Statement Victories: The most exciting second round March Madness games
In the second round of NCAA Tournament, several games caught most of the attention. some teams hung on to barely scrape away with victory in tough match-ups, while others upset formidable powerhouses to clinch a berth in the Sweet 16. all of the winners have made a strong statement in their victories, which will serve as a confidence boosters in the games to come. College News counts down the most exciting games for you:
1. (9) Northern Iowa vs. (1) Kansas 69-67
Ali Farokhmanesh, a player from Northern Iowa whose name was unfamiliar to most college hoops fans until a few days ago, sank a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left on the clock. that shoot gave the Panthers a 4-point, which they hung on for good. Farokhmanesh was the sharpest shooter on the night, sinking 4 out of 10 from beyond the arc.
2. (12) Cornell vs. (4) Wisconsin 87-69
Just when people thought knocking off Temple early on was pure luck, Cornell makes another huge statement in their win over Wisconsin. Relying on their starts, who combined for 83 out of the total 87 points score, the Big Red turned the game into a sure victory even before the middle of the second half. The Badgers, for their part received strong support from their duo Jon Leuer and Jason Bohannon. but Cornell was simply too much to handle…something the Badgers found out the hard way.
3. (11) Washington vs. (3) New Mexico 82-64
Everyone thought this was going to be a lopsided game. and, to be fair, it was. except that the final result was opposite of what was expected. The Huskies were able to establish a comfortable 12-point lead at half time and never looked back. Three Huskies scored more than 15 points to hold off a strong performance from New Mexico’s Dairese Gary, who tallied 25 points on 11-of-20 shooting. The Huskies demonstrated model team work on the night, recording a total of 21 assists vs. the Lobos’ 7. all in all, a very exciting game.
4. (10) Saint Mary’s vs. (2) Villanova 75-68
Saint Mary’s is a team filled with underappreciated players in an underrated conference—facts that did not stop the Gaels’ quest for the Sweet 16. Omar Samhan, the senior center, exploded for a monstrous 32-point performance on 13-of-16 shooting, virtually unstoppable against Villanova’s sloppy defense. By comparison, only two Wildcats managed to score in double figures, and a 36.2 percent field goal percentage was certainly not enough for a berth in the Sweet 16.
5. (5) Michigan State vs. (4) Maryland 85-83
The Spartans almost squandered their early lead away, after Greivis Vasquez’s jumper with 7 seconds left gave the Terps a 1-point lead. but Korie Lucious, whose performance was nowhere as impressive as Durrell Summers, who scored 26 on 10-of-14 shooting, sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Vasquez, the ACC Player of the Year, who recorded 26 points and 8 dimes for the night, had to end his NCAA journey early with his team.
6. (4) Purdue vs. (5) Texas A&M 63-61
Nobody expected Purdue to have come this far after they suffered a humiliating loss to Minnesota in the Big ten conference tournament. Not to mention the fact that the Boilermakers are without their best shooter, Robbie Hummel, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear.
Yet Purdue managed to rally behind their defensive specialist, Chris Kramer, who also demonstrated his offensive power by sinking the game-winning layup with 6 seconds left in the overtime. The Aggies’ best scorer, Donald Sloan, only recorded 11 points on 4-of-17 shooting in his farewell game. The 35.4 percent field goal percentage certainly hurt the Aggies chances of coming up big. The Boilermakers, on the other hand, got a huge boost
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