2019 March Madness: Biggest Stories Of Round 1 & 2

2019 NCAA Sweet 16
March 28-29
Washington, DC - Anaheim, CA - Louisville, KY - Kansas City, MO

East

Zion Williamson has taken this Duke team and put them on his back. The superstar has emerged as a star in this tournament. When RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish have found themselves slipping, Williamson has proven to be a rock.

Duke made easy work of #16 North Dakota State in the first round of the NCAA Men's D1 Basketball Tournament. They survived a close one against Tacko Fall and #9 UCF in the second round. Duke slipped away with a 77-76 win after two failed attempts at the basket by UCF in the closing seconds of the game.

Williamson charged the lane and drew a foul from Tacko Fall with 14.4 seconds remaining on the clock. That along with RJ Barrett's put-back of Zion's missed free throw put Duke on top for the win.

West

The story in the West was #12 Murray State's Ja Morant. Morant put up big numbers in round one against #5 Marquette. The guard scored 17 points, dropped 16 dimes, and grabbed 11 boards in the win over the big favorite.

While they were blown out of the water by #4 Florida State in Round 2, Morant scored 28 points, grabbed five rebounds, and passed for four assists.

FSU's Mfiondu Kabengele will look to repeat his performance from the Murray State game.  Kabengele put up 22 points and seven rebounds on 10 of 12 shooting off of the bench. FSU will face #1 Gonzaga in the Sweet 16.

South

This bracket saw the biggest surprise of any so far. Both #4 Kansas State and #5 Wisconsin were eliminated in the first round. Wisconsin took a beating at the hands of #12 Oregon. Oregon would also go on to demolish #13 UC Irvine.

Oregon has been shooting lights out. In Round 1, the Ducks shot 55% from the field and 47% from three-point land. They flipped it in Round 2 and shot 46% from the field with 52% from beyond the arc. Oregon has now won 10 straight games.

If they were up against another team, I'd say fear the Ducks, but Virginia is the real deal and won't be intimidated by fowl.

Midwest

North Carolina has not been tested yet this tournament. They defeated #16 Iona 88-73 before downing #9 Washington 81-59. The Tar Heels are scary team. I fully expect them to be playing in the Final Four on April 6th.

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