Now that they Play-in Round is officially behind us, we can move full steam ahead with the Round of 32 and the tournament’s heavy hitters.
Let’s take a look at the first quarter of Round of 32 games to be played and where they are on the bracket:
Day 7 tips off with the only championship winning squad taking on a team that was the-year-after-the-year. Can the 2001/02 Bucks count on another 30 point outburst from All-Star Ray Allen, or will the 1970/71 Bucks put a stranglehold on an upset bid?
A stunner nearly occurred, but the 70/71 Bucks were able to hold off the hot shooting 01/02 squad. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the leading scorer for his team, but with only 21 points. He did add 12 rebounds and five blocks to his stat line, however, it was not the dominant performance many expected out of him. Glenn Robinson scored a game high 33 points(!) and went 3/3 from beyond the arc. Allen could not replicate his 30-point game, but he did go 3/5 from deep, finishing with 27 points. The 70/71 Bucks are the first team through to the Round of 16 and will take on the winner of Game 20.
Both of our teams in this match-up had to earn their way into the Round of 32. The 1988/89 Bucks dismantled the 1993/94 team, 115-86, while the 2009/10 squad outlasted the 2007/08 Bucks by a 105-95 score. Was rookie Brandon Jennings able to steer his upstart team past the formidable 88/89 Bucks?
Fear. The. Deer! Jennings went for 26 points and ignited a strong fourth quarter to lead the 09/10 Bucks into the Round of 16 against the 70/71 Bucks. Terry Cummings led the way for the 88/89 team with 22 points, but could not find any help scoring when it came down to crunch time. Over 70 percent of our pundits predicted that the 88/89 Bucks would pull off the mini-upset, but Jennings and friends had other ideas as they are moving on.
The third game of the day pits the 40th seeded 1996/97 Bucks who pulled off a 82-76 upset victory over the 2002/03 Bucks. Glenn Robinson’s and Vin Baker’s double-doubles helped propel them to this point. The 1981/82 Bucks are the eighth seed and looking to capitalize on their dark horse title contender status. Could they do it?
Oh they did it alright. a 19-point fourth quarter advantage put an exclamation point on what was already a blowout. Sidney Moncrief led the way with 23 points, five rebounds, and five assists, while Marques Johnson provided 17 points and six rebounds. The 81/82 squad had six different players score in double figures during the 35-point shellacking. On the other side, Vin Baker recorded another double-double (23 points and 10 rebounds), but had no other significant help. The 81/82 squad will play the winner of our next, and final, game of the day in the Round of 16.
The Day 7 finale features the scrappy 2015/16 Bucks that needed a Greg Monroe double-double to lead the way in their 103-98 upset win over the 2011/12 Bucks. The 1979/80 Bucks debut as the ninth overall seed and want to stop any Cinderella story before it gains momentum.
But the momentum was already in full swing! An absolutely thrilling overtime victory sends the 41st seeded 15/16 Bucks to the Round of 16 against the 81/82 Bucks. Jabari Parker and Greg Monroe recorded double-doubles in the win. Parker finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds and Monroe tallied 22 points and 16 rebounds. Marques Johnson dropped a tournament high 46 points as he found that he had to do it all by himself in the game’s waning moments. No other player on the 79/80 roster scored more than 16 points. We have our tournament Cinderella story, folks.
Now that we know which four teams are off to the Round of 16, let’s take a look at the updated bracket:
Looking Ahead to Day 8
Woo wee do we have some heavy hitters on tap for Day 8. We will see the NBA runners-up from 1974, a 60-win team, a trio of 50-win squads, and this past season’s version of Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Here are the four games taking place on the tournament’s eighth day:
After a thrilling 106-104 Play-in Round victory, the 2003/04 Bucks are looking to make waves of astronomical proportions here in the Round of 32. Coming off a 30 point performance, Michael Redd is looking to see his hot hand carry into the team’s next game.
The 1972/73 Bucks are eagerly awaiting this game as a pair of 25-year old All-Stars are looking to begin their march to franchise immortality. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (30.2 PTS/16.1 REB/5.0 AST) and Bob Dandridge (20.2/8.2/2.8) are the dynamic duo that will be a tough 1-2 punch to counter here in the tournament, just like they were when they lifted their team to a 60-22 season, this group’s third consecutive 60+ win season, and a Midwest Division title. 34-year old Oscar Robertson (15.5/4.9/7.5) was still chugging along and directed the offensive flow.
Will the 03/04 team be able to overcome the trio of players with their numbers in the rafters?
This poll is closed
The most recent iteration into the history books is heading into this contest on the heels of a 114-98 victory. Giannis Antetokounmpo tallied a solid 19 point and six rebound performance for the 2017/18 Bucks.
On the other half of the court, the 1982/83 Bucks are looking to stop the Greek Freak in his tracks. This squad was led by 20-point scorers, Sydney Moncrief (22.5/5.8/3.9) and Marques Johnson (21.4/7.0/4.5), who both were selected as Eastern Conference All-Stars. This was the third straight season that the Bucks had won 50+ games, and this 51-win unit swept the Boston Celtics in the playoffs, before bowing out in five games to the Philadelphia 76ers.
So, how many of y’all are going to doubt Giannis and vote that he can’t pull off the upset?
This poll is closed
The 2010/11 Bucks got a cruise control 102-81 victory over the lowly 2012/13 Bucks. Andrew Bogut chipped in with a double-double performance and was surrounded by some hot perimeter shooting in Brandon Jennings and John Salmons.
This 1973/74 team is not unlike the 1972/73 featured above. The team was still led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (27.0/14.5/4.8) and Bob Dandridge (18.9/6.7/2.8), but the team could not eclipse the 60-win mark for the fourth straight season. However, they won the Western Conference and took the Boston Celtics to seven games in The Finals. The 1974 Finals featured some classic games including an epic double overtime Game 6.
Will the 73/74 team begin their march to avenge their runner-up status?
This poll is closed
In the Play-in Round, the 1998/99 team got exactly what they needed out of Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson. Allen put up 20 points, while Robinson notched an 18 point, 14 rebound double-double as the 98/99 Bucks eased past the 1992/93 Bucks, 108-90.
The 1986/87 Bucks featured a continuation of the changing of the guard, as the major players of the early-80s ceded to the underrated stars of the late-80s. Terry Cummings (20.8/8.5/2.8) and Ricky Pierce (19.5/3.4/1.8) helped continue the streak of 50-win season, but just barely, by finishing the year with a 50-32 record and a playoff series win over the Philadelphia 76ers. A fun roster fact with this team is that 20 different players checked into at least five games throughout the season. That is a lot of bodies.
This poll is closed