#1 EAST - SYRACUSE ORANGE (33-2)
|Photo Credit: bostonglobe.com|
Defeated #16 UNC-Asheville 72-65
Defeated #8 Kansas State 75-59
Points - Kris Joseph 13.7 ppg
Rebounds - Fab Melo 5.8 rpg
Assists - Scoop Jardine 4.9 apg
Syracuse won its last title in 2003 when Hakim Warrick, Gerry McNamara and Carmelo Anthony led them to victory over Kansas in the finals.
Playing without starting center and leading rebounder Fab Melo, Syracuse has gotten huge contributions from its bench in the first two rounds of the tournament. Led by junior James Southerland and sophomore Dion Waters the Orange bench outscored UNC-Asheville 31-18 and Kansas State 33-0.
#2 EAST - OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (29-7)
|Photo Credit: espn.go.com|
Defeated #15 Loyola (MD) 78-59
Defeated #7 Gonzaga 73-66
Points - Jared Sullinger 17.4 ppg
Rebounds - Jared Sullinger 9.1 rpg
Assists - Aaron Craft 4.7 apg
Ohio State hasn't won an NCAA basketball title since 1960 losing in the finals in 1961, 1962 and most recently 2007.
Everyone knows about Jared Sullinger and what he can do, but its been some of OSU's less heralded stars leading the way in the tourney with sophomores Deshaun Thomas scoring a career high 31 points against Loyola and Aaron Craft dishing out a season high 10 assists against Gonzaga en route to his first collegiate double-double. Also, my boss's cousin is the head coach for Ohio State so for the sake of all of us here at my real job, it'd be nice to see them continue to do well.
#4 EAST - WISCONSIN BADGERS (26-9)
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Defeated #13 Montana 73-49
Defeated #5 Vanderbilt 60-57
Points - Jordan Taylor 14.7 ppg
Rebounds - Ryan Evans 6.8 rpg
Assists - Jordan Taylor 4.0 apg
The Badgers have gone over 70 years without winning a title last cutting down the nets in 1941.
Seven different players have scored in double figures for Wisconsin already in the tournament: Ryan Evans, Jordan Taylor, Josh Gasser, Rob Wilson, Mike Bruesewitz, Jared Berggren and Ben Brust. Additionally, the Badgers have chucked up 52 3-pointers over the past two games including 33 against Vanderbilt. They have made 20 of those led by Taylor's 6.
#6 EAST - CINCINNATI BEARCATS (26-10)
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Defeated #11 Texas 65-59
Defeated #3 Florida State 62-56
Points - Sean Kilpatrick 14.1 ppg
Rebounds - Yancy Gates 9.2 rpg
Assists - Cashmere Wright 4.6 apg
Cincinnati won back-to-back titles in 1961 and 1962, but haven't been back to the finals since losing in 1963.
Cincinnati's win in the final Round of 32 game on Sunday night makes the state of Ohio a perfect 8-0 in the NCAA Tournament so far this year. It's apparently the first time in tournament history that 4 teams from the same state have made it to the Sweet 16.
#1 WEST - MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (29-7)
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Defeated #16 LIU-Brooklyn 89-67
Defeated #9 Saint Louis 65-61
Points - Draymond Green 16.3 ppg
Rebounds - Draymond Green 10.4 rpg
Assists - Keith Appling 3.9 apg
Tom Izzo, Mateen Cleaves and the "Flintstones" led Michigan State to an NCAA title over Florida in 2000. The Spartans reached the Finals again in 2009, but came up short against North Carolina.
Draymond Green become the first player to record multiple triple-doubles in the NCAA tournament since Magic Johnson when he went for 24 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the Opening Round win over LIU-Brooklyn. Green followed that up with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists against St. Louis and has been one of the tourney's most impressive players thus far. The 6'7" senior had his first tournament triple-double in last year's opening round loss to UCLA when he went for 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
#3 WEST - MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES (27-7)
|Photo Credit: espnmadison.com|
Defeated #14 BYU 88-68
Defeated #6 Murray State 62-53
Points - Darius Johnson-Odom 18.5 ppg
Rebounds - Jae Crowder 8.4 rpg
Assists - Junior Cadougan 5.4 apg
Marquette has gone over 30 years since winning their only title in 1977.
Senior Jae Crowder has 5 straight double-doubles after going for 25 points and a career high 16 rebounds against BYU and following that up with 17 and 13 against Murray State.
#4 WEST - LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (28-9)
|Photo Credit: beyondthebets.com|
Defeated #13 Davidson 69-62
Defeated #5 New Mexico 59-54
Points - Kyle Kuric 13.0 ppg
Rebounds - Gorgui Dieng 9.1 rpg
Assists - Peyton Siva 5.5 apg
Louisville won a pair of titles in the '80s (1980, 1986), but hasn't returned to the finals since.
Louisville concluded the regular season with losses in four of their last six games capped off by a 58-49 defeat to Syracuse on March 3rd. Since then they've reeled off six straight wins knocking off Seton Hall, Marquette, Notre Dame and Cincinnati en route to the Big East championship before picking up a pair of NCAA Tournament wins.
#7 WEST - FLORIDA GATORS (25-10)
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Defeated #10 Virginia 71-45
Defeated #15 Norfolk State 84-50
Points - Kenny Boynton 16.0 ppg
Rebounds - Bradley Beal 6.7 rpg
Assists - Erving Walker 4.6 apg
Florida won back-to-back titles with Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer in 2006 and 2007.
Florida's two wins, by 26 and 34 points, are the two largest margins of victory in the tournament thus far. Florida's opponents in the tournament have made just 7 of 42 three-pointers (16.7%) against them.
