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2014 March Madness: Sweet 16 is Set After Exciting Weekend of Action

2014 March Madness: The Round of 64 is where surprise and emotion can help a team win. In the Round of 32 it is more about the contenders stepping out.

@marchmadness/Twitter

@marchmadness/Twitter

That’s not to say that there still can’t be an upset or two. It just means that when all is said and done the best of the best are going to be moving on to the Sweet 16 and the rest are going home. Here’s a rundown of the weekend’s action (in case you missed anything):

SOUTH Region

No. 1 Florida vs. No. 9 Pittsburgh

The Gators looked a lot more like the collective beast that the team was supposed to be entering the Tournament. They still didn’t light up the scoreboard, but they held Pitt to fewer points than the Panthers scored in the first half against Colorado (46). Final Score: Florida 61 Pitt 45

No. 12 Stephen F. Austin vs. UCLA

The Lumberjacks had the look of a Cinderella team in the making after taking VCU down in the first round, but UCLA put them in their place in the Round of 32. Final Score: UCLA 77 SFA 60

No. 11 Dayton vs. No. 3 Syracuse

Syracuse fans had hoped that their team could kick what ailed them down the final stretch of the regular season in time to make a deep run in to the Tournament. So much for that; instead Dayton has been established as this seasons Cinderella team. Final Score: Dayton 55 Syracuse 53

No. 10 Stanford vs. No. 2 Kansas

The Jayhawks had hopes that Joel Embiid would be returning in time for the Sweet 16; they just had to get past Stanford first. Andrew Wiggins having one of if not the worst game of his young career was too much for Kansas to overcome. Final Score: Stanford 60 Kansas 57

EAST Region

No. 1 Virginia vs. No. 8 Memphis

It had been close to two decades since the Cavaliers had made it to the Sweet 16, but when a team shoots 56 percent from the floor streaks like that are bound to fall. Final Score: Virginia 78 Memphis 60

No. 12 Harvard vs. No. 4 Michigan State

The Spartans looked every bit the national title contender many have picked them to be in the first half against Harvard taking a 12-point lead in to the half (45-33), but they had to hold off a team that really wanted to make the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history in the second. In the end it was too little too late for the Crimson. Final Score: MSU 80 Harvard 73

No. 6 North Carolina vs. No. 3 Iowa State

This game was marred at the end by some questionable clock operating and North Carolina not getting a time out they called, but in the end it was a bad day for the Tar Heels. Final Score: Iowa State 85 North Carolina 83

No. 7 UConn vs. No. 2 Villanova

This was a game of two halves. In the first the two teams combined for just 49 points. Both teams nearly scored that much in the second; UConn did—Villanova didn’t. Final Score: UConn 77 Villanova 65

WEST Region

No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 8 Gonzaga

The Wildcats looked much more like contenders in this game than they did against Weber State in their opening action. Five players scored in double figures for Arizona as they easily rolled to victory. Final Score: Arizona 84 Gonzaga 61

No. 12 North Dakota State vs.  No. 4 San Diego State

San Diego State did not have too hard a time defeating North Dakota State Saturday night, or rather Xavier Thames didn’t. The senior guard nearly scored half of his team’s points and nearly as many as the Bisons. Final Score: San Diego State 63 North Dakota State 44

No. 6 Baylor vs. No. 3 Creighton

Baylor beating Creighton is not exactly shocking, but how bad they beat them is. The Bears doubled Creighton’s score in the first half and coasted the rest of the way in the second to a 30-point win. Final Score: Baylor 85 Creighton 55

No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 2 Wisconsin

This one was also a tale of two halves. Oregon looked like it was in control after the first half (49-37), but completely fell apart in the second as Wisconsin outscored the Ducks by 20. Final Score: Wisconsin 85 Oregon 77

MIDWEST Region

No. 1 Wichita State vs. No. 8 Kentucky

The season could only end one way for the Shockers to be happy—they had to be the first small school to win it all since Texas Western in 1966. Sadly, they fell victim to a resurgent Kentucky team in the final seconds of the best game of the tournament to date. Final Score: Kentucky 78 Wichita State 76

No. 5 Saint Louis vs. No. 4 Louisville

The defending champions could not buy a basket (44.9 percent) and had 19 turnovers against Saint Louis. Lucky for them the Billikens shot even worse (39.6 percent from the field; 0-15 from three point range). Final Score: Louisville 66 Saint Louis 51

No. 11 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Mercer

What do you do for an encore after pulling off the upset tournament? You don’t do like Mercer did and get handled pretty easily in the next game. Final Score: Tennessee 83 Mercer 63

No. 7 Texas vs No. 2 Michigan

Michigan didn’t exactly have a stellar day shooting from the field (44.4), but they did have a pretty good day from where it matters most—behind the arc (14-28). Combine that with a bad day of shooting for the Longhorns and the outcome was inevitable. Final Score: Michigan 79 Texas 65

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