The Knicks Find Another Phenom; Duke & Missouri KO’D In Huge March Madness Upsets

By: 03.17.12
Tu Holloway

Tu Holloway (photo. Xavier University Athletics)

Then there was the Big Dance. It always cracks us up how people complain about “boring” days in the NCAA Tournament – as if we are owed crazy upsets and buzzer-beaters every day of every tourney – when we know that things always balance out. Because if you thought Day 1 (the real Day 1) of the Dance wasn’t entertaining enough, Day 2 more than made up for it … For starters, 15-seed over 2-seed upsets happen like once every 10 years – and we had TWO of them yesterday. The first saw Missouri falling to Norfolk State, 86-84. It wasn’t like the Tigers played a bad game, either. Phil Pressey (20 pts, eight asts) led a squad that shot 52 percent from the field, hit 13 threes, and only turned the ball over eight times. It’s just that Norfolk State was better. Big man Kyle O’Quinn had 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Spartans, including a go-ahead putback and-one with 34 seconds left and some huge rebounds and hustle plays the rest of the way. Pressey had a good look at a three that would have won it at the buzzer, but it didn’t go down .. Norfolk State’s win still didn’t match the shock value of 15-seed Lehigh taking down 2-seed Duke. This was supposed to be an easy run to at least the Sweet 16 for the Blue Devils, considering they would get to play their first two games in Greensboro, N.C. But after Mackey McKnight – only a guy at a mid-major school could have that name – canned a go-ahead triple with 8:25 to go, Lehigh never gave up the lead. C.J. McCollum (30 pts, six rebs, six asts) and Gabe Knutson (17 pts, eight rebs) scored 19 of the Mountain Hawks’ next 25 points, including two breakaway dunks by Knutson and a bunch of ice-water free throws by McCollum – who made his name last night just like Eric Maynor made his a few years ago at the hands of Duke. The Blue Devils only stayed in it as long as they did because Lehigh kept committing stupid fouls on Austin Rivers (19 pts) … Friday was so wild that a 13-seed took out a 4-seed and it almost went unnoticed. But if you’ve seen Ohio’s D.J. Cooper play before, you shouldn’t have been surprised that he led the Bobcats to an upset over Michigan. Cooper is like a lefty Rajon Rondo who can actually make a jumper; he had 21 points and five assists while outplaying Wolverines star freshman Trey Burke in a five-point Ohio win … In other March Madness action: Draymond Green had a 24-point, 12-rebound, 10-assist triple-double to lead Michigan State past LIU-Brooklyn; Tyler Zeller posted 17 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks to lead North Carolina past Vermont; Brad Beal‘s 14 points and 11 boards helped Florida knock off Virginia; Yancy Gates put up 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for Cincinnati in a win over Texas; Victor Rudd and Anthony Collins scored 17 apiece to lead South Florida in a 12-over-5 upset against Temple that wasn’t really close; Terone Johnson scored 21 to lead 10-seed Purdue in one of those technically-but-not-really upsets over 7-seed St. Mary’s; Kwamain Mitchell had 22 points to lead St. Louis past Memphis; NC State’s Lorenzo Brown was all over the place with 17 points, nine boards and eight assists in the Wolf Pack’s win over San Diego State; Jason Clark racked up 21 points to shoot Georgetown past Belmont; Doug McDermott had 16 points and 10 boards to help Creighton edge Alabama; Thomas Robinson had 16 points and 13 boards to lead Kansas past Detroit; Bernard James finished with 19 points, nine boards and three blocks as Florida State barely survived an upset bid by 14-seed St. Bonaventure in a strange game that saw Seminoles star Michael Snaer go scoreless; and Xavier overcome a 10-point deficit in the second half to zip up Notre Dame behind Tu Holloway‘s 25 points … We’re out like Coach K.

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