Tennessee, Duke Survive As Sweet 16 Field Set
Two of the top contenders in the NCAA Tournament this year faced extreme tests on Sunday afternoon, but at the end of the day, Tennessee and Duke each found a way to book their spot in the Sweet 16. The Volunteers, who had spent the majority of the season in the #1 spot, did drop down to a #2 seed and got everything they could handle and more from the #10 seeded Iowa Hawkeyes in the day’s first game. So much so that 40 minutes of basketball wasn’t enough despite having blown a 25-point lead (yep 25 points, you read that right) over the course of the game to send it to OT. Once there, they knuckled down and got the job done outscoring Iowa 12-6 to win 83-77. It was Grant Williams’, the two-time reigning SEC Player of the Year, six points in OT that propelled them to the win, part of his 19 total.
Another titanic clash took place between the Duke Blue Devils and the UCF Knights. Many were intrigued with this game because it pitted certain #1 NBA Draft pick Zion Williamson against 7’6’’ Tacko Fall. The game didn’t disappoint, and the Blue Devils got all they wanted from the Knights as they barely escaped in the end with a 77-76 win over the #9 Knights. The #1 seeded Duke got 32 points from Williamson, despite a rolled ankle fairly early on, while RJ Barrett had 16 points, four assists, and eight boards. Fall contributed 15 points of his own. Williamson scored over half of his points when the big man wasn’t on the court, such was his effect on the game.