Billy Donovan sent the low flying Eagles home

Billy Donovan sent the low flying Eagles home

Cinderella’s Slipper is Broken

Florida’s superior talent and excellent coaching by Billy Donovan sent the low flying Eagles home.

FGCU was forced to play a half-court game Friday night.  They were no match for the Florida Gators, losing 62-50.  Running and gunning is their game, not 3 point shooting.  And committing 19 turnovers didn’t help.

As the game was winding down, and out of reach for FGCU, Florida’s Mike Rosario was making an inbounds pass.  He wasn’t concerned about a turnover, it wouldn’t affect the outcome.  But he stayed focused and bounced the ball off of the back of FGCU’s Christophe Varidel, retrieving it, and slam dunking the ball.

The Eagles have nothing to be ashamed of.  Quite the opposite.  They accomplished something no 15 seed had ever done before, and they excited the fans.  They’ll be back.

 

Pre-game, I said I just didn’t believe in Kansas.  They began their game against Michigan in a dominating role.

Kansas led by 72-62 with 2:58 to play following a dunk by seven footer Jeff  Withey, and the Jayhawks seemed to expect Michigan to just go away.  It all began to change for Michigan when Trey Burke heaved a 3 pointer 9 feet past the line and avoided Kansas’ 6-foot-8 Kevin Young.  It found “nothing but net”, and the Wolverines found new momentum.

Michigan freshman Mitch McGary was more crafty and successful than anticipated against Kansas’ 7-foot center Jeff Withey, who had blocked 12 shots in his team’s first two wins of the tournament.  McGary, who is 6-10, made 12 of 17 shots and scored 25 points to go with 14 rebounds.

“I am about 6-10 and he thought I was shorter than that, I heard. I showed all of 6-10,” McGary said. “He did a pretty good job, got some buckets, but that’s basketball.”

Michigan held on to win 87-85.

 

Louisville’s 77-69 victory over Oregon could have ended in a much wider fashion.  The Cardinals were at their best and the Ducks were unable to catch them.  The Cardinals built a 24-8 lead in the opening minutes as Oregon missed 7 of its first 10 shots. The Ducks looked overmatched, but they eventually calmed down and trimmed the lead to 34-26, before Louisville pushed it back to 14 by halftime.

Oregon won an NCAA championship in 1939.  They brought the trophy with them on their trip to Indianapolis.  They’re taking the same one home.

 

Michigan State was a team no one wanted to play.  They can score in spurts, and play excellent defense.  But they didn’t scare Duke.

Tom Izzo’s 13 year old son picked Duke in the bracket, and he was right.  The Blue Devils won 71-61.

Guard Seth Curry’s 29 points and six 3-pointers lifted Duke past the Spartans.  Duke will be matched with Louisville on Sunday, and the winner of that game may be the winner of the tournament.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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