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Literally Everything You May Have Missed From Saturday's Sweet 16 Games In The NCAA Tournament

Gotta admit for yesterday being by far the weaker of the two days on paper, we had competitive games. That's all I ask for in standalone games. Still a big fan of the 4 standalone games. I don't care if we go back to Thursday/Friday for the Sweet 16, just please make it all standalone. Start the games a little earlier, I don't care. I'm selfish. Anyways there's still plenty to get through so let's roundup. 

No. 12 Oregon State (65), No. 8 Loyola Chicago (58) 

Yes, these are two good defensive teams - Loyola is even great. But the shot making for the most part, especially in the first half was awful. Credit to Oregon State here. Wayne Tinkle got away from his man defense and ran a 1-2-2 press and extended zone that completely threw Loyola off. They had more turnovers than made field goals in the first half. Only one person made a field goal in the first half outside of Cam Krutwig. At the same time, Ethan Thompson was the best player on the court. He finished with 22 before Lucas hit that dagger three when Loyola made it interesting. This was about the adjustments Oregon State made though. Loyola's offense is predicated on backcuts and playing through Krutwig whether it's out of the high or low post. The zone took that away. They doubled in on Krutwig from different angles forcing guys to hit threes. Lucas Williamson couldn't hit a shot today. It happens, but that's part of the NCAA Tournament. One bad night and you're done. Because of that Oregon State is just the second 12 seed to ever make the Elite Eight - tied for the lowest seed ever to make it that far. 

No. 1 Baylor (62), No. 5 Villanova (51) 

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Here's the game where not having Collin Gillespie flat out cost Nova. They had everything going for them in the first half. Shit, even for the majority of the game. Jared Butler was awful. Baylor couldn't make any threes. They were playing right into Nova's hands the entire first half trying to play through its bigs. But then Baylor's defense just picked up the pressure in the second half. They started getting up into the guards forcing them to deal with pressure for 3/4 court. The real catalyst was Davion Mitchell, who is turning himself into a top-20 pick. He's the best defender on Baylor, one of the best in the country. He started forcing turnovers and the pressure just got to Nova. It wasn't pretty, but it's what Baylor had to do. Remember this is the best shooting team in the country and it just wasn't there today. That happens - look at Loyola. The difference was Baylor got stops when Oregon State kept answering against Loyola. What makes Baylor so scary is they can get in that mode and they are so damn versatile. We saw them roll out so many different looks whether it was 4 guards with a big. They can move Vital to the 5. They have a 6'9" Matthew Mayer who is a mismatch on the offensive side of the ball. If Butler is off, they still have Teague, Mitchell and Flagler who comes off the bench. 

No. 3 Arkansas (72), No. 15 Oral Roberts (70) 

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The best game of the day because, sure, why not with a 15 seed? It's like they need to start trailing before they stop jacking long twos early in the shot clock and applying some pressure. Max Abmas showed up. No surprise, the dude led the country in scoring for a reason. But Arkansas was going right after him defensively. They were using Jalen Tate's size to get into the paint against him and finish at the rim. Ultimately that's how Arkansas won this game - along with offensive rebounding. But Tate made the play to get into the lane, disrupt the defense and Davis hit the shot. Davis had a hell of a game too finishing with 16. Big time for a freshman. I still can't believe that last play though for Abmas. The fact he was able to not only get the ball but get THAT clean of a look. The fact that was an inch off. Just insane. Feels like that shot was going to fall, feel like that shot falls all the time in that situation. Just a beautiful play design to get him the ball moving and able to get 3 dribbles to get right to the line. 

No. 2 Houston (62), No. 11 Syracuse (46) 

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Kelvin Sampson can flat out coach his ass off. The guy has turned Houston into one of the most consistent programs in the country. Also you think he scouted? WVU's best defense on Buddy Boeheim was using size on him. He had Jarreau run damn near a box and 1 on him and bothered him with size. That's what Houston can do though. Yeah, Syracuse has the zone, but Houston's defense is fucking awesome. Then offensively they attacked the zone correctly. They flashed different playmakers into the high post where the zone was extended. They let Grimes flash then relocate for looks. It wasn't super pretty, but it was correct. Also gotta feel like a huge monkey off Sampson's back. The last two Tournaments they lost on a Tyler Herro three with a few seconds left and a Jordan Poole buzzer beater in the Sweet 16. They finally escaped and got to the Elite Eight. What a way for the bracket to break for them too going 15-10-11-12 to get a chance to the Final Four. I'll tell you what though. The biggest play of the night was made by Quentin Grimes, the former McDonald's All-American and Kansas transfer. Syracuse was down 8 and forced a turnover. Looked like they were about to have a layup to cut it to 6 and Grimes made a hell of a steal. Houston converted that into an and-1. That's how you change the outcome of a game.