Nothing to do with the NCAA tournament
We’ll take a look at the final action of the second round and how the last pieces of the Sweet 16 puzzle came to be:
—Ohio State outlasted Georgia Tech, who mounted a furious rally but fell short in the end, losing by nine. Evan Turner was the star again, as his 24 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists led the Buckeyes, but he also turned it over nine times. Ohio State will play Tennessee Friday, and one can only hope nothing interferes with watching Turner vs. Hopson, the preeminent individual matchup of our generation.
—Duke and Syracuse both cruised, and looked every bit the part of a one-seed in the process. Gonzaga never had a chance as Wes Johnson only went for 31 and 14 for the Cuse. Butler awaits the Orange in the Sweet 16, as does the probable return of Arinze Onuaku to the lineup. If this is what a vulnerable Syracuse team looks like, the full strength version would have to be the odds-on favorite to reach Indianapolis out of the west. The Blue Devils crushed Cal and haven’t looked tested thus far, dispatching of their second-round foe with the same relative ease of the other successful top seeds. I hate them.
—Michigan State edged Maryland in the game of the day. Sparty held a 15-point lead with under 10 minutes to go, but Greivis Vasquez stormed the Terps back to eventually take a one-point lead on his basket with seven seconds left. Michigan State didn’t call timeout, instead going for the win as Korie Lucious pumpfaked and then drained a three at the buzzer. Tom Izzo’s crew hasn’t looked impressive and lost Kalin Lucas to an injury in the first half, but they survive and advance yet again.
—Xavier avenged last year’s loss to Pitt and Purdue beat Texas A&M in two other games that went to the absolute wire. Jordan Crawford scored 27 but the Muskies failed to hang on to the double-digit lead they opened up in the second half. Pitt came back and eventually cut it to one but never could get in front. Crawford is averaging 27.5 for the tournament for Xavier, who will play Frank Martin’s stare and his Kansas State squad for a shot at the Elite Eight. The Boilers scored the last four of overtime to sneak past the Aggies by two. Purdue gets a date with Duke, which is a much easier draw for the Dookies than A&M would have been, meaning the odds of a UK-Duke Final Four matchup for the ages increase ever so slightly.
–Of course, in order to get to that matchup, the Wildcats will have to first beat Cornell (an 87-69 winner over ‘Sconsin) and then likely West Virginia in the regional final. The Mountaineers beat Missouri in a game closer than the final score of 68-59 would indicate. Missouri had the lead down to four multiple times in the second half, but Huggy’s boys never let them closer. Da’Sean Butler continued his roll, scoring 28 to lead West Virginia. In the coming week, it is likely that many questions will be asked and answered about the possible matchup between Kentucky and the Mountaineers. On this day, however, the only question to be asked is about the video below featuring Butler and a couple of his WVU teammates, and is as follows: How does someone so good, do something so ridiculous?
But wait. This is just a sample. Check out their other hits: ‘Lip Synching Brian McKnight’ (which can’t challenge Pat and AJ Stewart) and ‘Putting pillows where our junk used to be, doing the John Wall Dance and then beating down the kid who only plays four minutes per game,’ which can be found here. The entertainment value and absurdity are both off the charts and I love it. Matt will be along later with the late night notes. Play nice.