George Mason 63, Wichita State 55 [63 possessions] – George Mason wins with 15 fewer offensive rebounds than the Shockers. They do it again with great shooting (54.5% eFG) and perimeter defense (Wichita went 3 of 24 on 3s). The Patriots jumped out to a 9-0 lead on three trifectas and never were threatened after that.
Villanova 60, Boston College 59 [66, OT] – If you had told me this game goes 66 possessions and BC only scores 59, I would have figured an easy win for ‘Nova. But the Cats couldn’t hit the three (4-19) and haven’t been very effective from two all season (45.1%, 273rd). So while Randy Foye and Allan Ray could penetrate whenever they wanted, being able to finish was problematic against BC’s frontline.
Florida 57, Georgetown 53  – Clark Kellogg informed viewers last night that Georgetown prefers to play at a “moderate pace.” I shudder to think what Clark considers slow. John Thompson III can’t ask for much more than a wide open three-point attempt from Darrel Owens (38.9% from 3) to take the lead near the end, and that’s exactly what Georgetown got.
Connecticut 98, Washington 92 [90, OT] – I will miss ye, Washington. I have to admit to relishing an entire nation’s brackets being ruined as UConn was headed for defeat. And now everyone is vindicated with a likely trip to the Final Four at hand. But we got to see Brandon Roy at his best even in the loss. Yes, you can have big-time scorer, who is also a terrific passer, competent rebounder, and impact defender.
Unfortunately, Roy lost his cool in an after-the-whistle confrontation with Rudy Gay that I don’t believe CBS ever showed a replay of. Which was unfortunate, because it was the key moment in the game as Roy picked up his third and fourth fouls simultaneously. The subsequent six minutes in which he was absent were the difference in the game. But there were other things that put UConn in position to benefit from a little luck in the way of Rashad Anderson’s buzzer-beating 3-ball. Most notably, Mike Jensen fouling Marcus Williams with UW up 4 and 11 seconds left in regulation.
Every time an analyst says the losing team doesn’t need a three in that situation, I, like others, think that sure, you don’t need a three, but if you get it you guarantee yourself a chance to tie the game on the next possession. That’s what Jensen’s foul did, and without it, Washington would have exorcised its Rip Hamilton demons.