NetScouts Basketball is covering the 2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament from all the regional sites.
Marquette took control of their game with Miami early and coasted to a win in a game that was not as close as the final score indicated. The Golden Eagles employed a tough on-ball defense that forced the Hurricanes off their shooting spots. They made Miami put the ball on the floor, where they are much less effective, to find openings to get their shots off. In the first half Miami scored only 16 points, and shot 6-of-29 overall including 1-of-11 on three-pointers. Miami's Durand Scott and Rion Brown were a combined 0-of-11 in the first half. It seemed as if Miami could not buy a basket even missing quite a few down low as well as on their open shots.
Marquette, on the other hand was on the top of their game. They led 29-16 at the half, then came out and made their first 10-of-12 shots in the second half. When Miami tried to force the issue going to a trapping defense the Golden Eagles repeatedly found easy baskets down low. 6'8 Oregon transfer Jamil Wilson was especially impressive for Marquette with 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Vander Blue played the entire game and scored 14 points. The Golden Eagles shot 54 percent from the field for the game.
Ohio State's LaQuinton Ross hit a long three-pointer with two seconds remaining to give the Buckeyes a hard-fought 73-70 victory over Arizona. Arizona's Mark Lyons had just tied the game for the Wildcats with an old-fashioned three-point play in which he was fouled by Ross. Ohio State went on a 31-10 surge from the late first half into the second half, turning a 33-22 deficit into a 53-43 lead. It was the first time the Buckeyes came back from a double-digit deficit to win a game this season. Deshaun Thomas played the entire game for Ohio State and led them in scoring with 20 points. Thomas received some major help in the second half by Ross who finished with 17 points. Aaron Craft was solid as usual running the show, scoring 13 points combined with five rebounds and five assists. Lyons was impressive for Arizona, helping the Wildcats in tying the game late and scoring 23 points.
Jim Boeheim had too much time to devise his 2-3 zone to confound the Indiana Hoosiers. The zone defense forced Indiana into 12 first half turnovers as Syracuse took a 34-22 halftime lead. They survived a brief Indiana second half run to upset the #1-seeded Hoosiers 61-50 to advance to the East regional final against Big East rival Marquette. The long Orange inside defenders posed problems inside for Cody Zeller. We haven't been as high as most about Zeller's NBA potential. We think he'll be a solid pro, but he'll need to do most of his damage from mid-range as he is short-armed and has trouble finishing inside against long defenders. That was evident tonight as Zeller had six of his shots blocked and only shot 3-of-10 for the game. The Orange generated 17 turnovers, blocked 11 shots and had 11 steals in an impressive defensive effort in which they held the Hoosiers to 34 percent shooting from the field. On offense Michael Carter-Williams played one of his best games of the year, scoring 24 points on 9-of-19 shooting, grabbing six rebounds and generating four steals against only two turnovers. Victor Oladipo led a disappointed Indiana squad with 16 points.
Wichita State used their size advantage to take a 38-22 halftime lead and coasted to a 72-58 victory over La Salle to advance to the West Regional finals against Ohio State. La Salle made a few runs in the second half but could not get within ten points as their best NCAA tournament run since 1958 ended. The Shockers out-rebounded La Salle 47-29 as the Explorers four-guard offense was a liability on the boards and on defense. Another Oregon transfer, Malcolm Armstead ran the offense solidly for the Shockers and hit four straight baskets midway through the second half to settle the game. Armstead led Wichita State with 18 points while Carl Hall scored often early and ended with 16 points. 6'7 Jerrell Wright and Tyrone Garland led La Salle with 16 points. Wright shot 6-of-9, but the rest of the Explorers shot a combined 14-of-47 (29.7 percent).