Who’s in the Elite Eight Now?
If you enjoy sports and didn’t watch last night’s NCAA basketball games, you missed some of the hardest fought competition you may have ever seen.
Although three of the games saw some dominance, one was decided in the final seconds.
The evening began with Marquette and Miami of Florida.
Marquette’s first two games were hard fought, winning by a total of 3 points. This was not the case Thursday evening. They came out of the locker room with confidence that they would control the number 5 ranked Hurricanes. And that’s what they did for 40 minutes.
After Vander Blue dropped in a step back jumper at the end of the first half, the Golden Eagles would never allow the game to get close. The final score was 71-61, but for most of the second half they led by and many as 19.
“It’s fantastic. It feels good not to have to worry about, are you going to lose on a last-second shot or are you going to win on a last-second shot?” said Jamil Wilson, who had 16 points and eight rebounds. “To have a cushion like that, these guys played with tremendous heart, and we did it all game.”
“We’re so used to people not giving us credit. … That fuels our fire,” Blue said.
Aaron Craft was the hero last week, sinking a 3 pointer at the buzzer to move Ohio State into the sweet sixteen. Last night against Arizona he didn’t have the “touch”.
The Wildcats matched up well against the Buckeyes. Ohio State led 50-42 with just under 12 minutes left. But Arizona came roaring back. Mark Lyons made an acrobatic basket, and was fouled, with 21.8 seconds left. The game was tied.
With only two ticks of the clock left, LaQuinton Ross sank a 3 pointer for the Buckeyes, sending them to the “elite eight” with a 73-70 victory.
The game of the evening was supposed to be Indiana and Syracuse. A game never happened.
It was almost as though the Orangemen were playing a scrimmage, there was no opposition.
Jim Boeheim had prepared his team well. His zone defense smothered the Hoosiers. Forward Cody Zeller played “small” for Indiana, and Victor Oladipo scored 16 points but was never a dominant force.
“We didn’t take care of the ball like we should have,” said Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, who scored a team-high 16 points.
Hoosier coach Tom Crean obviously had not prepared his team for Syracuse. Indiana goes home, the Orangemen are in the “elite eight”. Final 61-50.
The Wichita State Shockers took down number one overall Gonzaga with ease. Last night they faced a determined La Salle team. Would Wichita have a letdown? No way. They controlled the game from tip-off to final buzzer.
La Salle’s 4 guard lineup was too small to match the Shockers. They were out rebounded, and allowed lay-up after lay-up.
“They were little down there, so we tried to feed the paint,” the 6-foot-8-inch forward Cleanthony Early said.
“We had a commanding lead early and just were able to play with that cushion throughout,” Wichita State Coach Gregg Marshall said.
The final score was 72-58, but is wasn’t that close.
Four more games tonight, including the “sweetheart” of the “sweet sixteen”, FGCU vs. Florida. Three Florida teams were in the round of 16, we know one will be left at the end of the evening.
Columnist-The Guardian Express