NCAA Tournament 2019: B/R Expert Predictions, Updated Results for 2nd Round

Bleacher Report College Basketball StaffFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2019

NCAA Tournament 2019: B/R Expert Predictions, Updated Results for 2nd Round

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    Kentucky survived a tough test from Wofford to advance to the Sweet 16.
    Kentucky survived a tough test from Wofford to advance to the Sweet 16.Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

    On Saturday, eight teams advanced to the Sweet 16, with No. 5 Auburn scoring the only seed-based upset over No. 4 Kansas

    By the end of Sunday, eight more teams joined the Sweet 16.

    Sunday started with a wild game between No. 2 Tennessee and No. 10 Iowa that was decided in overtime.

    No. 1 Duke also escaped with a one-point thriller against No. 9 Central Florida, while No. 1 North Carolina handled No. 9 Washington with ease.

    No. 4 Virginia Tech ended No. 12 Liberty's dream season and punched its first-ever ticket to the Sweet 16 in its current format in the process (the Hokies went as far as the quarterfinal in 1967 when the tournament consisted of 23 teams).

    Houston handled Ohio State, and Virginia knocked off Oklahoma to join the other three No. 1 seeds in the Sweet 16.

    The day also ended with fireworks, as No. 13 UC Irvine fell to No. 12 Oregon in the quintessential March Madness game of two underdog programs battling back-and-forth to survive and advance.

No. 2 Tennessee 83, No. 10 Iowa 77 (in OT)

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    No. 2 Tennessee appeared to have a victory in the bag at halftime, but thanks to an incredible second-half comeback from No. 10 Iowa, the Volunteers needed overtime to dispense of the Big Ten program. 

    Rick Barnes' Volunteers scored the first seven points of overtime, with four of them coming from Grant Williams, to retake a stronghold after Iowa made up a 25-point deficit. 

    Turner put the Vols in the lead with 2:17 left in regulation on a three-pointer, but Iowa responded once again and sent the game to an extra period by way of two free throws from Joe Wieskamp.

    Although Iowa attempted an overtime comeback—and Admiral Schofield sat on the bench with four fouls—the Volunteers held on to their overtime advantage to move on to the Sweet 16. 


    Top Players

    Williams did a little bit of everything in 45 minutes for the Volunteers, as he recorded 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks. Jordan Bohannon led the Hawkeyes, who had five players in double digits, with 18 points. 



    Tennessee's Jordan Bone scored five of his 14 points in overtime, including a three-point shot that opened up a five-point lead in the first 90 seconds of the extra period.  


    Next Round

    Tennessee faces another Big Ten foe in the Sweet 16, as it heads to Louisville, Kentucky, to take on Purdue. 


    —Updated by Joe Tansey

No. 1 North Carolina 81, No. 9 Washington 59

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    No. 1 North Carolina thoroughly dominated No. 9 Washington in Columbus, Ohio. 

    The Tar Heels led for the majority of the contest, and the closest the Huskies got was within five points at the start of the second half. 

    Roy Williams' team received contributions from most of its stars, as Coby White, Luke Maye and Nassir Little all worked their way into double digits. 

    Little sealed the victory, as he scored 13 points during a six-minute stretch in the middle of the second half. 


    Top Performers

    Luke Maye led the Tar Heels with 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Nassir Little added 20 of his own in the victory. Jaylen Nowell led the Huskies with 12 points. 



    Tar Heels forward Garrison Brooks played a role in every facet of the game, as he scored five points, hauled in five rebounds and handed out three assists.


    Next Round

    North Carolina heads to Kansas City to take on No. 5 Auburn in the Sweet 16. 


    Updated by Joe Tansey

No. 1 Duke 77, No. 9 UCF 76

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    No. 9 Central Florida appeared to be well-prepared to take on the top-seeded Blue Devils, jumping out to an early lead and hanging on to it for most of the first half. But we are talking about No. 1 Duke, so the Devils' late first-half run to grab the halftime lead wasn't all that surprising.

