What we have come to know and love as the Round of 32 of the 2014 NCAA Tournament kicked off on Saturday. Here is a look back at the action in all 16 games.

[tps_title]Florida vs. Pittsburgh[/tps_title]


The Gators defense ranked third in the nation, allowing a mere 57.3 points per game during the regular season. That same stifling defense held Pitt to 45 points. Florida was also able to limit themselves to a single turnover in the second half while forcing seven turnovers from Pitt in outscoring Panthers, 34-23, in the final period

Scotty Wilbekin keyed the offense for the Gators all night with his dribble penetration. Wilbekin led all scorers in this one with 21 points, including 13 in the final nine minutes when the Gators pulled away.

Wilbekin had been criticized earlier in the year for his ability to pace these Gators. Those critics should now sit up and take notice of the guard's abilities as his team looks primed for a run.

[tps_title]Saint Louis vs. Louisville[/tps_title]


Words can barely describe how difficult this matchup was to watch for long stretches. Numbers get you close. The teams combined for 37 turnovers against 18 steals, 37 fouls and 6-32 shooting from beyond the arc.

Okay, that last one is a little misleading. Louisville was actually 6-17 from distance while Saint Louis missed on each of its 15 attempts. The teams combined for only 41 points in the first half, a number that Louisville was able to match on its own in the second half as they ended up winning this rock fight, 66-51

SLU was able to pull even with 14:32 left in the second half when senior forward Dwayne Evans was fouled on a layup and hit the free throw, knotting the game at 27. Yes, knotted at 27 five minutes into the 2nd half.

Louisville’s Luke Hancock was the only consistent scorer on the court for either team, scoring a game high 21 points. Cardinals star guard, Russ Smith, was limited to 10 points on 3-10 shooting, but was able to draw enough attention on offense to get open shots for his teammates, dealing out seven assists.

[tps_title]Texas vs. Michigan[/tps_title]


Michigan came out on fire and built an 18-point lead early in the first half, but had to hold on through several runs from the Longhorns. Texas cut the Wolverines’ lead to six with eight minutes to play, but were buried late as Michigan pulled away for the 79-65 victory.

The Wolverines a school-record 14 3-point shots in the game with Nik Stauskas connecting on four attempts to finish with 17 points and eight assists. The win gave John Beilein 700 for his career, making him the sixth active coach to pass the 700 win mark.

[tps_title]North Dakota State vs. San Diego State[/tps_title]


Defense was the order of the day, and the matchup between North Dakota State and San Diego State was decided with defense. The Aztecs employed head coach Steve Fisher’s defense to devastating results, limiting the Bison to a single point in the final 5:32 of the game.

Taylor Braun, the Bison’s leading scorer, was limited to just 2-14 from the field on the game as they just couldn't penetrate the heart of the stout Aztec defense.

At the other end of the court, Xavier Thames took over for the second consecutive tournament game. Thames poured in 30 points to help the Aztecs to the 63-44 victory and spurred his team to their second Sweet Sixteen appearance in its history.

Thames can't be ignored and if he puts together another scoring performance like this he could be edging his way on to NBA radars.

[tps_title]Syracuse vs. Dayton[/tps_title]


Everyone’s Cinderella, the Flyers of Dayton, found a way to avoid reaching midnight on their season yet again. Dayton snuck by Syracuse with a 55-53 win over the Orange in Buffalo on Saturday night.

The first half was not pretty, but both teams weathered the storm of bad basketball and Dayton went into the half with a 20-18 lead. After the break, C.J. Fair took on the scoring load for the Orange, putting in 8 points in the first 12 minutes of the half to give Syracuse the 40-37 lead with 7:34 remaining.

Dayton then went on a 10-2 run before Tyler Ennis started to step up for the Orange. Ennis scored his team’s last 11 points, but fell short with his final shot to end the game. The Orange fell short as a team, making none of their 10 three-point attempts

Dayton’s Devin Oliver did it all for the Flyers. Oliver netted a mere seven points, but also collected 10 boards, three steals and four assists. The Flyers are now advancing to their first Sweet 16 in 30 years.

[tps_title]Oregon vs. Wisconsin[/tps_title]


After several low-scoring, defensive struggles, the matchup between Oregon and Wisconsin looked more like a track meet than a basketball game. That type of pace favored Oregon’s transition-based offense and the Ducks took a 12-point lead over the 2-seed Badgers at halftime.

Whatever adjustments coach Bo Ryan and his staff made at halftime seemed to work. After allowing 19 fast break points in the first half, the Badgers yielded zero in the second half. Joseph Young led the Ducks with 29 points, but Young was only 1-4 in the final 5 minutes.

