You know it's March where there's midday college basketball to be discussed. Friday afternoon delivered just six games (one in progress) but there hasn't been a lack of drama. The Colonial, Missouri Valley and Southern conferences all had afternoon doubleheaders in their tournaments, with the MVC in the quarterfinals while the other two leagues are playing first round games today.
(8) Georgia State 58, (9) UNC Wilmington 52
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Wow. What a game.
It wasn't pretty but because of their defensive grit and the ability to take advantage of Michigan State mistakes, the Butler Bulldogs find themselves forty minutes away from striking a significant blow for all schools whose operating budgets reside below the "Red Line".
Coach [kohch] - noun. A person who trains an athlete or a group of athletes (dictionary.com).
The 2010 Final Four was completed on Sunday with teams led by two of the best coaches around punching their tickets. Michigan State, a team counted out on multiple occasions this season, will make it's sixth trip to the Final Four in the last twelve seasons due to their 70-69 win over Tennessee in the Midwest Region final in St. Louis. In a game that was tight throughout it took a Raymar Morgan free throw with 1.8 seconds remaining to provide the final margin. How did Morgan (13 points, 10 rebounds) get to the line?
The above sentence is one of the major reasons why the Butler Bulldogs, winners of 24 straight games, are now headed home to Indianapolis not just because they have to but also to play in next weekend's Final Four. Matt Howard ran into foul trouble early but it didn't matter as Brad Stevens' team used defense and rebounding to knock off two-seed Kansas State 63-56 in Salt Lake City.
Thanks to four players finishing in double figures and another grabbing twelve rebounds, the Tennessee Volunteers are headed to their first-ever Elite 8. Wayne Chism led the way with 22 points and 11 rebounds (18 pts in the second half) and Brian Williams added 12 rebounds as the Vols dominated the glass 41-29, grabbing 20 offensive rebounds in their 76-73 win over two-seed Ohio State in St. Louis. Evan Turner scored 31 points to lead the Big Ten Tournament champions but outside of William Buford (15 points) no other Buckeye reached double figures.
Kansas State and Xavier essentially went shot for shot in the latter stages of regulation and the first overtime, with the backcourt tandems of Jacob Pullen/Denis Clemente and Jordan Crawford/Terrell Holloway being the main characters. But in the second overtime Pullen and company had a few more shots left in the tank, surviving by the final score of 101-96 to advance to the Elite 8.