After a couple days off from the madness, the 2021 Sweet 16 is here. Both men's and women's will be held Saturday and Sunday, with four games apiece per day. The UConn vs. Iowa women kicked off the day of games on Saturday, while the Houston vs. Syracuse men will close out the night.
Before the Sweet 16 began, Sports Illustrated ranked both remaining fields (click here for women, here for men). Who will punch a coveted ticket to the Elite Eight? SI will be tracking all eight of the day's NCAA tournament games right here, with the full schedule and broadcast info below.
Women: No. 1 UConn 92, No. 5 Iowa 72
The Paige Bueckers vs. Caitlin Clark show turned out to be much more than that, with both teams' supporting casts shining early before the freshmen settled in for the second half. Despite Iowa hanging within striking distance for the better part of the game, the Huskies' offensive firepower was ultimately too much for an overmatched Hawkeyes defense, with junior Christyn Williams pouring in 27 points and Evina Westbrook nearly pulling off a triple double with 15 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. Bueckers flirted with the feat herself, finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Clark had a rough day from the field against UConn's staunch D, finishing with 21 points on 7-for-21 shooting. —Molly Geary
Men: No. 12 Oregon State 65, No. 8 Loyola Chicago 58
Oregon State’s miracle March run is not done yet. After scoring just three points in the first nine minutes of game action, the Beavers found a way to score against a stingy Loyola defense and got enough stops late to advance to the Elite Eight. Meanwhile, the Ramblers could never quite get going offensively thanks to cold shooting: They shot just 33% from the field and 5 for 23 from three in the game. Loyola fought hard to cut into the deficit, working it all the way down to three with 3:30 to play on a layup by Aher Uguak. But OSU refused to fold, scoring the game’s next four points and making plenty of late free throws to hold on. Ethan Thompson led the way with 22 points for the Beavers, who advance to take on the winner of Syracuse and Houston. —Kevin Sweeney
Women: No. 2 Baylor 78, No. 6 Michigan 75 (OT)
A chaotic ending to a thriller saw the Lady Bears survive to set an Elite Eight date with UConn. Playing in the program's first Sweet 16, the Wolverines pushed Baylor wire-to-wire behind Leigha Brown and Naz Hillmon, rallying in the fourth quarter to send the game to extra time on a layup by Hillmon. But the Lady Bears struck back in OT, with DiJonai Carrington hitting a three and then the go-ahead layup that put Baylor in front for good. Michigan had its chances to tie at the end, but a failure to foul turned into a Akienreh Johnson half-court three attempt that rimmed out. Baylor's NaLyssa Smith led all scorers with 24 points, including going a perfect 11 for 11 from the field. —M.G.
Men: No. 1 Baylor 62, No. 5 Villanova 51
The Wildcats threw the first punch in this one, but eventually Baylor’s athleticism and backcourt talent won out. Playing without star point guard Collin Gillespie, Villanova relied on a strong defensive effort in the opening half to carry a 30–23 lead into halftime. That was quite the accomplishment, particularly considering the Bears average close to 84 points per game on the season. But Baylor found a rhythm in the second half by turning defense into offense: The usually-sure-handed Wildcats committed 16 turnovers in the game, which allowed the Bears to get easy baskets in transition. A major catalyst was Davion Mitchell, whose high-intensity ball pressure made life difficult for the Villanova guards. The teams were tied at 41 with 10 minutes to go, but Baylor outscored Villanova 21–10 down the stretch to punch its ticket to the Elite Eight. —K.S.
Women: No. 4 Indiana 73, No. 1 NC State 70
A No. 1 seed has gone down! Indiana knocked off top-seeded NC State despite a late flurry by the Wolfpack. A 19–2 run spanning across halftime gave the Hoosiers full control of this one after NC State started strong, and IU hung on late after nearly relinquishing a 10-point lead with three minutes to play. NC State had a pair of chances to tie or take the lead in the final minute, but Indiana got key stops when it mattered most and Elissa Cunane’s game-tying three didn’t drop in the closing seconds. All five starters scored in double figures for the Hoosiers, led by point guard Ali Patberg’s 17 points. The win sends Indiana to its first-ever Elite Eight. —K.S.
Men: No. 3 Arkansas 72, No. 15 Oral Roberts 70
Oral Roberts came up literally inches short of the Elite Eight. Max Abmas, one of the stars of the tournament, nearly further etched his name into NCAA tournament lore with a buzzer beater for the win, but the shot rimmed out. That brought to an end a wild back-and-forth sequence to close the game that saw both teams trading buckets when it mattered most. The Golden Eagles led most of the way, leading by as many as 12 in the second half. But the Razorbacks fought back behind the play of guards Jalen Tate and Davonte Davis, who combined for 38 points in the game. It was the freshman Davis who nailed the game-winning shot, a contested mid-range attempt. —K.S.
Women: No. 3 Arizona 74, No. 2 Texas A&M 59
After narrow wins in the first two rounds, the Aggies' magic ran out in the Sweet 16, with Arizona pulling away to secure a spot in the Elite Eight. Wildcats star Aari McDonald had a huge night to help put away A&M, scoring 31 points and canning six of her 12 three-point attempts. Arizona's pressure defense also forced the Aggies into 19 turnovers, helping make up for the Wildcats getting outrebounded on the boards. Next up is No. 4 seed Indiana, where one of the two programs will be going to the Final Four for the first time. —M.G.
Men: No. 2 Houston 62, No. 11 Syracuse 46
A dominant defensive play by the Cougars sent them to the program's first Elite Eight since 1984. After needing a comeback to beat Rutgers in the second round, Houston had an easier time with the Orange, clamping down on defense from the start and maneuvering through the Syracuse zone on offense. Houston held 'Cuse to a woeful offensive display, with Jim Boeheim's team shooting just 28.0% from the floor and 5 for 23 from three. Tournament star Buddy Boeheim finally cooled down, going 1 for 9 from the perimeter in the face of the Cougars' swarming D. —M.G.
The full Saturday schedule (all times are Eastern):
• 1:00 p.m.: No. 1 UConn vs. No. 5 Iowa (ABC)
• 3:00 p.m.: No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 6 Michigan (ABC)
• 6:00 p.m.: No. 1 NC State vs. No. 4 Indiana (ESPN2)
• 8:00 p.m.: No. 2 Texas A&M vs. No. 3 Arizona (ESPN2)
• 2:40 p.m.: No. 8 Loyola Chicago vs. No. 12 Oregon State (CBS)
• 5:15 p.m.: No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 5 Villanova (CBS)
• 7:25 p.m.: No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts (TBS)
• 9:55 p.m.: No. 2 Houston vs. No. 11 Syracuse (TBS)