Wisconsin went on a 13-5 run in the final three minutes, securing the Badgers a 85-77 win. Frank Kaminsky led Wisconsin in scoring, but it was a balanced attack with all five starters scoring in double digits that assured the win for the Badgers.

[tps_title]Michigan State vs Harvard[/tps_title]


Harvard won the right to contest Michigan State for their ticket to the Sweet 16 due to an improbable upset over Cincinnati. When Michigan State took a 16-point lead in the second half things looked mighty grim for the Crimson.

That’s when Harvard went on a 29-11 run capped by a Laurent Rivard 3-pointer that gave the Ivy Leaguers a two-point lead.

But basketball is a game of runs and Michigan State had one more left in them, finishing the game on a 20-11 run. Garry Harris hit four consecutive free throws to seal the 80-73 win for Michigan State.

Branden Dawson led the way for the Spartans with 26 points on 12-15 shooting from the field. The Spartans are now headed to their 12th Sweet 16 appearance in the last 18 years, which is really good.

[tps_title]UConn vs. Villanova[/tps_title]


Former Big East foes reunited for a clash pitting the 2-seed Villanova Wildcats against the Connecticut Huskies After being down seven midway through the first half, the Huskies went on a 12-4 run to take a one-point lead at the half. During that span, Villanova went without a field goal for 11-and-a-half minutes.

Shabazz Napier, UConn’s star guard, was limited to just four points in the first half due to a shin injury and a bit of foul trouble. But with the game on the line, Napier answered the bell in the second half, putting his team on his shoulders with 21 points in the final period.

The Wildcats took the lead on their first shot of the second half, Jason Arcidiacono’s 3-pointer. Arcidiacono scored 18 for ‘Nova and tried to will his team to victory with his hard nosed play, but to no avail.

After DeAndre Daniels broke a tie at 27 with one of his four 3-point gield goals in the game, the Huskies took the lead and would not look back. Connecticut downed their former foes, 77-65.

[tps_title]Stanford vs. Kansas[/tps_title]


Stanford faced off against Kansas in front of a decidedly partisan crowd in St. Louis. The Cardinal used their 1-3-1 zone defense to confound Kansas’ young star, Andrew Wiggins.

Wiggins was held to four points on 1-9 shooting in what might be his only tournament appearance before going to the NBA. Dwight Powell paced the Cardinal with 15 points and seven rebounds.

Stanford led for every minute of the first half but went into the break down one after Conner Frankamp’s last second three pointer put Kansas up 24-22.

Kansas held their lead through the first few minutes of the 2nd half until Dwight Powell, who led the Cardinal in scoring with 15, hit a jumper to give the Cardinal a lead that they would not relinquish. Though Kansas kept within striking distance right until the very end, Stanford was able to hold on for the 60-57 victory.

[tps_title]Kentucky vs. Wichita State[/tps_title]


In a matchup between two teams that represent the shift in power and recruiting philosophies in college basketball, the Kentucky Wildcats took on the undefeated Wichita State Shockers. This game was up-and-down, back-and-forth sensational shooting and defense from both squads.

Cleanthony Early hit a 3-pointer, one of the four he hit in the game, to give the Shockers their largest lead of the game at 40-31. Kentucky freshman Julius Randle got hot, scoring seven points as the Wildcats put together a 10-0 run.

The teams traded the lead four more times in the final 11 minutes before the James Young would hit a 3-pointer to give Kentucky a two-point lead with less than three minutes to play.

Early carried the bulk of the scoring load for the Shockers with 31 points, but could not overcome the freshman firepower of the Wildcats. The UK freshmen combined for 68 of the teams 78 points with brothers Aaron and Andrew Harrison combining for 39 points.

Cleanthony Early and teammate Ron Baker did their best to regain the lead for the Shockers, but when Fred Van Vleet’s last second shot failed to connect, Wichita State became the first No. 1 seed eliminated from the tournament falling, 78-76, in what has to be the game of the tournament to this point.

[tps_title]North Carolina vs. Iowa State[/tps_title]


Iowa State had to be reeling after losing forward Georges Niang,when he broke his foot in their blowout win over North Carolina Central. Despite the loss, Iowa State came to play and gave the Tar Heels all they could handle and then some.

DeAndre Kane led the Cyclones with 15 of his game high 24 points in the first half. Kane scored Iowa State’s last nine points of the first half as the Cyclones entered the break with a 40-37 lead.

The Cyclones retained their lead through the first 10 minutes thanks to stellar play from Kane and Melvin Ejim, but the Tar Heels would not go down without a fight.

Kennedy Meeks, James Michael McAdoo and Marcus Paige combined for 20 of Carolina’s last 23 point of the game. With 16 seconds left and the Tar Heels down two, James Michael McAdoo hit two cold-blooded free throws to tie the game at 83.

