Michigan State and Kansas survive, Georgetown and Florida State say bye bye, UNC’s Marshall breaks wrist and will have surgery on Monday
The Thursday/Saturday grouping of the Field of 64 pretty my held form all the way through with the higher seeds going 22-2 SU and 16-7-1 ATS. On Friday, the dogs were barking with only half the higher seed winning with the chalk going just 7-9. On Sunday, form heldd again with the higher seeds limping in at 5-3 and going just 3-5 against the points. The St Louis Billikens gave No.1 seed Michigan State all they wanted and Kansas just got by upstart Purdue. No.13 Ohio becomes the first MAC team to advance to the Sweet Dieciseis after beating South Florida and 15-seeds Norfolk State and Lehigh were given reality checks by Florida and Xavier.
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Sunday’s Big Dance recap …
The No.11 seeded North Carolina State Wolfpack was a popular pick among analysts at the beginning of the tournament to do some damage as a lower seed. They haven’t disppointed adding No.3 Georgetown’a scalp to San Diego State. The Wolf Pack used balanced scoring from their starters who accounted for 63 of NC State’s 66 points and would have cruised had they been able (19-31) to hit a foul shot. NC State moves on to face Kansas in St Louis.
St Louis never led Michigan State after 15-14 at the 11:00 mark of the first half but the Spartans were never able to extend as the Billikens took them to the limit. Rick Majerus’ bunch shot just 35% from the field and cashed just 7-25 trifectas but turned the ball over just six times and outscored Sparty from the foul charity stripe 18-11. Keith Appling had 19 for the winners and Draymond Green chipped in with 16/13 for the winners who face Louisville in the next round.
UNC’s Harrison Barnes beat Creighton’s Doug McDermott in a battle of HS teammates but the win proved costly as North Carolina PG Kendall Marshall (18 points, 11 asists) broke his wrist and will require surgery. His status for the rest of the tournament is unknown. The Tar Heel’s John Henson who had missed the last three games with his own wrist injury returned with a 13/10/2 performance in the 87-73 win. UNC faces Cinderella Ohio in the next round.
Norfolk State was one of two No.15 seeds with a chance to make history by advancing to the Sweet Dieciseis but that dream was quickly squashed by the Florida Gators. Billy Donovan’s bunch led 28-6 after ten minutes and 47-19 at the half and never looked back. The Spartans came out ice from the field and ended the game shooting 18-66 from the field, good for just 27% including 4-24 from the downtown. Florida will meet Marquette in Phoenix on the other side of Mich State and Louisville.
The Ohio Bobcats have reached the Sweet Dieciseis for the first time since 1964 by beating South Florida 62-56. Ohio was deadly from the outside cashing 9-18 trifectas, the Bulls unable to defend from the perimeter. South Florida appeared to be in complete control of the game but self destructed with a technical foul for hanging on the rim and a bad flagrant foul. Ohio sank all foul technical fouls shots and knocked down a three on the subsequent possession. Walter Offutt had 21 points and DJ Cooper had 19 for the Bobcats who won the second half 41-29.
Lehigh stunned Duke on Friday and was the other 15-seed with a chance to become the first to reach the Sweet Dieciseis. The Mountain Hawks led Xavier 37-33 at the half but the Muskies regrouped to win easily 70-58. Kenny Frease had 25 and Tu Holiday 21 for Xavier who move on to Atlanta to meet Baylor in the South Region semi. CJ McCollum has 30 for Lehigh in the win over Duke but was limited to just 14 on Sunday.
Purdue’s Robbie Hummel is one of the best defensive players in the country and was part of the “Baby Boiler” class from five years ago that was expected to do big big things in Lafayette. The big big things never materialized and knee injuries derailed Hummels personal career. In his final game as a collegian, Hummel was a one-man wrecking crew that almost took down second-seeded Kansas. The keyword here is almost as the Jayhawks scored the Final Cuatro points of a 63-60 win. Elijah Johnson led four KU players in double-figures with 18.
In the nitecap, Cincinnati beat Florida State 62-56 in a brickfest that saw both teams shoot 19-50 (38%) from the field. The Bearcats won the game at the foul line where they outscored the Sems 19-12. Sean Kilpatrick led the winners with 18 points while Luke Loucks led FSU with 14. Cincinnati will travel to Boston for what figures to be a war with in-state heavyweight Ohio State.
(CBB) Princeton +8 over Pittsburg
(CBB) Minnesota +5 Miami Fla
(NBA) Atlanta +2 over Boston
(NHL) Detroit -155 over Washington