Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament South Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns

South Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns
#9 Kansas State vs. #16 UMBC
Well history has been made. UMBC became the first 16 seed to ever beat a #1 seed. And they beat the #1 overall seed. And they crushed Virginia 74-54. Jairus Lyles scored 28 points and K.J. Maura did a superb job of keeping the ball when Virginia started pressing and looking for a comeback. Meanwhile, Kansas State took care of Creighton by a score of 69-59 and will face the Retrievers in the second round.
Can the Retrievers continue their magical run? Why not? If they can dominate Virginia on the glass, they can do the same thing against Kansas State. Of course, they may not shoot 50 percent from beyond the arc again. Kansas State usually does a good job of taking care of the basketball and they can knock down shots just as effectively as UMBC. This game may mostly be about focus. After an upset like that, will UMBC come out ready focused and ready to play? If so, they can win. If not, Kansas State will head to the Sweet Sixteen.
#5 Kentucky vs. #13 Buffalo
Kentucky dominated Davidson in the paint, but still had to hang on to win the battle of the Wildcats by a score of 78-73. Behind 25 points from Kevin Knox and a strong performance on the glass, Kentucky looked like a team that could reach the Sweet Sixteen. But so did in Buffalo in one of the bigger shocks of the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It was not just that the Bulls upset #4 seed Arizona, but how they did it. They won by 21 points and hit 15 of their 30 attempts from beyond the arc.
And it might be three-point shooting that settles this second round game. The Bulls held Arizona to 2-of-11 shooting from long range. Kentucky against Davidson went 0-of-6. Kentucky is not a team that needs make a lot of three-pointers to win, but they will need to stretch the Buffalo defense a little bit and at least make a few. If the Bulls shoot as well they did against Arizona and can rebound effectively, this is a team that can reach the Sweet Sixteen.
Tennessee made easy work of Wright State and cruised to a 73-47 victory. Admiral Schofield led the way with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while fellow forward Grant Williams added 14 points and nine rebounds. Loyola pulled off a minor upset against #6 Miami by a score of 64-62. The Ramblers did it by winning the turnover battle and getting efficient shooting from Clayton Custer. The guard scored a game high 14 points and went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
The Volunteers have the strength and size to give Loyola trouble in this game. The Ramblers will have to play efficient basketball again and hope to win another tight contest to reach the Sweet Sixteen. Both of these teams have good defenses so this should be a low scoring game. Whoever is more efficient knocking down shots, will likely win this contest.
#2 Cincinnati vs. #7 Nevada
Georgia State kept the game close for a while, but Cincinnati pulled away for a relatively comfortable 68-53 victory. Jarron Cumberland scored 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while forward Gary Clark also recorded a double-double. It was on the glass where the Bearcats absolutely dominated, outrebounding the Panthers 46 to 26. Nevada erased a 14-point deficit to beat Texas in overtime. The Wolf Pack had five players score at least 14 points.
This should be a close game. Nevada is not a great rebounding team though and will need to keep Cincinnati’s advantage in that department as low as possible. The Wolf Pack also have very little depth and eventually that will catch up to them. And that extra five minutes of overtime against Texas and a quick turnaround to Sunday evening does not help matters.