After a chaotic first round of the NCAA Tournament, the second round has settled into mostly chalk action. That doesn't make the games less exciting, but if you were hoping for some big upsets on Saturday, you're out of luck.
The most impressive performance of the day may have been No. 1 North Carolina. The Tar Heels had some trouble with No. 9 Providence in the first half, but they asserted their dominance in a big way down the stretch, walking away with the 85-66 win. The Friars' fate was sealed when Ben Bentil fouled out with over seven minutes left in the second half, and UNC opened up the floodgates, outscoring Providence 51-36 in the second half.
Brice Johnson dominated the game with 21 points and 10 rebounds on 7-of-9 shooting, while Marcus Paige added 12 points. On the flip side, it was a disappointing way for future NBA lottery pick Kris Dunn to go out. Dunn finished his last collegiate game with 29 points, but it wasn't enough to rally his team back.
UNC and Indiana are now set for a Sweet 16 showdown next week.
The day started off with No. 3 Miami dispatching No. 11 Wichita State, officially ending the college careers of Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet. No. 4 Duke took a 48-25 halftime lead on No. 12 Yale and looked to cruise towards a blowout win, but Yale made a spirited comeback in the second half to make the final minutes tense. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough and the Blue Devils will move on to face either No. 1 Oregon or No. 8 Saint Joseph's in the Sweet 16.
The afternoon slate had easily the best game of the day, with No. 5 Indiana beating No. 4 Kentucky in a thrilling contest from beginning to end. This game was almost too good to be taking place in the second round, but that's the way the bracket falls sometimes. The Hoosiers move on to play No. 1 North Carolina.
In the late afternoon, No. 1 Virginia got plenty of scares from No. 9 Butler, but the Cavaliers eventually hung on for the win to avoid being the first No. 1 seed to crash out this year. The Cavaliers will now prepare for No. 4 Iowa State, which had little trouble putting away No. 12 Little Rock.
One of the evening games featured yet another black eye for the Pac-12. No. 11 Gonzaga ran No. 3 Utah out of the building with an 82-59 win, leaving the Pac-12 down to just one team after three days. This is particularly disappointing to the conference after it sent seven teams to this year's tournament. No. 1 Oregon is now the Pac-12's only hope for a respectful showing -- the Ducks face No. 8 Saint Joseph's on Sunday night.
In other late-night action, No. 1 Kansas made quick work of No. 9 Connecticut, moving on to face either No. 5 Maryland or No. 13 Hawaii next week.
Be sure to follow along with our printable bracket, available right here.
No. 3 Miami 65, No. 11 Wichita State 57
No. 4 Duke 71, No. 12 Yale 64
No. 5 Indiana 73, No. 4 Kentucky 67
No. 4 Iowa State 78, No. 12 Arkansas-Little Rock 61
No. 1 Virginia 77, No. 9 Butler 69
No. 1 Kansas 73, No. 9 Connecticut 61
No. 11 Gonzaga 82, No. 3 Utah 59
No. 1 North Carolina 85, No. 9 Providence 66
Sunday's second-round schedule (all times Eastern)
No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 7 Iowa (12:10 p.m., CBS)
No. 6 Notre Dame vs. No. 14 Stephen F. Austin (2:40 p.m., CBS)
No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 10 VCU (5:15 p.m., CBS)
No. 10 Syracuse vs. No. 15 Middle Tennessee State (6:10 p.m., TNT)
No. 5 Maryland vs. No. 13 Hawaii (7:10 p.m., TBS)
No. 3 Texas A&M vs. No. 11 Northern Iowa (7:40 p.m., truTV)
No. 2 Xavier vs. No. 7 Wisconsin (8:40 p.m., TNT)
No. 1 Oregon vs. No. 8 Saint Joseph's (9:40 p.m., TBS)
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Watch No. 11 Northern Iowa stun No. 6 Texas with this amazing buzzer beater from half court
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