Thursday was the start of the sweet sixteen in men’s college basketball. Four games were on the slate starting with Gonzaga punching their ticket into the elite eight. They came into this tournament as a number one seed and certainly have been playing like they deserve that ranking. In their first three games, Bulldogs have bull dozed over every single one of their opponents. Last night, they controlled the entire game from start to finish and beat number four seed Florida State by fourteen points. All of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament wins so far have been by double digits.
Gonzaga will match up against number three seed Texas Tech who have also been extremely dominant this entire tournament. Just like Gonzaga, they’ve been blowing out all of their opponents. Last night they faced off against number two seed Michigan and they blew them out of the water. The Texas Tech Red Raiders are being led by Jarret Culver a projected top ten pick in next years NBA Draft. Last night he led the team with 22 points in a 63-44 win over the Wolverines. The Gonzaga vs. Texas Tech matchup should be one of the most interesting games we have seen all tournament. Both teams matchup really well and the star power from both teams will be on display.
The second slate of games were bar burners and possibly up there with the top games of the tournament. It all started with Purdue vs Tennessee. The Boilermakers came out hot, controlling the entire first half. Purdue ended the half with a twelve-point lead. This game was a tail of two half’s. In the second half, Tennessee came out firing taking a two-point lead with a couple seconds left in regulation. It came down to a corner three-point play by Perdue’s leading scorer in the game Carsen Edwards. He missed the three, but a bone head foul was committed by the Vol’s to send Edwards to go to the line for three free throws. Down two points, he missed the first free throw and regrouped himself to make the next two. This eventually sent the game into overtime. In overtime, Perdue was able to build a lead and win the game by a score of 99 to 94.
Facing off after the Perdue-Tennessee game was the last game of the night, Virginia versus Oregon. As a betting man, I had road the Ducks throughout this entire tournament as a 12thseed. They were eight and a half point underdogs facing off against the number one team in country, Virginia. Oregon did what they have been able to do this entire season and that is compete. You could see how they played together as a team and always fought to the last whistle all tournament. Virginia’s shooting out scored the Ducks 53 to 49. You could see how the Oregon Ducks had potential as final-four team this tournament, but they just got beat by a more talented team.
Going into Friday night’s games, it just seems this tournament is turning towards being a bland one. If I were to go out on limb, from the looks of it, all number one seeds will be making up the final four. I just truly cannot see any of them losing with the talent they have on all four teams. It is called March Madness for a reason, so all we can do is stay tuned and maybe see a number one go down tonight or in the elite eight.