Round Two Recap of NCAA Tournament Hosted in Pittsburgh

Basketball Going through Hoop ( Generic Picture)

                 Villanova and Houston Advance to Sweet 16

PITTSBURGH-Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament wrapped up at the PPG Paints Center in the Steel City on Sunday as the Villanova Wildcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Illinois Fighting Illini, and the Houston Cougars were looking to punch their tickets to the Sweet 16. Unfortunately, only two teams could advance and after 2 great slugfests, Villanova and Houston were the teams that will be among the sixteen teams left in the Big Dance.

Here is a Recap of the 2 Second Round games:

Game 1-#5 Houston 68, Illinois 53:

After mounting a huge comeback victory against #13 Chattanooga, Illinois were hoping to keep it going against Houston and it looked like they had the Cougars on the ropes, but Houston would not be denied as they caught fire in the second half to defeat the Fighting Illini. Taze Moore led all scorers with 21 points and grabbed 7 rebounds (tied with Josh Carlton) Kofi Cockburn put up a valiant effort for Illinois with 19 points and 8 rebounds. With the win, the Cougars advance to their 3rd Sweet Sixteen in 4 years.

“Our offensive rebounding always gives us a chance to win when we aren’t making shots..Our kids just really believe in the culture we’ve created over the years.”-Said Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson.

Game 2-#2 Villanova 71, #7 Ohio State 61:

In their second straight Heavyweight Matchup of the region, Villanova did not disappoint as they went wire-to-wire to advance to their second consecutive Sweet Sixteen and fourth since 2016, when they went on to win 2 National Championships. They certainly showed no signs of rust or hangover compared to their First- Round game against Delaware. Collin Gillespie led the Wildcats with 20 points and Jermaine Samuels (17 points) and Eric Dixon (13 points) each grabbed 8 rebounds. The Buckeyes caught fire in the second half when they closed Villanova’s lead to 2 points on two occasions, but the Wildcats refused to let them get any closer. The win gave Villanova head coach Jay Wright his 8th Sweet Sixteen appearance with the team.

“Liddell is a beast and Branham was a handful. I’m proud of these guys, I’m proud of their leadership. Collin and Jermaine, the way they’ve been great leaders all season for this team, and their whole careers. Eric Dixon–he’s got guts. Big time shot.”-Said Wright.

Ray Porter Jr July 2021

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