Storming The Floor wraps up last night's games and previews today's.
Siena 83, Vanderbilt 62
To think, you all laughed at the picture of Dickie V's asking if Cinderella was in Tampa. Mr. Vitale's picture may have proved nightmare fueling, but that paper was damn accurate in saying that Cinderella was in Tampa. Siena became the third consecutive double-digit seed to win in Tampa following a complete ass-whopping of Vanderbilt. Despite the fact that 90% of people picked this upset, you're not going to find anyone outside of the greater Albany area that saw a 20- point win coming. Kenny Hasbrouck scored 30 points and Tay Fisher scored 19 on six threes for the Saints.
Villanova 75, Clemson 69
More Tampa madness! Nova made it four double-digits wins in four tries as the Cats came from 18 down for the victory over Clemson. Coming off an impressive finish to the ACC season, the Tigers reverted back to their old chokin' selves, shooting 25% in the second half (2-16 from behind the arc) while allowing Scottie Reynolds to score 14 points in the second half to fuel the upset. Most likely the last at-large selected into the field and regarded as the least likely Philly team to pull off a first round upset, the Wildcats are now, incredibly, just a victory over Siena from the Sweet 16.
Arkansas 86, Indiana 72
The Indiana career of Eric Gordon goes out with a fizzle. Gordon finished with eight points while the entire state of Illinois cheers (not like they had a team to root for anyway). (Ed. Note: Still worth it!) A Final Four dark horse in February, the Hoosiers turbulent season ends with three straight losses and Dan Dakich already in the unemployment line. Sonny Weems scored a career-high 31 points for the Razorbacks, who won a tourney game for the first time since 1999.
North Carolina 113, Mount. Saint Mary's 74
Heels waste no time fooling around with the Mount, scoring 60 points in the first half and finishing with a ridiculous 113 point total. Four of the Carolina's five starters scored over 15 points. Poor Michael Campbell, the Carolina sophomore was the Heel not to score in the game.
Mississippi State 76, Oregon 69
In continuing with the night's theme of horrid second-half shooting, the Ducks shot 25% in the second half and went to 2 for 21 on threes en route to blowing a 13-point second half lead to Miss State. Charles Rhodes was phenomenal for the Bulldogs, scoring 34 points to spearhead the second-half rally. Oregon also wore those horrible florescent uniforms that you can't read the last names on, leaving all previously neutral fans rooting for the Bulldogs.
Oklahoma 72, Saint Joseph's 64
In the first half, it appeared like the Hawks left their defense back on City Avenue, as the Sooners hit everything they shot to build a quick 19 -point lead in the first half. The Hawks would make it game late, cutting the lead to four with under 3:00 minutes to play; there was too much Blake Griffin and unlikely hero David Godbold (25 points) to overcome.
Memphis 87, Texas-Arlington 63
Tigers sleepwalk through a 24-point victory over a Texas-Arlington squad that played hard and hung around all game long. Yawn. Anyone else think that Memphis might be entering a world of pain when they go up against Mississippi State's defense?
Louisville 79, Boise State 61
No trick plays here, Cardinals dominate from the start and were never seriously threatened all game. Even with David Padgett only scoring nine points while riddled with foul trouble, Earl Clark came off the bench to lead the Cards with 15 points and seven rebounds.
STF Second Round Saturday Preview
#7 West Virginia vs. #2 Duke (2 p.m., Washington, D.C.)
After Duke's fingernail-width victory over Atlantic Sun representative Belmont on Thursday, the vultures are really circling this game. Dukie Gerald Henderson basically did it all in that game (21 points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals, and the game-winning layup). West Virginia will likely be aware of this fact, and they just finished holding Arizona to 65 points in their first-round game. Mountaineer Joe Alexander was held in check on Thursday, but teammates Alex Ruoff and De'Sean Butler picked up their scoring to hold the line, which is crucial as teams go deep into the tournament.
#11 Kansas State vs. #3 Wisconsin (4:20, Omaha)
It's AAU athleticism vs. plodding Midwestern fundamentals. But the Badgers proved they have a little hip-hop in them, even if it's just 60-year-old coach Bo Ryan doing the Soulja Boy dance. K-State's Michael Beasley is a double-double machine who is not quite ready to start his pro career, so the question becomes: can the crew-cutted bodies of Wisconsin move fast enough to make the plays their brains demand against this fast and strong purple crew? The game is played at 4:20, but Nebraska-formed band 311 controls all the weed in this town.
#6 Purdue vs. #3 Xavier (4:40, Washington, D.C.)
This is expected to be a defensive slog. Xavier's Stanley Burrell usually covers the other team's best outside shooter, but he's going to have to clone himself to keep up with the likes of Robbie Hummel, Keaton Grant, and E'Tuan Moore, who easily led the Big Ten in three-point percentage this season.
#5 Notre Dame vs. #4 Washington State (6:40, Denver)
Any team that wants to stop the Irish looks to stop Luke Harangody first. If you successfully deny him the ball, Kurz and McAlarney start to bomb from outside. It will be an interesting puzzle for a low-scoring Cougars team that hangs its collective hat on defensive proficiency. It's a real offense vs. defense sort of game to see who advances out of chilly Denver and into the Charlotte regional location.
#6 Marquette vs. #3 Stanford (6:45, Anaheim)
I hope everyone took advantage of the day off to go and ride the teacups at Disneyland, because the winner of this one is going to Houston for the Sweet 16. Stanford barely broke a sweat in a first-round dismantling of Cornell. In a weird role reversal, Brook did the rebounding in that game and Robin scored in double figures, which suggests that maybe they were toying with the Big Red. They won't have that easy of a time with Marquette, but there's no doubt the Golden Eagles will have a serious size disadvantage. Ousmane Barro is the only Creanian over 6'9".
#8 UNLV vs. #1 Kansas (6:50, Omaha)
The Runnin' Rebels flat blasted Kent State in their tournament opener, and coach Lon Kruger is no doubt ready to face a Kansas team that he saw several times during his late-80's stint as coach at Kansas State. The Rebs excel at taking care of the ball, and defending the perimeter, two traits that will be sorely tested by the Jayhawks. Unfortunately for Kruger, Bill Self's squad not only swipes the ball and shoots the three, they also pound the ball inside at will. Both teams made the Sweet 16 last year, and both would like to move on. On a side note, the Midwest regional goes from Omaha to Detroit. How depressing.
#5 Michigan State vs. #4 Pittsburgh (9:10, Denver)
This should be a bruiser, as both teams like to get physical. The Spartans have big bodies to spare, and Raymar Morgan (15 points vs. Temple) is giving Izzo-maniacs a security blanket for games in which Drew Neitzel struggles (5 points and 4 fouls vs. Temple). Pitt built a big lead over Brother Oral's team in the first round, and won going away despite their regular rotation being outscored in the second half of that game. Whoever comes out of this one alive had better stock up on the Ben Gay, as they will meet either Memphis or Mississippi State in Houston.
#9 Texas A&M vs. #1 UCLA (9:40, Anaheim)
The Bruins won this exact same matchup last year. They have the same coach and a superior new player in Kevin Love. The Aggies from College Station bring a new coach in Mark Turgeon, and lost their Mr. Everything, Acie Law, to graduation. This year's A&M group is hit-or-miss, with guard Dominique Kirk struggling to score consistently. Seven-footer DeAndre Jordan came off the bench but didn't score in a first-round win over Brigham Young, so he'll need to pick up the pace. The Bruins have an absurdly strong lineup, so it may take a miracle to keep them from reaching Phoenix and the Sweet 16.