LSU 70, Texas 60 [73, OT] – Texas goes 11 of 40 on twos as LSU’s frontline dominates again. LaMarcus Aldridge 2-of-14 in 44 minutes? I must have imagined that. Glen Davis and Tyrus Thomas combine to go 21-for-33. It was pretty amazing that Texas was able to force overtime, but the better team eventually won.
UCLA 50, Memphis 45  – Memphis probably (anybody want to check that?) had the worst offensive half of the tournament with 21 points in 35 first half possessions for an ugly efficiency of 60. They were fortunate to be down by 7 as UCLA missed 11 of their 17 first half FTAs. (The Bruins also missed their first 4 FTAs in the second half before getting their act together.) The Tigers, though, went 0-for-10 on 3s in the half, and it wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill 0-for-10. It seemed like the majority of shots were airballs or barely drew iron. When I was thinking Oral Roberts had a chance to hang with Memphis, this was the kind of shooting I was envisioning. The second half was similarly defense oriented, but slower with only 31 possessions, a count inflated by the pace of the last two minutes.
So now we are rewarded with a defensive showdown in one half of the national semi-finals. UCLA and LSU have something else in common, in addition to being defined by initials and having a lock-down D – they both have a player with the last name of Roll(e).
In other stats news, the two Saturday results have allowed Gonzaga to take over the national offensive efficiency lead.
A little bit on today’s games:
The last time a mid-major was playing for a Final Four berth was Kent State in 2002. I remember their game with Indiana as being nearly a toss-up on paper. But Indiana had one of the best shooting performances in tourney history and won going away. George Mason is as good as that Kent State team. UConn is significantly better than Indiana was. George Mason is going to need the Indiana-like performance to pull this one out.
In the other game, Villanova is probably going to have many of the same problems they had against BC. Florida’s interior defense is excellent, so if Villanova doesn’t get a decent chunk of its scoring from 3s, they will have to grind out another low scoring win.