Putting A Foot On WKU's Neck

Storming The Floor looks at last night's Sweet 16 action.

West (Phoenix) Region

UCLA 88, Western Kentucky 78

When Darren Collison fouled out with 5:30 left, a whole lot of people started to believe that the Hilltoppers could win this thing. Of course, thereafter, the Bruins put a foot on WKU's neck and ended that talk with a quickness. In the moral victory column, the Hilltoppers gutted out a big comeback and had a chance to win at the end. Tyrone Brazelton had 31 for the Toppers, while Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook both notched points/rebounds double-doubles for the Bruins.
Xavier 79, West Virginia 75

Incredible game. WVU was behind by double figures in the first half and gritted its way back into it in the second. Bodies were hitting the ground like a Sopranos marathon. And when regulation ended with a tie and the extra period started, it was perfect March basketball. A shockingly wide-open shot when X inbounded the ball with just two seconds left on the shot clock sealed the deal, but for good measure, the Mountaineers started bricking free throws. Josh Duncan was Xavier's rock once again, scoring 26 and hitting nine of his ten free-throw attempts.

East (Charlotte) Region

North Carolina 68, Washington State 47

I have cast this as Unstoppable Force vs. Immovable Object for several days now, but I conveniently forgot that Roy Williams' teams are always capable of playing some D themselves, and that tipped the balance in this one. That and three-pointers. Not that UNC's 33 percent from the arc was mind-blowing, but in the early going, Tyler Hansbrough couldn't get untracked. As soon as the outside shots started to fall (Danny Green 3-5), Psycho T started doing his thing, and ended up leading the Tar Heels with 18 points and 9 rebounds.

Louisville 77, Tennessee 60

David Padgett is everything that is right about College Basketball, people. At least, that's what Jay Bilas would have us believe. What I can't figure out is, when he meets our other dorky white savior in the next round, who do we root for/genuflect in awe of? Anyway. Bruce Pearl threw Smiths at the Cards all night long, and it didn't make much difference in the outcome. Louisville's Jerry Smith had 13, as did Andre McGee. And Terrence Williams brought the oohs and aaahs with his athletic 12. By the way, Derrick Caracter (9 points, 5 rebounds) says he's going pro. Good luck with that, Chief.