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Observer Sports March Madness Bracket — Round of 32, South Region

| Monday, April 6, 2020

We are one region away from moving into the Sweet 16. Two regions thus far boasted surprising upsets, with a pair of six-seeds advancing, but our last region was nothing but chalk. Any surprises coming today? Not a single game here was unanimous with our voters, so these decisions are getting tougher, but let’s see who made our cut for the Sweet 16.

No. 1 Baylor def. No. 9 Rutgers 71-68
In a more defensive battle, Baylor takes a big early lead, up by nine at halftime, and then withstands a big charge from Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights lead for about three minutes of game time in the second half, but the Bears surge back on top and stay there. It was a tough one, but Baylor makes it four out of four top seeds advancing to the Sweet 16.

No. 4 Louisville def. No. 12 Stephen F. Austin 82-72
This one was tied at halftime, but Louisville seized control in the second half, leaning on junior forward Jordan Nwora’s consistent production from both inside and outside the arc. Meanwhile, the Lumberjacks, who upset Ohio State in the first round, come close to pulling off consecutive stunners, but they ultimately fall short of their aim. The Cardinals push into the Sweet 16 to take on Baylor.

No. 3 Michigan State def. No. 6 Virginia 61-59 (Overtime)
Virginia stifled senior guard Cassius Winston and the Spartans for much of the night, but junior forward Xavier Tillman is Michigan State’s defensive ace –– he led a strong man-to-man defense that frustrated Virginia and prevented the Cavaliers from pulling away. Virginia leads with 10 minutes left, and they’re still up by four with just five minutes to play, but Michigan State rallies to tie before the buzzer. In overtime, sophomore forward Aaron Henry and Winston score all seven of the Spartans’ points, and they hold on as a half-court heave hits the front rim, putting an end to Virginia’s title defense. 

No. 2 Creighton def. No. 7 Illinois 75-70
Creighton continues their late-season surge that saw them capture the regular season Big East title by defeating the Illini in a game that started easy and then got tense late for the Bluejays. Creighton opened up an eight-point halftime lead and saw it expand to as many as 13 points, but Illinois came storming back within one before Creighton sealed the deal at the free throw line, ensuring another region full of chalk as we head to the Sweet 16.

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