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2016

Notre Dame's Rex Pflueger, center, and Matt Farrell, left, celebrate with teammates after a second-round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Sunday, March 20, 2016, in New York. Notre Dame won 76-75. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

It's unfair that this all has to end. 

The opening two rounds of the 2016 NCAA tournament were more than even the most optimistic fans could have hoped for, with double-digit seeds pulling off upsets, half-court game-winners at the buzzer and the emergence of superstars who will go down in March Madness lore. 

What's more, social media was there to soak it all in and keep Big Dance enthusiasts connected throughout the action.

With that in mind, here is a look at the scores from Sunday's second round, as well as social reaction for each game. 

Sunday's NCAA Tournament Scores
Villanova vs. Iowa87-68, Villanova
Notre Dame vs. Stephen F. Austin76-75, Notre Dame
Oklahoma vs. VCU85-81, Oklahoma
Syracuse vs. Middle Tennessee State75-50, Syracuse
Maryland vs. Hawaii73-60, Maryland
Texas A&M vs. Northern Iowa92-88, Texas A&M (Double OT)
Xavier vs. Wisconsin66-63, Wisconsin
Oregon vs. Saint Joseph's69-64, Oregon

Villanova 87, Iowa 68

Sunday's game between Villanova and Iowa was never truly in doubt, as the Wildcats took a 54-29 halftime lead and put things in cruise control on the way to an 87-68 victory.

Some were having flashbacks to Iowa's 45-16 blowout loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl, including Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Pick Six Previews served up some Rose Bowl-related humor as well:

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports was impressed with Villanova's defense:

The victory also meant the Wildcats advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2009, which prompted this take from Dana O'Neil of ESPN:

ESPN's Jeff Goodman said fans shouldn't lump this season's Villanova team in with those in recent memory that lost in the round of 32:

Notre Dame 76, Stephen F. Austin 75

Notre Dame and Stephen F. Austin rewarded fans who sat through the Villanova and Iowa blowout with arguably the most entertaining game of the tournament. The Fighting Irish and underdog Lumberjacks battled back and forth throughout the contest before freshman guard Rex Pflueger connected on the winning tip-in in the waning seconds:

The end of Stephen F. Austin's tournament run didn't mean the end of references to wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin:

Kevin Noon of said what many were thinking when the Lumberjacks' Cinderella magic ran out in the final seconds of Sunday's contest:

Before the clock struck midnight, the Lumberjacks made quite the impression. Bearded star Thomas Walkup bore a startling resemblance to the Irish's leprechaun on the way to 21 points, as James Grega Jr. of realized:

Former longtime Los Angeles Times columnist Chris Dufresne learned something new Sunday:

Even with plenty of supporters on their side, the Lumberjacks ultimately didn't have enough at the end. Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated couldn't help himself when it came to a little wordplay:

Oklahoma 85, VCU 81

Oklahoma was in full control throughout the first half but let VCU back in the game. Eventually, the presence of Buddy Hield was too much for the Rams, and the Sooners escaped with the 85-81 victory.

The Sooners took a 44-31 lead into the locker room, but the superstar Hield was relatively quiet early. Ryan Nanni of SB Nation was hoping Hield would be held scoreless:

One person who didn't seem to mind the halftime deficit was VCU's band director:

A Rams second-half charge made things interesting, but the Sooners bench was ready to dance all the way to the Sweet 16, as CBS Sports highlighted:

Hield caught fire in the second half on the way to 36 total points, but The Student Section took note of a unique strategy during the contest:

NCAA March Madness implied Hield literally caught fire:

Ultimately, the Rams couldn't stop the Oklahoma sharpshooter, and Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports had a novel idea for future opponents who square off with the Sooners:

Next up for Hield? The Sweet 16.

Syracuse 75, Middle Tennessee 50

The tournament's biggest Cinderella story ended Sunday, as No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee bowed out against Syracuse, 75-50.

Jim Weber (formerly Lost Letterman) still couldn’t believe Michigan State lost to the Blue Raiders:

Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports summarized Middle Tennessee's weekend:

At least the Blue Raiders have in-state bragging rights, via March Madness TV:

While Syracuse clinched its spot in the Sweet 16 with the win, Matt Barnes of NBC 4 in Columbus, Ohio, thought the Orange were rather fortunate:

Maybe he was on to something:

The Orange may have had Lady Luck on their side, but their conference has made quite the impression in this year’s Big Dance, as 247Sports shared:

It’s the ACC’s world right now, and the rest of the conferences are living in it.

Maryland 73, Hawaii 60

The Maryland Terrapins needed a strong second half, but they overcame a challenge from Hawaii and emerged with a 73-60 victory.

Despite the loss, the Rainbow Warriors were only down one at halftime and had plenty of local flavor in the crowd, as ESPN College BBall shared:

However, the Terrapins staved off the underdogs and inspired plenty of turtle-themed reactions on the Internet in the process. Best of luck escaping the red shell:

Roch Kubatko of got in on the fun:

So did SB Nation:

The official Maryland account passed along a rather terrifying turtle for the rest of the field to fear after the win: 

Texas A&M 92, Northern Iowa 88 (Double OT)

The box score says Texas A&M beat Northern Iowa in double overtime, 92-88, but that doesn't even begin to describe what happened. 

The Aggies came roaring back from a double-digit deficit in the final seconds of regulation to force overtime. NCAA March Madness captured the final basket before the extra periods:

NumberFire put Northern Iowa's collapse into statistical perspective:

The more exuberant Texas A&M fans essentially needed air after their team's comeback was complete:

ESPN Stats & Info pointed out Danuel House put his team on his back when it mattered most:

Gordy summed things up:

Chris Cillizza harkened back to Northern Iowa's elation after its Friday night victory on a half-court heave at the buzzer and compared it to Sunday's emotions:

ESPN's Michael Wilbon had some sympathy for the losing side:

Wisconsin 66, Xavier 63

Northern Iowa wasn't the only team that had its heart broken Sunday. Xavier lost a late lead and then watched Bronson Koenig drill a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to give Wisconsin the 66-63 victory:

Former Wisconsin player Frank Kaminsky was loving every second of the shot:

Koenig had some inspiration, as Wilbon shared after the game:

As for Xavier, actor Bill Murray's son is an assistant coach for the team. Safe to say, the movie star didn't take the loss well, via NBC Sports:

ESPN Stats & Info highlighted the fact a top-two seed has not suffered such a cruel fate for quite some time:

Oregon 69, Saint Joseph’s 64

Oregon nearly became the first No. 1 seed to lose in this year's tournament when it trailed Saint Joseph's late in the game, but it used a last-minute spurt to earn a spot in the Sweet 16 with a 69-64 victory.

120 Sports referenced another famous Ducks team:

SB Nation CBB pointed out the Ducks are the only thing the Pac-12 still has going for it after the first two rounds:

For Eisenberg, the great finish to this game was a microcosm of an incredible first two rounds of the tournament:

Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports was thoroughly satiated after the Oregon win:

Somehow, college basketball fans have to make it all the way to Thursday for the next round of this thrilling NCAA tournament. 

Check out Bleacher Report's live updating bracket to track your picks along the road to the Final Four.