By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2008 TexSport Publications
One upset today took everyone by surprise. I went 7 for 8 (.875) today and am now 37-11 (.771) for the tournament.
Here are the results. The following seven games I predicted correctly.
Villanova 84 Siena 72: Villanova becomes the first double-digit seed this year to make it into the sweet 16. Davidson, San Diego and Western Kentucky will all have their opportunity later to join the Wildcats as double-digit seeds in the sweet 16. A huge effort from Scottie Reynolds, 25 points and 8 boards, had the Wildcats rolling all game long, holding a double digit lead for most of the game. There reward for winning is a game against #1 seed Kansas.
Tennessee 76 Butler 71: Butler gave it a good go after trailing by 13 early and by as many as 10 points in the second half. They rallied to tie the game to force overtime and even took a brief lead in the extra period on the strength of A.J. Graves' 21 points. A number of those points by Graves came down the stretch even while he was nursing four fouls. The Bulldogs didn't have enough at the end though, with the Vols going on for the win to advance to the Sweet 16.
Western Kentucky 72 San Diego 63: The Hilltoppers win, becoming the second #12 seed to move on to the Sweet 16 today. the game was close down the stretch, but Courtney Lee took over the game with his 27 points leading the Hilltoppers to a victory. Western Kentucky moves on to face #1 seed UCLA.
Louisville 78 Oklahoma 48: Louisville earns at least one more game, next weekend in Charlotte against Tennessee. The Cardinals earn that opportunity thanks to 11 players getting on the board and all 13 players getting in the game in the blowout. Terrence Williams led the way with seven points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals, and a block.
Texas 75 Miami (Fla.) 72: AJ Abrams was a dominant offensive force and had his way with 26 points on the afternoon. Augustin had a low key game, but hit his final free throw to give them the lead for good. They couldn;t have done it wothout Damion James and his 16 and 16. The Hurricane nation should be proud to call UM a basketball school, as Frank Haith has turned around this program before our very eyes. McClinton almost pulled off some more late game heroics, but Texas had an extra man on the floor, with the clock playing such a huge part in the ballgame. Ray Hicks came in to drop in a pair of big threes in the closing minunte, but the better team came out on top and the Longhorns are still have a serious shot at the elusive National Championship.
Memphis 77 Mississippi State 74: The Tigers tried to shoot themselves in the foot with poor free throw shooting, but still came out with the win when Jamont Gordon's desperation three to tie the game rimmed out to give the Tigers a 77-74 win. With three seconds left and down by three, the Bulldogs inbounded the ball to Gordon who dribbled from end-line to three-point line. His final dribble, however, betrayed him and he lost his rhythm as he went up to shoot. His shot was flat and hit off the glass and off the rim at the buzzer. It was close.
North Carolina 108 Arkansas 77: This was over before it started. The Heels eclipse the century mark for the second time in the tournament and advange to the Sweet 16 by defeating the Hogs 108-77. 5 Heels reached double digits. The Heels never trailed and the end result was never in doubt. Not a great way for the Razorbacks to end their season, but it was a good run for Coach Pelphrey's team. The Heels will take on Wash State in the Sweet 16.
Here is the one game I missed:
Davidson 74 Georgetown 70: This is an incredible upset. Most fans predicted Georgetown to make the final four (including me)…not anymore.
Now on the the Sweet Sixteen!!!!!