Saturday’s NCAA men’s basketball shocker? Wichita State toppled Gonzaga, 76-70. Gonzaga is the first top-seeded team to be eliminated, and it’s the first time Wichita State is heading to the Round of 16 since 2006, The Associated Press reports. The AP adds:
“Wichita State had the Zags down 13 early. Though Gonzaga (32-3) fought back, the barrage of 3s was too much for the small school from Spokane, Wash.”
Here are some other noteworthy bits to keep in your back pocket as the tournament nears the Sweet 16:
“Arizona handcuffed the No. 14 Crimson, jumping to a big lead and running away with a 74-51 third-round win at EnergySolutions Arena [in Salt Lake City]. For the second time in three years, the Wildcats (27-7) advance to the Sweet 16. On Thursday in Los Angeles, they will face the winner of No. 2 Ohio State and No. 10 Iowa State.”
Harvard started with a reputation for shooting well, USAToday says, buy it missed 20 of its first 22 attempts in the game against Arizona.
— The Oregon Ducks are “becoming a giant-killer of sorts,” says NPR’s Tom Goldman. He tells our Newscast Desk the No. 12 seeded team squashed No. 4 seeded Saint Louis 74 to 57 Saturday in San Jose, Calif. Thursday, the Ducks took Oklahoma State (fifth-seeded) 68-55.
Goldman says Oregon had been considered underseeded going into the tournament, “and they have shown in these two games how much better a team they are.”
Next up: top team Louisville on Friday.
“It’ll be fascinating to see how [Louisville’s] defense does against the Ducks, with their quickness and speed,” Goldman says.
(Check out Goldman’s profile of Oregon’s Arsalan Kazemi, the first Iranian-born player in Division 1 men’s college basketball.)
— A boost for the state of Michigan, as MLive.com reports: “Michigan and Michigan State are in the Sweet 16 for the first time ever. Seriously.” The Michigan news site says fans of the rival teams “sat side-by-side inside The Palace for both games, and at times, it almost felt like they were pulling for one another.”
“If we learned anything from today’s games it’s this: Both teams from the Great Lakes State look armed and dangerous to make deep runs in this year’s tournament.”
Did you miss Friday’s games, too? Get the recap.