Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Recap of the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 Games

Published on March 26, 2012 by Scott Shirley   ·   No Comments

The Final Four is now set.  Below is a recap of how all the teams got to the final four.

Sweet 16


Syracuse-64 Wisconsin-63

- Syracuse won this game because of their hot shooting and their 2-point defense. For the game the Orange shot 55 % from the field, including 56 % from three.

- The Badgers did make 14 three’s against the Syracuse 2-3 zone but they did not allow penetration into the zone. Wisconsin made only 7 two pointers for the whole game.

- In previous games allowing offensive rebounds was a weakness for Syracuse but not in this game.

- In the previous two NCAA tournament games C.J. Fair scored a total of 6 points, but in this game he had 15 points. He shot 7 of 9 from the field. He also added 7 rebounds and 4 steals.

- Senior guard Scoop Jardine continued his hot play with 14 points. He made two three’s and added 4 assists.

- Dion Waiters was once again money off the bench. He had 13 points for the game.

- Baye Keita only had 4 points, but he gave the Orange great minutes without Fab Melo. He played a lot better than Rakeem Christmas.

- Brandon Triche added 11 points on 5 of 7 shooting.

- What a great career for Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor. He finished this game with 17 points; he just doesn’t have the playmakers around him.

- If Syracuse wants to advance to the final four they have to defend the three pointers better. They also need to pass the ball better; in this game they only had 5 assists.

Ohio State-81 Cincinnati-66

- Wow Deshaun Thomas is the hottest basketball player in the country. Against the Bearcats he had 26 points and 7 rebounds. He also added three three’s. He can score in multiple ways, and that’s what makes him so tough. In three NCAA tournament games Thomas is averaging 25 points per game.

- Jared Sullinger also stepped his game up big time. He wasn’t at his best in the first two tournament games but in this one he was unstoppable. He finished the game with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists. Sullinger was 9 of 10 from the line. He also shut down Cincinnati big man Yancy Gates.

- Lenzelle Smith Jr. had a huge game in the two previous NCAA games; he a combined 10 points. Against Cincinnati he had 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. He shot 6 of 7 from the field including 3 of 4 from three.

- Aaron Craft is the best on the ball defender in the nation and it’s not even close. Cincinnati had 18 turnovers for the game, and a lot of those where because of Craft. For the game Craft finished with 11 points, 6 steals, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Talk about filling up the stat sheet.

- The only negative for the Buckeyes was the play of William Buford. Buford finished the game with 4 points on 1 of 8 shooting. If the Buckeyes want to win a national championship they need Buford on his game.

- The Buckeyes are still not getting any production from their bench. In three tournament games the Buckeyes have a combined total of 9 points off their bench.

- The Buckeyes are getting hot from three at the right time; they struggled during the regular season.


Louisville-57 Michigan State-44

-Louisville won this game in one word “defense”. They forced Michigan State to shoot 14 of 49 from the field that is 29 %. The Cardinals also forced 15 turnovers and had 7 blocks.

-Michigan State is also one of the best rebounding teams in the nation. In this game Louisville out rebounded them by 2. That is impressive for Louisville considering in their last game against New Mexico they were minus 11 on the glass.

-The Louisville big man stepped up big time for the Cardinals in this one. Chane Behanan had a monster second half. He finished the game with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals. The only negative is he shot 3 of 7 from the free throw line. Sure, Gorgui Deng only had 5 points but he was the real difference in this game. Deng had 7 blocks and 9 rebounds. He shut down Michigan State’s centers Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix , who were both playing well.

- Sure Peyton Siva only finished with 4 points on 2 of 9 shooting but he had a huge impact on this game. He finished with a career high this season in assists with 9. If they Cardinals want to advance they need Siva to continue to set up his teammates.

- Louisville got great contributions from Chris Smith, Russ Smith and Jared Swopshire. The three combined to go 7 of 12 from three. Chris Smith finished with 5 rebounds while Russ finished with 3 rebounds and 3 assists.

- Louisville really needs to get Kyle Kuric going. In NCAA tournament play he is only shooting 35 % from the field.

- Sadly for Dryamond Green this was the end to a great career. He finished the game with 13 points and 16 rebounds.

- Could the Cardinals be what UConn was last season?

Florida-68 Marquette-58

- The Gators are really not known for their defense but right now they are playing lights out on defense. They held Marquette to 31 % shooting from the field and 29 % from three. In Florida’s first three games they have given up an average of 51 points per game. That is 4th best in the shot clock era.

