Both the Bruins and Blazers came off of stunning, same score, one point victories in the 2nd round of the tournament and looked to edge the other for supremacy and a Sweet 16 coasting. Unlike the Battle for Atlantis game on Nov. 28, both teams were able to run full throttle today. That didn’t seem to help UAB much other than keeping them in the game until the last few minutes. They just couldn’t make UCLA turn the ball over or miss shots. When a team is on fire like that, it takes everything in a team to stifle it. UCLA advances in a high scoring contest, 92-75.
Both double-digit seeds are coming off of thrilling one-point victories on Thursday to make it to the third round of the tournament. UAB was able to hit a jumper with 20 seconds to win, while the basketball gods saved UCLA as the Bruins won on a goaltending call. The stakes are even higher today as the Sweet 16 is on the line.
Yesterday, if I were to tell you the Conference USA tournament champion would beat the Big 12 conference champion, you would have called me crazy. But today, it’s the truth. UAB has officially busted everyone’s bracket and completed the first upset of the tourney by beating Iowa State, 60-57.
In a game where both teams shot very poorly from the field, the Blazers were able to outlast the Cyclones. The Blazers were able to dominate the boards on both ends of the court. UAB out rebounded ISU 52-37, with 19 rebounds coming in the offensive end.
Even the best Hollywood movie screenwriter couldn’t have written a more perfect ending for Michigan State on Saturday.
Tied at 56-56 with No. 22 Ohio State, Denzel Valentine – yes, really – hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left in regulation to lift the Spartans to a key win on – yes, really – Valentine’s Day.