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Sports

Observer Sports March Madness Bracket — Round of 64, South Region

| Tuesday, March 31, 2020

We wrap up the Round of 64 with Baylor’s region. There are a few intriguing double-digit seeds in this region — let’s see who is advancing to the Round of 32.

No. 1 Baylor def. No. 16 Winthrop 80-76

Winthrop is a little under-seeded at No. 16 and gives Baylor some serious difficulty in round one. Baylor skidded to the finish line of the regular season, and its struggles are evident against the Eagles, but ultimately, the Bears squeeze through and into the second round.

Rutgers def. No. 8 Saint Mary’s 79-71

It’s been a magical season for Rutgers so far, and it doesn’t end against the Gaels. The Scarlet Knights handle their business, leading by double digits for most of the second half and earn a chance to take down Baylor.

No. 12 Stephen F. Austin def. No. 5 Ohio State 76-74

Death, taxes and March upsets by Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks always seem to pull a stunner in the NCAA Tournament, and they do it again here, ending Ohio State’s very strange, very inconsistent season in the Round of 64.

Louisville def. No. 13 Vermont 80-72

Vermont leads at halftime but doesn’t have the firepower outside of Anthony Lamb to keep up with Jordan Nwora and the Cardinals. Nwora drops 17 and Louisville will advance to try and take down Stephen F. Austin.

No. 6 Virginia def. No. 11 Cincinnati 62-55

UVA’s trademark defense leads the way in this one, as the Cavaliers suffocate the Bearcats. Virginia’s offense isn’t much better but, as they did all of 2019, they find a way to survive and advance.

No. 3 Michigan State def. No. 14 Bradley 77-62

The Spartans faced the Braves in last year’s Round of 64, in a No. 2 v. No. 15 matchup. The Braves pushed Michigan State to the limit last year, so Cassius Winston and the Spartans don’t underestimate them this time, leading by as many as 21 down the stretch.

No. 7 Illinois def. No. 10 USC 78-71

USC had a young and promising team this year, but it also tended to be dreadfully inconsistent, which isn’t a good recipe for March success. They drop out of the tournament in the first round as the Fighting Illini charge on and into the second round.

No. 2 Creighton def. No.15 Little Rock 85-70

This one was never truly a game. Little Rock stays somewhat competitive, but it never seriously threatens the Big East regular-season champs, as the Blue Jays cruise onwards and upwards and into the Round of 32 to face Illinois.

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