March Madness Scores: Recapping First Set of Elite Eight Games

Ryan DavenportContributor IMarch 31, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 30:  Carl Hall #22 of the Wichita State Shockers celebrates with fans after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes 70-66 during the West Regional Final of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

This 2013 NCAA Tournament has produced without a doubt one of the strangest brackets of all time, and that didn't end at the Elite Eight. 

Both of Saturday night's clashes resulted in victories for the lower-seeded team, and set the stage for some very intriguing potential showdowns at the Final Four in Atlanta. 

Ultimately, it was only fitting that the favored teams in both of the evenings games fell, because in a tournament that saw No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast reach the Sweet Sixteen, seeding truly seemed to mean nothing at all. 

Here's a look back at both of Saturday's Elite Eight showdowns. 


No. 4 Syracuse 55, No. 3 Marquette 39 

Okay, so when a No. 4 beats a No. 3, it's really only an upset by definition. Anyone who's watched the Orange's run through this tournament knew that Syracuse is for real, especially after dismantling No. 1 Indiana in the Sweet Sixteen. 

On Saturday night, Michael Carter-Williams led the charge for Jim Boeheim's troops with 12 points, 11 boards and five dimes, and the Orange cruised to a 16-point win at the Verizon Center in Washington. 

Carter-Williams, a potential first-rounder in June's NBA draft, was named the region's most outstanding player after helping Syracuse hold the Golden Eagles to its smallest offensive output of the season, including just 18 points in the first half. 

Using a 2-3 zone, Syracuse's suffocating defense was the story in D.C., and this clash between Big East powers quickly turned into a romp. 

It is worth noting that the Golden Eagles managed to hit just 12-of-53 from the field, including just 3-of-24 from behind the arc, but all the credit goes to the Orange for limiting their opponents to a season-low for the second consecutive game. 

Now, the Orange will await the winner of Michigan-Florida as Syracuse will be making the school's first Final Four appearance since 2003. 

If recent history is any indication, whoever takes on Syracuse should be prepared to fight for every last point. 


No. 9 Wichita State 70, No. 2 Ohio State 66

It feels like deja vu, as the Wichita State Shockers pulled off another stunning upset at the Big Dance, this time holding off a frantic second-half rally by No. 2 Ohio State just long enough to clinch the school's first Final Four appearance since 1965. 

We shouldn't really be all that surprised by the Shockers at this point. The No. 9 seed had already eliminated the region's top-seeded team in Gonzaga, but few expected WSU to triumph over the Buckeyes as well. 

Led by Malcolm Armstead's 14 points, the Shockers jumped out to a 13-point lead by halftime and withstood a big second half by the Buckeyes long enough to cut down the nets at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The pivotal moment may have come with roughly a minute to go, as Fred Van Vleet's basket put the game away for Gregg Marshall's Shockers after the Buckeyes had cut Wichita State's 20-point lead to just three. 

Ron Baker and Tekele Cotton sealed the win with clutch free throws in the final minute, and the Shockers orchestrated one of the most surprising upsets in Elite Eight history.