Purdue point guard P.J. Thompson (5'10''-PG-96) dribbled across half court, smiling, and stood in a casual dribble while chatting with teammate Carsen Edwards (6'0''-PG-98). This was a new NCAA Tournament experience for the Boilermakers - the stress-free final seconds when victory is assured and March Madness extends through the weekend. Which isn't to say 4 seed Purdue's 80-70 victory over 13 seed Vermont in Thursday's Midwest Region first round at Bradley Center came easy. The Catamounts led by eight points in the first half, trailed by one at halftime and kept their upset-minded claws within reach of the Boilermakers' hearts until the final four minutes. But Vincent Edwards came alive in the second half, Caleb Swanigan (6'9''-F-97) unleashed his fury and Purdue hit timely daggers to seal their first NCAA Tournament victory since 2012. "This year we had some guys step up big time when we needed it most, and we finally got the monkey off our back," Thompson said. Purdue advances to face 5 seed Iowa State, which defeated 12 seed Nevada 84-73, in Saturday's Round of 32. Ironically, the Boilermakers could have played the Cyclones in last year's second round in Denver. They led Little Rock by 13 with three-and-a-half minutes to play before falling in double overtime. The year before, a seven-point lead in the final minute against Cincinnati vanished in an eventual overtime loss. So even after Thompson's 3-pointer with 1:48 to play provided a 76-65 lead, the Boilermakers couldn't get comfortable. Not until Swanigan rejected Trae Bell-Haynes for his third block of the final 3:05 and Dakota Mathias (6'4''-G-95) grabbed the clinching rebound did smiles begin to pop up on the faces of Purdue players. They'd waited 364 days to put those painful memories to bed. "I've been sitting in front of you all ready to cry the last two years," Edwards said. "It feels great to finally get past the first round. It's something that's been haunting us the last two years." Another block, this one by Edwards, started a fast break in the final seconds of the first half. Thompson finished it with a pull-up jumper to give Purdue a 37-36 halftime lead. Those first 20 minutes, however, were a back-and-forth struggle. Vermont, which had no bodies with which to challenge Swanigan and Isaac Haas one-on-one, clogged interior passing lanes. Purdue too often tried to force passes through that front, or made careless passes over and around it. Eight first-half turnovers negated the Boilermakers' rebounding advantage. Three of those turnovers came from Edwards. Thompson challenged him to be more assertive in the second half and attack those same situations with another approach. Edwards scored on the Boilermakers' first three possessions after halftime, setting a tone that would follow throughout the next 20 minutes. He scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and didn't commit a turnover after halftime after committing three before. Swanigan finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting a Big Ten Conference record with his 27th double-double of the season. With about 5:40 left he grabbed an offensive rebound, started to forced up a shot through a double-team, then turned and tossed to Dakota Mathias for a 3-pointer, giving Purdue a 66-60 lead. Later he also kicked out to Thompson for a 3 with 1:57 left that put the Boilermakers up 76-65. Purdue made 5 of 10 from 3-point range and shot 45 percent overall behind the arc. "They had a decision to make, especially after we were making some, what they were going to do and where they were going to double from," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "They started coming on those doubles and those guys started kicking it out." Vermont, which came into the game with a nation-best 21-game winning streak, would not fold. The Catamounts shot 63.2 percent from the field in the second half, thwarting every Purdue attempt to separate. The early edge from the perimeter went to Vermont forwards Anthony Lamb (6'6''-F) and Payton Henson (6'8''-F-94), who hit 5 of 10 from deep in the first half. Purdue switched larger bodies onto those shooters in the second half, and Lamb and Henson score only eight points after halftime. Lamb finished with 20 points and nine rebounds. A certain relief was evident in the Boilermakers' voices following the game. However, a certain conviction was evident in their words. "It's obviously exciting, but we don't want just one win in the NCAA Tournament," Mathias said. "We've got the tools and the personnel to make a run here. We're not satisfied with one win." Courtesy of: jconline.com
Player of the Year:Michael Mallory(6'1''-G) of S.Connecticut Rookie of the Year: Marshall Lange (6'2''-G) of Newberry Coach of the Year: Patrick Beilein of Le Moyne Honorable Mention Gerrel Irvin (6'8''-F) of Dominican, NY Hunter Leveau (6'5''-F) of King Michael Mallory (6'1''-G) of S.Connecticut Matthew Dogan (6'7''-G) of Gannon [read more]
Oregon Advances After Surviving Michigan's Buzzer-Beater Attempt - 8 hours ago
follow us on
