Sunday, March 18, 2012
Victory is sweet for Wolfpack, Spartans
By ESPN Stats & Information
Greg Bartram/US Presswire
C.J. Williams celebrates North Carolina State's first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2005.
Here's a snapshot look at the early-afternoon games as eight more teams look to advance to the Sweet 16 on Sunday.
(11) North Carolina State 66, (3) Georgetown 63
The North Carolina State Wolfpack were the 68th team to hear its name called on Selection Sunday. One week later, they are among the 16 teams to survive the first weekend of play, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005.
NC State erased an early 10-point deficit with a 30-9 run over 11 minutes spanning the first and second half, and held off a late rally by the Georgetown Hoyas for the 3-point victory.
The Wolfpack used a strong inside game to dominate the Hoyas on the boards. NC State grabbed more than twice as many offensive rebounds as Georgetown and nearly doubled up the Hoyas in second-chance points.
C.J. Leslie had seven second-chance points, nearly as many as the entire Georgetown team, and 10 of the Wolfpack’s 20 points in the paint.
NC State’s efficiency on the perimeter also proved to be a key weapon in the upset win. The Wolfpack made 7-of-15 shots (47 percent) from beyond the arc against a Georgetown team that entered the game holding opponents to a Division I-best 28 percent shooting on 3-point attempts this season.
The early-round upset loss for Georgetown was hardly a surprise. This is the third straight year the Hoyas have been eliminated by a team seeded at least five spots lower. They are the third team with such a streak, joining DePaul (1980-82) and Florida (2002-04).
(1) Michigan State 65, (9) Saint Louis 61
The Spartans advance to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in the last five seasons thanks to another big game from senior Draymond Green.
Green stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. It’s his eighth game this season with at least 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists – no other player in Division I has more than three such games.
Michigan State sealed the win with a much-improved half-court offense after halftime.
The Spartans shot over 60 percent in the half-court and turned the ball over just twice in the final 20 minutes, after coughing it up eight times on 29 half-court possessions in the first half.
The Saint Louis Billikens were looking for their first Sweet 16 appearance, but once again Rick Majerus failed to reach the second weekend with an underdog.
Majerus is now 0-5 all-time in the Round of 32 as a lower seed, including a loss to the Spartans in 2000 when they won the national championship.