#1 SOUTH - KENTUCKY WILDCATS (34-2)
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Defeated #16 Western Kentucky 81-66
Defeated #8 Iowa State 87-71
Points - Anthony Davis 14.3 ppg
Rebounds - Anthony Davis 10.1 ppg
Assists - Marquis Teague 4.8 apg
Despite the vast amount of talent they've had, Kentucky hasn't won a title or been to a final since 1998 when they defeated Utah in the Final 78-69.
With 81 points against Western Kentucky and 87 against Iowa State, it marked the first time that Kentucky had scored 80 or more points in 2012. Kentucky eclipsed the 80 point mark 4 times in a row between December 17th and December 28th.
#3 SOUTH - BAYLOR BEARS (29-7)
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Defeated #14 South Dakota State 68-60
Defeated #11 Colorado 80-63
Points - Pierre Jackson 13.5 ppg
Rebounds - Perry Jones III 7.7 rpg
Assists - Pierre Jackson 5.8 apg
Baylor hasn't been to the NCAA Tournament Finals since 1948 where they lost to Adolph Rupp's Kentucky squad. Baylor has never won the NCAA Tournament.
Sophomore guard Brady Heslip shot the lights out in the second round draining 9 3-pointers en route to a career high 27 points. Heslip, who is averaging just over 10 points a game on the season, has 44 points through the first two games of the NCAA Tournament and is 14 for 22 from long range.
#4 SOUTH - INDIANA HOOSIERS (27-8)
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Defeated #13 New Mexico State 79-66
Defeated #12 VCU 63-61
Points - Cody Zeller 15.5 ppg
Rebounds - Cody Zeller 6.5 rpg
Assists - Jordan Hulls 3.2 apg
Indiana hasn't won a title since Bobby Knight led them to a championship back in 1987. The Hoosiers most recent trip to the finals came in 2002 where they lost to Maryland.
Sophomore Will Sheehey is Indiana's 5th leading scorer, but he hit the Hoosiers' biggest shot of the year on Saturday when he drained a game winning 15 footer with 12.7 seconds left to defeat the cinderella Rams. The win propels Indiana to the sweet sixteen for the first time in a decade.
#10 SOUTH - XAVIER MUSKETEERS (23-12)
|Photo Credit: news.cincinnati.com|
How They Got Here:
Defeated #7 Notre Dame 67-63
Defeated #15 Lehigh 70-58
Points - Tu Holloway 17.3 ppg
Rebounds - Kenny Frease 6.0 rpg
Assists - Tu Holloway 5.0 apg
Xavier has never made it to the NCAA Finals. They have twice made it as far as the Elite 8, most recently in 2008.
Senior Kenny Frease scored a career high 25 points as Xavier rallied from a 15-point first half deficit to defeat Lehigh. Frease dominated in the paint hitting 11 of 13 shots. The rest of the team combined to make just 13 of 41 (31.7%) field goals.
#1 MIDWEST - NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (31-5)
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Defeated #16 Vermont 77-58
Defeated #8 Creighton 87-73
Points - Harrison Barnes 17.3 ppg
Rebounds - John Henson 10.1 rpg
Assists - Kendall Marshall 9.7 apg
North Carolina has a pair of titles in the past decade winning in both 2005 over Illinois and in 2009 against Michigan State.
North Carolina got John Henson back from an injury that caused him to miss the previous three games, but the Heels lost starting point guard Kendall Marshall to a broken bone in his right wrist when he was fouled on a drive to the basket and knocked to the floor midway through the second half against Creighton. No word yet on his status for the rest of the tournament. Marshall finished with 18 points and 11 assists against the Blue Jays.
#2 MIDWEST - KANSAS JAYHAWKS (29-6)
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Defeated #15 Detroit 65-50
Defeated #10 Purdue 63-60
Points - Thomas Robinson 17.9 ppg
Rebounds - Thomas Robinson 11.8 rpg
Assists - Tyshawn Taylor 4.7 apg
Kansas won the NCAA Title in 2008 beating Memphis in overtime thanks to some late game heroics from Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers and a lot of Memphis missed free throws.
Kansas is shooting just 63% from the free throw line so far in the NCAA Tournament. As luck would have it they haven't played higher than a 10 seed so far so their 17 missed freebies haven't hurt them.
#11 MIDWEST - N.C. STATE WOLFPACK (24-12)
|Photo Credit: espn.go.com|
Defeated #6 San Diego State 79-65
Defeated #3 Georgetown 66-63
Points - C.J. Leslie 14.6 ppg
Rebounds - Richard Howell 9.1 rpg
Assists - Lorenzo Brown 6.4 apg
The Wolfpack famously won the 1983 NCAA Championship when Jim Valvano's squad stunned a Houston Cougars team that featured Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.
After grabbing just three offensive rebounds against San Diego State, the Wolfpack pulled down 15 in their upset win of Georgetown led by junior Richard Howell's 6.
#13 MIDWEST - OHIO BOBCATS (29-7)
|Photo Credit: cleveland.com|
Defeated #4 Michigan 65-60
Defeated #12 South Florida 62-56
Points - D.J. Cooper 14.7 ppg
Rebounds - Ivo Baltic 5.1 rpg
Assists - D.J. Cooper 5.7 apg
Ohio has advanced to the Elite 8 just once in there history and that was way back in 1964.
Ohio has just one senior on their roster, Kenny Belton, and he's only appeared in three games this season. The rest of their roster consists of 5 juniors, 6 sophomores and 2 freshmen. Keep these guys in mind next year when you're filling out your bracket.