NCAA Tournament Michigan Region Second Round, Part 2
This post takes a look at the bottom half of the Michigan bracket, and our game of the pod.
(14) Nevada vs. (3) Gonzaga -- The Wolfpack were up for the challenge in this one, exploding to a 9-0 lead before the Zags got on the board. Nevada would lead the entire half, and got it up to as many as 11 points, but Gonzaga got a huge momentum boost right before halftime as Przemek Karnowski hit a buzzer beater to bring the Zags within 34-30 at halftime. Nevada stretched it to 37-30 to begin the half, then Gonzaga would score 13 straight points, taking their first lead of the game at 16:01 in the second half, coming off a Gary Bell, Jr. jumper. The Zags ended up with a 43-37 lead and would trail only once more in the game. The final 3 seconds are what makes March Madness special: With Nevada down 63-60, Cole Huff got open in the corner to knock down a three pointer and tie the game at 63. Gonzaga had 1 chance to win the game in regulation, and put the ball in the hands of Sam Dower, who let it go at the top of the key..... and hit the jumper to give Gonzaga a miraculous 65-63 victory!!
Dower and Bell Jr. led Gonzaga with 16 points, while Deonte Burton led all scorers, pumping in 21 for Nevada and a tough, tough loss.
Other Pod Games
(11) Harvard- 75, (6) Iowa St.- 62 -- The Crimson outscored Iowa St. 46-25 in the second half to run away with this one. Harvard was led by Siyani Chambers who had 16, while Iowa St. was led by Deandre Kane who also had 16. Dustin Hogue had a double double for the Cyclones with 14 points and 12 boards.
(10) W. Virginia- 69, (7) Missouri- 60 -- This game was won in the first half, as W. Virginia held Mizzou to just 26% shooting in the half and rolled to a 34-20 halftime lead. Amazingly, Missouri ended up with a better shooting percentage for the game, 41.8% to W. Virginias 40.4%. The Tigers couldn't overcome that disastrous first half however. Juwan Staten had a nice game for the Mountaineers with 18 points, 9 boards, 8 assists. Jordan Clarkson had 24 points for Missouri.
(2) Villanova- 75, (15) Evansville- 56 -- The Wildcats survived a first half scare in this one, turning the ball over 10 times and leading by only 3 at halftime, but the second half was a completely different story. Villanova outrebounded Evansville 48-24 for the game, and got several second chance points off of those rebounds. D.J. Balentine led the Aces with 14 points while Villanova was led by Darrun Hilliard II who had 18.
Well that concludes the NCAA Tournament second round. A fair amount of upsets, although some were only upsets in seeding only (Kentucky/San Diego St. for example). 32 teams remain, including all the #1 seeds and 3 of the #2 seeds, and 3 of the #3 seeds. Unfortunately, only 1 #4 seed remains. Here are the pairings for the third round of the Michigan Region:
(8) N. Carolina vs. (1) Michigan (a chance for revenge for the Wolverines, anybody remember the 1993 national championship? Thankfully, in this game, Michigan doesn't have to worry about Chris Webber calling a timeout the Wolverines don't have.
(13) Minnesota vs. (12) San Diego St.
(11) Harvard vs. (3) Gonzaga
(10) W. Virginia vs. (2) Villanova