Saturday, March 22, 2008

No Fluke: Duke Goes Down; Cardinal Grounds Eagles in OT

Saturday's Results

(7) West Virginia 73 (2) Duke 67
As the score indicates, Duke was overseeded, and should have been no better than a 4 seed. They became the highest-seeded team to be eliminated the first weekend as the Blue Devils could not find the basket while the Mountaineers cruise into the Sweet Sixteen.

While West Virginia shot only 40%, Duke hit at just 38%, knocking down just 5 of 22 3-point attempts. They were also badly outrebounded, 48-31, which gave West Virginia an excess of second chances.

Joe Alexander was solid, with 22 points and 11 rebounds, but the best stat line belonged to Joe Mazzulla, who scored 13 points, hauled in 11 rebounds (5 offensive) and dished 8 assists.

(3) Wisconsin 72 (11)Kansas State 55
Michael Beasley got his 23 points, but the Wisconsin Badgers put on a clinic on how to defend the three-point line, pressuring K-State into a dreadful 0-13 performance from beyond the arc. Trevon Hughes led the Badger scoring attack with 25 points, hitting 4 of 9 3-pointers.

(1) Kansas 75 (9) UNLV 56
The Jayhawks simply rolled past the Runnin' Rebels in the second half, holding UNLV to 27% shooting for the game. Kansas controlled the board, 40-28, shot 58% and could have made it worse as they were only 12-19 from the foul line.

(3) Xavier 85 (6) Purdue 78
Purdue put up a good fight, but the Musketeers shot 54% for the game to move to the next round in the West region. Despite getting 17 fewer shots from the floor, Xavier got Purdue players in foul trouble and got three of them to foul out, while going to the line 33 times, hitting 26 freebies. Grew Lavender get everything going, scoring 18 points and handing out 9 assists.

(4) Washington St. 61 (5) Notre Dame 41
Amazingly, the Cougars held the Irish to their lowest point total of the season - by a bunch. The previous low for Notre Dame was 64 points in a loss to Baylor way back on November 18. The Irish averaged 80.6 points coming into the game, but the Cougars only allowed 80 or more points once all season.

The Irish shooting performance was embarrassingly bad, at 25% from the field, including just 3 of 17 from 3-point range. Luke Harangody, usually the complete player, was just 3-of-17 for 10 points, though he did haul in 22 boards. Washington State's Kyle Weaver was outstanding, with 15 points and 9 rebounds.

(3) Stanford 82 (6) Marquette 81 OT Jerel McNeal did all he could, including three straight 3-pointers in overtime, but Brook Lopez hit a tough baseline bank shot with 1.2 seconds left in OT to lift the Cardinal. McNeal and Lopez both had 30 points, with all but two of Lopez' coming in the second half and overtime.

(5) Michigan State 65 (4) Pittsburgh 54
Pitt came in winners of seven straight, including four for the Big East tourney championship, but they ran into a buzzsaw in Michigan State. The Spartans have overcome adversity throughout the season and now head to the South Regional to face the winner of tomorrow's Memphis - Miss. St. game.

Guards Drew Neitzel and Kalin Lucas took it to the Panthers, scoring 21 and 19 respectively. Neitzel did his damage from outside, hitting 5-of-8 threes, while Lucas produced dazzling drives to the tin for his scores.

Pitt was ice-cold from beyond the arc, hitting only 2-of-18 three-point attempts.

(1) UCLA 53 (9) Texas A&M
The Bruins met their sternest test of the tourney, and overcame a stiff challenge from the Aggies. Darren Collison scored 21 points and Kevin Love had 19 and blocked 7 shots.

Conference Scoreboard
(Teams entered in parentheses)
Through Saturday, March 22
ACC (4): 3-2; Winners: Duke, Miami, North Carolina; Losers: Clemson, Duke

A-10 (3): 2-2; Winners: Xavier (2); Losers: Temple, St. Joseph's

Big East (8): 8-4; Winners: Marquette, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, West Virginia (2), Georgetown, Louisville, Villanova; Losers: Connecticut, Notre Dame, Marquette, Pittsburgh

Big Ten (4): 5-2; Winners: Michigan St. (2), Purdue, Wisconsin (2); Losers: Indiana, Purdue

Big 12 (6): 6-3; Winners: Kansas (2), Kansas St., Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma; Losers: Baylor, Kansas State, Texas A&M

Conf-USA (1): 1-0; Winners: Memphis; Losers: None

Mountain West (2): 1-2; Winners: UNLV; Losers: BYU, UNLV

PAC-10 (6): 6-3; Winners: Stanford (2), Washington St. (2), UCLA (2); Losers: USC, Arizona, Oregon

SEC (6): 3-3; Winners: Tennessee, Mississippi St., Arkansas; Losers: Georgia, Kentucky, Vanderbilt

WCC (3): 1-2; Winners: San Diego; Losers: Gonzaga, St. Mary's

All others (22): 4-17; Winners: Davidson, Western Kentucky, Butler, Siena; Losers: Portland St., Kent St., Oral Roberts, Cornell, Belmont, Winthrop, Miss. Valley St., George Mason, CS Fullerton, American, Drake, South Alabama, UMBC, Austin Peay, Mt. St. Mary's, Boise St., Texas Arlington

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