Now that the Round of 32 is in the books, the tournament has elevated to even higher stakes now that we know which teams are in the hunt for a spot in the Quarterfinals. 16 teams remain with all five decades represented and still looking to claim the tournament title.
Here are the games that decided who the first half of Quarterfinals participants are:
By a near unanimous vote, our armchair experts have the 1970/71 Bucks running away in our first Round of 16 game and into the Quarterfinals. The 2009/10 Fear the Deer Bucks are no strangers to being counted out, but were they able to surprise again?
It was close! The 70/71 Bucks needed a sluggish and ugly fourth quarter to pull out the close victory. They were led by Oscar Robertson’s 28 points and eight assists, while Kareem Abdul-Jabbar cleaned the glass nicely with 20 rebounds and pitched in 20 points of his own. Brandon Jennings had the hot hand once again for the 09/10 Bucks, scoring 24 points on 4/6 shooting from three. Andrew Bogut fared pretty well against Abdul-Jabbar, netting 18 points and corralling 14 rebounds. The 70/71 Bucks are the first team through to the Quarterfinals and they will take on the winner of our next game.
The second game on our eleventh day featured the lowest remaining seed in the tournament looking for yet another big time upset. The 2015/16 Bucks won a thrilling 131-129 overtime game to get here, but were they able to display fresh legs against the 1981/82 Bucks?
Not initially, no! A dismal 37-point first half ultimately doomed our tournament’s 41st seed. The 81/82 squad was consistent throughout and never wavered down the stretch. Sidney Moncrief (14 points, eight rebounds, and six assists) and Marques Johnson (10 points, six rebounds, and two assists) had muted performances, but the team converted on 49-percent of their shots to overcome their stars’ underwhelming stat lines. The 15/16 team was led by Khris Middleton’s 4/7 shooting from deep and 22 point night. The 81/82 Bucks have moved onto the Quarterfinals against the 70/71 Bucks.
With a 60-40 vote split, the third game of the day was the one our experts thought was most likely to be an upset. The 2017/18 Bucks have cruised into the Round of 16 and even pulled off an upset. The 1972/73 Bucks had a bit of trouble in their lone win against the 29th seeded 2003/04 Bucks. Was the 20 seed able to pull off another shocker? (Note: recall that the 17/18 team is not on whatifsports.com quite yet, so we are using the 16/17 roster and adding seven points to the team’s final score since the 17/18 team finished with 14 more ELO points than the 16/17. Half of 14 = 7 — this is all very scientific.)
The Freak upended the GOAT! The 17/18 Bucks do not even need the seven point boost they would normally get as Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 23 points and collected nine rebounds. Jabari Parker came through with 21 points of his own while knocking down a pair of threes. The fourth seeded 72/73 squad did not get a big game from either of their Hall of Famers. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tallied just 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Oscar Robertson led the team in scoring with 17 points. The 17/18 Bucks will keep their good vibes rolling into the Quarterfinals where they await the winner of our day’s final game.
Our fourth and final game of the day pit the 1998/99 Bucks against the 1973/74 Bucks. The 21st seeded 98/99 squad was absolutely feeling themselves heading into this contest coming off a 121-102 victory over the 12th seeded 1986/87 Bucks. The 73/74 Bucks struggled in their opener, but could they take advantage of the seeding disparity?
They certainly did. The 73/74 Bucks got double-doubles from Bob Dandridge and Oscar Robertson. Dandridge posted a game-high 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, where as Robertson scored 20 points and doled out 17 assists! The 98/99 squad represented the last full 90s team to be represented in the tournament (the 1999/2000 is still alive) and with the loss we say good-bye to 90s Bucks basketball.
Now that we know which four teams are off to the Quarterfinals, let’s take a look at the updated bracket:
Looking Ahead to Day 12
The last four games in the Round of 16 features three chalk match-ups and a contest between two bracket busters looking to continue their respective runs.
Let’s take a look at the bottom half of the bracket and the four match-ups that will fill our Quarterfinal field:
A nine-point second-half advantage was all that the 1978/79 Bucks to stamp out the 1977/78 Bucks, 128-119. Junior Bridgeman’s 24 points and Marques Johnson’s double-double led the way for the victors in the Round of 32.
The number two seed, 1971/72 Bucks, faced little resistance in their 114-101 win over the 1989/90 Bucks. An early lead allowed them to flip their gear into cruise control and finish with a score line that looked much closer than the game actually was. A 28 point and 20 rebound game from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar easily led the way for the 71/72 squad.
Will the 71/72 team continue their cruise?
This poll is closed
The second game of the day features two teams that had easy blowouts in their Round of 32 games. The 2000/01 Bucks trounced the 1990/91 Bucks, 101-86. Ray Allen combined with Tim Thomas, of all people, to go 7/13 from beyond the arc and sparked the wire-to-wire win.
The 1984/85 Bucks had an easy time dispatching the 1987/88 Bucks in the Round of 32. Leading the way in their 109-87 victory were Paul Pressey and Sidney Moncrief, both of whom controlled the tempo and flow of the game.
Which of these teams will continue to showcase their hot hands?
This poll is closed
Behind some incredibly hot shooting from three-point land, the 2014/15 Bucks knocked off the third seed 1980/81 Bucks by a 114-111 score. Khris Middleton has been the driving force for this team to get to the Round of 16 and Greg Monroe has provided solid post-play in their two victories.
The 1999/2000 Bucks had a tough task in eliminating rookie-Lew Alcindor’s 1969/70 Bucks in a 107-101 contest dominated by the 99/00 team’s strong third quarter. Only needing two-thirds of their Big 3, Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassell combined forces to lift their team one win away from the Quarterfinals.
Which tournament underdog will continue their march?
This poll is closed
Riding a trio of 20-point performances in their 121-105 win over the 2016/17 Bucks, the 1983/84 Bucks certainly have the hot hand required to make a deep tournament run. Sidney Moncrief and Marques Johnson were excellent in the Round of 32 and will look to continue playing off one another and controlling the pace.
The 1985/86 Bucks outlasted the 1974/75 Bucks and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a 120-108 victory. Terry Cummings posted a 26 point and nine rebound night that helped the 85/86 Bucks take a 10-point third quarter advantage and hold onto their victory.
So, which 80s star’s team will move on: Marques Johnson’s or Terry Cummings’?
This poll is closed