NCAA Tournament 2013: Winners, Losers, Heroes and Goats of Day 7

Kerry MillerCollege Basketball National AnalystMarch 29, 2013

NCAA Tournament 2013: Winners, Losers, Heroes and Goats of Day 7

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    And then there were 12.

    The NCAA tournament returned from a three-day hiatus with a pair of convincing upsets, an exciting last-second shot and a game between La Salle and Wichita State.

    By now you know which four teams won on Thursday night, but who were the biggest individual winners and losers en route to the Elite Eight?

Winner: Buzz Williams

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    14.3 percent of brackets filled out on ESPN had Marquette losing in the first round.

    Just 13.3 percent of brackets had Marquette reaching the Elite Eight.

    That didn't stop Buzz Williams from getting his guys ready to pull off what turned into a big upset throughout the course of the week. Even without Reggie Johnson in the line-up, most believed the Hurricanes would have little trouble getting past the Golden Eagles.

    Marquette repeatedly switched up its defensive schemes between a 2-3 zone and a more traditional man-to-man game. This not only kept Miami on its toes but had the 'Canes flustered all night.  They managed just 16 points in the first half.

    By the end of the night, they couldn't even hit open jumpers because their legs were so tired from fighting to get open for the first 35 minutes of the game.

Loser: Evan Ravenel

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    To say that Evan Ravenel hasn't been a point-producing machine this season would be putting it lightly.

    However, the senior had at least been more productive than he was on Thursday night.

    Ravenel played just six minutes but managed to commit four fouls while attempting zero shots and grabbing two rebounds. Except for turnovers, literally everything about his stat line was worse than his season average.

    With Ravenel and Amir Williams playing as ineffectively as they did, it's somewhat of a miracle that Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley didn't play a bigger role for Arizona.

Hero: Jamil Wilson

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    Jamil Wilson was everywhere on Thursday night.

    The Golden Eagles made just three three-pointers in the entire game, and Wilson—who averaged just one made three per game—made each and every one of them.

    The Golden Eagles had just three blocks in the entire game, and Wilson—who averaged 0.8 blocks per game during the season—was credited with all three of those blocks.

    For good measure, Wilson added eight rebounds and two assists without committing a single foul on his way to a team-leading 16 points.

    With a short-handed front-court, Miami just had no answer for Wilson.

Goat: Durand Scott

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    I don't know what Durand Scott's draft stock was looking like seven days ago, but the past two games cannot have possibly done him any favors.

    The game against Illinois on Sunday wasn't all bad. He was 0-of-4 from three-point range and scored just six points, but at least he had a few steals and no turnovers.

    Against the Golden Eagles on Thursday night, though, he missed 10 shots, committed three turnovers and fouled out of the game before the final buzzer.

    Outside of a few early buckets, Kenny Kadji and Rion Brown were equally ice cold from the floor, which only made Scott's disappearing act more glaring.

Winner: Big East

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    The Big East conference was the laughing stock of the first two days of the tournament. Cincinnati, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Villanova each lost in its first game, leaving just three Big East teams in the final 32.

    We're down to just 12 teams now, and those three Big East teams are still holding strong.

    With Syracuse and Marquette squaring off in the East region, we're guaranteed to have at least one Big East representative in the Final Four. Let's just say it wouldn't be a surprise if Louisville also joined them there.

    It would only be fitting if—in a year that was constantly shrouded in rumors and reports of realignment—a Big East team went on to cut down the nets in Atlanta.

    After a pair of upsets on Thursday night, we're one step closer to that becoming a reality.

Loser: Tom Crean

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    Like it or not, Tom Crean has gotten a label as a guy who can't win big games.

    He didn't do anything to shed that stigma against Syracuse.

    This isn't meant to undermine his regular-season success. In the past decade, Crean put both Marquette and Indiana back on the map. Lest we forget, the Hoosiers were an absolute disaster when he took over in 2008. What Crean has done in the past five years to get them back to this point is beyond impressive.

    However, Indiana really has no excuse for failing to reach the Final Four.

    No disrespect to Syracuse, but the Hoosiers have more talent on their roster than just about every other team in the country. Maybe Minnesota and North Carolina State were more disappointing, but this was a championship team that failed to reach the Elite Eight.

