NCAA Rdp: Gonzaga becomes 1st No. 1 seed ousted
NCAA Rdp: Gonzaga becomes 1st No. 1 seed ousted
The Associated Press
Mar. 24, 2013
No. 1 is done.
The fun at the NCAA tournament, though, is far from over. Half the Sweet 16 spots are settled with eight more to be decided Sunday.
Top-ranked Gonzaga became the first No. 1 seed to be eliminated Saturday night, shocked 76-70 by sharp-shooting Wichita State. Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker scored 16 points apiece, and the Shockers made a season-high 14 3-pointers, including five straight late, as they advanced to the round of 16 for the first time in seven years.
"They never quit," Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. "You know we got the big lead, Gonzaga makes a great run as a No. 1 team in the country would, and these guys dig down."
Elsewhere, Harvard's first winning trip to the tournament ended at the hands of Arizona, and Butler ran out of magic against Marquette. Both Michigan and Michigan State advanced to the round of 16, 12th seeded Oregon beat St. Louis, Syracuse defeated California in what was essentially a road win for the Orange and overall No. 1 Louisville showed no sign of slowing against Colorado State.
Though Gonzaga was ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the last three weeks of the season, some questioned whether the small school from the small conference really belonged at the top of the West Region. When the Bulldogs nearly became the first No. 1 to lose to a 16th seed, eking out a win over little Southern on Thursday, the doubters grew.
There are no questions now.
Gonzaga (32-3) fought back after falling behind by 13 early, and a 12-0 run gave the Bulldogs a 49-41 lead with 11:53 left to play. But Wichita State (28-8) outscored the Zags 35-21 from there.
Tekele Cotton, Early and Baker hit three straight 3s to pull the Shockers within 61-60, and Baker gave Wichita State the lead for good with a pair of free throws with 3:10 left. Another 3 by Baker and one more from freshman Fred VanVleet sealed it with 1:28 remaining.
The Shockers were a blistering 50 percent from beyond the arc.
"They deserve a ton of credit," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "It's the first time in a while someone made 50 percent on us, and to bang in 14 3s is pretty amazing."
Wichita State will face the winner of Sunday's game between La Salle and Ole Miss on Thursday in Los Angeles. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, head home, failing to survive the first weekend of the tournament for a fourth straight year and sixth time in seven years. Gonzaga has not reached the regional finals since 1999.
Kelly Olynyk led Gonzaga with 26 points and Kevin Pangos added 19.
"I think we just ... let our guard down a little bit," said Gonzaga's Mike Hart. "That was key. We defended so well at the start of the second half, then we just lost some guys. You can't do that when guys get it going."
ARIZONA 74, HARVARD 51
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Arizona put an emphatic end to Harvard's March Madness success story.
Mark Lyons matched his career high with 27 points to lead the sixth-seeded Wildcats (27-7). Arizona sprinted to a 30-9 lead, as the Crimson (20-10) missed 20 of their first 22 shots.
Lyons led Arizona to the program's 15th appearance in the Sweet 16. The Wildcats will play Iowa State or Ohio State next week in Los Angeles.
Harvard, meanwhile, goes home with its first NCAA win in tow. The 14th-seeded Crimson beat third-seeded New Mexico on Thursday but couldn't recreate the magic.
Kenyatta Smith led Harvard with 10 points. Freshman Siyani Chambers lost part of his front tooth after Arizona's Kevin Parrom elbowed him in the face.
MARQUETTE 74, BUTLER 72
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Vander Blue scored 19 second-half points to rally third-seeded Marquette out of another hole, and the Golden Eagles beat No. 6 Butler to reach the round of 16.
Like November's first meeting between the teams at the Maui Invitational, won 72-71 by Butler on Rotnei Clarke's buzzer-beating 3-pointer, this was a back-and-forth, high-intensity affair that came down to the final shot.
Only this time, Butler missed.
Marquette (25-8) will meet the winner of Sunday's game between Illinois and Miami on Thursday in the regional semifinals in Washington, D.C.
Blue, who made a last-second layup to beat Davidson in Marquette's first tournament game, scored 29 points.
