Observer Sports March Madness Bracket — Sweet Sixteen, West and South Regions
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Yesterday, we saw the top two seeds in the Midwest Region advance, as Kansas and Kentucky set up a potentially thrilling battle in the Elite Eight. Fourth-seeded Maryland swung an upset over Dayton to earn a match-up with Florida State. In today’s half of the Sweet Sixteen, we have some intriguing contests that stirred up some debate among our voters. Here’s who is moving on to tomorrow’s Elite Eight:
No. 4 Oregon def. No. 1 Gonzaga 88-84
This one was a very close vote, but ultimately Oregon, buoyed by Bob Cousy Award winner Payton Pritchard, has enough firepower to take down the Bulldogs in the Sweet Sixteen, advancing on the Elite Eight. Oregon trailed for most of the game, including by 12 at halftime, but they cut the deficit to five with 10 minutes to play, and then overtake Gonzaga down the stretch. The Ducks were a surprise Sweet Sixteen participant as a 12-seed last year, and they pull another surprise this year, as they hope to push into the Final Four.
No. 3 Seton Hall def. No. 2 San Diego State 89-82
This game almost featured a dramatic comeback, as San Diego State trailed by as many as 18 in the first half, by 13 at halftime, and they cut it to four points, but the Aztecs can’t complete the rally, and the Pirates continue their resurgence season with a Sweet Sixteen victory, moving on to take on Oregon for the right to play in the Final Four.
No. 1 Baylor def. No. 4 Louisville 74-63
Louisville looked like a bona fide national title contender for most of the year, but the Cardinals faded late, looking bad in a few losses, including one to a terrible Georgia Tech team. Louisville beat a pair of double-digit seeds to reach this stage, but they can’t handle Baylor, as the Bears dispatch the Cardinals with relative ease, leading wire-to-wire although never by more than 13. Clutch free throw shooting seals the deal for Baylor.
No. 3 Michigan State def. No. 2 Creighton 83-73
Ranked No. 1 in the preseason, Michigan State struggled to meet expectations for much of the season, but they started to pick it up late to get the three seed. Meanwhile, Creighton exceeded all expectations in taking the regular season Big East title. In this clash, the postseason pedigree of the Spartans get the job done, as they lead the whole way and take down the Bluejays, leading by double digits for most of the second half and cruising to victory behind the hot hand of Cassius Winston.