NCAA Tournament Michigan Region- Third Round
A couple very exciting games in this round of the Michigan region, making it tough to decide on the game of the pod. But one game had the better finish, which is why it was chosen.
(11) Harvard vs. (3) Gonzaga -- In reality, I would pay to see this matchup of 2 really strong non-power conference teams. Gonzaga rolled to an early 14-6 lead on the strength of quality three point shooting, but Harvard battled back and actually took a 6 point lead, but Gonzaga tied it up and we were deadlocked at 35 going into halftime. The second half was much the same, with Harvard stretching the lead to 50-41 at one point. Gonzaga wouldn't go away though, cutting it to 64-61 with 20 seconds left. Good ball movement kept the Zags from fouling on the ensuing possession as Harvard ran the shot clock down but a game icing shot from Brandyn Curry missed. Gonzaga got the rebound and for whatever reason, chose not to go to their offensive weapons. Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell, Jr., David Stockton, and Sam Dower. 4 great choices for a last shot. Dower and Stockton weren't even in the game at this point, and neither Pangos nor Bell touched the ball on the last possession. Instead, power forward Angel Nunez decided to jack up a forced three pointer. Luckily he was bailed out by Gonzaga center Ryan Edwards who grabbed the offensive rebound. Instead of kicking it out to Pangos, he.. get this.. dribbled out to the corner and airballed a three pointer!! All these last second mistakes cost Gonzaga, as Harvard held on to win 64-61. Dower led Gonzaga with 16 points and Harvard was led by Wesley Saunders who had 15.
Other Pod Games
(1) Michigan- 66, (8) N. Carolina- 63 -- This was the other choice for game of the pod, as a J.P. Tokoto hail mary three pointer fell way short as the Wolverines hang on to win. James Michael McAdoo led the Tarheels with 14 points. Michigan was led by Nik Stauskas who had 16.
(12) San Diego St.- 74, (13) Minnesota- 64 -- The Aztecs led by 10 at halftime, and they needed it as Minnesota played even with them in the second half. Andre Hollins led Minnesota with 13 points and Xavier Thames led San Diego St. with 15 points.
(2) Villanova- 82, (10) W. Virginia- 73 -- The long shot was key in this one, as Villanova was 11-22 from the three point line, good enough to get the 9 point win. James Bell led Nova with 17 points, 9 boards, while W. Virginia was led by Juwan Staten who had 17.
So this set of regional semifinals features the top 2 seeds facing off against 2 very, very strong non-power (I refuse to use the word mid-major, especially when it comes to college basketball) conferences:
(12) San Diego St. vs. (1) Michigan
(11) Harvard vs. (2) Villanova