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Madness Continues During Round of 32

Buffalo Bulls guard CJ Massinburg (5) and forward Nick Perkins (33) react as Arizona guard Rawl Atkins looks on in the second half of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at Taco Bell Arena. Photo by USA Today Sports/ Kyle Terada

By Zach Throne

The NCAA Tournament is known for its wild games and crazy finishes, and the Round of 32 was no exception.

Villanova kicked off the Second Round action with a rout of the freshman phenom, Collin Sexton, and the Alabama Crimson Tide in an 81-58 win.

College Basketball powerhouses in Duke and Kentucky followed their storied history with their domination in wins against Rhode Island and Buffalo, respectively.

Loyola-Chicago had already upset Miami in the First Round on a game-winner, but they did not stop there as the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, Clayton Custer, hit a fading away, mid-range jumper to put Loyola-Chicago on top.

Nail-biters followed for the rest of Saturday’s slate of games: Kansas beat Seton Hall 83-79, Gonzaga beat Ohio State 90-84, Texas Tech beat Florida 69-66, and then came the Michigan-Houston game.

Filled with high-level basketball, Michigan’s Jordan Poole made it memorable when he hit a 25-foot three pointer as the buzzer sounded to put the Wolverines over the top against the Cougars of Houston.

Sunday followed the chaotic Saturday with upsets and tight basketball games.

Purdue was able to barely edge out the Butler Bulldogs in a 76-73 victory.

Syracuse continued their run with a defensive showcase in a 55-53 win over the Michigan State Spartans, who was a three seed.

Michigan State fan and Waldorf student athlete, Chris Jones, reflected on the MSU season, “They were so fun to watch, but just could not get the job done. It was painful to watch today because I was really hoping we could make a run at the championship.”

Texas AM and Nevada, both seven seeds, were both able to out two seeds North Carolina and Cincinnati, respectively. The Aggies won their game in dominating fashion, while Nevada had to come back from 22 with ten minutes left to pull out the victory.

Clemson put together an onslaught on Auburn as they won 84-53.

The Cinderella of the tournament, UMBC, dropped a low-scoring affair against Kansas State, ending their miraculous stretch of postseason play. Senior Jairus Lyles struggled to get many shots to fall, as did his teammates. America is proud of the UMBC Retrievers and the season that they had.

“It’s sad to see it end, but UMBC was the highlight of the tournament so far when they beat Virginia in the first round,” praised Nicklaus Harrison of the Waldorf football team.

Florida State was down late to one-seed Xavier, but was able to get some stops and scores to finish the game. This led to a 75-70 victory for the Seminoles over the Musketeers.

After a stunning first round victory over West Virginia, Marshall was unable to handle the defensive pressure of the Mountaineers, leading to an impressive, controlling win for WVU. These two West Virginia-based schools squared off for the first time in the Big Dance.

This wrapped up a wild first two rounds for the NCAA Tournament, only setting up more madness for future rounds.