March Madness: South Region Second Round Recap in NCAA Tournament; Sweet Times for Butler

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March Madness: South Region Second Round Recap in NCAA Tournament; Sweet Times for Butler

The South Region was not very busy on Saturday, having only one of its Round of 32 games being played.  The Butler Bulldogs fought off a late charge to defeat The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, 74-65.  The three remaining games are Sunday and you have probably heard of some of the teams involved.  The top three seeds in the South region will take the floor in three intriguing match ups.

Sweet Times for Butler Bulldogs

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and despite a few runs never trailed to the Blue Raiders.  In a game that was only tied once, Butler was able to play with a cushion ranging from five to eleven points for most of the night.  Chris Holtman‘s team had three players in double figures, shot 51% from the field, and hit 8 three pointers.

After a disjointed start in which both teams struggled to gain traction, Butler got going and never looked back.  Avery Woodson hit a three pointer to spark a 8-2 run and the Bulldogs led 21-13.  Their lead would balloon to as high as twelve and never be less than five points until late.

Kelan Martin hit a three that pushed the lead to 59-47 with seven minutes to go.  The Bulldogs would not score another point for four minutes.  The Blue Raiders took advantage of this drought thanks to Antwain Johnson and Brandon Walters.  The two combined to score nine points in a row and close the gap to 59-56 at the 3:40 mark of the second half.

Andrew Chrabascz then drained his only three point attempt to push the lead to six.  The game would get no closer than five after that point.  Butler now cruises into the Sweet 16 fresh off two impressive victories in Milwaukee.

Player of The Game – Kelan Martin

The junior forward came off the bench to score 19 points, including three shots from beyond the arc.  Martin also added six rebound, four assists, and a steal just to make sure he helped in all areas.

Big Names in Big Games

Three more spots in the Sweet 16 will be up for grabs on Sunday.  College basketball heavy weights North Carolina, Kentucky, and UCLA will all look to punch their ticket to the next round.  Arkansas, Wichita State, and Cincinnati, respectively, will be looking to spoil those plans.

Notes For Sunday

North Carolina Tarheels vs Arkansas Razorbacks

Each of these teams like to play an up tempo style so the pace should be frantic.  The Tarheels are led by ACC Player of the Year Justin Jackson who scored 21 points as they coasted past Texas Southern in their opener.   Senior Moses Kingsley had 23 points and 4 blocks as the Razorbacks fought past Seton Hall 77-71 on Friday.

Kentucky Wildcats vs Wichita State Shockers

This is probably the juiciest match up left in the Round of 32, and should be  tightly contested all game.  Kentucky sputtered past Northern Kentucky by 79-70, and will need to get explosive freshman Malik Monk out of his slump.  Coach Greg Marshall‘s Shockers are looking to get to the Sweet 16 for the third time in five years after holding off Dayton on Friday.

UCLA Bruins vs Cincinnati Bearcats

The Bruins scored 97 points Friday as the highest scoring team in the country continues to pile up points.  Freshman Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf will look to get off to hot starts again as they both had double figures by halftime against Kent StateTroy Caupain led the Bearcats past Kansas State with 23 points and 7 rebounds.  Cincinnati’s tough defense will be tested by the fast paced Bruins.

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