The Elite Eight this year was probably the most unpredictable in a while, with only one seed in this stage of the tournament being the Louisville Cardinals. The Elite Eight consisted of only one 1, two 2 seeds, one 3 seeds, three 4 seeds, and one 9 seed. And the results of these games could be considered just as unpredictable.
4 Syracuse def. 3 Marquette 55-39
This game was fun to watch, especially if you are a Miami Hurricanes fan. Marquette destroyed Miami in their Sweet Sixteen matchup. This game was great consolation as Marquette got destroyed themselves. Marquette had a 23% field goal percentage, and Vander Blue was held to only 14 points. The 39 points the Golden Eagles were held to was lowest in an NCAA tournament game in the shot clock era, which started in 1986.
9 Wichita State def. 2 Ohio State 70-66
This game was extremely close. From the start, the Shockers seemed as if they were ready to blow out the Buckeyes as they went into the half with a 35-22 lead. When the second half started, the Shockers went on a roll and their lead was as much as 20. The Buckeyes, lead by Aaron Craft, found their way back into the game and cut the lead to as low as three during crunch time. At this point, it looked like Wichita State’s Cinderella run was coming to a close. But it wasn’t to be as the Shockers came out on top at the end and beat the Buckeyes by four.
4 Michigan def. 3 Florida 79-59
For Gator fans, this game makes you want to cringe. The loss was so bad, fans in Dallas could hear Tim Tebow crying about the loss from his home in Jacksonville. After playing spoiler in their previous game against Cinderella 15 FGCU, many thought this win would give the Gators momentum to move on to win the tournament. The Gators immediately got off to a bad start, and were never able to come back. After the half, where Florida was down by 17, the lowest the Gators were able to bring the deficit was to 12. It just got uglier from there, and the Gators lost the game by 20.
1 Louisville def. 2 Duke 85-63
This is the game that was arguably the most notable of that weekend. Highlighted by Kevin Ware’s gruesome injury, both teams were shaken when the injury happened during the game. The reaction of the bench tells it all. Louisville players on the court immediately fell to the floor, covered their faces, and started crying. Coach Rick Pitinio could be seen tearing as well. Play stopped once the injury was seen. Kevin Ware told his teammates to not worry about him and just go out and win the game, for him. And that’s what the Cardinals did. Rallying behind the emotion, the Cardinals went on the defeat Duke by 22 points.
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