The Elite 8 for the 2021 NCAA Tournament is now set following Sunday’s results. Though the upsets did slow down, they did not completely stop in what has been a tourney full of the madness of March. The most notable result from the day saw UCLA, a #11 seed that had to win a play-in game just to earn their spot in the ‘official’ tournament, take down #2 Alabama 88-78 in overtime. This one could have been so different, too. Without their top scorer down the stretch and having seen the Crimson Tide nail a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie it up and force OT, they could have easily fallen in the extra period. Instead, however, they buckled down and dominated in those final five minutes, pulling away to win comfortably.
Jaime Jacquez led the way for the Bruins, scoring 17 points, with two huge buckets coming early in OT to help set the tone. That will set them up for a meeting with #1 seed Michigan, who pretty much waltzed past #4 Florida State 76-58. The Wolverines got 14 from Hunter Dickinson as well as 13 points and ten rebounds from Franz Wagner. In the second half, they scored 30 consecutive points from the paint, building a huge lead that would not be broken. Following their suit, #1 overall seed Gonzaga also eased their way into the Elite 8, seeing off Creighton 83-65. Drew Timme had 22 points on 10-14 from the floor for the Bulldogs as they continued their undefeated season to this point and set up a matchup with USC. The Trojans, a #6 seed, took down fellow Pac-12 members Oregon (a #7 seed) 82-68. Despite giving up 28 points to Eugene Omoruyi, they did enough to slow down the Ducks’ vaunted offense and book themselves a place in their first Elite 8 in 20 years. Now, they will have the unenviable task of attempting to try and hand the Zags a defeat.