There is no doubt that UMBC has taken over the headlines as the Cinderella story of the NCAA Tournament, but Loyola-Chicago is still alive as well. The 11th-seeded Ramblers advanced to the Sweet 16 on Saturday night with a 63-62 win over the third-seeded Tennessee Volunteers. Clayton Custer hit the game-winning shot with 3.6 seconds left, just two days after Donte Ingram's buzzer-beating three-pointer against sixth-seeded Miami. The Ramblers hit half of their shots to advance in the South Region, as they have now broken the school record for wins in a season with 30. That mark was previously set by the 1963 championship team. Loyola Chicago did lead for a majority of the second half, with the Volunteers taking their first lead of the half with 20 seconds left in the game on Grant Williams' three-pointer. Although, Tennessee did lead by as many as nine in the first half, and were led by Admiral Schofield's 14 points. Aundre Jackson, who was playing in front of his hometown of Dallas, Texas, led the Ramblers with 16 points. Speaking of Dallas, it was also the first loss in seven NCAA games at American Airlines Center for Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes. The Ramblers now advance to the Sweet 16 to take on either second-seeded Cincinnati or seventh-seeded Nevada.
Michigan Advances to Sweet 16 at the Buzzer
For the second consecutive season, the Michigan Wolverines have steeped up their game at the end of their regular season and into the tournament. They advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season in thrilling fashion on Saturday night, as Jordan Poole hit the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer for a 64-63 win over Houston. Cougars forward Devin Davis failed to hit free throws in two separate trips to the free throw line in the final seconds, and the freshman, Poole, took advantage on a feed from Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. The play began on the other end of the floor with three seconds left, but Abdur-Rahkman was able to bring it up the floor and find Poole. The third-seeded Wolverines, coming off a first-round win over Montana, were led in scoring by Abur-Rahkman and Moe Wagner, who had 12 points apiece. The sixth-seeded Cougars have not been to the Sweet 16 since 1984, and unfortunately could not advance, despite Rob Gray's 23 points. Davis added 17 for the Cougars, but the big man went 1-for-4 at the free throw line in the final minute, which would've extended his team's lead to at least four. Now, the Big Ten Tournament Champion Wolverines advance to take on either the Texas A&M Aggies or the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Sweet 16.
Blazers Roll at Home to Extend Win Streak
The Portland Trail Blazers were granted basically a gift on their win streak Saturday night when they played host to the struggling Detroit Pistons. Damian Lillard finished with 24 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds, as the Trail Blazers extended their win streak to 12 games with a 100-87 home victory. C.J. McCollum added 16 points for Portland, who has the longest current win streak in the NBA, and the longest in franchise history since they won 13 in a row in December of 2007. Saturday was also season-high ninth straight win on their home floor, as they now sit in third place in the Western Conference. The Pistons continue to struggle, as they have dropped eight of their past 10 and sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Andre Drummond had 18 points and 22 rebounds, while Blake Griffin added 15 points in what was their 12th straight road loss. Stan Van Gundy was livid about the officiating after the game, saying his team "got screwed" by the officials. They did trail by as many as 19 on the night and will continue their road trip when they visit the Sacramento Kings on Monday night. The Blazers put their win streak on the line when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night.