And then there were 32. Here's what went down in the second half of the Round of 64:
1 seeds put up triple digits, 2 seeds won by double digits, almost no upsets happened
Well, that went… pretty much according to plan. For the second time in 13 years, there were fewer than seven upsets by seed in the Round of 64.
Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, we’ve averaged just over nine first-round upsets per year. Last year saw a record 15 higher-ranked seeds winning in the Round of 64.
This year, we got just six.
Four of those upsets came Friday:
11-seed Rhode Island downed 6-seed Creighton 84-72, 11-seed USC survived a last-second shot to beat 6-seed SMU 66-65, 10-seed Wichita State had no problem with 7-seed Dayton, winning 64-58, and 9-seed Michigan State demolished 8-seed Miami 78-58.
There are just over 200 perfect brackets left after the Round of 64
And dang. That's impressive. After the first 16 games of the tournament, perfect brackets were already down to fewer than 1 percent among all major games. And somehow, about 200 managed to make it through the first 32 unscathed. A reminder: the longest perfect bracket we've ever seen verified made it 34 games before falling.
The Round of 32 starts today with 8 games
• 12:10 — (4) West Virginia vs. (5) Notre Dame (CBS) WATCH LIVE
• 2:40 — (1) Villanova vs. (8) Wisconsin (CBS) WATCH LIVE
• 5:15 — (1) Gonzaga vs. (8) Northwestern (CBS) WATCH LIVE
• 6:10 — (3) Florida State vs. (11) Xavier (TNT) WATCH LIVE
• 7:10 — (4) Butler vs. (12) Middle Tennessee (TBS) WATCH LIVE
• 7:45 — (2) Arizona vs. (7) St. Mary’s (CBS) WATCH LIVE
• 8:40 — (4) Florida vs. (5) Virginia (TNT) WATCH LIVE
• 9:40 — (4) Purdue vs. (5) Iowa State (TBS) WATCH LIVE
What’s next for the top four seeds?
Villanova vs. (8) Wisconsin — The Wildcats get arguably the hardest second-round matchup among the top seeds with a Wisconsin team that beat three ranked teams during the year and made a run to the Big Ten championship game before falling to Michigan.
Gonzaga vs. (8) Northwestern — Northwestern’s first tournament win came after an unfortunate mistake by Vanderbilt. The Wildcats will be pretty eager to show that first-round win wasn’t a fluke.
North Carolina vs. (8) Arkansas — The Tar Heels had the widest margin of victory for any first-round win this year, taking care of Texas Southern 103-64. Arkansas snuck past Seton Hall after a controversial flagrant foul late in the game.
Kansas vs. (9) Michigan State — Kansas hung 100 on 16-seed UC Davis and looked good doing it, but Michigan State had the largest margin of victory in the 8-9 matchup and, spoiler alert: they still have Tom Izzo. This could get interesting.
High-octane offense, 3-point barrage leads Michigan past Oklahoma State
Against Michigan, Oklahoma State shot 55 percent from the field, 44 percent from three, 88 percent from the charity stripe, and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The two teams combined to go 23 of 45 from long range. College basketball is a different world.
NCAA.com's Mike Lopresti breaks down the game and explores just how hot this Michigan team is.
The worst brackets in the 2017 NCAA tournament
Picking 32 straight games is wildly impressive. But so is a perfect bracket’s evil twin — the unperfect bracket. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any of these make it all through Friday, but five brackets in our Capital One NCAA Bracket Challenge Game did start the tournament 0-21 before notching their first wins.
John Wooden's granddaughter shares March Madness memories with her grandfather
Breaking: UCLA is winning in the NCAA tournament again. Yes, that UCLA, one of the winningest schools in NCAA tournament history. The Bruins had no problem with 14-seed Kent State this year, but how did one of the best teams in NCAA history get to be that way?
You can thank John Wooden for that. The legendary coach captured 10 national titles for UCLA — the most ever for a single coach. And who could tell the story of Wooden — the coach and the man — better than his family? Cathleen Trapani, Wooden's granddaughter writes about the March Madness memories she shared with her grandfather here.
Mark your calendar
Round of 32 begins: March 18
Sweet 16 begins: March 23
Elite Eight begins: March 25
Final Four in Phoenix: April 1-3