So much for a “boring” second round on Saturday. All the excitement generated that night bubbled over into Sunday, with an unbelievable day of Cinderellas, buzzer-beaters and everything else under the NCAA tournament sun. Here’s what went down:
Best upset: For the first time in history, a No. 15 seed is headed to the Sweet 16. Florida Gulf Coast dunked its way into the second weekend, destroying San Diego State and further solidifying its place as this year’s most exciting team. Given the way the Eagles stomped Georgetown, maybe this wasn’t a massive upset. But history says otherwise. And to history, Florida Gulf Coast does the chicken dance.
Best finish(es): Khalif Wyatt dominated for 35 minutes against top-seeded Indiana, but Victor Oladipo, who earlier Sunday was named among the four Naismith Award finalists, stepped into this three-pointer with seven seconds left on the shot clock to clinch the Hoosiers’s Sweet 16 berth.
Hours later, Tyrone Garland found himself knifing through the lane, splitting two defenders and banking home an acrobatic shot that gave La Salle a two-point win over Ole Miss.
Most hubris: Ohio State’s Aaron Craft takes the cake for this one. The pesky guard had played himself into a hole in the waning minutes against Iowa State, committing turnovers and missing free throws. But he redeemed himself with 0.5 seconds left, shaking off a screen and instead, as a 30.1 percent three-point shooter, lofted this ballsy attempt from the right wing.
Best dunk: With all due respect to the appropriately named Florida Dunk Coast, Kansas center Jeff Withey took off from the middle of the paint here.
Best performance: It’s got to be Withey again. His line — 16 points, 16 rebounds, five blocks — was tremendous.
Best group celebration: Back to the Eagles.
Best individual celebration: Jim Larranaga’s coming home to D.C.
Worst blowout: Except for a second-half rally, finally showing some brief signs of life, Minnesota never really challenged against No. 3 Florida. Might Tubby Smith’s job be in jeopardy? He doesn’t know.
Smith on whether he has an indications that his job is in trouble: “No.” #Gophers
— Amelia Rayno (@AmeliaRayno) March 25, 2013
Best fan who’s NOT crying: Let’s clear this up right now. This dismayed North Carolina fan wasn’t crying. He was responding to another vicious Withey block. It’s one of those “That was so amazing I’m disgusted” faces.
Most ouch: Chris Babb suffered a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ankle sprain against Indiana, making Iowa State’s second-half effort all the more impressive in his stead.
Least pass/shot: Not sure what was happening here, although Korie Lucious knew immediately.
Best photobomb: Julian Gamble is a master. Seriously. He did this throughout the ACC tournament in Greensboro too.
Best “seriously?” stat: Florida will play No. 15 seeds in consecutive years without being a No. 2 seed, per Jay Bilas.
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