NCAA Basketball Tournament: Day 3
Another great day in college basketball as two seeding upsets occurred, one coaches era at his school ended, and the last two 12 seeds were eliminated from the tournament.
For George Washington to beat Duke, they need around 20 points and 10 rebounds from Pops Mensah Bonsu. They got 4 points and 2 rebounds from him, and lost by 13. Duke supporting cast came to play today, contributing 37 points, three times more than they did on Thursday night. JJ had 20 points despite having one of his career worse games from the free throw line, going 2-7. Shelden had yet another huge double double with 17 points, 14 boards, along with 7 blocked shots. Duke now has to gear up for a tough LSU team that can match up with them.
Florida remains untested in the tournament so far, as they pummeled Wisconsin-Milwaukee by 22 points. Joakim Noah continues to do his draft stock a lot of good, with 17 points, 7 boards, and a co team high 7 assists along with Al Horford. Al’s good shooting continued, as he went 6-8 from the field. Florida’s rolling and they’re going to have to continue to do so because it only gets harder from here. They’ll play the winner of Georgetown and Ohio State in the Sweet 16.
Wichita State continues to prove that they belong. First it was Seton Hall, now the number generously seeded number 2 Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee made it to the free throw line only 13 times to Wichita State’s 29, which played a big part in just a 7 point victory for the Shockers. Wichita State’s Cinderella run will continue against the winner of UNC George Mason.
In one of the best match ups of the day, Dee Brown’s Fightin Illini took on Brandon Foy’s Huskies. The Huskies were able to win this close one with good defense in the end. Illinois had two great chances to tie it, but in the first one turned it over after a broken play and in their last attempt of the game Dee Brown took a highly contested three that didn’t drop. Dee Brown and James Augustine begin to prepare for the draft while Brandon Foy and the Huskies get ready to face the winner of Kentucky and Connecticut.
Craig Smith’s free throws ensured the Eagles a chance to pull out the victory over Pacific. His huge double double today ensured them a spot in the sweet 16 to face Arizona or Villanova. Craig Smith had 22 points and 15 boards, and is licking his chops at a chance to go up against the outmatched Will Sheridan. Jared Dudley had 20 points, while Sean Williams, who sealed the deal for them with his play in double OT against Pacific, had 5 blocks on the night.
It wasn’t the best shooting nights for Glenn Davis and Darrell Mitchell, but they came through when they needed to. A&M looked poised to win the game up by 4 with little time left in the game, but Glenn Davis hit a big bucket to cut it to two which cleared the way for Darrell Mitchell to do what the lone senior on a young team should do. With the under 15 second left on the shot clock, Darrell dribbled the ball out to the wing and shot a 3 pointer from Mobile, Alabama that gave the Tigers the victory and a date with Duke in the sweet 16.
Mike Davis’ tenure at Indiana is finally over. Not many thought Gonzaga would be able to win if Adam Morrison struggled like he did, going just 5-16 on the night, but they got a huge contribution from the not well known supporting cast. JP Batista, Derek Raivio, Erroll Knight, Sean Mallon, and Jeremy Pargo all scored in double figures as the Bulldogs were able to eliminate the Hoosiers who have a lot of changes on the horizon.
UCLA was favored, but Alabama didn’t go done without a fight. They had their chances to win it, as UCLA kept the door wide open by shooting just 5-13 from the free throw line, but Alabama couldn’t get the buckets when they need them late. Jason Farmar led the Bruins with 18 points while Jean Felix only scored 4 points after an amazing 31 point first round performance. UCLA will have to not just slow down Adam Morrison, but the Gonzaga role players who stepped it up in the Sweet 16.
Some showdowns are set to go down tomorrow as Villanova will face Arizona, Ohio State goes against Georgetown, and NC State takes on Texas. Sunday’s play will conclude round 2 as the teams will get a few days off before the sweet 16 starts.