NCAA Tournament 2013 Scores: Recapping Saturday's Elite 8 Thrillers
The world wide web is littered with 2013 NCAA tournament information on Saturday's Elite Eight games, but just in case that information isn't enough to suit your fancy, there's plenty of added reporting and analysis from Saturday's games here.
No. 4 Syracuse and No. 3 Marquette squared off in a matchup of Big East foes in the East Regional final, pitted against each other in what could be the last-ever Big East battle under the current assortment of teams.
On the other side of the bracket, No. 9 Wichita State looked to continue its magical run against No. 2 Ohio State, coming into the game riding an 11-game winning streak and looking every bit like it was headed for a second-straight Final Four appearance.
Both games gave us plenty of action to satisfy the college basketball appetite.
Check out the two recaps of Saturday's Elite Eight action for what happened, who stepped up big in moving on to the Final Four and some highlights from each game.
Saturday's Elite Eight Scores
No. 4 Syracuse 55, No. 3 Marquette 39
No. 9 Wichita State 70, No. 2 Ohio State 66
Syracuse Smothers Marquette
The biggest complaint about Syracuse as a Final Four team this season was its ability to score.
If the Orange keep playing this way on defense, they won't need to score much.
In the same building they were limited to 39 points by Georgetown in an embarrassing conference loss, the Orange held Marquette to the same mark on Saturday night.
The win moves Syracuse to the Final Four for the fourth time in the Jim Boeheim era, and the squad will be looking for its second NCAA championship exactly 10 years after Carmelo Anthony and company accomplished the feat in 2003.
Right now, the 2-3 zone is clicking, just like it was in '03.
After stomping Indiana on Thursday, Syracuse limited Marquette to 22.6 percent shooting from the field, forced 14 turnovers and did just enough on offense to take care of business.
Michael Carter-Williams, named the East Region's Most Outstanding Player after the game, had 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals in what turned out to be a dominant effort on both ends.
The Orange also got contributions from James Southerland, Brandon Triche and C.J. Fair on Saturday night and managed to limit Marquette star guard Vander Blue to just 14 points on 3-of-15 shooting.
Simply put, it was a dominating performance on all cylinders.
The Orange await the winner of the South matchup between No. 4 Michigan and No. 3 Florida on Sunday night, but right now the way this team is playing on defense, it's going to take a phenomenal effort on both ends to outlast the Orange.
Wichita State Survives in LA
The Wichita State Shockers are not in Kansas anymore.
In fact, they are headed for Atlanta via Los Angeles after defeating the other top-ranked team in the West region on Saturday night—the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Behind West Region Most Outstanding Player Malcolm Armstead and a talented group of Shocker role players that includes Carl Hall, Cleanthony Early and Ron Baker, Wichita State has lived up to its mascot's connotation through four rounds of tournament action.
The win wasn't as easy as it could have been, though.
After jumping out to a 20-point lead midway through the second half, the sand threatened to sink between the feet of the Shockers. Whether they were looking ahead to the Final Four or playing scared we do not know—we do know that Ohio State made a late run.
The Buckeyes cut the lead to three with less than three minutes to play, but the efforts of freshman guard Fred Van Vleet—who hit a leaning, sideways jumper that found the bottom of the net with 1:11 to play—managed to be enough wind to push the Shocker sails to the promised land.
Deshaun Thomas had 23 points to lead the Buckeyes, but the supporting cast just didn't get the job done in this one. Particularly, Aaron Craft was just 2-of-12 from the field and didn't do enough with his offense to help Ohio State reach the Final Four for the second straight season.
LaQuinton Ross, who should be on your short list for college basketball's Most Improved Player award next season, had 19 points off the bench for Thad Matta.
In any event, the Shockers are going to Atlanta. What started as a second-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference to Creighton turned into a Final Four appearance, and the first No. 9 seed to reach the Final Four since 1979.
That's all the action from Saturday night, but Sunday promises to be quite the strong finish to the Elite Eight. If it's half as good as Saturday, we're in for a treat.
Sunday's Elite Eight Matchups
South: No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 3 Florida—March 31 at 2:20 p.m. ET on CBS
Midwest: No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 2 Duke—March 31 at 5:05 p.m. ET on CBS
Follow all the exciting NCAA tournament action with March Madness Live.
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