- Right now besides Anthony Davis Bradley, Beal is playing like the best freshman in the country. In this game Beal was the best player on the court and it was not even close. He finished with 21 points on 8 of 10 shooting. He also made three three’s. He also had 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Talk about stock rising.

- Despite playing mostly a four guard offense the Gators are rebounding well in this tournament. In this game they out rebounded a very tough Marquette team by 4. For the tournament they are a combined plus 31 on the glass.

- Eric Murphy and Patric Young both had 7 points. Murphy had 10 rebounds while Young had 9. However, Murphy struggled shooting; he finished 1 of 8 from three.

- Guards Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton both finished with 11 points. However, both struggled from the field, Walker was 3 of 9 while Boynton was 2 of 10. Both made it up on the free throw line going a combined 10 out of 11. Boynton also added 5 assists and 4 rebounds.

- The Gators lead the nation in made three’s per game but right now they are struggling percentage wise. In this game they were 7 of 27 (26 %). In three NCAA tournament games they are shooting 21 for 78 (27%)

- Sadly this is the end of the careers of Marquette stars Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom.


North Carolina-73 Ohio-65

Finally, we had our first overtime game of the tournament. In the end the Tar Heels made more plays in overtime and they were just too big for Ohio to handle inside.

- ACC Player of the Year Tyler Zeller was unstoppable in this game. He finished with 20 points and 22 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Eight of those rebounds where offensive. He should have gotten a lot more touches. Zeller became the 4th player in last 35 seasons to have a 20/20 game in tourney along with Hakeem Olajuwon (’83), Joe Smith (’95), Tim Duncan (’97).

-The Tar Heels are the best rebounding team in the nation and in this game they just dominated Ohio on the glass outrebounding them by 30.

–The storyline of this whole game was the absence of North Carolina’s star point guard Kendall Marshall. They really missed Marshall to no surprise as they committed 24 turnovers. They had 13 turnovers in the first half that is more than Tar Heels had in 21 full games this season. Backup point guard Stilman White did an excellent job of running the offense. He finished the game with 6 assists and no turnovers. However, there is no question White cannot get the easy shots for his teammates that Marshall can. White cannot penetrate the lane at all.

-Reggie Bullock stepped his game up big time. He finished the game with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. 15 of those points came from the three pointers. Many of these three’s where clutch shots, including one late in regulation and a key three in overtime. He had 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 three’s – 4th guy to do that in an NCAA tourney game and 1st since Ray Allen in ’96.

- John Henson still playing with a sore wrist finished the game with a double double 14 points and 10 rebounds. Henson hit some big jump shots but he was only 2 of 6 from the free throw line.

-James Michael McAdoo gave the Tar Heels a spark off the bench with 6 points.

- Harrison Barnes really struggled bad in this game. He shot 3 of 16 from the field with 5 turnovers. Only one of those shots was in the paint he needs to attack the rim more especially against the smaller team. To Barnes credit though, he turned it up in overtime.

- The Tar Heels did play solid defense in this game besides giving up wide open three’s. Ohio only shot 32% from the field. Coming into this game D.J. Cooper was averaging 20 points in the tournament but in this game he finished 3 of 20 from the field.

Kansas-60 NC State-57

-The story of this game was the play of the Kansas big men and the defense of Kansas.

- Thomas Robinson had another monster game with 18 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Six of those rebounds were offensive. Robinson did only shoot 7 of 17 from the field and 4 of 9 from the free throw line. So he left a lot of points out there.

- Jeff Withey only had 8 points and 5 rebounds but his impact on this game was with block shots. Withey, the Big 12 defensive player of the year finished the game with 10 blocks. NC State just kept on trying to go at Withey with no success.

- The Jawhawks won this game because of defense. NC State only shot 28 % from the field, and from three. In three NCAA tournament games Kansas opponents are only shooting 33 % (59-180) from the field. That is great defense. Even if they are struggling on offense they can also count on their defense. The Jayhawks forced 14 turnovers.

- Kansas star point guard Tyshawn Taylor really struggled in this game. He finished with 6 points on 2 of 14 shooting. He was also just 2 of 5 from the free throw line. Taylor also committed 5 turnovers. He did however impact the games in other ways. He did finish with 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. If Kansas wants to go to the final four he needs to play a lot better.

-Elijah Johnson continued his hot play with 11 points on 5 of 8 shooting. He also added 3 assists.

- Travis Releford had 7points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. While Conner Teahan and Kevin Young each had 5 points off the bench

- They Jayhawks need to shoot better. They were just 1 of 14 from three and 11 of 20 from the charity strike.