The Cyclones in-bounded the ball to DeAndre Kane, who went to work. Kane brought the ball to the top of the key and set up for a final drive to the basket finishing in traffic with less than two seconds remaining.

The Tar Heels, instead of calling a timeout right away, tried to take the ball over mid-court first. It was too late. After an extended referee review of the clock and call for a time out they called the game.

Kane finished the game with 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists ... but that only tells part of the story. Kane was the aggressor, taking the game to Carolina.

If Kane can impose his will against UConn, the Cyclones will be booking a ticket to the regional final.

[tps_title]Mercer vs. Tennessee[/tps_title]


Mercer won over underdog-lovers everywhere when they dropped Duke in their opening round game, leading to momentum with them heading into their matchup against Tennessee.

Unfortunately, momentum did not wear a Mercer uniform on this night. The long, lean athleticism of the Volunteers was just too much for them as Tennessee won in a romp, 83-63.

After Mercer tied the game at 10 with 15 minutes left in the first half, Tennessee went on a 32-17 run to lead at the half, 42-27. The Bears never got the margin below 14 in the second half as Jarnell Stokes took the game over with 16 points and a mammoth 18 rebounds.

Josh Richardson added a career high 26 points as the Volunteers became the third team in as many years to go from a First Four game to the Sweet 16.

[tps_title]Stephen F. Austin vs. UCLA[/tps_title]


After Wichita State fell to Kentucky earlier in the day, Stephen F. Austin was left with the longest winning streak in the nation at 29 games. Unfortunately for the Lumberjacks, they would not hold on to that record for long.

The first half was hotly contested. Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson led the way for the Bruins as they opened up an eight-point lead midway through the first half.

An Adams layup extended the UCLA lead to 11 before Deshaunt Walker hit back-to-back 3s to cut the Bruin lead to 32-27. Unfortunately for the Lumberjacks, Walker missed on his other nine attempts from distance.

In the second half, the Bruins improved on their lead as the Lumberjacks shooting woes continued. UCLA moved the ball exceedingly well on offense and got good looks as a result, shooting better than 54 percent from the field for the game.

In the end, the speed and talent of UCLA was too much for the Lumberjacks and they were felled, 77-60.

[tps_title]Baylor vs. Creighton[/tps_title]


If you took the seeds away, it was hard to tell who the underdog was supposed to be. Though Baylor was indeed the 6-seed they played like favorites while 3-seed Creighton came out flat and never recovered. The Bears connected on five 3-pointers in the first seven minutes to take a 19-7 lead and never really looked back.

The Blue Jays averaged 17.7 assists and 49 percent shooting on the season, good for second and fourth in the nation respectively. On this night, they managed just 11 assists and 40 percent shooting.

The game was senior forward Doug McDermott’s last as a collegiate athlete, and though it was a tough performance to end a career on, he ends his run as college basketball’s fifth-leading scorer of all time.

All five of Baylor’s starters ended the game with double-digit scoring. Their height advantage on Creighton was evident when they went to zone defensive sets, effectively rendering the hard-driving Creighton guards moot.

Baylor has been playing their best basketball late in the year after starting the conference season 2-8. Since then, they have gone 10-2 and, with a 85-55 victory over Creighton, are headed to the Sweet 16.

[tps_title]Memphis vs. Virginia[/tps_title]


As the adage says, defense wins championships. Virginia already claimed their first Atlantic Coast Conference championship since 1976 and now find themselves four wins away from a Nationnal Championship after dispatching Memphis, 78-60.

Memphis played their game gathering seven steals, but were unable to finish at the basket due to Virginia’s stifling defense. Austin Nichols led the Tigers in scoring with 15 points on 7-12 shooting, but was the only player with more than three shot attempts to shoot better than 5 percent for Memphis.

Virginia finished the game 13 points over their season scoring average of 65 points, and if they can continue to pair scoring with their already stellar defense, the rest of the field is in trouble.

[tps_title]Gonzaga vs. Arizona[/tps_title]


The team at the top of the West bracket flexed its considerable muscles against an overmatched 8-seed as Arizona wreaked havoc with Gonzaga on their way to a 84-61 blowout.

Much of the hype directed toward Arizona this season has centered on talented freshman Aaron Gordon. In this game, Gordon was joined by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Nick Johnson in throwing down absolutely filthy stats with each player collecting more than 17 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Gordon also gathered four steals to go with Johnson’s three, while Hollis-Jefferson and Johnson each swatted four blocks.

It was all too much for a plucky Gonzaga squad that only led for the first 1:38 of the game before falling down big and fast. The Bulldogs got a great performance from 7-foot-1 Polish center Przemek Karnowski, who scored 15 while grabbing 10 rebounds over the tenacious Arizona bigs.

But alas, it was not enough to overcome the Zag’s 21 turnovers against this very athletic Wildcat squad.


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