Best of Thursday at the Sweet 16
After three excruciating days without NCAA tourney hoops, the Sweet 16 tipped off with a wild night.
But the biggest Sweet 16 stunner was Syracuse spanking a top-seeded Indiana team that held the No. 1 ranking longer than any other team this season. Led by point guard Michael Carter-Williams' 24 points, the Orange's starting backcourt outscored the Hoosiers' 38-0 en route to a 61-50 win.
FOXSports.com's Reid Forgrave captured the stunned silence of the Indiana locker room in his column on how this talented Hoosiers team had its season end way too soon.
Dressed to kill
The Buckeyes are officially the most exciting team of the tournament. One round after a last-second Aaron Craft 3-pointer saved them from overtime against Iowa State, Ohio State did it again Thursday. This time, it was LaQuinton Ross burying a loooong 3-pointer to break a 70-70 tie with two seconds to play.
But the best part was revealed after the game at Staples Center: Ross had dressed at Kobe Bryant's locker. Yeah, that guy has hit a few winners.
Word is im sitting in Kobe Locker.....lowkey excited as hell lol instagram.com/p/XX_EiQDDkH/— LaQuinton Ross (@qross2011) March 27, 2013
"I found out from one of the guys who worked here it was Kobe Bryant's locker," Ross said. "Before we got here, I'd called dibs on it anyway. But I didn't know whose it was until he told me. I was excited about that."
Ross' big-time shot also grabbed the attention of Ohio native LeBron James, who took to Twitter to congratulate him.
#GoBucks i see you Q! Big time shot. Way to go guys. O..H..I..O— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 29, 2013
Old Big East fans, rejoice!
You get one last look at the changing conference. Syracuse's 61-50 win over Indiana means the Orange will face Marquette in the Elite Eight on Saturday, giving us a whole 48 hours to digest some more nostalgia. Syracuse will leave the conference next season. Carmelo Anthony has already begun the trash talk:
And of course Wade wasn't going to let that go without a response.
@carmeloanthony "thats out"— Way of WADE (@DwyaneWade) March 29, 2013
Syracuse completely befuddled the Hoosiers on the defensive end. Indiana had just 11 points with 4:04 to go in the first half. The Hoosiers made it interesting in the second half, but that 38-0 disparity in starting backcourt scoring was a tad too much to overcome.
The Orange also denied us the sideshow of watching Indiana coach Tom Crean, who patrolled the Marquette sideline from 1999-2008, go up against his old team.
Hey, John Harbaugh in the house
Life's good for John Harbaugh. He won the Super Bowl. Thursday, he was watching his (by comparison) moderately successful brother-in-law coach in the Sweet 16. We'd say he's smiling, but it's probably just how his face looks all the time at this point (click to enlarge):
You probably didn't watch Wichita State-La Salle
Because why? Everyone had Gonzaga, Kansas State or Wisconsin winning this game in their brackets. You didn't miss much in the way of competitiveness. Wichita State won 72-58, and it wasn't really that close. We saw a nice display from Wichita State's Malcolm Armstead (18 points) and Carl Hall (14 points in the first half). Wichita State dominated on the glass. Conclusion: Shockers > Explorers.
This seems like an opportune time to remind you that Carl Hall cut off his dreadlocks before the tournament. Check the before and after (click on each to enlarge):
The Shockers get Ohio State in the Elite Eight on Saturday.
Steph Curry still bitter over Davidson's loss
We followed Steph Curry's Twitter feed during last weekend's Marquette-Davidson second-round game. Curry, the most famous Davidson hoops alum, was heartbroken as his alma mater choked away the chance to upset the No. 3 seed. He clearly hasn't let it go:
And booooo Marquette. Geez lose already @wessywes2— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) March 29, 2013
Wait, you mean it isn't the FGCU coach's model wife?
If Shane Larkin looked out of sorts ...
... he has a legitimate excuse:
Shane Larkin threw up all last night. Didn't eat until pregame meal 3 p.m. Larranaga: "Those guys didn't have the juice they normally do."— Reid Forgrave (@ReidForgrave) March 29, 2013
Jose Canseco is an Ohio State fan
Can someone finish this cheer for him, please?
O-H !— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) March 29, 2013
Bad 24 hours for Miami hoops
Wednesday night, the Heat's 27-game winning streak came to an end. Thursday, the Miami college kids were outplayed from start to finish by a Marquette team that barely made it out of each of its previous two games. The Hurricanes shot 21 percent from the field in the first half and just under 35 percent for the game. Let's all now watch the Golden Eagle bandwagon hit hyperdrive in this topsy-turvy season, led by Dwyane Wade.
As for Miami, not having Reggie Johnson was clearly a problem. Some speculation on the Hurricanes' future:
Miami's next opponent will be Mark Emmert University. The Hurricanes open as a 4.5-point favorite.— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) March 29, 2013
The best part about Marquette-Miami may have been the shoes
What an array of color on display (click on each to enlarge):
Don't worry, Gronk was watching 'Zona
Though it didn't well for the Wildcats, Gronk was in a happy place at the beginning:
Say what, Doug?
CBS analyst Doug Gottlieb started the evening's broadcast by pointing out the racial diversity on the panel ... in the sort of way that has the Internet buzzing.
Rough outcome for Jason Whitlock
Miami walking ball up court and standing around offensively. Awful start. I'm in trouble.— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) March 28, 2013
I knew when Heat played bad it foreshadowed a bad performance from the Canes. Damn. No streak. No 100 to 1. Bad week.— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) March 29, 2013
Good night!— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) March 29, 2013