Friday, March 21, 2014

NCAA Tournament, Day 2, Part 3

Memphis 71 - George Washington 66
A great back-and-forth game featuring a good comeback attempt by our country's first president, but said comeback ended very anti-climatically with an air-balled three-pointer

North Carolina 79 - Providence 77
Tremendous game, and I'm not juts saying that because of the local flavor. PC guard Bryce Cotton is an amazing talent, as he played all 40 minutes (not uncommon, PC goes just 6 deep and Cotton actually averaged over 40 minutes per game in Big East play) and carried the Providence offense for long stretches of the game.

In the end, Providence gave up to many offensive rebounds (UNC had 21 in the game) due to a combination of giving up a little size, fatigue, and lots of zone defense. Sure enough, with the game tied at 77, UNC rebounded a missed shot, was fouled, hit 1/2 free throws, rebounded the miss, hit 1/2 more, and Providence fumbled that rebound away.

Wichita State 64 - California Poly 37
Wichita State has a brutal quarter of the bracket between it and the Final Four. But that brutal road did not begin with Cal Poly, who was 14-19 on the season. Easy win for the still undefeated Shockers.

Stephen F. Austin 77 - VCU 75 (OT)
This game went to overtime because a) VCU missed 4 of their last 5 free throw attempts, and b) VCU, while up 4,  fouled a 3-point shooter (who made the shot and then converted the 4-point play) with 3.6 seconds left in the game.

In overtime, VCU struggled to break down the SFA zone. They got plenty of good three-point looks, but missed the bulk of them (including the potential game-winner as time expired).

And so VCU violated Rule #1 of the NCAA Tournament: Don't lose to a team named after a single person.

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