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First written on Stupid Sideline Reporters.
(8) Indiana 77 (13) Winthrop 59
Almost a total mismatch as Winthrop’s run comes to an end at the hands of Indiana. The Eagles started out very strong and scored the first 5 of the game and jumped out to to an early 8-4 lead. But DJ White and Eric Gordon just lit up Winthrop as halftime approached and went from 5 down to 37-31 up.
The 2nd half had the Eagles claw back to within 42-40, but again, too much DJ White, too much Eric Gordon, and Indiana outscored Winthrop 35-19 in the final 15:28 to advance to the elite 8.
(10) South Alabama 65 (14) Boise State 53
The Jaguars stifled Boise State after being down 49-47 at the 9:16 mark of the 2nd half. Note, at the 9:16 mark, the Broncos had 49 points. Fast forward to 3:19 left in the game, and it’s 62-49 South Alabama. Nearly 6:00 without scoring did them in as a relatively uninteresting game has the Jaguars advance to face Indiana in the elite 8.
(16) Portland State 90 (4) Vanderbilt 80
Perhaps the upset of the tournament came as the Vikings continue their Cinderella run with a 90-80 triumph over the #4 seed Commodores. The game started wonderfully for Vandy with AJ Ogilvy’s triple giving them a 13-6 jump on Portland State. However, the fast paced tempo of the game played into the hands of PSU and at the midway point of the first half grabbed their first lead of the game at 17-16. Back and forth they went before a Scott Morrison (who is in the news for other reasons as you know) jumper at the buzzer gave Portland State momentum and a 43-37 halftime lead.
The 2nd half was quite the shock. Portland State led by as many as 9 points, but Vanderbilt did everything it could to make a comeback. From the stats, the Commodores pulled within two points on 5 occasions, the last was when they pulled to within 68-66 with 5:39 left. That’s when Jeremiah Dominguez and Morrison broke the game open with a 14-6 run to make it 82-72 for the Vikings with over 3:00 to play. A stunned Vanderbilt side never got back into the game and wasted a valiant effort by Shan Foster and AJ Ogilvy, and fell by 10.
(7) Gonzaga 79 (6) USC 66
The Zags will not be denied by a southern California team this time around. Mark Few’s side held OJ Mayo to 7-21 from the field for 23 points, with Mayo turning it over 5 times in the process, for the easy romp over the Tim Floyd’s Trojans. For the most part the first half was pretty even with neither team leading by double digits, and Gonzaga holding a 43-36 halftime lead. The 2nd half however was very much different with Gonzaga going on a 20-10 spurt for a 63-46 lead and just putting themselves on cruise control the rest of the way to give themselves a date with the Cinderella team in Portland State.
What felled USC in the end was poor shooting and getting outscored in bench points 32-0!
Elite 8 Matches
(8) Indiana vs. (10) South Alabama - East
(7) Gonzaga vs. (16) Portland State - Midwest
(4) UConn 86 (8) BYU 79
The Huskies edge out the Cougars in a high scoring affair to advance to the Elite 8 in Phoenix. For the most part, it was very close, even in the first 12 minutes of the game. But UConn started to break the game open and take a 38-27 lead, before BYU closed the gap to 46-39 at halftime. The lively contest continued with BY taking their first lead of the game after a 10-0 run to take a 51-50 advantage. Back and forth and basket for basket they went and at the 3:19 mark UConn held a slim 76-71 lead. However, AJ Price hit a cold blooded three with 1:32 left to salt it for the Huskies, who are now the highest seed remaining in this tournament.
(10) Arizona 64 (11) Baylor 61
A virtual home game for the Wildcats, but they can only scrape by a pesky Golden Bears team in a thrilling 64-61 game. The first half was low scoring but tight, neither side leading by more than 6, and Chase Budinger’s buzzer beating 14 foot shot gave Arizona a boost heading into the locker room and a 28-22 halftime lead.
Arizona had chances to put Baylor away and with 1:38 left it looked like Arizona would hang on to win with a 64-57 lead, but Josh Lomers’ jumper cut the lead to 64-59. After a turnover by Juwann McClellan, Curtis Jerrells was fouled and calmly sank both free throws on the one and one and next thing you know with :49 it’s 64-61. A huge turning point gave Baylor another break, Jerryd Bayless was called for a charge with :21 and a chance to force OT was in their sights.
Here we go…Tweety Carter to tie it! NO! Rebound Kevin Rogers for Baylor, Jerrells to tie!! NO!! Henry Dugat with the offensive board, DUGAT FOR THE TIE!!!!!! NO!!!! THREE CHANCES TO TIE IT AND ARIZONA WINS!
(13) Oral Roberts 83 (16) UT Arlington 60
Unbearable, the Mavericks get walloped by Oral Roberts and did not even get within single digits from the 14:00 mark of the 2nd half onwards.
(11) Kentucky 67 (10) St. Mary’s 53
Before you could even blink Kentucky jumped to a 23-8 lead and stormed their way to an easy win in Houston. Sure St. Mary’s had opportunities to comeback but Perry Stevenson and Co. were just too much for the Gaels.
So the elite 8 matchups are…..
(8) Indiana vs. (10) South Alabama - East (Charlotte)
(7) Gonzaga vs. (16) Portland State - Midwest (Detroit)
(4) UConn vs. (10) Arizona - West (Phoenix)
(11) Kentucky vs. (13) Oral Roberts - South (Houston)
A trip to San Antonio on the line….simulations will be posted either Monday or Tuesday.
I don't know about you, but I'm rooting for Portland State.