Observer Sports March Madness Bracket – Round of 64, East Region
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, March 27, 2020
We’re back with the East Region in the Round of 64. Yesterday we saw the nine- and 10-seeds win — are there any bigger upsets in store today? Let’s find out:
No. 1 Dayton def. No. 16 Boston University, 84-64
The Flyers have some early nerves as a first time 1-seed, but they begin to pull away from the Terriers at the end of the first half, and they cruise in the second half. The Patriot League champions simply don’t have the firepower to keep up with Obi Toppin and the Flyers.
No. 8 Colorado def. No. 9 Florida, 72-69
This was a tight battle between our voters, but Colorado edges out Florida. The Gators finish an extremely underwhelming season with a Round of 64 exit, and Colorado moves on to challenge Dayton in the Round of 32.
No. 12 Richmond def. No. 5 Butler, 81-80 (OT)
It’s the 5 v. 12 upset that strikes again; Richmond is a dangerous team that was overlooked all year due to being in the same conference as Dayton. Against a Butler team that evidently peaked in January, the Spiders secure the upset victory, moving on to the second round.
No. 4 Maryland def. No. 13 Akron, 78-61
This was one of just two games that was unanimous among the sports staff here, as nobody sees the Terrapins having too many issues with the Zips. Maryland was a top-5 team at times this year, and is 4-seed by virtue of occasionally struggling in a competitive Big Ten. The team cruises here and earns a date with Richmond in the Round of 32.
No. 6 Penn State def. No. 11 UCLA, 71-61
To be honest, it was a victory for UCLA to get to this point after a horrendous start to the season. The Bruins can’t get past the Nittany Lions in this one. The Big Ten was the deepest league in the country this year, and they’re flexing their muscles in the NCAA Tournament. Penn State handles its business in this one.
No. 3 Villanova def. No. 14 Hofstra, 79-65
The Wildcats didn’t get 100% of the votes, but they came close. Villanova cruises past Hofstra. The 14-seed team was making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2000. The Pride couldn’t handle the experience and pedigree the Wildcats brought to the court. Villanova wins easily and advances to take on Penn State.
No. 7 West Virginia def. No. 10 Utah State, 73-71
Last we saw Utah State, they were stunning San Diego State at the buzzer to go from a bubble team to automatic bid out of the Mountain West Conference. The Aggies foray into Power-6 competition, and they almost make it out alive. Because we only voted on score, let’s say the Mountaineers drill an off-balance fadeaway with four seconds left to survive and advance. Great game, but West Virginia moves on.
No. 2 Florida State def. No. 15 Northern Kentucky, 75-63
The Seminoles get a push from the Norse. But ultimately, Florida State — one of the four premier ACC teams this season — handles Northern Kentucky and forges on to the Round of 32. A late surge puts away the Norse and ices the victory for good.