Leasts from the East

Saturday morning I posted about the Big East dominance of the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Well, less than 48 hours later, that post was looking a little bit silly after the Big East had a losing record in the second round of the tournament. Of the 7 teams that advanced past the first round, only Villanova, West Virginia, and Louisville are still dancing. Here’s a quick recap of the Big East’s tumble in round two.

  • #2 Georgetown – The Hoyas opened a big lead at half time, but Davidson came roaring back in the second half and upset one of the tournament favorites. Stephen Curry, former NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry’s son, scored 25 of his 30 points in the second half as Davidson sent Georgetown home much earlier than most people anticipated. The Hoyas shot the ball well, but couldn’t slow down Curry or the Davidson offense in the second half. The Big East regular season champ will not be making a return trip to the Final 4.
  • #3 Louisville -I picked the Cardinals to make the Final 4 in both of my brackets and so far they are looking strong. Louisville was never really threatened by Oklahoma and won by 30 over the 6th seeded Sooners. Louisville’s game translates VERY well to tournament play. They press, play good defense, and have the shooters to score points in bunches. Louisville has 2nd seeded Tennessee next. If the Vols handle Louisville’s press as well as they handled Vandy’s in a regular season loss, Louisville could be headed back to the Elite 8.
  • #4 Pittsburgh – A lot of people’s brackets were busted when Pitt fell to Michigan State Saturday night. Pitt was the hottest team in the country and was finally getting healthy. Pitt couldn’t get into any sort of groove shooting the ball though and Drew Neitzel and Kalin Lucas got hot at the right time for the Spartans. Pitt had some bad luck this year with injury after injury.
  • #5 Notre Dame – I don’t want to talk about it.
  • #6 Marquette – The Golden Eagles lost an overtime nail-biter to 3rd seeded Stanford. Marquette held a 6 point lead at the half, but Stanford rebounded after a poor shooting first half to force overtime. In OT, Stanford outscored Marquette 11-10 for the 1 point victory. Marquette looked very strong in taking care of Kentucky in the first round and are another team who’s game translates well to tournament time because of their quick guards who can create fast break opportunities, but Stanford made sure the Eagles will be home this weekend.
  • #7 West Virginia – The Mountaineers dominated the second half of their contest against Duke on Saturday and are back in the Sweet 16 again this year. Joe Alexander is putting on a clinic so far in the tournament and Joe Mazzula nearly had a triple double as West Virginia knocked off 2nd seeded Duke. The Blue Devils barely got past 15th seeded Belmont in the first round and simply could not match West Virginia’s toughness inside.
  • #12 Villanova – The last team in the tournament is still dancing will two of the #2 seeds will be home this weekend. Villanova controlled from start to finish against Sienna and Scottie Reynolds was superb. When he wants to, Reynolds can completely take over a game and he has done so in the NCAA Tournament so far. He had 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists and will need to be just as good for Villanova to have any chance against #1 seeded Kansas.

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