Explorers, Hurricanes, Shockers and the Sweet Sixteen

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Four games help decide the Elite Eight. Here’s a snapshot of each contest.

East Region Semi-finals

No. 2 seed Miami Hurricanes vs. No. 3 seed Marquette

7:15 p.m. at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Miami is 2-2 all-time against Marquette, winning a pair of games at home and dropping the two road contests. The Canes first faced the Golden Eagles on March 5, 1986, an 84-62 loss for UM. The last meeting between the two teams was a 106-90 Hurricanes win on Jan. 28, 1989 in Florida.

Miami is making its 18th postseason appearance in program history and fifth in the last six seasons. Miami NCAA Championship seed history: 2 (2013, East), 2 (1999, East), 5 (2002, West), 6 (2000, South), 7 (2008, South)  and 11 (1998, South). Miami is 6-6 in the NCAA Championships (last appearance in 2008). Playing in its second Sweet 16 (2000), Miami has never advanced past the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Championship. 2013 is Miami’s sixth NCAA tournament berth since 1997 (first appearance was in 1960). Coach Jim Larrañaga is making his seventh NCAA tournament appearance – and 14th overall postseason trip – as head coach. He led George Mason to the 2006 Final Four.

Marquette is making its eighth‐straight appearance (31st overall) in the NCAA Championship and its 16th trip to the round of 16.  Thursday’s game will mark the program’s first run of three‐straight Sweet 16 appearances since the team’s runner‐up finish in 1974 (fell 76‐64 to NC State). Marquette is one of just four programs (Kansas, Florida and Ohio State) currently in possession of a three‐consecutive regional semifinal matchups. MU is one of just six teams (Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan St. and Wisconsin) to be selected to the NCAA field in each of the last eight years. Marquette is 40‐31 all‐time in the NCAA’s, which includes six appearances in the regional championship game and three in the Final Four. Marquette owns 47 all‐time postseason berths (NCAA, NIT and National Catholic Tournament).

Miami notes

Marquette notes


West Region Semi-finals

No. 2 seed Ohio State (28-7) vs. No. 6 seed Arizona (27-7)

Thursday, March 28, 7:47 p.m. ET, Staples Center (18,118), Los Angeles, Calif

This is Ohio State’s 25th appearance in the NCAA tournament. Overall, Ohio State has a 47-23 record all-time in NCAA tournament play. The Buckeyes have advanced to play in 10 Final Fours, have finished as the runner up four times (1939, 1961, 1962, 2007) and own one title (1960). Ohio State finished third four times (1944, 1945, 1946, 1968). The Buckeyes have played in four-consecutive NCAA “Sweet 16s,” a record accomplishment  for Ohio State. Ohio State had last accomplished three-consecutive “Sweet 16s” from 1960-62. No remaining team in the 2013 NCAA Tournament has played in the last four “Sweet 16s.” The Buckeyes have made 14 “Sweet 16” appearances in NCAA tournament play.

Deshaun Thomas is averaging 23.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in NCAA tournament play this year. Sam Thompson has contributed 13.5 points along with a team-leading 6.5 rebounds a game. LaQuinton Ross (12.0 ppg.) and Aaron Craft (11.0 ppg.) also are in double digits offensively. Shannon Scott and Craft each have 13 assists. Craft has a team-high eight steals. As a team, Ohio State is shooting nearly 50 percent from the field (59-120/.492) while averaging 86.5 ppg.

The Buckeyes are 11-7 against the 11 teams on the schedule this year that qualified for the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Ohio State entered the NCAA tournament on a six-game winning streak against teams in the 2013 NCAA field before the wins over Iona and Iowa State last week. Four of those wins were against Associated Press Top 25 teams. In the 18 games Ohio State played vs. the 2013 NCAA field, Deshaun Thomas has led the way with an average of 19.9 points per game. Aaron Craft averaged 11.9 ppg. Thomas has made 87 percent of his free throws (66-76) while Craft was 40-54 at the line (.741)

This is UA’s 30th NCAA Tournament appearance overall (counting two vacated appearances) and the program has an official 48-26 (.649) record in its previous NCAA Tournament action … Nine of Arizona’s 15 Sweet 16 appearances have come in the West Regional and 31 of the program’s 48 NCAA Tournament wins have come through the West Region.

For the second game in a row, Arizona put its opponent in an early hole and never looked back in cruising to a 74-51 win over Harvard Saturday. TheCats jumped out to a 17-2 lead, forcing the Crimson to miss its first 12 shots and connecting on 58 percent of its own in the half. Harvard’s 27.6 percent shooting was the lowest for a UA opponent in NCAA Tournament play. Mark Lyons matched a career high with 27 points, Solomon Hill added a double-double and Jordin Mayes added eight key points in the second half.

The Wildcats’ two 50-percent shooting games in Salt Lake City were its first successive games above .500 this season and only. They were only the sixth and seventh time the Cats have shot 50 percent or better in a game in 2012-13. Further, Arizona has won 14 of the 16 games that it took fewer (but better) or the same number shots than the opponents, including the games against Belmont and Harvard. Obviously, if the shots go down it makes a difference, but Arizona shot a higher percentage in all but two of those 14 victories. That said, a .560(56-of-100) cumulative field goal percentage in the NCAA Tournament is impressive.

