Stats & Info: Norfolk State Spartans

Thirteen is lucky for Ohio Bobcats

March, 18, 2012

Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesThe Ohio Bobcats celebrate the first trip to the Sweet 16 in school history.
Two blowouts and a Cinderella story headline the early evening action on Sunday:

(13) Ohio 62, (12) South Florida 56
The slipper still fits for the Ohio Bobcats, as they advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history. Ohio is the seventh team seeded 13th or lower to make the Sweet 16 and the first since Bradley in 2006.

This was the 10th meeting between 12- and 13-seeds all-time, but just the second time that a 13-seed emerged as the winner.

Ohio won on the strength of its perimeter shooting, connecting on half of its 18 3-point attempts against the South Florida Bulls. The Bobcats actually made more 3-pointers (9) than 2-pointers (8), shooting just 32 percent inside the arc, while being outscored 32-12 in the paint.

Walter Offutt led the long-distance barrage, making all four of his 3-point attempts and scoring a team-high 21 points. Offutt entered the game having missed 14 of his 18 shots from beyond the arc over the previous six games.

(1) North Carolina 87, (8) Creighton 73
The Tar Heels advance to their 25th Sweet 16, the most all-time, but the victory over the Creighton Bluejays was bittersweet. Kendall Marshall scored 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting and dished out 11 assists but suffered a fractured right wrist late in the game.

Marshall put up one of the most unique statistical lines in NCAA tournament history before the injury. He joins North Carolina State’s Chris Corchiani as the only players in tournament history with at least 18 points and 11 assists while shooting 85 percent or better from the floor.

Marshall was responsible for 45 of the team's 87 points, which ties Lehigh's C.J. McCollum and Michigan State's Draymond Green for the most points created in a tournament game this year. In six career NCAA tournament games, Marshall has created an average of 32 points per game, including 23 from his assists.

(7) Florida 84, (15) Norfolk State 50
The Norfolk State Spartans were trying to become the first 15-seed to reach the Sweet 16, but instead got schooled in Statistics 101 on Sunday, getting a lesson in Regression to the Mean.

Just two days removed from knocking off 2-seed Missouri while shooting better than 50 percent both inside and outside the arc, the Spartans misfired on 20 of 24 3-point attempts and 48 of 66 shots overall against the Florida Gators.

A game after averaging a season-best 1.34 points per possession against the Tigers, Norfolk State averaged just 0.76 points per possession against Florida, its third worst in a game this season.

The Gators found themselves down 6-4 early in the game, but went on a blistering 25-0 run to take control and cruised to the victory. The 34-point win is the second-largest in a NCAA tournament game in school history, behind a 43-point victory over Jackson State in 2007.
Entering Friday, the last dozen teams to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, make at least 10 three-pointers, and commit fewer than 10 turnovers in an NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game all won.

But that history was not on Missouri’s side, as the No. 2 seeded Tigers fell to 15th-seeded Norfolk State, 86-84 in the tournament's biggest upset so far.

The state of Virginia is the home of the 15-versus-2 upset. Of the five to take place in tournament history, three of the winners (Hampton, Richmond, and Norfolk State) have come from Virginia.

Norfolk State scored 86 points on 64 possessions, its second highest efficiency (1.34 points per possession) in a game in the last 15 seasons.

One of the keys to the win was that the Spartans were 5-for-5 from the field on second-chance opportunities in the second half, including the go-ahead tip-in by Kyle O'Quinn with 34 seconds remaining.

Norfolk State's 86 points are the third-most scored by a 15 seed in a Men's Basketball Championship game. The most is 90 by Eastern Michigan vs Pittsburgh in 1988.

O'Quinn paced the Spartans with 26 points and 14 rebounds. He had had games of this nature before, just not in this sort of setting. O’Quinn entered the day with 48 career double-doubles, tied for third-most among active players

Missouri has now lost as a No. 2 seed, a No. 3 seed (1990 vs Northern Iowa) and a No. 4 seed (1987 vs Xavier) in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers join Arizona as the only teams to lose in the Round of 64 as a No. 2, 3 and 4 seed.

In other early action:

East Region
(3) Florida State 66, (14) St. Bonaventure 63
The Seminoles have won their last three games by exactly three points each. In addition, four of their last six games have been three-point wins.

Overall, Florida State is 6-0 this season in games decided by exactly three points. Michael Snaer, who leads the team in scoring, did not score a point (0-for-7 from the field). This was the first time in 100 career games with the Seminoles that Snaer was held scoreless.

(6) Cincinnati 65, (11) Texas 59
Cincinnati has now advanced to the Round of 32 in 12 of its last 13 Men's Basketball Championship appearances.

Texas shot just 16.0 percent from the field in the 1st half (4-for-25), its second-lowest percentage in any half of a game since 1965-66.

Midwest Region
(1) North Carolina 77, (16) Vermont 58
The Tar Heels improve to 30-1 all-time in Men's Basketball Championship games played in the state of North Carolina.

