Wolverines Dump VCU
Michigan State forward Branden Dawson (22) shoots against Memphis in the second half of their third-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Auburn Hills, Mich., Saturday March 23, 2013. Michigan State won 70-48. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Michigan made Havoc look helpless.
Mitch McGary had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and the fourth-seeded Wolverines breezed through Virginia Commonwealth’s vaunted pressure with a clinical performance yesterday, beating the fifth-seeded Rams 78-53 to advance to the NCAA round of 16 for the first time since 1994.
VCU (27-9) was relentless in a 46-point rout of Akron on Thursday night, but the Rams met their match against Michigan’s cool-headed backcourt. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. rarely looked rattled against VCU, and although Michigan (28-7) committed 12 turnovers, the Rams couldn’t turn many of them into quick scoring opportunities.
McGary, a 6-foot-10 freshman, set season highs in scoring and rebounding. VCU had no answer for him around the basket, and when the Rams couldn’t create easy baskets with their pressure defense — they call it “Havoc” — they were finished.
The 71-point swing by VCU — from a 46-point win to a 25-point loss — was the largest in NCAA tournament history, according to Stats. In 1968, Houston beat Texas Christian 103-68, then lost to UCLA 101-69 for a 67-point swing.
McGary made his first seven shots from the field. Burke scored 18 points, and Hardaway and Glenn Robinson III added 14 each.
Juvonte Reddic scored 16 points for VCU.
No. 3 Michigan State 70
No. 6 Memphis 48
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Gary Harris scored 16 of his career-high 23 points in the first half and the third-seeded Spartans cruised past sixth-seeded Memphis, putting the Tom Izzo-led program in the regional semifinals for the fifth time in six years and the 11th time in his career.
Michigan State (27-8) will play the winner of the Duke-Creighton game on Friday in the Midwest Regional semifinals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The Tigers (31-5) advanced in the NCAA tournament for the first time in Josh Pastner’s four seasons. The Conference USA champions are headed home because they struggled to stop Harris on the outside or his teammates inside all afternoon.
The Spartans’ top post players — Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix — combined for 27 points and 18 rebounds.
Memphis’ Geron Johnson scored 13 of his 16 points in the first half, and Joe Jackson finished with 12 points.
Michigan State led by as much as 13 in the first half, creating that cushion when Harris made his fifth shot — and fourth 3-pointer — with 7:59 left in the first half.
Memphis responded with a 12-2 run to pull within three, and the Spartans led 32-29 at halftime.
No. 1 Louisville 82
No. 8 Colo. State 56
Lexington, Ky. — Bumping, banging and leaving Colorado State with a whole lot of bruises, top-seeded Louisville is into the Midwest Region semifinals.
Russ Smith led four players in double figures with 27 points, and the Cardinals put on a defensive clinic as they dismantled Colorado State. Louisville forced the eighth-seeded Rams into a season-high 20 turnovers, made Colton Iverson look as invisible as a 6-foot-10 guy can be and limited one of the nation’s best rebounding teams to 24 boards, more than a dozen below their average of 40.
The Rams came in with the country’s best rebounding margin, plus-12. But the Cardinals outrebounded them 29-24. Two nights after scoring 26 against Missouri, Dorian Green was held to six points. Iverson had nine rebounds, the first time in three games he’d failed to reach double figures.
It was the 12th straight win for Louisville (31-5).
The Cardinals look as if they have eight players on the floor, what with all the arms waving and bodies smothering whoever has the bad luck to have the ball, and when one guy sits down, there’s one just as physical right there to take his place.
Oregon 74, Saint Louis 57
San Jose, Calif. — Damyean Dotson scored 23 points, Carlos Emory added 14 points and hot-shooting Oregon sprinted past fourth-seeded Saint Louis.
Dotson made his first five 3-pointers to carry the 12th-seeded Ducks (28-8) into the second weekend for the first time since 2007, when they lost to eventual repeat champion Florida in the regional final. Oregon made 8 of 11 shots from beyond the arc, while the Billikens finished 3 for 21 from long range.
Oregon will play No. 1 overall seed Louisville in the Midwest Regional in Indianapolis next.
Kwamain Mitchell scored 18 points and Dwayne had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Billikens (28-7), who set a school record for wins this season following the death of coach Rick Majerus in December.