Clarke's 24 points led Butler (28-9).
After Jamil Wilson's two free throws made it 71-69, Davante Gardner deflected Clarke's pass intended for Kellen Dunham underneath and then made the first of three late free throws for a 74-70 lead with 4.7 seconds left.
After Wilson's goaltend on what would have been a layup by Andrew Smith cut the lead to two 2 seconds later, Blue almost became the goat by throwing away the inbound pass intended for Wilson with 2.9 seconds left.
The Bulldogs, who seem to win every close game this time of year, couldn't get a good last look. Smith took an off-balance 3 from up top that was way off, slamming into the backboard and setting off another Marquette celebration.
SYRACUSE 66, CALIFORNIA 60
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — C.J. Fair scored 18 points, James Southerland added 14 and fourth-seeded Syracuse survived a second-half drought of more than 12 minutes without a field goal to beat No. 12 seed California.
The Orange (28-9) frustrated California with their zone defense to overcome a dismal shooting night when they made just 39 percent of their shots and missed 15 of 41 free throws.
But it proved to be enough to send Syracuse to Washington, D.C., for the regional semifinals, where the Orange will take on the winner of Sunday's game between top-seeded Indiana and Temple on Thursday.
Richard Solomon scored 22 points for the Golden Bears (21-12), who were trying to make it to the round of 16 for the first time in 16 years and just the third time since 1960.
LOUISVILLE 82, COLORADO ST. 56
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Russ Smith had another big night, leading four players in double figures with 27 points, and top-seeded Louisville advanced to the regional semifinals.
The Cardinals put on a defensive clinic as they dismantled Colorado State. Louisville forced the eighth-seeded Rams into a season-high 20 turnovers, made Colton Iverson look as invisible as a 6-foot-10 guy can be and limited one of the nation's best rebounding teams to 24 boards, more than a dozen below their average.
It was the 12th straight win for Louisville (31-5), which will play Oregon on Friday in Indianapolis.
OREGON 74, SAINT LOUIS 57
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Damyean Dotson scored 23 points, Carlos Emory added 14 and hot-shooting Oregon sprinted past fourth-seeded Saint Louis.
Dotson made his first five 3-point attempts to carry the 12th-seeded Ducks (28-8) into the second weekend for the first time since 2007, when they lost to eventual repeat champion Florida in the regional final. Oregon made 8 of 11 shots from beyond the arc, while the Billikens finished 3 for 21 from long range.
Kwamain Mitchell scored 18 points and Dwayne Evans had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Billikens (28-7), who set a school record for wins this season following the death of coach Rick Majerus in December.
MICHIGAN ST. 70, MEMPHIS 48
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Gary Harris scored 16 of his career-high 23 points in the first half to help third-seeded Michigan State reach the round of 16 for the fifth time in six years.
Michigan State (27-8) will play Duke or Creighton on Friday in the regional semifinals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The Tigers (31-5) advanced in the NCAA tournament for the first time in Josh Pastner's four seasons. The Conference USA champions were eliminated in the third round because they struggled to stop Harris on the outside or his teammates inside all afternoon.
The Spartans' top post players — Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix — combined for 27 points and 18 rebounds.
MICHIGAN 78, VCU 53
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Mitch McGary had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and fourth-seeded Michigan breezed through Virginia Commonwealth's vaunted pressure with a clinical performance and advanced to the round of 16 for the first time since 1994.
VCU (27-9) was relentless in a 46-point rout of Akron on Thursday night, but the Rams met their match against Michigan's cool-headed backcourt. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. rarely looked rattled against VCU, and although Michigan (28-7) committed 12 turnovers, the Rams couldn't turn many of them into quick scoring opportunities.
McGary, a 6-foot-10 freshman, set season highs in scoring and rebounding.
The 71-point swing by VCU — from a 46-point win to a 25-point loss — was the largest in NCAA tournament history, according to STATS. In 1968, Houston beat Texas Christian 103-68 then lost to UCLA 101-69 for a 67-point swing.
The Wolverines will play the winner of Sunday's game between Kansas and North Carolina in Arlington, Texas.