The first weekend of the 2019 NCAA Tournament is behind us. The Sweet 16 is set and we’ve been served one of the chalkiest brackets in years. With that in mind, here’s a look at the biggest winners from the tournament’s first action-packed weekend.
After getting shafted with a horrible draw in this year’s tournament, Michigan State managed to advance to the Sweet 16, despite some rough patches in Thursday’s opening round.
The Spartans trailed Bradley 35-34 at the break and the Braves looked like they could pull off the upset for much of the second half. Thanks to point guard Cassius Winston, Michigan State wound up finding its footing and pulling out the win, 76-65. In the second round, Sparty blitzed Minnesota and cruised to a 70-50 win.
Tom Izzo’s team hadn’t reached the Sweet 16 since 2015 and was unceremoniously bounced by Syracuse in the second round last season. The program got a much-needed boost by getting over the hump and returning to the Sweet 16. Now they’ll face a beatable LSU team with a likely Elite Eight matchup with Duke looming on the horizon.