The NCAA Tournament resumed action on Thursday night with the first half of the Sweet 16, but we didn't get the close games that we became accustomed to seeing throughout the first two rounds. All four games were decided by double digits, and all of the favorites won. However, that doesn't mean we didn't learn anything. Here are the three biggest takeaways from last night's games:
Villanova is playing better than anyone right now
I've been skepitcal of Villanova all year after their early NCAA Tournament exits each of the last two seasons, but what they've done this March has been absolutely spectacular. They've held all of their opponents to less than 70 points in the tournament and have shot at least 58 percent in every game. That dominance on both sides of the ball has allowed them to win all three games by an average of 24 points - more than anyone else in the tournament, and it's not even close.
Oregon is legit
The Ducks were the most popular pick to be upset first among the four No. 1 seeds in the tournament, but Oregon has proven time and time again that they are deserving that that top seed. Led by Dillon Brooks, Oregon had no problems dismantling a good Duke team on Thursday.
They've gone largely under the radar this year because they play on the west coast, but this is something they've shown all year, winning both the Pac-12 regular season and tournament championship. Oregon’s basketball team has taken some notes from their football team, choosing to play a wide open, spread offensive system with four perimeter players on the perimeter at one time. The result is a lot of open driving lanes which leads to easy baskets and the 11th most efficient offense in the country. Because of that, I expect them to make the Final Four over Oklahoma.
Kansas has cemented themselves as the national title favorite
For all the good things I said about Villanova, I still think they'll lose to Kansas in the Elite. That's not knocking the Wildcats - I think everyone will lose to the Jayhawks. They have dismantled two very, very good teams in UConn and Maryland, winning both of those games by double digits. KU has now won 17 games in a row (the longest streak in the country), and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Maryland has as much talent as anyone and were tied with Kansas with 18 minutes to play. Instead of letting the Terps hang around any longer, the Jayhawks closed the game on a 38-22 run to turn this into a blowout. That resiliency and ability to go on a run at any time is why they'll be cutting down the nets in Houston.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed
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