(3) Georgetown 74, (14) Belmont 59
Georgetown snaps a three-game losing streak in the Men's Basketball Championship, with all three losses to double-digit seeds, to advance to the Round of 32 for the first time since 2008.

(11) NC State 79, (6) San Diego State 65
The Wolfpack shot 58.5 percent from the field, their fourth-highest field goal percentage in a Men's Basketball Championship game and highest since 1989 (63.2 percent vs Iowa).

(8) Creighton 58, (9) Alabama 57
Creighton overcomes an 11-point second half deficit and reaches the Round of 32 for the first time since 2002. The Bluejays have won eight straight and improve to 8-1 this season in games decided by five points or fewer.

West Region
(7) Florida 71, (10) Virginia 45
Florida's 26-point win is tied for its fourth-largest in a Men's Basketball Championship game. The 45 points allowed by Florida are its fewest allowed in a Men's Basketball Championship game.

The Gators were 24-for-30 (80 percent) from two-point range, their highest field-goal percentage inside the arc in a Men's Basketball Championship game.

Monday recap: Lamb key in UConn victory

February, 21, 2012
Player of the Night Jeremy Lamb
This was supposed to be Lamb’s season, but the preseason All-American was averaging just 15.6 points per game in Big East play coming into last night. Shabazz Napier may have hit the big shot, but Lamb was the key to Connecticut’s 73-70 overtime win over Villanova. He scored a career-high 32 points, as the Huskies rallied from an 18-point deficit.

Scoring Star - Parker Smith
Smith scored a school-record 46 points as North Florida beat Mercer 75-66. It’s the second-most points scored in a game this season behind only Kevin Murphy’s 50. It also tied an Atlantic Sun record for a conference game. Coming off a 1-for-11 performance from 3-point range on Saturday, Smith went 11-for-17 from beyond the arc. That’s the most 3s in a game this season.

Freshman of the Night – Amir Garrett
Garrett entered Monday as the sixth leading scorer for St. John's, and lowest scorer in the all-freshman starting lineup. But in a 79-72 win over DePaul, Garrett poured in a career-high 18 points and nine rebounds. Maybe it has something to do with pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. Garrett was a 22nd-round pick of the Reds, who gave him a $1 million signing bonus.

Record Breaker – Antwan Carter
Longwood came up short in a 66-52 loss to Norfolk State, but the Lancers got a new all-time leading scorer in the process. Antwan Carter scored 19 points to give him 1,808 for his career. That surpassed Kevin Jefferson’s school record. A more familiar name is third on that list: Former Portland Trail Blazer Jerome Kersey.

Free Throw Star – Pierre Jackson
Jackson scored 18 of his career-high 25 points in the second half as Baylor overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Texas 77-72. Jackson went 6-for-6 from the line in the final 30 seconds to seal the win. He hit all 12 of his free throws on the night.
Player of the Night – Tyshawn Taylor
Taylor finished with 28 points and six assists in Kansas’ 92-74 win over Baylor. Taylor connected on 10 of his 14 shots, including 4-6 from three-point range. He’s now had back-to-back games with a career-high 28 points. It’s been a tumultuous season for Taylor, who had 11 turnovers against Duke in November and was pulled from the starting lineup against Long Beach State. On Monday, the senior had the best game of his college career.

Filling Up the Stat Sheet – Thomas Robinson
Like his teammate, Robinson had a huge game as Kansas ended Baylor’s undefeated season. The difference? Robinson’s been doing this every game. He finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season. Robinson is now averaging 17.8 PPG and 12.3 RPG. Consider the last three major conference players to average 17 and 12: Blake Griffin, Michael Beasley, Tim Duncan. The last Jayhawk to do it? Wilt Chamberlain.

Small Conference Star – Kyle O’Quinn
Norfolk State improved to 6-0 in the MEAC with a 74-66 win over Coppin State. Once again, O’Quinn had a huge game, finishing with 24 points and matching a career-high with 19 rebounds. There’s something about Baltimore that brings out the best in O’Quinn. In four career games at Coppin State, he’s averaging 21.3 PPG and 17.3 RPG. Home teams were 22-6 on Monday, but Norfolk State was one of those road wins.

Breakout Game – Melquan Bolding
Not much has gone right for Fairleigh Dickinson, and Monday was no exception. The Knights fell to 1-16 with an 87-83 loss to Longwood. The good news? A breakout performance from Melquan Bolding. The transfer from Duquesne scored 38 points, after entering the game averaging 12.9 PPG. That’s the most points in a Fairleigh Dickinson home game since James Felton had 41 back in 2002.

Ugly Stat Line of the Night – Gerardo Suero
Suero entered the night fourth in the nation in scoring at 22.4 PPG, but Monday was a different story. He went 1-for-10 from the field with eight turnovers, as Albany fell to BU 70-57. With just six points, it’s the first time Suero hasn’t scored in double figures as a Division I player.