Archive for March 21st, 2016

March Madness Roundup: ‘Nova Cruises, Temple & Joe’s Fall in Heartbreakers

March 21st, 2016 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on March Madness Roundup: ‘Nova Cruises, Temple & Joe’s Fall in Heartbreakers | Filed in Basketball, College Sports, General
Source: WPVI-Philadelphia

Source: WPVI-Philadelphia

For only the third time since the 2000 NCAA Tournament, the city of Philadelphia was being represented by three teams in the tournament nicknamed “March Madness.” For a short time, Philadelphia had suddenly become a hotbed for college basketball talk. Villanova, coming off of a strong 29-win season, earned a two-seed in the South region, while Temple was handed the tenth-seed in that same region. Luckily for Jay Wright’s and Fran Dunphy’s squads, they only had to make the short trip to Brooklyn for their games. Unfortunately, Phil Martelli’s Hawks got the unlucky draw of a cross-country trip to Spokane, Washington, where the eighth-seeded Hawks would do battle with the ninth-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats.

With all three games being played on Friday, the city was on pins and needles all day. The Wildcats got things off to a great start, steamrolling UNC Asheville by a whopping 30 points. Daniel Ochefu led the ‘Cats with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while ‘Nova shot 57.9% from the field as a team. Arguably, Villanova’s strongest skill is their three-point shooting, of which they shot just over 46% against the Bulldogs. Things were iffy early on, as Asheville hung around until about the 4:45 mark of the first half, when the Wildcats began what would amount to an 18-7 run, that would leave ‘Nova in the lead by 14 at the half. From there, the second-seeded Villanova was on cruise control, with the terrifying question beginning to re-appear; can they advance past the first weekend?

Following the Wildcats, were the Temple Owls. The 10th-seeded Owls were set to take on the 7th-seeded Iowa Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes opened up the game, sinking six-of-nine three-point attempts. After jumping out to a 28-18 lead, both Iowa and Temple traded shots for the rest of the game. With five minutes left in the game, the Owls trailed 61-53. Amazingly, only twelve points were scored over the remaining five minutes, including three clutch free-throws by Temple’s Quenton DeCosey that tied the game at 63 with two seconds left. The level of play would carry over to the extra period, as both teams left it all out on the court. Unfortunately for the Owls, they were bested by Iowa big man Adam Woodbury, who put back the second-chance layup to give the Hawkeyes the stunning buzzer-beater. Philly was now down to a pair of teams in the “Big Dance.”

To watch the heartbreaking end, click on the link below.

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