Baylor-75 Xavier-70

- Baylor Forward Quincy Acy picked a good time to have the best game of his Baylor career. He finished the game with 20 points and 15 rebounds. He shot 8 of 11 from the field including a monster highlight real dunk.

- Point guard Pierre Jackson also continued his hot play. For the game he had 16 points and 10 assists. Jackson also made three three’s. His quickness is tough to handle.

- Future NBA lottery pick Perry Jones III really had a disappointing first two games averaging only 4.5 points per game. Against Xavier Jones brought his A game. He finished with 14 points on 7 of 8 shooting and he added 5 rebounds.

- Brady Heslip did not make 9 three’s like last time out, but be he had a pretty solid game. He finished with 11 points and only 1 three.

- Guard A.J. Walton played well off the bench, he finished with 5 assists. Quincy Miller added 6 points while Anthony Jones had 5 points.

- The Bears are dominating the glass in all three of their NCAA tournament games. They are now a plus 28 on the glass.

- Baylor really played great defense. They held Xavier to 43 % shooting from the field. Xavier was just 3 of 15 from the field.

- Baylor shot over 50 % from the field and 86 % from the free throw line. The Bears only shot 5 of 15 from the field.

- For Xavier Tu Holloway wrapped up a great career with 22 points.

Kentucky-102 Indiana-90

-This was by far my favorite game of the tournament because it was all offense and up and down basketball. They didn’t need a shot clock for this game.

- Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was just unstoppable in this game. He finished the game with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Six of those rebounds were offensive. He was also 10 for 10 from the line. He was a man, and Indiana had no one who could stop him. This was a huge game for Gilchrist because in the first two tournament games he was struggling.

- Guards Marquis Teague and Doron Lamb are playing their best basketball of the season right now. Teague finished with 14 points and 7 assists. While Lamb had 21 points and was 8 for 8 from the foul line. For the tournament Teague is averaging 16.6 points and Lamb is averaging 17.6 points. If Kentucky guards are playing like this the Wildcats are unbeatable.

-Darius Miller had a huge game off the bench. He finished with 19 points and including two three’s. Kentucky needs production off their bench and tonight Miller gave that to them.

- Anthony Davis got in foul trouble early and sat most of the 1st half. He only took 4 shots in the game and finished with 9 points. He also finished with 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. Davis can play a lot better and that is scary for future opponents of Kentucky. Terrence Jones also added 12 points and 5 rebounds.

- Kentucky was money from the free throw line. They shot 35 out of 37 that is 95 %. Kentucky held a plus 9 advantage on the glass. They also took care of the ball only committing 6 turnovers.

- The only negative for Kentucky was they allowed Indiana to shot 52 % from the field.

-What a job Tom Crean has done with this Indiana program. They should be here again in the years to come.

Elite 8

Louisville-72 Florida-68

- Rick Pitino just owns his former point guard Billy Donovan. In their head to head matchups Pitino is undefeated. Florida killed Louisville with three’s in the 1st half but Pitino made a great coaching adjustment and the Gators did not make a three in the second half. Florida really choked this game away. Louisville finished the game on an 18-3 run. The Cardinals played excellent defense and made the game winning plays.

- The Cardinals won this game because of two players Russ Smith and Chane Behanan. Behanan finished the game with 17 points and 7 rebounds. He shot 7 of 10 from the field. Behanan was clutch down the stretch as he made the go ahead shot with about a minute left in the game. Behanan is averaging 14 points in the NCAA tournament which is well above his regular season average.

- Russ Smith came off the bench and had a huge game again. He finished the game with 19 points, and 5 rebounds. He finished the game 6 of 7 from the free throw line, and many of those were pressure shots down the stretch. When Peyton Siva fouled out, Smith led the comeback. The only negative was the 4 turnovers.

- Point guard played a great game despite fouling out of the game. He finished with 9 points. More importantly he played like a true point guard with 8 assists and only 1 turnover.

- Gorgui Dieng did not have the blocks he had last game but he had another solid game. He finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds. He only blocked one shot he altered many other.

- Chris Smith had a solid game with 8 points on 3 of 4 shooting from the field. Kyle Kuric finished with 8 points but his shooting struggles continued in this game. He was just 3 of 9 from the field. If they get Kuric going, watch out opposing teams.

- The Cardinals averaged 14 turnovers a game but in this game they really took care of the ball only committing 6 turnovers.

- Going forward Louisville still needs to rebound better. Against Florida they were minus 5 on the glass and the Gators are not a big team.


Ohio State-77 Syracuse-70

The story of this game for the Buckeyes was great offensive balance and the Buckeyes got solid play off their bench.

