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March Madness 2013, Elite 8: Orange D Dominates, Shockers Stay Alive

Jordan Gary |
March 30, 2013 | 9:58 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Thad Matta's Buckeyes went on a late run that was not enough to negate their terrible first 29 minutes. (JcMcMann/Creative Commons)
Thad Matta's Buckeyes went on a late run that was not enough to negate their terrible first 29 minutes. (JcMcMann/Creative Commons)
Cinderella stories seem to be defining this tournament and this season with upset after upset. The tournament's first two Elite Eight games were no different. If this keeps up, we might not see any No. 1 seeds in the Final Four this year (Louisville is the last No. 1 seed remaining). 

Washington, D.C.

(4) Syracuse 55, (3) Marquette 39

Defense, defense, defense. That was Syracuse’s motto on Saturday when it beat Marquette, and made it to its first Final Four since Carmelo Anthony led the team to a championship back in 2003. President Obama watched as Syracuse’s zone defense tore apart the Golden Eagles.

Marquette hadn’t been held to fewer than 47 points all season, but for Marquette, excessive turnovers and blocked shots destroyed all hope of winning this game. The Golden Eagles started off the game missing nine of their first 11 field-goal attempts. They ended up shooting 22.6 percent from the field, making only 3-of-24 attempted three-pointers, and committing 13 turnovers.

Syracuse’s senior forward James Southerland led the Orange with 16 points, and point guard Michael Carter-Williams had 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists, five steals and only one turnover. Offense wasn’t Syracuse’s best friend, but with the way Marquette played, it didn’t have to be. In the only regular-season game involving the two teams, Marquette narrowly beat Syracuse, 74-71. This time, however, the Golden Eagles couldn’t quite muster up what it took to shake the Orange’s D.

Either Florida or Michigan looks to take on this potent defense next Saturday, hoping to put an end to Syracuse’s captivating streak.

Los Angeles, Calif.

(9) Wichita State 70, (2) Ohio State 66

Wichita State ended up shocking No. 2 seed Ohio State with an upset. earning its first Final Four berth in school history. The break between Sweet 16 and Elite Eight seemed to have made Ohio State lose all momentum going into this game.

It was a tumultuous last 11 minutes. Wichita State held a 20-point lead after a terrible first half for Ohio State, but LaQuinton Ross scored 15 points to lead a rally by the Buckeyes, which would end up coming just short of successful. After Tekele Cotton made a three-pointer for the Shockers, Fred Van Vleet made a shot which seemed to be going everywhere except through the net. Then Ron Baker and Cotton both made free throws to ensure the win for Wichita State. Shocker point guard Malcolm Armstead led the team with 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

Buckeye players put up disappointing numbers on Saturday. Aaron Craft shot 2-of-12 from the field. Deshaun Thomas missed nine of his first 12 shots, and the team as a whole missed their first seven shots and only made 24 percent of its first-half attempts.

Wichita State faces Louisville or Duke next and with the way this tournament has been going, anything is possible.

Reach Staff Writer Jordan Gary here.



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