On any given Thursday (or Friday) in March, is it more important to be the best team on the floor or merely the team that is playing the best?
In the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the answer depends on who you ask. Your feelings on the relative importance of lane violations may also be a factor in determining a response.
According to UNC-Asheville head coach Eddie Biedenbach, being the team that played better during the duration of a single game wasn't quite enough. After the Bulldogs narrowly missed out on making history by upsetting Syracuse, the top seed in the East Region, Biedenbach defiantly touted his team's performance.
“Tonight, we were better than Syracuse,” Biedenbach said. “These guys played their tail off for 40 minutes and played better than Syracuse. This is the better team tonight.”
With the exception of Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, it was difficult to find many in Pittsburgh (the site of the game) who disagreed with Biedenbach's assessment. However, a few decisions by the officiating crew, including a crucial call on an out-of-bounds play, went against UNC-Asheville as Syracuse did just enough to escape.
In the other 1 vs. 16 matchup during the first full day of the tournament, Kentucky leveled the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky. How will top seeds UNC and Michigan State fare on Friday?
Along with the Heels and Spartans each taking on 16 seeds, Friday's tournament schedule includes contests between Georgetown and Belmont as well as Ohio and Michigan. In addition, Duke, Kansas and Missouri will attempt to avoid being on the wrong end of any marquee upsets.
Stay tuned for updates on all the action also be sure to follow our partners from Rush The Court, who have correspondents out in the field at the @RTCEastRegion, @RTCSouthRegion, @RTCMWRegion and @RTCWestRegion. Tweet @HuffPostSports to join in the conversation.
|@ RTCSouthRegion : And now the same official calls a flagrant foul against Notre Dame for fouling before the ball is inbounded. #NCAAGreensboro|
|@ RTCSouthRegion : Obviously, officials got a memo from the NCAA last week that said "call more lane violations, you guys." #NCAAGreensboro|
Wells gets intentionally fouled, makes both of them and Xavier is going to win the game.
Atkins makes the first one but the ref calls a LANE VIOLATION on Notre Dame's Jerian Grant. Unbelievable call. Same call as the Syracuse game. Way too many lane violations in the tournament so far.
Wells misses the second and Atkins gets the ball, drives the length of the court and draws a blocking foul. He's going to the line for one-and-one, down by two with 2.8 seconds left.
Grant takes a long 3-pointer for ND but misses off the rim and Wells gets the rebound. He gets fouled with eight seconds left in the game.
HALLOWAY DRIVES RIGHT AND MAKES A RUNNING FLOATER OFF THE GLASS. XAVIER HAS THE 64-64-63 LEAD WITH 12 SECONDS LEFT.
After Xavier hit a layup to cut it to one, Eric Atkins inexplicably throws it away and turns it over back to Xavier with 32 seconds left.
Grant makes a step back 3-pointer to give Notre Dame the lead 63-60. As Gus Johnson would say, "COLD...BLOODED!"
Cooley redeems himself for the missed free throw with a layup to give Notre Dame the lead. But Dezmine Wells gets fouled on the other end and is at the line for two.
He went one of two and the game is now TIED AT 60 WITH 1:30 LEFT.
|@ RTCSouthRegion : Beautiful finger roll finish by Holloway. This is the guy who can be an All-American. #NCAAGreensboro|
Xaviers takes its first lead since 5:31 left in the first half after Landen Amos' steal and Halloway's fast break layup.
The Owls just put on a show with their ball movement but the ball goes in and out on the layup. They got the offensive rebound and fouled on the put back. Both free throws are good and now it's 48-40 USF with 2 minutes left.
Foul is called on Xavier's Dee Davis even though it seemed like Cooley knocked him down on his back when he was posting up. Irish are in the one-and-one with a 57-55 lead.
|@ RTCSouthRegion : Notre Dame's Mike Brey take the timeout. The Irish really need to figure out a way to slow Holloway down. #NCAAGreensboro|
Halloway hits another shot to cut it to one. He has 19 points and is 8/12 from the field.
Temple has sotmred back in the last few minutes to make it 41-38. But USF just nailed a 3 from deep to extend their lead to 6.
Halloway nails a jumper from 12 feet out and ties the game at 51.
|@ RTCMWRegion : Just comparing Kansas to Missouri, the Jayhawks look a lot more confident compared to the Tigers I watched earlier today. #NCAAOmaha|
MICHIGAN STATE BEATS LIU 89-67. DRAYMOND GREEN HAS THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TOURNAMENT SO FAR.
|@ RTCMWRegion : Detroit has scored only 3 points since there was over 4 minutes to go in the first half. Kansas is about to put them away. #NCAAOmaha|