The 2021 men's NCAA tournament first round is complete, and we are down to 32 teams left in Indianapolis. Those teams include a whopping eight double-digit seeds, from No. 10 Rutgers and Maryland to No. 15 Oral Roberts, and one team. No. 7 Oregon, which advanced without playing due to VCU's COVID-19 forfeit.
On Sunday, the second round kicked off with eight games, with another eight scheduled for Monday. Who will earn a coveted spot in the Sweet 16? Sports Illustrated will keep you updated throughout the day with scores and brief recaps, from Illinois vs. Loyola Chicago to Oklahoma State vs. Oregon State. Sunday's full schedule is below.
No. 8 Loyola Chicago 71, No. 1 Illinois 58
The second round started with a bang on Sunday afternoon, as Porter Moser's Ramblers channeled their March magic again to knock off top-seeded Illinois in the Midwest Region and reach the Sweet 16. Loyola put on a clinic to lead the Illini from wire-to-wire, holding star Ayo Dosunmu to nine points on 10 shots and generally stymieing the Illinois offense while dicing up its defense every time the Ramblers needed a bucket. Senior big man Cameron Krutwig played a hell of a game for Loyola, totaling 19 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and three steals and holding his own against Kofi Cockburn. Illinois is the first No. 1 seed to fall in this men's NCAA tournament, though three more await their games in the Round of 32. —Molly Geary
No. 1 Baylor 76, No. 9 Wisconsin 63
While the Badgers made it interesting at times, the Bears ensured they wouldn't be the second No. 1 seed to go down on Sunday by holding off Wisconsin to advance to the Sweet 16. Baylor navigated around four Jared Butler fouls to keep the Badgers at bay, getting a game-high 17 points from Matthew Mayer off the bench and 16 apiece by Butler and Davion Mitchell, the latter of whom provided a steadying presence down the stretch. The Bears' defense forced a normally sure-handed Wisconsin bunch into 14 turnovers, helping make the difference after both teams shot an identical 25 for 55 from the field. —M.G.
No. 11 Syracuse 75, No. 3 West Virginia 72
There’s just something about Syracuse in March. The Orange continued their dream run through the tournament with an upset win over No. 3 seed West Virginia, riding a hot-shooting offense and the patented 2–3 zone that confused WVU at times to advance to the Sweet 16. The Orange knocked down 14 threes in the game, including six more from Buddy Boeheim and four from sophomore Joseph Girard III. That was enough to get by the Mountaineers, who roared back after trailing by double figures in the first half to take the lead briefly in the second half. And while the Orange had issues dealing with West Virginia’s late-game pressure, Syracuse did just enough to advance. —Kevin Sweeney
No. 3 Arkansas 68, No. 6 Texas Tech 66
A furious second-half rally by the Red Raiders ultimately fell short as Kyler Edwards missed a game-tying layup just before the buzzer sounded to send the Razorbacks to their first Sweet 16 since 1996. Arkansas survived a 4-for-17 showing from three with a gritty defensive performance, as Tech made just 12 of its 41 shots inside the arc. Justin Smith had his second straight big game in the tournament for the Hogs, finishing with 20 points and six rebounds, to lead four Razorbacks in double figures. —M.G.
No. 2 Houston 63, No. 10 Rutgers 60
For most of this one, it looked like Rutgers was about to extend its stay in Indianapolis for another week during its first trip to the NCAA tournament in 30 years. But the Cougars roared back late, rallying from nine down with under five minutes to play to steal a victory and advance. A critical moment late was a missed dunk by Myles Johnson that would have brought the lead to 10 with close to four minutes to go. On the ensuing Houston possession, DeJon Jarreau drained a three to cut the deficit to five. The Cougars never looked back. A huge and-one putback by Tramon Mark gave them their first lead since late in the first half, and after a pair of free throws for the Cougars, Ron Harper’s game-tying shot rolled off the rim. Houston advances to take on Syracuse. —K.S.
No. 15 Oral Roberts 81, No. 7 Florida 78
For just the second time ever, a No. 15 seed is going to the Sweet 16. After trailing for the first 17 minutes of the second half, ORU surged ahead with an offensive explosion late. The Golden Eagles scored 25 points in the game’s final 10 minutes to regain the lead, riding the star duo of Max Abmas (26 points, seven assists) and Kevin Obanor (28 points, 11 rebounds) to yet another upset victory. A huge three by DeShang Weaver gave ORU the lead at 80–78 with 2:10 to go, and the Golden Eagles found a way to secure several key stops down the stretch to extend their stay in the bubble. They’ll take on Arkansas in the Sweet 16. —K.S.
No. 5 Villanova 84, No. 13 North Texas 61
North Texas couldn’t recreate its magical first game and was blown away by No. 5 Villanova. UNT’s usually-stingy defense, which hadn’t conceded 80 points in a game since midway through the 2019–20 season, couldn’t control a Villanova offense that fired on all cylinders in this one. A balanced effort that saw four Wildcats score in double figures was the answer, with big man Jeremiah Robinson-Earl posting 18 points, six rebounds and six assists to lead the way. Robinson-Earl’s emergence into a distributor has been critical for the Wildcats, which continue to play without star point guard Collin Gillespie. Jay Wright’s club advances to take on No. 1 Baylor. —K.S.
No. 12 Oregon State 80, No. 4 Oklahoma State 70
Another trendy Final Four pick goes down to close out Sunday night, with the surging Oregon State Beavers taking down Cade Cunningham and the Cowboys. Oregon State rode a big night from Ethan Thompson (26 points, seven rebounds, 15 free throws) into the program's first Sweet 16 since 1982, capping a perfect opening three days for the surprising Pac-12. Cunningham, in what's almost certainly his final college game, finished with 24, but overall, Oklahoma State had a rough shooting night, going 27% from both the field and from three. —M.G.
The full schedule for Sunday's second-round men's NCAA tournament games (all times are Eastern):
• 12:10 p.m.: No. 1 Illinois vs. No. 8 Loyola Chicago (CBS)
• 2:40 p.m.: No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 9 Wisconsin (CBS)
• 5:15 p.m.: No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 11 Syracuse (CBS)
• 6:10 p.m.: No. 3 Arkansas Oklahoma vs. No. 6 Texas Tech (TNT)
• 7:10 p.m.: No. 2 Houston vs. No. 10 Rutgers (TBS)
• 7:45 p.m.: No. 7 Florida vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts (truTV)
• 8:45 p.m.: No. 5 Villanova vs. No. 13 North Texas (TNT)
• 9:40 p.m.: No. 4 Oklahoma State vs. No. 12 Oregon State (TBS)
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