Catching up with the Madness: Day 4

More stories from Tommy Yarrish

What. Just. Happened.

That was the sole thought going through millions of people’s heads as they watch the final seconds of Duke and UCF’s second round matchup, as Duke was able to pull out a miraculous victory.

Put the heart-stopping finish wasn’t the only thing that happened on the last day of the round of 32, I’ve got you covered with all of the other action around the Madness.

UCF inches away from pulling off one of the biggest upsets in tournament history

UCF’s Aubrey Dawkins had one of the best nights of his career. He had 32 points on 12 for 18 shooting, but was a putback layup away from knocking off number one seed Duke.

But the putback was only one of UCF’s crucial misses late in the game, as they had the opportunity to go up by six with 1:49 left but missed an alley-oop attempt on a 2 on 1 fastbreak. Because of the miss, Duke’s Cam Reddish knocked down a huge three pointer to make it a one point game.

UCF came back and drew a foul, and B.J. Taylor knocked down two big free-throws to extend their lead to 76-73 with 45 seconds left.

After Duke star Zion Williamson missed a three, the Blue Devils quickly got a rebound and kicked it right back to Williamson, who attacked the basket and made an and-one finish over UCF’s 7’6 Tacko Fall who fouled out on the play.

Had Fall not fouled out, he could’ve ended the game off of Zion’s missed free-throw. But since he wasn’t in the game, star point guard R.J. Barrett snagged the offensive rebound and made an easy layup to give the Blue Devils a 77-76 lead.

After UCF’s final timeout had concluded, they ran an inbound play to get the ball into the hands of B.J. Taylor, who drove in with less than ten seconds on the clock and missed a short jumpshot. Aubrey Dawkins flew in, caught the ball off the miss, and tried to put it back in, but the ball circled around the rim and fell out into the hands of the Blue Devils, who would run the clock out and advance to the sweet sixteen for the fourth time in the last five years.

Zion led the Blue Devils with 32 points and 11 rebounds. R.J. Barrett added 16 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, and Cam Reddish chipped in 13 points off of three three-pointers.

Aubrey Dawkins had four assists and three steals to go along with his 32 points, and Tacko Fall had 15 points, six rebounds, and three blocks in just 25 minutes.

Duke now takes on four-seed Virginia Tech on Friday, in what should be an interesting game considering Duke’s rocky start thus far. The Hokies are coming off a nine point victory over Liberty, who pulled off the upset of Mississippi State in the first round.

Tennessee survives second half comeback to advance over Iowa

No matter how big of a lead a team has, a win is never guaranteed.

Tennessee almost learned this lesson the hard way, as tenth-seeded Iowa overcame a 25 point deficit with a 43-22 run in the second half to bring the game to overtime.

Luckily for the Vols, SEC player of the year Grant Williams had stepped up for six points in the overtime period led his team to the 83-77 victory.

Admiral Schofield and WIlliams combined for 38 points and 12 rebounds for Tennessee, along with Lamonte Turner and Jordan Bone dropping double-digit points. Jordan Bowden had a nice game as he came off the bench and added eight points to go with three rebounds and a block.

All five Iowa starters were in double digit-scoring, lead by Jordan Bohannon with 18 points. The starters scored all but eight points in the loss, and will head to the offseason after a turnaround year for the program.

Tennessee advance again to face three-seed Purdue, who’re hot off of Carsen Edward’s 42 point night in the victory against the reigning champion Villanova.

Games to watch as the Madness resumes:

#1 Virginia vs #12 Oregon

#1 Gonzaga vs #4 Florida State

#2 Michigan vs #3 Texas Tech