    You can't win them all, but Crean blew the chance to do it once with Dwyane Wade and now again with two of the finalists for the Wooden Award.

Hero: LaQuinton Ross

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    With 21 seconds remaining in a three-point game, Mark Lyons came flying down the court with intentions of cutting Ohio State's lead to one.

    LaQuinton Ross had other ideas.

    Ross rose up for a monster block, but instead committed one of the most bone-headed fouls I've ever seen. Lyons made the lay-up and went on to sink the free throw to tie the game.

    It didn't phase Ross in the least, as he drained a three-pointer with two seconds remaining to give the Buckeyes the win.

    If that doesn't sum up LaQuinton Ross' season in a span of 19 seconds, I'm not sure what does. He has shown such promise all season, but has spent more time on the bench than on the court because of hideous turnovers and stupid fouls.

    However, on this one night there's no denying that he was the hero. In 18 minutes of action, Ross scored 17 points. Aside from an errant Aaron Craft lay-up in the final 30 seconds, Ross was the only Buckeye to register a field-goal attempt in the final 8:23 of the game. During that stretch, he shot 4-of-6 and single-handedly kept his team in line for a trip to the Elite Eight.

Goat: Kaleb Tarczewski

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    Kaleb Tarczewski was an absolute ghost against Ohio State. It's pretty hard to miss a seven-footer, but he was nowhere to be found.

    Arizona's big man had just one shot attempt in the game, and it wasn't even by design. He tipped in a missed lay-up by Nick Johnson and then disappeared back into the shadows.

    He had one block less than 100 seconds into the game. Aside from the aforementioned tip-in, he had just one other rebound in 16 minutes of game play.

    That's literally the end of his stat line, unless you really want to make him a goat by talking about the two turnovers and three fouls he committed.

    All things considered, this was easily Tarczewski's worst game in over a month and it couldn't have come at a worse time.

Winner: Carl Hall

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    This spot could have just as easily been given to Malcolm Armstead and his 18 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block.

    However, Carl Hall gets the love for getting the party started.

    Wichita State jumped out to 14-2 lead just 4:10 into the game. Hall scored 10 of those points and added a pair of rebounds.

    After that hot start, he added six more points, six more rebounds and four blocked shots.

    Once the Shockers jumped out to that early lead, the Explorers never got back within seven points. Carl Hall set the tone for entire game.

Loser: Ramon Galloway

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    Coming into Thursday night, Ramon Galloway was La Salle's knight in shining armor.

    In the first three games of the tournament, Galloway shot 12-of-23 from long range and was averaging 21.3 points per game.

    Those shots just weren't falling against Wichita State.

    Galloway still scored 11 points, but it took him 15 shots to get there. Coupled with the four turnovers he committed, that's a lot of empty possessions coming from your leading scorer and assist man.

    Not only was the number of turnovers a concern, but they always seemed to come at the worst time—right when it felt like La Salle was about to go on a run.

    It was a rough night for Galloway, and a rough way to end one of the better four-year careers for a guy you probably never heard of before mid-March.

Hero: Michael Carter-Williams

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    Michael Carter-Williams picked a mighty fine time to outdo his previous career best in scoring by six points.

    Without a doubt, he's had a great season and was a huge part of Syracuse's success to this point. However, Thursday night might have been a tipping point in his career arc.

    Against Indiana, Carter-Williams went off for 24 points, five rebounds and four steals in the 11-point victory.

    The defense was particularly huge, as both Yogi Ferrell and Jordan Hulls were held scoreless and combined to commit six turnovers.

Goat: D.J. Peterson

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    Over the course of their three tournament wins, I got used to seeing some of the names and faces from the Explorers' roster.

    D.J. Peterson, however, did not ring a bell.

    Perhaps that's because he played 20 minutes on Thursday night without recording a single shot attempt, rebound, assist, steal or block. If it weren't for a turnover and a personal foul, you wouldn't even know he existed in this game.

    Apparently he's usually a pretty good defender. There's no other rational explanation for why he's averaged 23.2 minutes and 1.3 points per game over La Salle's final six games of the season.

    We'll miss you, D.J. Peterson. Even though we barely knew ye.