Today’s game is the second meeting of the two schools with Ohio State  holding a 1-0 series advantage. Like this one, the previous meeting was a neutral site game in Los Angeles, as OSU triumphed 90-47 on Dec. 29, 1971, in the opening round of the Bruin Classic. All-time, Arizona is 0-0 in series games played in Tucson, 0-0 in Columbus, Ohio, and 0-1 in neutral-site games.

Ohio State notes

Arizona notes


East Region Semi-finals

N0. 1 INDIANA (29-6) vs.No. 4 SYRACUSE (28-9)

March 28, 2013 • Approx. 9:45 p.m. ET

Washington, D.C. • Verizon Center (18,277)

The Indiana men’s basketball team earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history and advanced to the East Regional semifinals after beating No. 9 Temple, 58-52, and No. 16 James Madison, 83-62, in Dayton. IU advances to the Sweet Sixteen in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1994. The Hoosiers will take on No. 4 Syracuse with the winner facing No. 2 Miami or No. 3 Marquette on Saturday.

The Hoosiers are making their 37th appearance in the event (sixth all-time) and have a 64-31 record (seventh all-time). This will be the third time that IU will participate in an NCAA Tournament event in or near Washington D.C. In 1994, IU defeated Ohio, 84-72, and Temple, 65-58, in Landover,  Md. In 1998, IU topped Oklahoma, 94-87, and lost to UConn, 78-61, when the facility was known as the MCI Center.

Senior Maurice Creek (Oxon Hill, Maryland) and junior Victor Oladipo (Upper Marlboro, Maryland) are two local products playing for the Hoosiers. Assistant Coach Kenny Johnson also is from Oxon Hill and graduated from the University of Maryland. Director of Operations/Internal and External  Player Development Calbert Cheaney was a first round pick in 1993 of the Washington Bullets and played  for the franchise until 1999. Washington Wizards head coach Randy Wittman played on the 1981 National  Championship team at Indiana.

Syracuse (28-9) moved on to the NCAA Tournament’s “Sweet 16” for the 18th time in program history and will play 4/t4 Indiana (29-6) on Thursday, March 28, in Washington D.C. The Orange advanced by defeating Montana, 81-34, and California, 66-60.

Syracuse has a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series with Indiana. The two programs have met once in the NCAA Tournament. Syracuse is 58-35 (.624) overall in the NCAA Tournament. SU won the 2003 NCAA Championship and advanced to the Final Four in four times (1975, 1987, 1996, 2003).

The Orange is in the tournament for the fifth straight season. Syracuse is now 25-5 in NCAA Tournament opening games during Jim Boeheim’s tenure as head coach.2013 marks the first time Syracuse has played NCAA Tournament games in San Jose, Cal., and Washington D.C. Coach Boeheim has a 50-27 (.649) in the NCAA Tournament. He ranks fourth in career coaching wins in the event. Syracuse was most recently a number-four seed in 2005.

Indiana notes

Syracuse notes


West Region Semi-finals

No. 9 Wichita State Shockers (28-8) vs. No. 13 La Salle (24-9)

7:17 p.m. Pacific | Sat., March 28, 2013 | Staples Center (19,282) | Los Angeles, Calif

WSU is coming off an upset of No. 1 Gonzaga, 76-70, in the NCAA Third Round. Ron Baker and Cleanthony  led the Shockers in scoring with 16 each to lead WSU, while the three-time Defensive Team of the Year in the Missouri Valley Conference held the Bulldogs to 35.6 percent shooting.

The Shockers also defeated eighth-seeded and No. 20/22 Pittsburgh, 73-55, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  WSU defeated the Panthers on the back of 20-plus point performances by Malcolm Armstead (22) and Cleanthony Early (21), and on the defensive effort of Tekele Cotton, who helped hold Tray Woodall to two points, nine less than his average. WSU has won its first and second game of the NCAA Tournament four times now, and last advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2006 with wins against Seton Hall and Tennessee. WSU last advanced to the Elite Eight in 1981 with wins against Southern and Iowa in Wichita before defeating Kansas, 66-65, on the back of Mike Jones’ shot with five seconds remaining in the Superdome.


La Salle is the fifth 13 seed to reach the Sweet 16 joining Bradley (2006),Oklahoma (1999), Richmond (1988), and Valparaiso (1998). None have made the Elite Eight. La Salle has taken quite the road to Los Angeles. It started with a flight to Dayton (539 miles), then to Kansas City (598 miles), then to Los Angeles (1,617) for a total of 2,754 miles since last Monday. Only six La Salle teams have won more games than the 24 that this current Explorer edition has (1952-55, 1988-90). La Salle is 14-10 all-time in 12 NCAA Appearances and is looking for its fourth win in the tournament for the first time since reaching the NCAA finals in 1955. Dr. John Giannini passed Paul Westhead into third place on La Salle’s all-time win list with 143 victories. He needs three to pass National Basketball Hall of Famer Ken Loeffler. Ramon Galloway reached 1,000 for his career at La Salle on Sunday with 24 points. He has scored 1,572 points in his four-year college career. Only eight players have scored 1,000 pointsat La Salle in his first two seasons. Galloway has made 19 of his last 20 free throws (94.4%). La Salle is 23-0 when tied or leading with five minutes to play.

Wichita State notes

La Salle notes

2 Responses to "Explorers, Hurricanes, Shockers and the Sweet Sixteen"

  1. Casey   March 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Argh. The influence of technology in the game. Arizona gains an advantage when the refs go the monitor to check a shot that was CLEARLY behind the arc.

  2. Casey   March 28, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    How can Indiana looked so confused by the zone. What were they surprised? Hahahaha

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