NetScouts Basketball is covering the 2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament from all the regional sites.
Marquette became the latest team that couldn’t navigate Syracuse’s 2-3 zone as the Orange cruised to a 55-39 win and became the first team headed to the Final Four in Atlanta. Of all the teams in the tournament Marquette had the highest disparity between their two-point and three-point shooting percentage. Syracuse’s chances of winning the contest improved considerably if they could limit the Golden Eagles penetration and force them into three-pointers. That’s what happened as Marquette hoisted 24 three-point attempts, connecting on only three. That was the game. Marquette shot a terrible 22.6% from the field, many misses due to the Syracuse defense and many just missed shots.
Syracuse wasn’t terribly efficient on offense themselves, shooting 38% and making 5-of-17 three-pointers. But they put the ball in the basket enough to advance. James Southerland connected on three from long distance in scoring a game high 16 points. Michael Carter-Williams was effective on both ends of the court finishing the game with a solid line of 14 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals against only one turnover. Davante Gardner gave Marquette their only consistent offense, hitting mid-range shots consistently and shooting 6-of-9 for 14 points. Gardner also grabbed eight rebounds. Vander Blue also scored 14 but did so on 3-of-15 shooting. Outside of Gardner, Marquette shot 6-of-42 (14.3%). Yeah, the Syracuse defense is good but shooting that poorly can’t be attributed only to defensive pressure. As we said earlier in the week, where are the shooting coaches??
Goodbye Columbus. Wichita State became the latest mid-major to reach the Final Four as the Shockers held off a furious late Ohio State rally to top the Buckeyes 70-66. Wichita State took a 13-point halftime lead with tough defense, holding Ohio State to less than 25% shooting (9-of-33). The Shockers, with strong play by point guard Malcolm Armstead, pulled out to a 56-36 lead with 11 minutes remaining. Then the Buckeyes started getting aggressive, generating fouls on penetration while Deshaun Thomas and LaQuinton Ross stepped up their offensive games.
The lead was down to 62-59 when Wichita State’s Tekele Cotton hit a three-pointer with 2:22 left. Up by four, Cotton made another key play when he pulled down an offensive rebound and fed Fred Van Vleet for a jumper and a six point lead. Armstead led Wichita State in scoring with 14, although he shot 6-of-21. The Shockers lost both their key big men for a time as Carl Hall took an inadvertent elbow from Thomas and Cleanthony Early sprained an ankle. Both were able to return after several minutes on the bench. For the game Ohio State shot only 31.1% from the field including a poor 20% (5-of-25) on three-pointers. Thomas was the games leading scorer with 23 points while Ross added 19. It’s Wichita State’s first trip to the Final Four since 1965.