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March Madness 2013: Ohio State, Indiana, Kansas, Florida Advance To Sweet 16

Matt Padavick |
March 24, 2013 | 6:57 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Following yesterday's games where the teams won by an average of 24 points, fans were wondering, “Where’s the Madness?”  Sunday’s early games provided the madness that NCAA fans were looking for. The day started with a buzzer-beater by Ohio State followed by a nail-biter between Indiana and Temple. The two later games were much more interesting than the final score reveals. They were close games that were extended to double-digits in the final minutes.  

Dayton, OH (West Region)

Aaron Craft sent Ohio State to the Sweet 16 with his game winning three-pointer against Iowa State. (Elevenwarriors/Flickr Commons)
Aaron Craft sent Ohio State to the Sweet 16 with his game winning three-pointer against Iowa State. (Elevenwarriors/Flickr Commons)

(2) Ohio State 78, (10) Iowa State 75

Aaron Craft sent Ohio State to California for a fourth straight Sweet 16 appearance with a game-winning three-pointer. The Buckeyes were locked even with Iowa State at 65 points apiece with possession of the ball and 29 seconds left in the game. Craft held the ball near half court as he watched the clock count down. Iowa State center Georges Niang switched to guard Craft on a screen, as Craft dribbled the ball in front of him, waiting for the right time to attack. With three seconds left, Craft stared Niang down and drilled a three in his face as a sea of red exploded behind the basket. The building went nuts as Craft was able to redeem himself from countless mistakes earlier in the half.

With five minutes remaining in the game, Ohio State led, 69-56. Iowa State went on a 13-0 run to even the game in a span of two minutes. During that span, Craft made four crucial errors on four straight possessions, which led to 13 points for the Cyclones. In the post-game interview, Buckeyes coach Thad Matta was asked why he didn’t take a tired-looking Craft out of the game after multiple blunders down the stretch. His response was simple: “He’s too tough of a kid to be tired." Craft proved his coach right by taking a controversial charge on the defensive end, followed by a cold-blooded game-winner that prompted Matta to call for a statue of his point guard in front of the Buckeyes gym.

Craft finished the game with 18 points and six assists while, teammate Deshaun Thomas recorded 22 points and five rebounds.  LaQuinton Ross was big for the Buckeyes with 17 points off the bench, including two straight three-pointers that pushed the Ohio State lead to 13 late in the second half. Iowa State senior guards Korie Lucious and Will Clyburn combined for 36 points. Tyrus McGee scored 14 points off the bench for the Cyclones after they lost their best defender, Chris Babb, to an ankle injury early in the first half. Ohio State will face Arizona in Los Angeles on Thursday at the Staples Center for a chance to advance to the Elite 8.

Dayton, OH (East Region)

(1) Indiana 58, (9) Temple 52

With 15 seconds remaining in regulation and Indiana up by just one point, Victor Oladipo hit a three to seal the game for the Hoosiers. Temple maintained a lead virtually the entire game and looked like it was going to be the second team in the tournament to take down a No. 1 seed until Indiana finally claimed the lead with 1:51 remaining. Temple’s Khalif Wyatt dominated the first half, scoring 20 of Temple’s 29 first-half points. The Owls led by three at halftime, but Indiana found a way to slow down Wyatt in the second half. Oladipo, one of the best wing defenders in the nation, harassed Wyatt the entire game and despite a hot start, was able to hold him to just 25 percent shooting from three-point land. Wyatt finished with 31 points on 12-24 shooting from the field, but it was not enough to beat the Hoosiers, who received most of their offensive production from stars Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo. Zeller and Oladipo combined for 31 of the team's 58 points and 14 of its 31 rebounds. Will Sheehey contributed 10 points off the bench for the Hoosiers. Indiana held Temple to just three-of-24 (13 percent) shooting from the three-point line, one of the worst shooting performances in NCAA Tournament history. Wyatt made all three of those, while the rest of his team went 0-12 from beyond the arc. Indiana will look to advance to the Elite 8 for the first time since 2002, as they face the fourth-seeded Syracuse Orange on Thursday in Washington.

Kansas City, MO (South Region)

(1) Kansas 70, (8) North Carolina 58

Jeff Withey is six blocks away from the NCAA Tournament record. (Rrescot/Flickr Commons)
Jeff Withey is six blocks away from the NCAA Tournament record. (Rrescot/Flickr Commons)

This game was a tale of two halves. North Carolina led the Jayhawks by nine points at halftime, as the Tar Heels were able to contain the monstrous inside presence of Jeff Withey and Kevin Young. The second half was a completely different story as Withey imposed his will on the Tar Heel defense. The Jayhawks controlled the second half, outscoring UNC 49-28 in the final 20 minutes. Withey finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds, and five blocks, placing him only six blocks away from the NCAA Tournament record of 50 held by Tim Duncan. Opposite Withey was Young, who posted a solid line of 10 points and nine rebounds.

Kansas freshman star Ben McLemore struggled in the first half, shooting 0-9 from the field, which forced coach Bill Self to sit him for the second half and rely on guards Travis Releford and Naadir Thorpe for scoring. Releford finished with 22 points and eights rebounds while Thorpe recorded 12 points, hitting several clutch three-pointers to extend the Jayhawks' lead late in the second half. UNC received most of its scoring from P.J. Hairston and James McAdoo, who finished with 15 and 11 points, respectively. The Tar Heels went cold in the second half, shooting 30 percent from the field, including 28 percent three-point shooting, while the Jayhawks shot 44 percent from the field. 

Despite doubling North Carolina in turnovers (23-11), Kansas outrebounded UNC, 47-30, which played a key factor in deciding the game. McAdoo was simply not strong enough to handle Withey and Young down low, as the Tar Heels were bounced from the NCAA Tournament by Kansas for the second straight year. Kansas now advances to the Sweet 16 for the third year in a row and will face the red-hot Michigan Wolverines in Arlington, Texas on Friday.

Austin, TX (South Region)

(3) Florida 78, (11) Minnesota 64

Legendary coaches Billy Donovan and Tubby Smith faced off in Austin, Texas with a chance to advance to the Sweet 16. Florida outplayed Minnesota from the start of the game and held onto the lead for a double-digit win. Florida led, 48-27, at halftime, but Minnesota clawed back into the game and cut the lead to eight with seven minutes left. A couple made free throws and a Mike Rosario three-pointer put the game out of reach for Minnesota at the five-minute mark.

Rosario scored 25 points, including six three-pointers, while Murphy added 15. Scottie Wilbekin chipped in 12 points and six assists for the Gators. Andre Hollins led Minnesota with 25 points, but the first-half deficit was too much to climb out of for the Gophers. Florida shot 57 percent from the field compared to just 40 percent for Minnesota. The Gophers and Gators both shot well from the three-point line, converting 45 and 50 percent of their attempts, respectively. The Gators will take on the Cinderella No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast Eagles on Friday in Dallas for bragging rights in the state of Florida.

Reach Staff Writer Matt Padavick here, or follow him on Twitter.



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