Marquette Surprises Miami at NCAA Tournament, First Four in Elite Eight

Marquette Surprises Miami at NCAA Tournament, First Four in Elite EightCoach Buzz Williams and his Marquette basketball squad took advantage of poor Miami shooting, jumped out to a first-half double-digit lead, and defeated the No. 2 seed, 71-61, to move on to the Elite Eight.

Jamil Wilson scored 16 points and Vander Blue and Davante Gardner had 14 each as the Golden Eagles shot 54 percent from the field. Marquette’s stifling defense held the Hurricanes to just 35 percent shooting from the field. Normally a good outside shooting team, Jim Larrinaga’s ‘Canes hit only eight of 26 3-point attempts. Point guard Shane Larkin led Miami, who finished 29-7, with 14 points.

Ohio State fell behind by 11 but regrouped and went on a 33-13 run to take a ten-point lead it never relinquished to beat Arizona, 73-70, and advance to the Elite Eight. Buckeyes’ star Deshaun Thomas poured in 20 points while Aaron Craft added 13.

After taking that ten-point lead in the second half, Ohio State almost blew it when Arizona’s Mark Lyons three-point play tied the game at 70-70 with 21.8 seconds to play. With just two seconds to go, 6-foot-8 sophomore LaQuinton Ross hit the game-winner from three feet behind the arc to send the Buckeyes into Saturday’s regional final. OSU, which shot 37 percent from 3-point range during the season, hit 54 percent of their 3-pointers against the Wildcats and now is on the brink of its second straight Final Four appearance.

Indiana just never found a groove against the stingy Syracuse 2-3 zone and was promptly eliminated from the NCAA tournament by a red-hot Orange team, 61-50, in the East Region semifinals. Michael Carter-Williams scored 24 points and coach Jim Boeheim’s defense held the Hoosiers to their lowest point total of the season.

The Orange forced 10 Indiana turnovers in the first ten minutes of the game as the Hoosiers fell behind by 18 points in the first half. Syracuse blocked 11 shots and held coach Tom Crean’s club to 34 percent shooting. Cody Zeller, the Hoosiers’ 7-footer, was held to just 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting. Victor Olapido led Indiana with 16 points.

One of the tournament’s big surprises continues as Wichita State will move on to the Elite Eight after its relatively easy 72-58 victory over 13th-seeded LaSalle. The Shockers went up by 16 in the first half and never looked back.

Malcolm Armstead scored 18 points and had six rebounds and Carl Hall added 16 for the Shockers who held LaSalle to a tourney-low 35.6 percent shooting. Jerrell Wright and Ty Garland each scored 16 points for the Explorers. Wichita State reaches the Elite Eight for the first time in 32 years.

Saturday’s regional finals are set with No. 2 seed Ohio State taking on the surprising Wichita State Shockers in the West. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds were eliminated from the East Region and No. 3 Marquette will take on No. 4 Syracuse for the right to get to the Final Four.