When it comes to March Madness, basketball fans love shocks and surprises and there was a rather big one on Saturday the 21st of March. If you love the thrills and action served up in major tournaments, this weekend is already one that will live long in the memory for many basketball fans. The top favourite for the tournament is still in the running for the crown but with one of the most serious contenders out of the running, many people will wonder if anyone is going to be able to stop the Wildcats.
There were three March Madness games on Saturday and with some close finishes and a big surprise, there was more than enough quality to make up for the lack of quantity that was on offer at the start of the third round.
Kentucky 64 – Cincinnati 51
This was a pretty scrappy game that wasn’t one for the purists but there is no doubt that the Wildcats will be delighted at continuing their undefeated season. The favourites and number one seed pulled away in the second half with Trey Lyles grabbing another double-double. He managed this with 11 points and 11 rebounds while also offering an assist.
Butler 64 – Notre Dame 67
With two Indiana based teams battling it out to progress in the big NCAA tournament, this was always likely to be a classic game and so it proved. The number 3 seed managed to grab the win over Butler, the number 6 seeds. This is the first time that Notre Dame has progressed to the Sweet 16 since 2003, with the team celebrating their seventh win in a row.
Steve Vasturia may have had a slow game against Northeastern was in great form with 20 points in the game.
Villanova 68 – NC State 71
This was a shock as the number 8 seed North Carolina State defeated top seeds Villanova in a close game. This was the second time in four seasons that NC State have progressed to the Sweet 16 and this will be a game that many people look back on as one of the biggest matches of the tournament.
Trevor Lacey served up 17 points for his team, a team high, while he also provided 4 assists and 6 rebounds. Lacey also ensured that NC State ended the first half on a high with a 3 point shot at the buzzer.
The five games for Sunday the 22nd of March are:
- West Virginia v Maryland
- Wichita State v Kansas
- UNI v Louisville
- Dayton v Oklahoma
- Michigan State v Virginia
The Sweet 16 games take place on the 26th and 27th of March so there will be a few days off for the successful teams to recover and regroup for the new challenges that await them. This means that the next few days will provide NCAA basketball betting fans the chance to reconsider their betting options and think about what bets they will want to make in the next few days.