We’re just about halfway through Sunday’s games and four games away from knowing the Sweet Sixteen in the 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket. Three and a half games are down, with a wave of prime-time games to go tonight to solidify the bracket before March Madness goes quiet for the next few days.
In the early game, North Carolina outlasted Washington in an 86-83 win. The Huskies had a head-shaking final few moments filled with mistakes and miscues after a back-and-forth game. Justin Holiday turned the ball over on an inbounds pass with Washington down one, allowing UNC to push the lead to three at the free throw line. Inexplicably, Venoy Overton launched a half-court runner with two seconds left, hitting nothing but hardwood as it landed out of bounds. With less than a second to go and a shot at the tie, Isaiah Thomas was unable to get a foot behind the three-point arc and missed a desperation shot as the Huskies fell in the round of 32.
The two No. 1 seeds in action so far both survived in completely different ways. Duke staved off a pesky Michigan squad after a frantic finish, 73-71. Ohio State, on the other hand, steam-rolled George Mason to advance to the Sweet Sixteen with a 98-66 win. Arizona is leading No. 4 seed Texas at the half, 36-25.
Here’s a look at the bracket after this morning’s games. For a full 2011 NCAA Tournament printable bracket, stop by SB Nation.
No. 1 Ohio State def. No. 8 George Mason, 98-66
No. 4 Kentucky def. No. 5 WVU, 71-63
No. 2 UNC def. No. 7 Washington, 86-83
No. 3 Syracuse vs. No. 11 Marquette
No. 1 Duke Blue Devils def. No. 8 Michigan Wolverines, 73-71
No. 4 Texas Longhorns vs. No. 5 Arizona Wildcats
No. 3 Connecticut Huskies def. No. 6 Cincinnati Bearcats, 69-58
No. 2 San Diego State def. No. 7 Temple Owls, 71-64
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Illinois Fighting Illini
No. 12 Richmond Spiders def. No. 13 Morehead St. Eagles, 65-48
No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers vs. No. 12 VCU Rams
No. 2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. No. 10 Florida State Seminoles
No. 8 Butler def No. 1 Pittsburgh, 71-70
No. 4 Wisconsin def. No. 5 Kansas State, 70-65
No. 3 BYU def. No. 11 Gonzaga, 89-67
No. 2 Florida def. No. 7 UCLA, 73-65