OK, raise your hand if you've kind of looked at the Gonzaga Bulldogs, more or less, as a one- (Adam Morrison) or, at best, a two-man (the combination of Morrison and senior center J.P. Batista) team this season . . .
Yeah, that's understandable.
But the Bulldogs of Coach Mark
Few demonstrated that quite the contrary is the case during their 90-80
second-round NCAA Tournament victory over
On a day when Morrison was limited to 14 points (on five of 16 shooting from the field), Gonzaga was still able to pull away down the stretch against a team many thought was more than capable of keeping the Bulldogs out of the Sweet 16 for the fifth year in a row.
And that's because five of his teammates, including Batista (with 20 points), also scored in double figures.
UCLA, which eked out a 62-59
At the risk of delving into the repetitive, All-Americas Shelden Williams and J.J. Redick were outstanding for the Blue Devils, who easily handled the Colonials' pressure defense and, for the most part, their transition offense.
But the biggest reason for Duke fans – and coaches – to rejoice was the play of 6-10 freshman Josh McRoberts (14 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and a steal).
If he continues to play that way throughout the rest of the tournament, and Williams and Redick stay healthy, the Blue Devils will be very, very (as in extremely) difficult for anyone to beat – Connecticut included.
The Gators, two days after smoking
If another sophomore, point guard
Taurean Green, continues to make
sound decisions with the basketball, Coach Billy Donovan's team will be a load to
beat, no matter who they face Friday
The other team that earned a trip
They combined for 42 points, 23 rebounds and seven assists.
There were will be at least one
"Cinderella-type" story in the Sweet 16 and that is thanks to
P.J. Cousinard. Be prepared to read and hear a lot about the 6-4 guard leading into the Shockers' Friday night game against North Carolina or George Mason, because there's so way they would be Washington, D.C.-bound without the sophomore from Houston.
He scored 20 points to go with nine rebounds and five assists and was the most complete on the floor.
And be prepared to read and hear a
lot about how
LSU wobbled every time it built what appeared was a workable lead against Texas A&M and fell behind, 57-55, after an Acie Law jump shot in the final minute.
But Darrel Mitchel was anything but shaky
while knocking in a 3-pointer to rescue the Tigers in
Don't lose sight of this, though: The Aggies will now be a threat to win a Big 12 Conference championship, and make deep NCAA Tournament runs, as long as Bill Gillispie is their coach. The guy has a clue as to how it's supposed to be done.
And how about
The Huskies built a 14-point lead in the first half then fell behind by as many as 11 points in the second half before defeating Illinois, 67-64, in the other game played in San Diego.
Coach Lorenzo Romar's team, which wasn't given much national respect (well, other than by Scout.com, which had the Huskies 23rd in its preseason Top 25) after losing three starters from a Sweet 16 squad of a year ago, are led by the most complete guard in college basketball in Brandon Roy, who had 21 points and seven rebounds Saturday.
It could be a Huskies vs. Huskies
Regardless of the opponent, though,
one thing should be considered a given by anyone who has had the opportunity to
watch him this season:
Inducted into the USBWA Hall of
Fame last April, Frank Burlison is Scout.com's national basketball expert and is
also a column for the