And then there were 4…
And what snoozers they were, but nonetheless the Elite 8 is now in the books. We are left with 4 remaining teams that all have an equal shot to put themselves in position for a National Championship. Let’s take a look back at all the action that transpired over the weekend.
Orange “Crush” Golden Eagles
The 2-3 zone once again stole the show in this one. Syracuse’s suffering defense absolutely undressed the Golden Eagles as Marquette on shot 12-53 from the floor, that’s only 22 %! That is probably one of the worst Elite performances I have seen, shooting that low of a percentage. People could be like, “Oh Marquette missed shots blah..blah.” I say, no, Marquette just got dominated by a team that runs the 2-3 zone better than anyone and can use their star players, James Southerland and Michael Carter-Williams, to put them ahead in games and never look back. Still, you got to tip your cap to Marquette for getting this far, they just ran into a buzz-saw yesterday that would’ve cut through anyone. The Cuse will be taking their deadly 2-3 zone to Atlanta.
Wichita State- 70 Ohio State- 66
A game that was much farther apart than the final score indicated for sure. Wichita State led by 20 at one point in the game and was utterly dominating Ohio State, but give credit to the Buckeyes, they did not give up and nearly made one of the most impressive comebacks in tournament history. They just ended up running out of time and Wichita State, behind Carl Hall’s stout defense, were able to hold on for dear life to propel themselves into the Final Four. Ohio State only hit 5-25 from three point range and when you are trying to comeback it makes it harder when you can’t knock down 3s. The Shockers were more physical than Ohio State and more efficient shooting the ball which made the difference. They move on and for a little bit longer, they keep their Cinderella story from striking midnight.
Gators get Chomped
Big Blue flat out just made it rain all over the Gators in this blow out Elite 8 game. Michigan made 47 % from the floor and a ridiculous 52 % from three point range hitting 10 3s as a team. Freshman guard Nick Stauskas hit 6 of the 10 3s and led the Wolverines in this onslaught with 22 points. Florida just could not get going from the start yet again and facing a NBA talented type Michigan team, that’s not going to cut it. After getting down 13-0, they would only get as close as 11 points. Just when they would make a run, Michigan would flip the momentum and go on a run of their own, widening the gap. An absolute domination by Michigan, showing why they were a National Champion favorite at the beginning of the season. As a result, Big Blue is moving on.
Yeah so I really couldn’t come up with a catchy title to describe the game, if you have a good one, let me know. Either way, the pitiful name for this beat-down probably sums up this game, close at halftime nonetheless but then Louisville just turned it on to destroy Duke. Louisville shot 52 % from the field and Russ Smith was, well once again, Russ-diculous. He went for 23 points in a modest night to lead his Cardinals over the Blue Devils. Driven by the emotional loss of one of their fallen Cardinals during the game, Kevin Ware in a gruesome leg injury, the Cardinals went on to roll Duke. My prayers go out to him and his family, I truly hope he gets better. No kid deserves to suffer an injury like that, let alone any kind of injury. Cardinals do move onto the Final Four and get that last spot in Atlanta.
Well that was the Elite 8, a rather dull and uneventful slate of games indeed. Either way, they have come to end, thank goodness, and now we move onto the Final Four where we hope it’s filled with a little more madness and more excitement. Later this week I will give my Final Four preview and predictions so be on the lookout for that. Until then, keep Kevin Ware and his family in your prayers and enjoy the brand new baseball season. We resume the madness this weekend.