March Madness Round Three Winners: Ohio State, Indiana, Kansas and Florida
The weekend has been fabulous with so much basketball for the NCAA Tournament. Sunday is the last day before a break and the fourth round begins. Round Three of the tournament was full of great basketball. The first four games played were Ohio State vs. Iowa State, Indiana vs. Temple, Kansas vs. North Carolina, and Minnesota vs. Florida.
Ohio State Buckeyes (2) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (10)
It is pretty unbelievable how much the West region has fallen apart. No. 2 Ohio State has kept it together unlike the No.1, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 seeds. The Buckeyes beat the Cyclones 78-75.
Aaron Craft has been praised for many things, mostly about his intelligence on the court in making plays. Sunday Craft got to live out one of the greatest moments for a basketball player, hitting the winning shot with less than a second remaining in a tied game.
Craft has proven to be a focused player for the Buckeyes. “The first thing I thought was how much time is left and how to get a stop,” Craft said, reports the New York Times.
The Cyclones put everything they had into the game. Even they when down by double-digit figures they made their way back to tie the game.
However, it would not be enough for such a strong Buckeye team. The Buckeyes played as a team offensively and defensively. They shot 51% from the field and only committed nine turnovers. However, they forced the Cyclones to commit 16 turnovers and they turned those opportunities into 18 points.
Ohio State will move on to play against Arizona.
Indiana Hoosiers (1) vs. Temple Owls (9)
It was a close game between two talented teams. The Indiana Hoosiers showed everyone why they were given a No.1 seed when they won 58-52.
It was not an easy win for Indiana. Temple’s Khalif Wyatt played the best to his ability scoring 31 points. It was not enough for his team to win though. Not with Victor Oladipo on the court. Oladipo had 16 points and eight rebounds but played some great defense, according to USA Today.
The game was a lot of Oladipo and Wyatt. The two were playing great basketball against each other making it an exciting game. Especially when the score was tied with just under a minute and a half to play.
Oladipo said, “Credit to (Wyatt). He’s an amazing player. He’s going to be a great pro in the future. I was just trying to slow him down. Playing against people like that, you have a lot of people like that in the Big Ten, whether it be Trey Burke or Deshaun Thomas, who need the ball in order to score. I was just trying to limit his touches. He made a few tough shots. He’s just a tough player, man.”
The Hoosiers are moving on to the Sweet Sixteen to play against Syracuse.
Kansas Jayhawks (1) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (8)
The first half of the game it looked like the North Carolina Tar Heels were going to win but the second half belonged to the Kansas Jayhawks. The Jayhawks came out ready to play hard and won 70-58.
Travis Releford led his team to victory with 22 points and eight rebounds. Jeff Withey also helped out with 16 points and 16 rebounds, according to the Kansas City Star.
The Jayhawks were down by nine at the halftime. The second half did not remain that way. They came out determined and swung the momentum of the game in their favor. They opened up the second half with a big 29-8 run.
The first half the Jayhawks were only shooting 25% from the field but in the second half they started knocking down jumpers and three-pointers. Their defense also helped win the game by keeping the Tar Heels to 30.1% shooting for the game.
The Jayhawks will continue to the Sweet Sixteen against Michigan.
Minnesota Golden Gophers (11) vs. Florida Gators (3)
The Florida Gators took a big lead in the first half and held up the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the second half. The Gators ended up winning 78-64.
Mike Rosario, Erik Murphy and Scottie Wilbekin led the Gators to victory. Rosario scored 25 points and Murphy added 15. Wilbekin had 12 points and six assists, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Andre Hollins led the Gophers with 25 points.
The pressure Florida put on Minnesota in the first half really stopped the Gophers. They did not score for a second as long as six minutes and in the first half committed nine turnovers. In the first 20 minutes Florida outrebounded Minnesota 16-8.
In the second half the Gophers started to fight back but with about six minutes left Hollins committed his fourth foul and had to go back to the bench and the Gophers could not do it without him.
Florida will head to the Sweet Sixteen and play against Florida Gulf Coast, who is making history this year in the tournament.