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2021 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16: #1 Baylor defeats #5 Villanova 62-51

By: LaMonte Thomas

Headline Photo Courtesy: NCAA/Indy Star

Lamonte Thomas-LMS Network Colunmist & Co-Host of “Commonwealth Sports Talk“

Villanova has made it back to the sweet 16 for the seventh time in 20 years, as they took on the top seeded Baylor Bears who have returned to the dance since last appearing in 2017. The Wildcats were looking to continue their hard-nosed defense as they are 12-0 on the season when holding opponents under 70 points. It looked promising in the start, as Nova’s 11-8 lead was accompanied by a two-minute scoring drought for Baylor. The Bears were awakened with an alley-oop from Jared Butler to Matt Mayer from near mid court. This sparked a 10-0 run to give Baylor a seven point lead. Villanova would go on a 13-0 run of their own as they went into the half with a 30-23 lead over Baylor.

Photo Credit: Indy Star

The second half would not disappoint as Jermaine Samuels Jr of Villanova would trade strong moves to the basket with Baylor’s Mark Vital. Nova was up four points before Brandon Slater brought the house down on a thunderous dunk over Matt Mayer after blowing by Tchatchoua of Baylor. The Bears then went on an attack that included 24 points in the paint, an 8-0 run and a Flagler three that gave them a seven point lead with five minutes to play. The lead would expand to nine by way of a few explosive Davion Mitchell buckets, and Baylor would advance to the elite eight with a 62-51 win.