The first quartet of Sweet 16 games took place on Saturday, and as a result we now know half of the Elite Eight. The first team to punch their ticket there was Oregon State as they took down Loyola Chicago 65-58. The #12 seed relied heavily upon the 22 points from star guard Ethan Thompson and the #8 Ramblers’ vaunted defense just couldn’t come up with enough stops to make up for poor offensive production. The Beavers now have won seven of their last eight games, making them a huge threat as they are peaking at the exact right time. They will take on Houston in the next round following the Cougars’ lopsided 62-46 defeat of Syracuse.
They only allowed Buddy Boeheim to score 14 points (on three field goals) and they rode great defensive play to lock in their place and a potential shot at the Final Four. The Baylor Bears will also be headed to the Elite 8 after they took down Villanova 62-51. The Wildcats had led by seven at the half time interval, but a strong second half for the Bears that saw them outscore their opponents 39-21 saw them overcome and advance. Jermaine Samuels and Adam Flager each led their respective teams with 16 points apiece. The Bears will be facing off with Arkansas in the next round, as that was confirmed following the Razorbacks’ 72-70 win over the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. The #15 seed had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but it rimmed out, pushing the #3 seeded SEC’ers into a first Elite 8 since 1995. Davonte Davis was the hero for the Razorbacks as he nailed a late jumper with 2.9 seconds to go to clinch it. Jalen Tate had scored 22 for them while Max Abmas had 25 for Oral Roberts in the loss.