Elite Eight Exciting Endings

Elite Eight Exciting Endings

Josh Weishapl, Sports Editor

#1 Duke v.s. #4 Arkansas- Arkansas’ title hopes were crushed after deflating loss on Saturday night against the Duke Blue Devils. Despite a great effort by forward Jaylin Williams, who had a double-double with ten rebounds and 19 points, the Razorbacks were left out to dry. A valiant second half in which Arkansas outscored Duke by three points wasn’t enough to dig them out of the 12 point hole they put themselves in during the first half. The Blue Devils and Coach Mike Krzyzewski will enter their 13th Final Four since he began coaching there in 1980.

 

#2 Villanova v.s. #5 Houston- You would think that you won the game if your team led the whole game in field goals, field goal percentage, blocks, assists, rebounds, and held the other team’s scorer to six points that you won the game, right? Well, that’s not what happened to the Houston Cougars. Despite leading in almost every stat that matters, the Cougars could not overcome the Wildcats. Why is this, you may ask? The reason is that Houston shot an absolutely abysmal 1/20 from the three-point line. So as the Cougars struggled to make anything happen from deep, Villanova kept the scoring easy and simple to win the game and advance to the Final Four.

 

#1 Kansas v.s. #10 Miami- This match-up had “instant classic” written all over it. Two teams who are playing very well at the right time and are very offense heavy. However, this narrative would only last one half. Miami held a six-point lead coming out of the intermission, and it would be the last time in the game that they looked confident. After the break, the Jayhawks would dominate every facet of the game as the Hurricanes started to panic and try and take back the lead by only shooting threes. In the second half, Kansas would finish by outscoring Miami 47-15 to fly their way into the Final Four.

 

#8 North Carolina v.s. #15 Saint Peter’s- This was the game everyone was waiting for. Could the cinderella Saint Peter’s Peacocks continue their miraculous run and be the first-ever 12-seed or higher to make a Final Four? Short answer, no. North Carolina came straight out of the gate firing, starting the game on a 9-0 run, and from that point on it was all but over for the underdog Peacocks. SPU stuck with the Tar Heels in the second half, only being outscored by a point, but the damage had been done in the first 20 minutes after going into the break down 19-38. An extremely aggressive Armondo Bacot led UNC as the junior put up a double-double with 22 rebounds and 20 points. Although the Peacocks may be out of the tournament, they shocked many people with their heart and grit, and the team will go down in March Madness history. The Tar Heels willed their way to their twenty-first Final Four and are in search of their seventh title.