WATERCOOLER CHAT: EXCITING WEEKEND IN THE TOURNEY

BASKETBALL

Whoa — what a weekend in college basketball.

We had a match-up featuring last year’s Cinderella story, Butler, vs. #1 seed Pitt.  Many people thought this is the year that Pitt could make a serious run at the title.  They’re big, deep, and motivated.  But… you should never sleep on a team that knows how to win in the tourney.  The game was neck and neck most of the way, but in the end, some horrible fouls created a new destiny.  First, Butler hit a great shot that put them up 70-69 with under 5 seconds to play.  That put Pitt on the foul line with under 1 second to play.  They hit the first one to tie it at 70.  Then, he missed the second, Butler rebound and threw the ball up and was bumped by Pitt.  They called a FOUL!!!!  OMG!!!  That put Butler on the line with 0 seconds left.  Never… happened…before.  Matt Howard went to the line and hit the foul shot to put them up 71-70.  He intentionally missed the second so the clock would run out, and it did… on Pitt’s season.  An amazing finish, and Butler is still alive.  Butler 71, Pitt 70.

Syracuse was another team that spent most of the season in the Top 5.  But they slowed down in the weeks prior to the tourney.  People thought they might have their hands full with North Carolina in the next round, but nobody thought they would meet their end against an inferior Big East colleague in Marquette.  Marquette held tight with Syracuse the whole way.  Syracuse pulled up by 5 with just under 5 minutes to go, but still let Marquette back into the game.  And, in the end, Marquette had the answer for them.  Syracuse had one last chance to tie the game, but accidentally stepped on the half court line and got a backcourt call.  And that did them in.  It was a great season for Syracuse, but it’s over.  Marquette 66, Syracuse 62.

In Oklahoma, an amazing game between Arizona and Texas.  The first half was all Arizona, but Texas came storming back in the second half.  They even took the lead towards the end.  Up 69-67, all they had to do was inbound the ball and get fouled.  But, in a rare call, they took longer than 5 seconds, and that’s a turnover.  That gave the ball back to Arizona, and they put the ball in the hands of their star Derrick Williams.  He did an amazing move to get to the rim, did a layup, and got fouled.  He had been shooting poorly from the line up to that point, but he floated the ball up and got a beautiful swish to put them up 1.  Texas had 5 more seconds, drove the lane, but couldn’t connect.  They got a rebound, and were blocked again.  Some thought it should have been called a foul, but the refs decided not to call it.  Arizona now moves on to play Duke.  Arizona 70, Texas 69. 

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