Archive for the ‘Final Four’ Category

Michigan v Syracuse

Syracuse’s vaunted zone defence held Michigan below 40 per cent shooting, but the Wolverines found a way to control the game and hold off a furious Orange rally down the stretch to advance to the championship game.

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Louisville v Wichita State

Wichita State hung tough in the first half and actually started to pull away at the start of the second half, but Louisville’s incredible defence looked the part to close out the game and the Cardinals are off to the NCAA championship game after a 72-68 win.

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Louisville v Wichita State

If you’ve watched Wichita State at all in this tournament, it should come as no surprise that the Shockers are hanging tough with No. 1 overall seed Louisville in the first Final Four game.

Wichita State jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead (which was actually Louisville’s biggest deficit of the tourney so far) and kept the pressure coming throughout the first half, as evidenced by this thunderous Cleanthony Early dunk…

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Louisville guard Kevin Ware, who suffered a broken leg in the first half of Sunday’s game against Duke, spoke for the first time earlier today.

Ware, who was cleared to travel with the team to Atlanta for Saturday’s Final Four matchup against Wichita State, averaged 4.5 point per game this season.

Duke v Louisville

Motivated by a fallen teammate the Louisville Cardinals dominated the second half of the Midwest regional final en route to a 85-63 win over Duke.

Shortly before then end of the first half back-up Louisville point guard Kevin Ware sustained one of the most visibly gruesome injuries in the history of televised sports, suffering a compound fracture of his right leg. An emotional Rick Pitino attempted to gather the composure of his players with a huddle, but the impact from the injury left a noticeable silence in the arena.

The shaken Cardinals took a 3 point lead into the half but came out of the break fired up, going on a 20-4 tear led by Gorugi Dieng, Peyton Siva, and Russ Smith, as the Cardinals scored 50 points on 59.3 % shooting in the 2nd half. Smith led all scorers with 23 points, while Diva added 10 of his 16 in the second half, along with 14 points and 11 rebounds for Dieng. Mason Plumlee added 17-points and 12 boards in the losing cause for Duke.

For coach Pitino the win marks revenge from the last time one of his teams played Duke, the famous 1992 Elite 8 game where Christian Laettner sunk his Kentucky Wildcats in dramatic fashion.

The No. 1 overall seed in the tournament advances to their second straight Final Four, where they will face Wichita State in Saturday’s National Semifinal in Atlanta.

After sealing the win, the Cardinals celebrated with Ware’s 5 jersey, and opted not to cut down the mesh.

Duke v Louisville

The lopsided score indicates otherwise, but this game was decided at the 15:22 mark of the second half with Michigan up 12. Mitch McGary, enjoying a breakout, fairytale tournament, made an impressive drive from the top of key for a tough layup. Backup point guard Spike Albrecht intercepted the ensuing inbound and completed a difficult up and under to increase to the lead to 16 in a span of four seconds. Game over. Read the rest of this entry »

Indiana v Ohio StateFor the next three weeks, let’s forget about all that is wrong with sports, and more specifically college sports. Put on hold the complaints about the exploitation of student athletes, the arbitrary rulings of the NCAA hierarchy and the culture that promotes athletic achievement over scholastic success. Ignore the tendencies we have to celebrate young men as heroes only to spit them out later as villainous scapegoats. Instead, embrace the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for what it is: the most exciting and dramatic multi-game sporting event in the United States.

March Madness is everything that spectators want sports to be. Upsets, buzzer beaters, foul trouble, swagger and posture. The heart-beating blindness of anticipation. The vicarious elation of triumph. The devastating free fall of defeat. And these are just the qualities that we’ve come to expect. Despite being an annual event with a finite number of potential outcomes, every year the tournament brings with it a fantastic share of surprises.

It’s immense. And it all begins on Tuesday (or Thursday, depending on how you look at it). Here, for your edification, is everything you need to know about the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.

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