    UCF wasn't intimidated, though, and came out of the locker room on fire, cutting the Duke lead to one, sparking a timeout from the Blue Devils. From there, UCF wouldn't go away. With 10 minutes to go, the Knights regained the lead, 57-54.

    The rest of the game consisted of back-and-forth lead changes and a down-to-the-wire finish.

    With 14.4 seconds left, Zion Williamson made a layup while being fouled to pull Duke within one. Williamson missed the free throw, but RJ Barrett came down with the offensive rebound and putback to give the Devils a one-point lead with 11.8 seconds remaining. UCF took its last possession after a timeout, and the Knights had two solid looks. BJ Taylor's runner rimmed out, and Aubrey Dawkins' putback attempt rolled off the rim.

    Duke returns to the Sweet 16 with a 77-76 nail-biter.


    Top Players

    Williamson had 32 points for Duke, while Dawkins had 32 for the Golden Knights. Williamson also led all players with 11 rebounds and led the Blue Devils with four assists.



    The Blue Devils (10-of-25 on three-pointers) made at least 10 threes for the first time in 13 games. They likely would not have survived with an off night from the perimeter. 


    Next Round

    Duke will face off against Virginia Tech on Friday in Washington, D.C.


    Updated by David Luther

No. 3 Texas Tech 78, No. 6 Buffalo 58

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    The Buffalo Bulls had a dream season that resulted in an amazingly high sixth seed for a team from the MAC. The Bulls continued their impressive season with an opening-round win over Arizona State.

    But taking on an also-ran from the Pac-12 and battling the Big 12's regular-season co-champion are two entirely different hills to climb.

    It wasn't meant to be, and Texas Tech's defense was able to hold a Bulls offense that scored 91 in the opening round of the tournament to just 37.3 percent shooting from the floor. The Red Raiders cruised to a 78-58 win.


    Top Players

    Norense Odiase had 15 rebounds for Texas Tech, and Jarrett Culver chipped in 16 points to lead the Red Raiders.



    Texas Tech built a lead and kept building on it for much of the game. For long stretches, it seemed as if Buffalo couldn't buy a basket. The long droughts seemed to have an emotional impact on the Bulls, and the problem kept compounding.


    Next Round

    Texas Tech will face off against No. 2-seeded Michigan on Thursday.


    —Updated by David Luther

No. 4 Virginia Tech 67, No. 12 Liberty 58

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    The No. 12 Liberty Flames looked to follow up their first-ever NCAA tournament win by taking down in-state foe No. 4 Virginia Tech.

    The Flames led at halftime, and the Hokies needed everything in their arsenal to keep Liberty at bay. But after a five-minute Flames scoring drought, the Hokies built a lead of eight.

    Liberty spent much of the rest of the second half playing catch-up, eventually drawing within three with seven minutes to go. But that's as close at the Flames would get.

    Liberty went on a 1-of-11 shooting stretch from the floor, and despite Virginia Tech never really pulling away, the Flames simply couldn't put the ball through the hoop—including a seven-plus-minute absence of field goals—to close the comparatively small but persistent gap.


    Top Players

    Kerry Blackshear Jr. led the Hokies with 19 points, while Darius McGhee led Liberty with 15. Ty Outlaw added 11 rebounds for Virginia Tech.



    College basketball can be a streaky game, and Liberty's negative streak of an almost complete inability to make a shot in the second half doomed the Flames' chances.


    Next Round

    Virginia Tech will face off against fellow ACC foe No. 1 Duke on Friday in the Sweet 16. This will be Virginia Tech's first trip to the Sweet 16 since the tournament expanded to 32 teams.


    —Updated by David Luther

No. 1 Virginia 63, No. 9 Oklahoma 51

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    Sean Rayford/Associated Press

    No. 1 Virginia looked to hold serve as every other top regional seed had advanced to the Sweet 16. After last season's first-round exit against No. 16 UMBC, The Cavaliers were looking for a measure of redemption—as well as the ability to silence their critics—with an impressive win over No. 9 Oklahoma.

