Loyola Chicago notched its second straight upset in the 2018 NCAA Tournament with a 63-62 win over the Volunteers, giving the Ramblers their first Sweet 16 berth since 1985.
The Ramblers took a 29-25 lead into halftime, and despite a late rally from the Volunteers, Loyola won in the closing seconds. Guard Clayton Custer drained a game-winning jumper with three seconds left, adding another chapter to the Cinderella story the Ramblers had already started to write by defeating No. 6 seed Miami in first-round action Thursday.
Coming off of a night where No. 16 seed UMBC pulled off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA history by knocking out No. 1 Virginia, the pressure was on for No. 1 Villanova and No. 2 Duke to advance — and both teams were able to do that with blow out wins in Saturday's second round.
Villanova faced No. 9 Alabama in the East Region, and at no point was there a question the favorite would advance, the Wildcats winning 81-58. The players were fully aware of the UMBC stunner that happened the night before, with Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo saying, "We're a 1 seed so it was more attention for us."
With the victory, the Wildcats are in the Sweet 16 after missing it last year following their 2016 national championship.
The Blue Devils faced No. 7 Rhode Island in the Midwest, and like the Tide against Villanova, the Rams were never really in the game, which Duke won 87-62.
Duke was led by freshman forward Marvin Bagley III, who scored 22 points with nine rebounds, and freshman big man Wendell Carter Jr. added 13 points. The victory gave Duke its 26th trip to the Sweet 16, where they'll play either Michigan State or Syracuse in the Midwest Regional semifinals Friday.
Stud of the Day
Projected as a first-round pick in the NBA Draft, it isn't surprising junior guard Mikal Bridges put up a strong performance in Villanova's 81-58 win against Alabama. Despite having a slow first half shooting 0-for-5, Bridges turned it on in the second half. In just over five minutes, Bridges put up 19 points after the break, drawing a standing ovation from the Villanova fans at PPG Paints Arena. Bridges finished the game with 23 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range and 4 out of 5 from the free-throw line.
Dud of the Day
Alabama sophomore forward Braxton Key was on the court for 29 minutes, but scored only six points for the Crimson Tide. He was 2 of 5 from the field and 1 of 3 from behind the 3-point line. Worse, of his four free-throw attempts, he only made one.
Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo wasn't going to let Buffalo's Wes Clark score on this shot. As Clark went up, Diallo came out of no where with a huge block. The Wildcats went on to defeat the Bulls 95-75.
Florida (21-12) vs. Texas Tech (25-9) 8:40 p.m. ET — There's not much separating No. 3 Texas Tech and No. 6 Florida in the East, as they both finished the regular season in the top 25. Texas Tech tied for second in the Big 12, while Florida finished third in the SEC. Even though the Gators enter with a lower seed, Florida is no stranger to tournament play and has more experience in March. The Gators reached the Elite Eight last season and made it to the championship game four years ago.