Saturday , Mar , 25 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

NCAA Basketball Tournament: The Sweet 16

The Sweet 16 is over, and boy was it a great one. Only one game was a blowout, but the other seven went right down to the wire, making this an incredible Sweet 16.

LSU 62 Duke 54
Duke’s inability to get out of the Sweet 16 continues. Sheldon Williams won the battle down low convincingly, but it was the play of Duke’s other all American that was the story. JJ Reddick was an atrocious 3-18 from the field, ending his career by putting even more doubt in his pro potential by letting the long and athletic Garrett Temple take him out of the game. Sheldon was the only bright spot for the Blue Devils, as they only got 9 points from Josh Mcroberts, who fumbled away lay up after lay up late in the game, 7 points from Greg Paulus, and 4 points from the bench. LSU will go up against Texas in the Elite 8, where Tyrus Thomas and Glen Davis will go up against Lamarcus Aldridge and Brad Buckman.
Memphis 80 Bradley 64
Memphis has made it to the Elite 8 without breaking a sweat. They’ve won all their tournament games by 16 points. Bradley’s attack centers around good defense and Patrick OBryant. The Braves were only able to cause 13 turnovers, 4 less than they committed, and OBryant had just 8 boards to go along with his 14 boards. Memphis will get UCLA in the Elite 8, their toughest game of the tournament.
Texas 74 West Virginia 71
Texas looked dominate early in the game, but the West Virginia Mountaineers, and their high arsenal three point attack don’t go away. They were able to tie the game with 5 seconds left on a Pittsnogle 3, seemingly setting this game for over time. Opting not to take the timeout, Texas in bounded the ball to freshman AJ Abrams, who rushed the ball up the court and gave the ball to Kenton Paulino, who cemented himself in Texas tournament history by hitting a 3 to send Texas to the Elite 8 to go up against the LSU Tigers.
UCLA 73 Gonzaga 71
By all accounts, UCLA was dead in the water. They played terrible basketball in the first half, and Gonzaga was rolling strong. The same theme went on until late in the fourth, when the miracle comeback began. UCLA was able to come from down 17 in the first half, and 9 with just 3 minutes to go to win the game off a Jordan Farmar steal and assist to Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. UCLA will go into the Elite 8 and attempt to give Memphis their first close game of the tourney.
Villanova 60 Boston College 59
Boston College says goodbye to one of the most influential players in it’s history in Craig Smith in a heart breaker. Boston College was able to overcome their foul shooting and turnover issues to send the game into OT, they were able to overcome a 5 point deficit in OT to regain the lead, but they weren’t able to overcome a bad traveling call and defensive breakdown. Villanova got excellent play from Randy Foye and Daunte Cunningham and now will have to gear up to go against Florida on Sunday.
George Mason 63 Wichita State 55
Wichita State appeared to be in for a tough one before the game started. They had a significantly easier path to the Sweet 16 than George Mason, who had already beat them twice, and were playing just 40 miles away from home. When the game started, the pre game thoughts came to fruition. George Mason dominated from the get go and will have to pull up their biggest upset yet if they want to be in the final four, as UConn is next.
Florida 57 Georgetown 53
Joakim Noah vs Robert Hibbert was one of the better individual match ups in this round. Noah was able to keep his stock soaring as he put up 15 points, 10 boards, and 5 blocks to Hibbert’s 10 points, 7 boards, and 3 blocks. The game was close throughout, but it was Corey Brewer’s 3 point play that gave the Gators the victory. Georgetown had a chance to take the lead with a 3, but it clanked off and ended their season.
Uconn 98 Washington 92
Uconn isn’t surviving, they’re escaping. They were behind by late in the 2nd half, but were able to claw back and take another upset from a deserving team. Marcus Williams continues to be the best point guard in America, getting a big steal, hitting key free throws, and giving the ball to Rashard Anderson in position to send the game into OT. In OT Uconn outlasted Washington and will play George Mason in the Elite 8.