    The Cavs got exactly that.

    The game was never seriously in doubt, as the Oklahoma Sooners were overmatched at every turn. The Cavaliers shot 48.2 percent from the floor while the Sooners could only muster 36.5 percent. Virginia spread the ball around the court while Oklahoma was too reliant on one-on-one play.

    The Cavs are headed to the Sweet 16, giving the No. 1 seeds a combined 8-0 record.


    Top Players

    Mamadi Diakite led Virginia in both points (14) and rebounds (nine), but his relatively pedestrian numbers actually showcases Virginia's depth and ability to find points from anywhere on the floor.


    Virginia built a lead, and that spells disaster for most UVA opponents. The Cavaliers are efficient on offense, finding good looks on most possessions and converting those looks into points more often than not. Oklahoma just couldn't compete with Virginia's efficiency. 


    Next Round

    No. 1 Virginia will face off against Oregon on Thursday in Louisville.

    —Updated by David Luther

No. 3 Houston 74, No. 11 Ohio State 59

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    No. 3 Houston drew perhaps the most dangerous No. 11 seed in the tournament in the Big Ten's Ohio State Buckeyes.

    The Cougars built an eight-point lead at halftime by shooting 55.2 percent from the floor. Despite some nearly as impressive efficiency from the Buckeyes, the Cougars were able to capitalize on eight Ohio State turnovers while committing just two of their own.

    Ohio State started the second half by flexing some of its muscle developed over a long season in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes cut the Houston lead to four before the Cougars came out of their halftime slumber.

    The Buckeyes spent the rest of the half chasing down Houston, who mustered a response to every push the Buckeyes made. Ohio State never made it closer than the four-point deficit from shortly after halftime.


    Top Players

    Corey Davis Jr. led the Cougars with 21 points, and Galen Robinson Jr. had 13 points, six steals and five assists.



    Houston was able to protect its lead throughout the second half, thanks in large part to its shooting percentage (46.4 for the game). The Cougars also committed just six turnovers compared to Ohio State's 14.

    Next Round

    No. 3 Houston advances to the Sweet 16 to face off against No. 2 Kentucky on Friday in Kansas City, Missouri.


    —Updated by David Luther

No. 12 Oregon 73, No. 13 UC Irvine 54

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    Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

    You don't often get to see a No. 12 vs. No. 13 matchup in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but that's what we got with Oregon and UC Irvine.

    UC Irvine went on a 16-0 run to take a two-point second-half lead, as if to announce to the world that the title of 2019 Cinderella belonged to the Irvine Anteaters.

    But the Ducks turned the tide from there, outscoring Irvine 38-17 to close out the game.


    Top Players

    Payton Pritchard led all scorers with 18 points and had a game-high seven assists. He was also 2-of-5 from behind the arc.


    After missing their first 11 shots of the second half, the Ducks finished 13-of-18 from there on out to secure a berth in the Sweet 16.


    Next Round

    The top seed in the South Region, Virginia, awaits the Oregon Ducks on Thursday.


    —Updated by David Luther

No. 3 LSU 69, No. 6 Maryland 67

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    After an LSU-dominated first half, with a win probability that eventually ballooned to 96.4 percent, Maryland roared back to take its first lead of the afternoon with just five minutes remaining in the game. The Terrapins impressively adjusted to the Tigers offense, but with a bucket by Tremont Waters with 1.6 seconds remaining on the clock and Maryland out of timeouts, LSU escaped becoming the highest seed yet in 2019 to exit the tournament.

    The Tigers now head to Washington, D.C., where they will face off against either No. 2 Michigan State or No. 10 Minnesota.


    Top Performers

    Skylar Mays led all scorers with 16, while Jalen Smith led the Terps with 15.

    Bruno Fernando had an impressive 15 rebounds for Maryland. Kavell Bigby-Williams led the Tigers with eight.