The scoreboard had Oregon up by 2 points at the half, but it felt as though Michigan, the underdog, was about to overwhelm the Ducks. Michigan's point guard, Derrick Walton (6'1''-G-95) Jr., a senior, had deftly amassed seven assists, looking for all the world like a quarterback finding receivers like Duncan Robinson (6'8''-G/F-94) and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman through thickets of defenders. D. J. Wilson, a junior with a tall haircut and short shorts, had hit two 3-pointers and contribut... [read more]
The scoreboard had Oregon up by 2 points at the half, but it felt as though Michigan, the underdog, was about to overwhelm the Ducks. Michigan's point guard, Derrick Walton (6'1''-G-95) Jr., a senior, had deftly amassed seven assists, looking for all the world like a quarterback finding receivers like Duncan Robinson (6'8''-G/F-94) and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman through thickets of defenders. D. J. Wilson, a junior with a tall haircut and short shorts, had hit two 3-pointers and contributed a block and a steal in just seven minutes of play, his time limited by foul trouble. But Michigan's seemingly impending surge never materialized, as third-seeded Oregon, playing one of the country's most 3-point-happy teams, began to take more aim from deep and hit 3-pointers. And hit them and hit them and hit them. Five from sophomore Tyler Dorsey (6'4''-SG-96), two from junior Dillon Brooks (6'6''-F-96) - all in the second half. The Ducks, which entered making fewer than one-third of their shots from deep, made 47.1 percent (8-for-17) for the game. But Dorsey's most crucial shot came not from beyond the 3-point line, but on an acrobatic drive to the basket that put the Ducks ahead by a point with 1 minute 9 seconds remaining. Those proved to be the final points in a 69-68 victory for Oregon (32-5) over seventh-seeded Michigan (26-12), sending the Ducks to the round of eight on Saturday to play the winner of the later game Thursday night, between No. 1 Kansas and No. 4 Purdue. The Ducks were led by Dorsey and the junior Jordan Bell (6'9''-F-95). Dorsey had 20 points; Bell had a double-double, with 16 points and 13 rebounds - including, on the possession before Dorsey's lay-in, a crucial board on a missed Oregon free throw that he put back to cut Michigan's lead to 1 point. Michigan's Walton finished with 20 points and 8 assists, and his fellow senior guard Zak Irvin (6'6''-G/F-94) had 19 points and 8 rebounds. Moritz Wagner, a 6-foot-10 sophomore from Berlin, who goes by Moe, was Michigan's leading scorer in the last game, an upset of second-seeded Louisville, but on Thursday he appeared physically overwhelmed in the low post and hapless elsewhere, at one point botching a clear layup after Oregon gave him the lane. He finished with 7 points on 10 shots and barely saw the court in the second half. When Brooks hit a 3 with a little more than 13 minutes left in the game, Oregon led by 50-44 and looked in control. But the Ducks let the Wolverines back in it, missing their next five field goals and going scoreless for more than three minutes. Wilson played terrific defense on Bell, forcing him into a miss one-on-one in the post and then grabbing the rebound. Michigan took a 51-50 lead with Walton sitting for the first time in the game. Then Oregon fought back and built a 56-51 lead, with Tyler Ennis (6'2''-G-94, college: Syracuse) contributing a 3-point play. Wilson brilliantly faked his defender with the ball down low, only to miss the layup. Later, Wilson found Irvin underneath in a Walton-like assist to cut Oregon's lead to three. The game continued to seesaw between 3- and 5-point Oregon leads until Wilson hit a 3 to cut Oregon's lead to 60-58 with less than five minutes left. On Michigan's next possession, Walton dribbled at the top of the key, and Oregon's defense dropped back, giving him room to hit his own 3-pointer for a 61-60 lead for the Wolverines with 4:15 remaining. The lead was short-lived: Another Oregon 3-pointer was in store, from Dorsey. On the other end? A 3 from Irvin. With fewer than two minutes left and the shot clock dribbling, Walton took it upon himself again, creating a fadeaway shot that seemed to take an eternity to decide whether to go through the hoop or not. It finally decided in the affirmative, making the score 68-65 - Michigan's largest lead since the first half. Bell grabbed a missed Oregon free throw and put it in to make it a one-point Wolverines lead. This was followed by Dorsey's athletic drive to make it 69-68 Oregon with one minute remaining. Walton had one last chance to go ahead, but his attempt at a buzzer-beating 3-pointer was short. Though a major-conference champion with a famous football team, Michigan might have been the closest thing to a Cinderella story among the 16 teams that entered the N.C.A.A. men's basketball tournament's second weekend. Fledgling through the end of the season, its plane bound for the Big Ten tournament skidded off the runway, spooking the team and causing light injuries. The Wolverines proceeded to tear through that tournament, winning it all. Ranked as high as fourth overall in the Associated Press poll this season, Oregon lost its top shot-blocker, senior Chris Boucher, to a season-ending knee injury in the Pacific-12 tournament. The Ducks now look to make just their second Final Four in program history - and their first since 1939, the very first Final Four of them all. Courtesy of: nytimes.com
Copyright (c) 1998-2017 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.