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NCAA Tourney: Sunday Open Thread

8 Team Entered, 2 Remain

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
Buddy this is March you don’t call that on us
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Yeah so the basketball Gods keep picking off our basketball writers.

Saturday, March 18th

Texas Longhorns 71, Penn State Nittany Lions 66

MaximumSam: A good game - the Nits stayed within striking distance all game and then struck, taking a 3 point lead with five minutes left. They couldn’t hold it, though, and a bunch of missed shots to end the game will haunt them. Overall, they couldn’t quite get their three point barrage going, but they did get after Texas from deep (1-13) which let them stay in the game. Now the talk will be about whether they can retain the Great Shrew and what this team will look like without all those seniors. A memorable season.

UCLA Bruins 68, Northwestern Wildcats 63

MaximumSam: The Cats were down by double digits at the half, but in the second half they cut the lead and stayed within a couple possessions for what felt like the entire game. Buie and Audige did their part, and Matt Nicholson also chipped in 17. Unfortunately, Ty Berry couldn’t get anything going and went 1-8 from the field. They didn’t have quite enough for the Sweet Sixteen, but another memorable season that took Chris Collins from the Hot Seat to the Extension Office.

Alabama Crimson Tide 73, Maryland Terrapins 51

MaximumSam: The opposite of the other two games - Maryland was nip and tuck in the first half, but the second half saw them give way. It was some bad luck that the B1G got Torvik’s 2nd, 3rd, and 6th ranked teams in the second round. Of course, the B1G also got Fairleigh Dickinson and we saw how that worked out. In any event, Maryland turned things around in Kevin Willard’s first season, led by a (hmm) a bunch of seniors. Funny how that works out.

Sunday, March 19th

#26 Michigan State Spartans v. #13 Marquette Golden Eagles, 4:15, CBS

MaximumSam: Shaka Smart has turned Marquette into a Shaka Smart team - they want to get up in your face and disrupt your offense. They don’t necessarily guard your shots all that well, but they will turn you over and go down and score. But Sparty has two capable (at least until the last two minutes) ballhandlers. This is a great strength on strength matchup and I’m looking forward to it. Torvik goes Eagles, 72-69.

#30 Indiana Hoosiers v. #36 Miami Hurricans, 7:40 pm, TNT

MaximumSam: The Hoosiers and the Spartans are the B1G’s last best hope, and Indiana gets the Hurricanes. Miami profiles as a Run and Shoot team - they Run, and they shoot well, and then they let you score so they can run and score some more. Indiana needs to try and stuff their offense into a trash can. Easier said than done. Torvik goes Hoosiers, 77-76.