    Maryland completely revamped its defensive strategy at halftime to great effect, but LSU was able to weather the storm late, even after the Terps took the lead. A frantic pace over the last five minutes resulted in a back-and-forth scoreboard, and when the dust settled, it was LSU storming the court and heading to the Sweet 16.


    Next Round

    LSU will face the winner of Michigan State and Minnesota in Washington, D.C.


    In-game win probabilities via

No. 2 Kentucky 62, No. 7 Wofford 56

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Immediately after No. 3 LSU escaped an upset bid from No. 6 Maryland, the second-seeded Kentucky Wildcats took the floor against arguably one of the top non-Power Five teams in the tournament: No. 7 Wofford.

    Unlike the first game, the higher seed didn't jump out to a massive lead. In fact, Wofford build a nice cushion over the blue-blooded Wildcats. But since we are talking about Kentucky, the margin didn't balloon.

    The Wildcats battled back to take a two-point lead at the half and spent the first part of the second half battling with the Terriers. After a 13-2 run midway through the second frame, the Wildcats looked to take control, leading 45-37, with 12 minutes remaining.

    Wofford cut the Kentucky lead to two with 39 seconds remaining, but a foul on Keve Aluma with 17.8 seconds to go gave UK a four-point lead after Reid Travis hit both free throws.


    Top Performers

    Wofford's Nathan Hoover led all scorers with 19, while Travis led Kentucky with 14. Travis also led the Wildcats with 11 rebounds.



    Even though the first half and much of the second half were tight, a long scoring run for the Wildcats midway through the second half provided separation. While Wofford did its best to battle back into the game, Kentucky's lead was simply too much.

    Fletcher Magee, the all-time leading NCAA three-point scorer, went 0-of-12 from behind the arc.


    Next Round

    Kentucky will face the winner of Sunday's Ohio State-Houston matchup.

No. 2 Michigan 64, No. 10 Florida 49

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    No. 2 Michigan is heading to the Sweet 16 after a strong second half propelled the Wolverines to a 64-49 win over No. 10 Florida. 

    The Wolverines led by just four at halftime, but their 11-0 run to start the second half kept the Gators at arm's length the rest of the way. 


    Top Performers

    Jordan Poole paced Michigan with 19 points on 5-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-9 from three. Jon Teske added eight points and 10 rebounds. 

    Jalen Hudson led Florida with 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting. 



    Poole was the only starter for Michigan in double figures. However, Isaiah Livers came off the bench to score 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting to go along with three rebounds and a steal.


    Next Round

    Michigan will face the winner of No. 3 Texas Tech-No. 6 Buffalo in the Sweet 16 next weekend. 

No. 4 Florida State 90, No. 12 Murray State 62

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    Florida State put an end to the Ja Morant Show en route to the Sweet 16.
    Florida State put an end to the Ja Morant Show en route to the Sweet 16.Jessica Hill/Associated Press

    The Ja Morant spectacle was fun while it lasted.

    No. 4 Florida State made clean work of No. 12 Murray State on Saturday, winning 90-62 and ousting the Racers from the tournament in dominating fashion.

    The Seminoles shot 50.7 percent from the field while holding Murray State to 32.8 percent. 


    Top Performers

    Even though Mfiondu Kabengele came off the bench, he led Florida State in scoring with 22 points on a wildly efficient 10-of-12 shooting. He also had seven rebounds, three blocks and a steal to his credit. Terance Mann led the FSU starters with 18 points.

    Even in defeat, Morant still put on a show, posting 28 points on 8-of-21 shooting, including 5-of-6 from three, with five rebounds and four assists.



    Florida State proved it had the depth to withstand Morant and Co. Murray State's bench combined for just six points, and nobody outside of Morant scored more than 12 points for the Racers. 


    Next Round

    Florida State will face the winner of No. 1 Gonzaga-No. 9 Baylor in next weekend's Sweet 16. 

No. 1 Gonzaga 83, No. 9 Baylor 71

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    While the No. 9 Baylor Bears chipped away in the second half, No. 1 Gonzaga's 16-point lead going into the locker room proved too big to overcome as the Bulldogs walked away with a ticket to the Sweet 16 in an 83-71 win.


