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Third-round cut looms for some top teams at NCAAs

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BRADENTON, Fla. – The 54-hole cut could be in play for some of the top teams at the NCAA Championship. 

South Carolina (23 over), Arizona State (+29), Stanford (+31) and Texas Tech (+33) are all outside the top 20 after two rounds of stroke play at Concession.

The low 15 teams after three rounds will advance to Monday’s final round, when there will be another cut to the top eight teams for match play. The individual champion will also be crowned. 

Arizona State’s 18-over 306 was one of the worst rounds of the day Saturday, as the Sun Devils plummeted down the leaderboard. They came unraveled on the back nine: Jon Rahm bogeyed three of his last four holes; Max Rottluff came home in 41; and Ki Taek Lee and Broc Johnson played the last hole in a combined 5 over.

A few shots further back was Stanford, which trimmed 13 shots on Day 2 but still improved only four spots on the leaderboard. 

Maverick McNealy, the No. 1 player in the country, shot 72 in the second round and is tied for 60th. If Stanford doesn’t advance to Monday, he will need to be in the top 40 individually to compete in the final round. 

Oklahoma had the most impressive performance at regionals, winning by 20 shots in San Diego, but the Sooners are 28th in the 30-team field and virtually assured of missing the first cut. 

There are plenty of big swings at Concession, so even teams such as Florida State (10th) and Texas (T-14) will have to be careful Sunday.

The 54-hole cut should fall somewhere between 25 and 30 over par.