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2019 NCAA Tournament Deals: Duke and Tennessee Survive, UNC and Virginia Cruise to Sweet 16

TULSA, Okla – And then there were sixteen.

After a whirlwind first four days in the NCAA tournament in 2019, the field has been halved with each of the first two rounds, and the left is only the teams lucky enough to have won twice. The sweet 16.

We've seen a bit of everything during the fringe first days. Yes Morant's rise to superstardom and subsequent exit out of the NCAA tournament came in no time. LSU gave us our first (and so far) only summer beater. UCF, meanwhile gave almost us a summing war against Duke.

So yes, much has gone down.

If you missed a blow from the day it was, we've covered you.

first North Carolina is peaking at the right time

What do you say? A North Carolina team containing three potential first-round drafts, and trained by a Hall of Famer, takes shape at the right time? Seems like an average March for Tar Heels.

UNC made short work of 9 Seed Washington, a team cruised to the Pac-1

2 season title on Sunday in a 81-59 beatdown. Impressive. Dominant. All the adjectives. But the way they did it brings up another descriptive term: jarring.

North Carolina has been dominating this season riding veterans Cameron Johnson and Luke Maye with a heavy dosage of freshman Coby White streamed down the line, but Sunday it was Nassir Little, the projected top 10 pick who has been a bit of a enigma that looked its star brighter. Little scored 20 – bound to a team high with Luke Maye – and exercised his will on Washington at both ends of the floor using his length and athleticism to add 7 rebounds and a block.

This was Nassir Little UNC who believed it was becoming this season. He throws at the right time, and also Tar Tar Heels, who goes on to Sweet 16 to face No. 5 Seed Auburn in Midwest Regional.

2nd Tennessee officially lives on borrowed time

Nr. 2 seeds Tennessee climbed 25 points in Iowa in the first half of Sunday's game.

The game ended for overtime.

Iowa returned from the dead to force an extra period, and while the Vols continued to win 83-77, they must thank their lucky stars for being able to do so. They were rude down the line in regulation and came almost completely separated by the seams before Grant Williams took over late without co-star admiral Schofield, who was in pain. Coach Rick Barnes says that Schofield actually chose to stay on the bench. "He continued to leave Kyle in the game." Barnes said after the victory. "With four mistakes, he knew they would get right at him." He said Coach, I can't keep the way I can guard. I'm going to fade. "

This should wake up to a Tennessee team that should have cruised. The Vols was a clutch of Iowa buckets away from being eliminated, but instead marching on and off borrowed time. After surviving a close collapse, who would have tied to the biggest blown lead in NCAA tournament history, Rocky Top could feel that it has a wealth of housekeeping on his side.

3. Duke escaped the verdict

How's it for an escape job? The rim to win it to the UCF, both inches away from falling and ending the duke's season, both robbing out.

This was one of several cases where the UCF could have put Duke away.

It takes a lot talent, a good coaching and some luck along the way to win a national championship Duke checked all three boxes on Sunday

UCF and Duke traded 13 leaders in their second round clash, but eventually Zion Williamson's 32 points and 11 rebounds together with RJ Barrett's 16 po int (no bigger than the one below) that proved too much for the knights. It also did the extra luck. Duke is sweet 16-bound.

4th Texas Tech is devastatingly good

In a charged western region containing No. 1 seed Gonzaga and headland No. 2 Michigan, Texas Tech can be the most equipped to move on with the pile. The Red Raiders are devastating, their defense is stifling and their offense … mortal.

The crushed 32-winner Buffalo on Sunday, and the second half was not very close.

Texas Tech only allows 59 points per. Games, the third best in Division I. So for the defense to get down into a tournament game, it's not too surprising. But for the defense to hold Buffalo, a team that averaged more than 85 points per game this season before Sunday, to only 58 points is spectacular.

5th Full power Virginia Tech could be a problem for Duke

Yes, it was without Zion Williamson, but Virginia Tech is one of only three teams to defeat Duke this season. And guess what: Virginia Tech had an apology against Duke at the time the two met when Hokies' playmaker and third-largest scorer Justin Robinson were out.

Now the two are in full strength.

Williamson is back and apparently better than ever, and Robinson is also back and round in shape after scoring 13 points and adding four assists in a 67-58 second round victory over No 12 Seed Liberty.

Virginia Tech is another team with another defensive dynamic when Robinson is on trial. He is a dog circumferentially defensive, a credible general who initiates things in error and an experienced veteran who has been hard on it in four seasons.

We are finding out how well Virginia Tech is in full strength with the most stacked talent in the NCAA tournament, and whether the Hokies are able to beat their full strength roster against Duke's for a shot at Elite Eight.

6th Virginia 2019 is better built than Virginia 2018

Metrics says it. The eye test proves it: Virginia is a better constructed team in 2019 than it was in 2018, when it fell in the first round as a No. 1 seed to No. 16 seed UMBC.

It is fair to still be concerned about Cavaliers and how their style of gaming projects in the postseason; They run a plodding crime and are not built to come back if they fall behind, but this team can just be good enough for it to be nothing.

The big difference between 2019 and 2018 is, of course, the presence of projected lottery picks the Deandre Hunter. He had a shoulder injury and did not play in the tournament last year. And maybe it's that simple, but after two consecutive defensive shows where they totally choked their opponent, the latest victim 9 seed Oklahoma in a 63-51 snoozer can be UVA fans optimistic that this year may be different than the previous early exits that have taken place under Tony Bennett.

7th Houston can win any way it needs

If you want to run up and down the court and have a shootout, Houston will happily do so. If you want to play the game up, Cougars run the halfcourt set and slow down the pace of a crawl, Houston, it will also happily do so too.

Kelvin Sampson's club won 74-59 on Sunday to move on to Sweet 16 using the latter style. Ohio State delayed the game to a crawl and forced both teams to perform in halfcourt and perform in Halfcourt Houston did. The third-party Cougars shot 46 percent from the floor and from 26 percent three-point range, none of which is particularly large. But Cougar's defense limits Buckeyes to only 39 percent from the floor and forces 14 sales that support that when the offense doesn't fire on all cylinders, the defense can carry that team.

8 thereof. Pac-12 is not dead yet

The Pac-12 has what the Big East, a conference that considered better overall this season, not: a puncher's chance of still winning the 2019 national championship.

Washington was eliminated Saturday at No. 1 seed North Carolina to release the counter from 2 to 1. But Oregon – Pac-12's automatic qualification, which would not have been on the pitch if not for a magical race in the league's postseason tournament – is alive and well after smashing Anteaters by UC Irvine 73-54. Up next: A cute 16 shot at # 1 seed Virginia in South Regional.

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