College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, March 30, 2013
East Regional: (4) Syracuse 55 (3) Marquette 39 - The Syracuse Orange became the first to punch a ticket to Atlanta and the Final Four, ten years since they were last there, manhandling the Marquette Golden Eagles.
Completely befuddled by the Syracuse 2-3 zone defense, Marquette scored just seven points in the first 14:55 of the game, before finding its way and cutting the Orange lead to just six by the break, 24-18. Marquette shot just 26% in the first half and was 1-for-9 from beyond the arc, staying in the game because the Orange were only clicking at a 36% clip.
The second half was worse for Marquette, shooting just 18% to finish the game with a shooting percentage of 23 (12-for-53). Marquette's 39 points was easily their lowest output of the season.
Vander Blue and Davante Gardner were the only Golden Eagles with more than six points, both scoring 14.
Even though the Orange shot just 36% themselves, they committed only six turnovers, their efficient offense building a lead that would reach as high as 19 points late in the second half.
James Southerland led all scorers with 16 points; teammate Michael Carter-Williams turned in the day's top performance, with 12 points and 8 rebounds, adding six assists and five steals, turning the ball over just once in 37 minutes of playing time.
The last time the Orange reached the national semifinals was in 2003, when they won the national championship behind the play of freshman Carmello Anthony.
West Regional(9) Wichita State 70 (2) Ohio State 66
Wichita State took it right to the Buckeyes in the first half, holding Ohio State to 24% shooting to take a 35-22 half time lead. The Shockers kept up the defensive pressure and expanded their lead to 20 points late in the game. Ohio State's furious rally in the final seven minutes fell short, even though the Buckeyes were able to cut the lead to four on three occasions.
OSU's Deshaun Thomas led all scorers with 23; his running mate, Quinton Ross added 19. Wichita State had four players in double figures, led by Malcolm Armstead's 14. The Shockers held Ohio State to 31% shooting.
In the Final Four at Atlanta, Syracuse will play the winner of Sunday's Michigan-Florida State meeting, while the Shockers await the winner from the Midwest region, Louisville or Duke.