-Despite getting in foul trouble early and being forced to sit most of the 1st half Jared Sullinger had a huge game with 19 points and 7 rebounds. He just had too much muscle for Syracuse inside. Sullinger got to the foul line and finished the game 9 of 12.

-Lenzelle Smith Jr. despite getting knocked in the head early had a huge game. He finished with 18 points including three three’s and 7 of 9 shooting from the free throw line. Smith is only averaging 6 points per game for the season.

-Deshaun Thomas didn’t have a monster game but he still finished the game with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Coming into this game he was averaging 25 points in the tournament.

-Aaron Craft only had 5 points but once again he proved that he is the best on the ball defender in the country. Scoop Jardine and Dion Waiters really struggled. Craft also added 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

- The scary thing is Ohio State is winning and William Buford has not had a great game yet. In this game Buford was 3 of 12 from the field. Last game he was just 1 of 8. Buford did however finish with 9 rebounds. If Buford gets going, watch out.

- In the first 3 NCAA tournament games the Buckeyes got a total of 9 points off their bench. In this game they got 8 points. Big men Evan Ravenel and Amir Williams had big minutes with Sullinger in foul trouble. They especially played great defense Williams finished with 4 rebounds.

-The Buckeyes just dominated Syracuse on the glass. For the game they were plus 15 and had 13 offensive rebounds.

Kentucky-82 Baylor-70

- This game wasn’t even as close as the final score indicated. The Wildcats were down 10-5 early but after that they went on a huge run and had leads of 20 plus. Right now they just look unbeatable. I don’t know if some of the bad NBA teams could beat them right now.

- Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was just unstoppable in this game. He finished the game with 19 points and 5 rebounds. He shot 7 of 10 from the field. He was a man, and Baylor had no one who could stop him.

- Anthony Davis had a scare with a knee injury but lucky for him it was nothing serious. All he did in this game is score 18 points, bring down 11 rebounds and have 6 blocks. Davis is also showing off his all-around game as he hit a couple long jump shots in this game.

- Sure Terrence Jones only scored 12 points, but he dominated the game in every other area. Jones finished with 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. Now that is filling out the stat sheet.

- Marquis played lights out in the first three tournament games but not so much against Baylor. He finished the game with 4 turnovers.

- Doron Lamb had zero points in the 1st half but in the second half he scored 14 points. He got half of his points from the free throw line.

- Darius Miller had another solid game off the bench with 8 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals.

- Everyone always talks about the Wildcats defense but they can really defend. In this game they held Baylor to shot 39 % from the field. Kentucky also had 9 blocks and forced 14 Baylor turnovers.

Kansas-80 North Carolina-67

- Kansas was up 68-67 with about 3:30 minutes left, and all they did to finish the game was go on a 12-0 run. After allowing 47 points in the 1st half the Kansas defense really turned it up in the 2nd half only allowing 20 points. A major reason for this was the triangle and two defense Bill Self used. What a great coaching move.

- The story of this game was Kansas star point guard Tyshawn Taylor, who was really struggling coming into this game. Last game he was 2 of 14 from the floor. Against UNC Taylor finished with 22 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals. Talk about filling out the box score.

- Thomas Robinson was his usual dominant self-finishing the game with 18 points and 9 rebounds. He even hit a three in this game. After struggling at the free throw line last game Robinson was a prefect 5 for 5 in this game. Robinson could shoot a higher percentage, as he was only 6 of 16 from the field.

- Jeff Withey had a huge game; he finished with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. He was 5 of 5 from the field and 5 out of 6 from the free throw line. However, he made his impact on the defensive end. He really shut down Tyler Zeller and John Henson. The two only combined to score 22 points.

- Travis Releford finished with 11 points but his biggest impact on the game was defense. He held Harrison Barnes to 5 of 14 shooting and really frustrated him at times.

- Elijah Johnson was only 3 of 11 from the field but he hit a clutch three late that put the game away. Johnson also had 5 assists and 4 rebounds.

- Kevin Young only had 2 points but he brought down 8 rebounds. Four of those rebounds were offensive.

- The Jayhawks out rebounded the best rebounding team in the nation by 10. They also took care of the ball only committing 8 turnovers.

- North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller great career has come to an end. He finished this game with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 blocks.

- You can play the what if game but if Kendall Marshall played in this game I think the Tar Heels would have won. Without Marshall, the best passer in the game, the Heels had no one who could penetrate the lane. Barnes really needs Marshall without him he really struggles. Don’t forget besides Marshall UNC also lost two guards for the rest of the season. The injury bug continued for UNC in this game as John Henson sprained his ankle. Henson already had a sore wrist in this game.




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