    Top Performers

    Brandon Clarke was the showstopper of the evening. The forward put up 36 points on 15-of-18 shooting—the efficiency!—to go along with eight rebounds, five blocks, three assists and two steals. He led Gonzaga in four of the five major categories, while Josh Perkins added 11 points and six assists. 

    Mark Vital had 17 points and eight rebounds for Baylor. Makai Mason also had 17 points to go along with five assists.



    Gonzaga's perimeter defense stymied any comeback efforts by Baylor. The Bears shot a porous 4-of-21 from behind the arc. 


    Next Round

    Gonzaga is slated to face No. 4 Florida State in the Sweet 16. 

No. 2 Michigan State 70, No. 10 Minnesota 50

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    No. 2 Michigan State joined instate Big Ten rival Michigan in the Sweet 16 by upending No. 10 Minnesota 70-50 on Saturday.

    The Spartans dominated the first half, taking a 33-19 lead into the break that they maintained over the final 20 minutes to keep the Golden Gophers at arm's length. 

    Michigan State's defense held all but one Minnesota player under double-digit points, with two starters scoring zero. Meanwhile, every starter for the Spartans scored nine or more.


    Top Performers

    Xavier Tillman was a steady hand offensively for the Spartans, scoring a team-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting with six rebounds despite collecting four fouls on the night. 

    Amir Coffey flooded the stat sheet for Minnesota, scoring over half his team's points with 27 on 8-of-24 shooting while hitting 10 of 11 free throws. 



    Minnesota couldn't hit water from a boat on its three-point attempts, going 2-of-22 from behind the arc. Michigan State, however, was a much more palatable 6-of-15 from three. 


    Next Round

    Michigan State will face No. 3 LSU in the Sweet 16 next weekend. 

No. 3 Purdue 87, No. 6 Villanova 61

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    Purdue routed reigning national champion Villanova in the second round.
    Purdue routed reigning national champion Villanova in the second round.Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    There will be a new national champion in 2019.

    No. 3 Purdue completely dismantled the reigning net cutters on Saturday, dethroning No. 6 Villanova 87-61 in a dominant effort from start to finish.

    There's also potentially a new face as the most prolific player in the NCAA tournament with Ja Morant and Murray State eliminated earlier in the day. 


    Top Performers

    Carsen Edwards put on perhaps the best display of anybody not named Morant in the tournament so far on Saturday, scoring 42 points on 12-of-21 shooting while also hitting 9-of-16 three-pointers and 9-of-9 free throws. 

    Edwards added six rebounds and an assist to his day's tally.

    Eric Paschall led the Wildcats with 10 points while also pulling down three rebounds and dishing out two assists.



    While Edwards will draw the headlines with his 42-point outing, Matt Haarms anchored the paint with 18 points and nine rebounds. 


    Next Round

    In the Sweet 16, Purdue will face the winner of Sunday's matchup between No. 2 Tennessee and No. 10 Iowa.

No. 5 Auburn 89, No. 4 Kansas 75

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    Jeff Swinger/Associated Press

    Another 2018 Final Four participant was eliminated on Saturday after the No. 5 Auburn Tigers handed the No. 4 Kansas Jayhawks an 89-75 defeat in the second round. 

    Auburn tested the Jayhawks' limited depth, with Kansas scrounging just nine points off its depleted bench. 


    Top Performers

    Bryce Brown shot 9-of-13 from the field en route to leading the Tigers in scoring with 25 points. Jared Harper added 18 points and a team-high six assists. 

    Dedric Lawson put up his second double-double of the tournament in as many games for the Jayhawks, scoring 25 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. 



    Auburn was efficient from behind the arc despite putting up a high volume of three-pointers. The Tigers connected on 13 of 30 triples to quell any hopes of a Kansas comeback. 


    Next Round

    Auburn advances to the Sweet 16 in Kansas City, Missouri, where it'll face the winner of No. 1 North Carolina-No. 9 Washington.