The madness continues! Sunday’s slate of NCAA Tournament games will set the men’s Sweet 16 field, while day 1 of the second round starts for the women.
Three of the four No. 1 seeds (Stanford, Louisville, South Carolina) in the women’s bracket take the court and three double-digit seeds (Iowa State, Miami, Notre Dame) hope to continue their Cinderella stories on the men’s side.
Mike Krzyzewski and the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils look to further their postseason – which is Coach K’s final season at the helm – when they take on No. 7 Michigan State Sunday night. It will be the sixth time Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo have faced off in the NCAA Tournament.
NCAA Tournament on Sunday:Matchups, TV, streaming and odds for men’s and women’s second-round games
NCAA Tournament bracket:Follow March Madness
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Creighton stuns Iowa
A potential matchup circled by bracket forecasters last Sunday was South Carolina possibly facing Iowa in the women’s Elite Eight.
Of course, the two-seed Hawkeyes would need to get past the second round. And No. 10 seed Creighton had different plans.
The Blue Jays stunned Iowa inside a raucous, gold-clad Iowa-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday 64-62 to advance to the program’s first Sweet 16. Lauren Jensen, who transferred from Iowa after last season, led the way with 19 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 12.6 seconds remaining.
Monika Czinano had 27 points (11-for-14 from the field) but only two came in the fourth quarter and she went 1-for-6 in the final 10 minutes. Star Caitlin Clark (15 points) was mostly neutralized by the Blue Jays defense and also only had two points in the fourth quarter.
Iowa had three looks at the rim down two and a chance to send the game to overtime, but all three attempts came up short.
Houston’s coach celebrates shirtless
Kelvin Sampson and the Houston Cougars are going to their third consecutive men’s Sweet 16. The only appropriate way to celebrate? By popping off the top and having his players douse him with water, apparently.
Late tech call sinks Illinois
The officiating in college basketball has been an issue throughout this men’s NCAA Tournament, and that trend continued once again during Sunday’s second-round matchup between Illinois and Houston.
Officials basically penalized Illinois’ R.J. Melendez for protecting himself from a potentially horrific fall.
With a little less than nine minutes to go in the second half, Melendez broke free down court for a fast-break dunk to cut the deficit to four. Now, Melendez went quickly into his two-handed dunk and hung on the rim to let his momentum swing him back. It wasn’t an unsportsmanlike move, but the officials couldn’t help themselves.
They called Melendez for a technical foul for hanging on the rim. Houston closed out the game on a 22-11 run.
— Andrew Joseph, For The Win
Houston handles Illinois
The final score doesn’t indicate how close this men’s 4-5 matchup was, with Houston knocking off the higher-seeded and Big Ten regular season champion Illini, 68-53.
The Cougars used a late 11-0 run to pull away and advance to their third consecutive Sweet 16 under coach Kelvin Sampson. All but one point came from Houston’s starters. Taze Moore (21 points) and Jamal Shead (18 points) led the way.
Illinois’ season ended in the second round for the second straight season. Kofi Cockburn had 19 for the Illini.
Zags can go as far as Drew Timme can carry them
After a first half in which coach Mark Few said Memphis “got up into us and we were just running around the 3-point line,” Drew Timme — who had attempted only three shots the first half — got considerably more active and aggressive in the paint, and his teammates did their part to find him.
Timme, the junior forward, started the half on a tear, scoring 11 consecutive points to pull Gonzaga within striking distance. The WCC Player of the Year scored 21 second-half points on 9-of-13 shots, willing Gonzaga back from 10 points down and helping the Zags to an 82-78 win over 9th-seeded Memphis. With the victory, Gonzaga advanced to its seventh consecutive Sweet 16.
Going deeper, and maybe even to the program’s third Final Four? Well, that will come down to Timme and how far he can carry them.
— Lindsay Schnell
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