Florida 73, George Mason 58 [60 possessions] – Wonk’s lecture on eFG% from yesterday applies here. There’s a sense that Florida didn’t shoot that well by virtue of their 43.4 FG%. But going 12-25 from 3 makes their eFG% a gaudy 54.7, while Mason shot only 42.9% by that measure. And that was the difference.
Mason won the turnover battle as expected (11 to 15), and lost the rebounding battle as expected, but not embarrassingly so (50.0 to 31.4 in OR%, with four of Florida’s offensive boards coming in their final two possessions). The game was decided in the first three possessions of the 2nd half, which resulted in three Lee Humphrey 3-pointers against two Jai Lewis free throws for GMU and turned a five-point Florida lead into 12.
UCLA 59, LSU 45  – An interesting possession split by half in this one: 37/25. UCLA was willing to run in the first half, then took the air out of the ball with big lead after halftime. Again, the early part of the second half was a turning point. In the first four possessions, UCLA got three dunks, and LSU got a single free throw to turn a 15 point game into 20 and remove any suspense.
Ben Howland stuck Afflalo (can Billy Packer learn his name by Monday?) on Darrel Mitchell, who had a rough night, and doubled Glen Davis with another big man. Davis missed his share of chippies, also, and LSU shot horribly from the line (13-of-28) to aid in producing another anemic point total against the Bruins. Eight of LSU’s points came in the heart of garbage time, their final four possessions. Fittingly, LSU didn’t make a 3 in the loss. It’s only the second time a team hasn’t made a 3 in a Final Four game since ‘87.
Championship game breakdown coming Monday…