NCAA Tournament 2021 scores, takeaways: Elite Eight field locked in as Sweet 16 wraps up on Sunday

Three of Sunday's Sweet 16 games were not particularly close. No. 1 seeds Gonzaga and Michigan advanced to the Elite Eight with 18-point wins. No. 6 seed USC smoked fellow Pac-12 foe Oregon by 14 points. And then … there was UCLA-Alabama.

The No. 2 seed Crimson Tide took a stunning overtime loss to the No. 11 seed Bruins 88-78, and to sum it up in one word: drama. In total there were eight lead changes, 11 ties and -- finally! -- our first buzzer-beater of the NCAA Tournament courtesy of Alabama senior Alex Reese.

The Bruins jumped on Alabama early in the extra period after Reese's big shot to cruise (and to cover). After leading for the majority of the game, it was a fitting end that they were able to cash on big free throws and some clutch 3s down the stretch, all while Bama uncharacteristically struggled in both departments throughout. 

UCLA makes a bit of history with its win by becoming the ninth 11 seed to advance to the regional finals of the bracket. It is the second-ever team in tournament history to go from the First Four play-in game to the Elite Eight, joining VCU, which advanced to the Final Four in 2011.

For Michigan and Gonzaga, this is business as usual; Michigan has been to the Elite Eight four times since 2013, while Gonzaga has made four appearances since 2015. But this is USC's first trip this far since 2001. You could say it was a good day to be a fan of basketball on the west coast. 

All of the updated results and the upcoming schedule is listed below with results through Sunday's action, as well as three takeaways from the day. 

1. Alabama's exit a stunner

No. 2 seed Alabama falling to No. 11 seed UCLA is not a surprising outcome on its own. UCLA's played great, and anything can happen in the NCAA Tournament. But the way in which Bama lost certainly adds to the perplexity. Nate Oats' team comfortably hits above 70% of its shots from the charity stripe all season and easily above 35% from 3-point range. But Sunday? The Crimson Tide were 7-of-28 from long distance, and their dreadful 11-of-25 mark from the free throw line put them in some historic (bad) company. 

2. No. 1 seeds cruise in style

Picking up where No. 1 seed Baylor left off Saturday with a double-digit win (after trailing by as many as seven), No. 1 seeds Gonzaga and Michigan strutted to wins in style Sunday. The top overall-seeded Bulldogs let Creighton hang around in the opening portion of the first half before blowing the doors off them down the stretch. Michigan, on the other hand, took the lead five minutes into the game then blew it open, going on a 15-4 run to set the tone for how the remainder of the game would go. The Wolverines are set to move forward without injured wing Isaiah Livers, who was injured in the first game of the postseason and was ruled out for the season. But all that stands between them and their third Final Four trip since 2013 is No. 11 seed UCLA.

3. USC dominates Oregon

What USC did to No. 3 seed Kansas, when it handed the Jayhawks their worst-ever loss in an NCAA Tournament, felt almost fluky. KU couldn't hit, while USC seemingly hit everything. But the Trojans destroying Oregon 82-66 in the Sweet 16 validated their credentials as a true force. The game was … not close. USC dominated from tip to final buzzer. Now we'll see if this team can keep its hot streak alive with an Elite Eight date against No. 1 seed Gonzaga. But this matchup on paper wouldn't have been all that interesting a few weeks ago, and now it might be a showdown between two of the hottest teams in the country come Tuesday night. Oh, and for fun? It's one that pits an historically great 2-point attack on offense against an historically great 2-point defense. 

2021 NCAA Tournament scores

CBS Sports was with you the entire way updating this story with the latest from every Sweet 16 game on Sunday. 

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