The College Basketball Notebook

March 21, 2010 9:00 PM

The Big Ten's Big Day

The second round wrapped it up today with three Big Ten advances to the Sweet 16, and the ranks of the midmajors still playing swelling to five. Let’s go around the bracket…

*West Virginia 68 Missouri 59—De’Sean Butler returns to looking like the player who lit up New York City last weekend, as he gave Bob Huggins 28 points and 8 rebounds and pushing the Mountaineers, who enjoyed a 25-12 scoring advantage from the stripe, forward to a game with Washington.

*Cornell 87 Wisconsin 69—As a UW fan, this one hurts. The Big Red shot 61 percent from the floor and both Louis Dale (26) and Randy Wittman (24) broke the 20-point barrier. Wittman was one of the top players of the opening two-game stanzas across the country. For Wisconsin, it’s their third straight year being ousted by a non-power conference school. Cornell now gets ready for Kentucky.

*Duke 68 Cal 53—Brian Zoubek hauled down 13 rebounds, showing why the husky big guy is just the kind of role player recent Duke teams have lacked. Impressive defensive showing by Coach K’s crew, as they become the only ACC team to push through this weekend.

*Purdue 63 Texas A&M 61 (OT)—two tough well-coached teams play a game worthy of the stakes and of their own character. The Boilermakers were outrebounded, but shot the ball well enough to win. Chris Kramer kicked in 17 rebounds and 7 rebounds, while A&M’s Bryan Davis, with a 17/15 line was noble in defeat. Purdue and Duke will face each other next.

*Ohio State 75 Georgia Tech 60—A turnover-filled game on both sides, Ohio State got 24 points and 9 rebounds from Evan Turner, with Jon Diebler and David Lighty playing key support roles. While Tech won the rebounding battle, their control of the frontcourt wasn’t as good as it needed to be, given OSU’s backcourt superiority and the takeover ability provided by Turner. The Buckeyes face Tennessee next.

*Michigan State 85 Maryland 83—A wild finish. Maryland rallies from a double-digit deficit, takes the lead with six seconds left and then sees Korie Lucious bury a trey at the buzzer. I’m going to guess you’ve seen the highlight of the latter sequence. If you didn’t see the game, you might not know that Michigan State star Kalin Lucas left the game with a bad calf and that’s when the lead disappeared. The Spartans are now the beneficiary of Kansas’ surprising exit, getting Northern Iowa instead.

*Syracuse 87 Gonzaga 65—The Orange buried 12 treys, and got a dominant 31-point, 14-rebound outing from power forward Wesley Johnson. In the backcourt it was Andy Rautins, rebuked here for his turnovers on Friday, who poured in 24. The ‘Cuse now awaits Butler.

*Xavier 71 Pitt 68—The Musketeers finish what they couldn’t quite close out in this matchup last year. The Panther frontcourt was impotent, while Jordan Crawford was outstanding, his second straight big game for Xavier, as he banged home 27 and set up a game with Kansas State.

We’re down to the Sweet 16. Starting tomorrow we’ll take the next four days and do an overview of each four-team regional leading up to Thursday night when play resumes again. See you here Monday afternoon.

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