Best of Saturday at NCAA tourney
Now Gonzaga knows how it feels.
After flirting with disaster in their tournament opener, the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs bowed down to the ninth-seeded Wichita State Shockers, 76-70.
So much for the Zags having transitioned from mid-major Cinderella to legit contenders. But cheer up, guys, you're not alone in blowing your top seed in the round of 32. Since the 2000 tournament, eight top seeds have been taken down in this round.
2000: Wisconsin topples Arizona and North Carolina upends Stanford
2002: UCLA ousts Cincinnati
2004: UAB stuns Kentucky and Alabama bounces Stanford
2010: Northern Iowa upends Kansas
2011: Butler flips Pitt
Wichita State was so geeked to advance, the guys got their big dance on:
“Seeding in the NCAA tournament means nothing,” said Wichita State triple-threat Ron Baker, who had 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. For more reaction click here.
John Stockton, watching his son play for Gonzaga, was NOT impressed.Harry How
So, where did Wichita State come from? Well, the school boasts alums in Dan and Frank Carney, who have a lot of dough because they know about dough. The Carneys, graduates of the school, are founders of Pizza Hut. Other alums include former NBA star Xavier McDaniel, serial killer Dennis Rader and 1993 World Series hero Joe Carter, who is in the Wichita State Pizza Hut Hall of Fame (yes!).
In 1965, Wichita State actually made its way to the Final Four, where it lost to then-legendary UCLA in a national semifinal. The Shockers did leave another mark on the tournament before heading home. They allowed 58 points in the consolation contest ... to one player: Princeton’s legendary Bill Bradley.
The school endured tragedy, too, as its football team was in a plane crash in 1970. The plane they were in flew into a mountain valley on Oct. 2 after a game against Utah State and smashed into a mountainside, killing 31 of the 40 players, administrators and fans.
Oh, and if you are wondering what exactly a Shocker is, click here.
NEXT STOP, SWEET 16
Then Marquette and Butler played an instant classic ... at least until the final seconds, when it turned into a YMCA game, with Vander Blue and Marquette hanging on 74-72. And then Wichita State sent the first No. 1 seed packing.
Marquette coach Buzz Williams was so hyped to survive another close call that he busted a move. Forget the Dougie; teach us how to Buzzy... (2 Chainz on the remix).
MARQUES JOHNSON: BEN HOWLAND OUT AT UCLA
Ben Howland's days as coach of the UCLA men's basketball team are over, according to FOXSport.com's Marques Johnson. The announcement of Howland's exit could come as soon as Sunday.
The sixth-seeded Bruins were blown out in their NCAA tournament opener on Friday night by 11th-seeded Minnesota, 83-63.
NOW, A SHORT BREAK FOR ... TOWEL FIGHT!!!
Michigan State cruised past Memphis, but not without an angry exchange of dirty towels between teammates Derrick Nix and Keith Appling during a timeout. Even Coach Tom Izzo looks a little stunned. “It’s great, isn’t it?” Izzo said with a smile after the game.
LADIES & GENTS, WATCH THE BLOCK OF THE TOURNEY
Can you say ka-boom? Memphis guard D.J. Stephens swats Michigan State's Adreian Payne into 2014. But MSU got the last laugh.
BIG DAY FOR THE BIG TEN
With the Spartans and rival Michigan in the Sweet 16 — the two can meet, but only if both advance to the title game — the Big Ten is looking really good.
The third-seeded Spartans defeated No. 6 seed Memphis 70-48 and return to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season, and the 10th time in Tom Izzo's brilliant tenure.
Ohio State, Illinois and Minnesota all play on Sunday.
No. 4 seed Michigan is known for its obvious stars Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., but against VCU, the Wolverines showed just how deep — and dangerous — they can be. While dispatching fifth-seeded VCU 78-53, Burke and Hardaway combined for 32 points, while Glenn Robinson III added 14.
That Mitch McGary screen is the highlight of the tourney thus far. #Michigan— Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) March 23, 2013
McGary did even more damage in the second half, hitting several big put-backs and wrestling away key rebounds as he continued to slip past the VCU defense. He had himself a very nice afternoon, finishing with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
In fact, the entire Michigan team had a great day, especially Hardaway, who treated us to this beauty of a dunk.
— JALEN ROSE (@JalenRose) March 23, 2013
Hardaway Jr w/the double-pump, backwards dunk....Stop the Fight!! #GOBLUE
This run-and-gun style reminds of us some other squad that wore the maize and blue years ago . . . and was led by this guy.
Red-hot Michigan rolls into the Sweet 16 to face the Kansas-North Carolina winner next week.
THE MARSHALL MATTERS
Mr. Henderson was fired up to be on TV on Saturday afternoon.
just interviewed with chuck n the fellas!!! comes on @ halftime of VCU and Michigan!! #sweetdreams— marshall henderson (@NativeFlash22) March 23, 2013
After beating Kansas State on Friday, La Salle guard D.J. Peterson pleased Henderson with his choice of celebration style (note the spelling fail), which should make for an interesting matchup come Sunday.
AND HE THREW THE LANDSHARK!!! #hommage— marshall henderson (@NativeFlash22) March 22, 2013
TENNESSEE WOMEN'S FIRST POST-SUMMIT WIN
The No. 10 seeded Volunteers were tested in an 83-62 win over Oral Roberts, their first tournament victory of the post-Pat Summitt era. Summitt stepped down last April after leading Tennessee to eight national titles and 18 Final Four appearances in 38 seasons. She announced in 2011 that she has early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. Summitt has remained on staff as head coach emeritus.
UCONN WOMEN MASH IDAHO
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led six Connecticut players in double figures as the top-seeded Huskies routed Idaho 105-37 on Saturday. UConn led by as many as 74(!) in the second half.
FGC-YEAH, THAT'S WHO?
Fort Myers, home to the latest nation's sweetheart Florida Gulf Coast, is a charming town on the southwest coast of the Sunshine State. And Friday night, it was the place to be after the Eagles stunned No. 2 seed Georgetown 78-68.
What kind of attention is FGCU getting after its epic win?
STAY CALM, ALL IS WELL
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND
Coach K, whose Blue Devils face on Creighton on Sunday, takes exception to the idea of people rooting against Duke.
The NCAA tournament may be fun for us, but it's a stressful time for coaches. How do we know? Just take a look at the emotions written on their faces.