Big East Recap

The NCAA Tournament went from 64 teams on Thursday to the Sweet 16 by Sunday. There were very few upsets as the top seeds dominated the action in advancing past the second round. The Big East Conference had six representatives in the Big Dance. Here's how they fared over the weekend.

***Georgetown: The Hoyas had no problem taking out No. 15 seed Belmont in the first round 80-55. The Bruins actually led 11-4 before Georgetown shook off the slow start and exploded. Jessie Sapp scored a career-high 20 points in the victory while big man Roy Hibbert added 10 points and 13 rebounds.

The situation was a little tougher in the second round. Boston College gave the Hoyas everything they could have asked for and more. The Eagles led 39-31 in the second half before Georgetown came storming back. Hibbert scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, including several key baskets down the stretch to get the Hoyas into the Sweet 16. The junior center also added 12 rebounds for his second straight double-double of the tournament. Next up for Georgetown in the East Regional is a match-up with Vanderbilt on Friday at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ. The sixth-seeded Commodores beat third-seed Washington State in double overtime to advance to the round of 16.

***Pittsburgh: The Panthers would not let No. 14 seed Wright State pull the upset in the first round. Pittsburgh was never seriously challenged in beating the Raiders 79-58. The Panthers shot 54 percent for the game, including 10-of-21 from three-point range. Five Pittsburgh players scored in double figures, led by Ronald Ramon's 14 points. Aaron Gray added 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots.

In the second round, the Panthers were on their way to a double-digit win over eleven-seed Virginia Commonwealth. They held a 51-32 lead with 12 minutes remaining. But VCU, like they did in their first-round upset over Duke, staged a furious comeback. B.A. Walker's three-pointer tied the contest up at 67-all and VCU took a 69-67 advantage on a Jesse Pellot-Rosa bucket. But Sam Young sent the contest into overtime for Pittsburgh with a driving lay-up. In overtime, Ramon scored five points and Levance Field, who missed two potential game-winning free throws with 2.1 seconds left in regulation, sealed the game with a late three-pointer to help the Panthers took a 84-79 victory over VCU. Pittsburgh will face UCLA on Thursday night in the West Regional semifinal in San Jose, California.

***Louisville: The Cardinals had one of the most impressive wins in the first round. They pounded Stanford 78-58 behind an aggressive press and 49 percent shooting from the field. Edgar Sosa and David Padgett both scored 16 points in the victory.

It set the stage for a highly dramatic second round contest against third-seed Texas A&M. Louisville couldn't quite pull off the upset as the Aggies advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 72-69 win. Playing at Rupp Arena 80 miles away from their home campus, the Cardinals led 65-60 on a dunk by Terrence Williams with 5:21 remaining. But unfortunately for Louisville, Acie Law IV of Texas A&M proved again that he's one of the best clutch players in America. Law scored six points down the stretch, including two free throws with less than a minute remaining to give the Aggies a 70-69 lead. Sosa, who scored a career-high 31 points, missed two from the charity stripe with 29 seconds to go and later a potential game-winning three pointer. Louisville ends the year at 24-10.

***Notre Dame: The Irish heard all week how Winthrop might be this year's George Mason. The Eagles vindicated the high praise with a 74-64 win over Notre Dame in the West Region. The Irish battled back from a 54-34 second half deficit and took a 63-62 lead on a basket from freshman Luke Harangody. But Winthrop's Craig Bradshaw quickly made it 64-63 on a lay-up and Chris Gaynor's three-pointer with 1:25 remaining made it a two possession contest. Notre Dame shot 4-of-22 from three-point range and 4-of-13 from the free throw line. The Irish end the season at 24-8.

***Marquette: The Golden Eagles were behind the eight-ball at the start of their game against No. 9 seed Michigan State. Jerel McNeal, Marquette's second-leading scorer, did not play because of an injury. His absence showed as the Spartans downed the Golden Eagles 61-49. Marquette shot 31 percent from the field and didn't score for almost the first 10 minutes of the contest. Dominic James scored 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting to lead the Golden Eagles. Marquette ends the year at 24-10.

***Villanova: The Wildcats could not overcome 32 percent shooting in losing to Kentucky 67-58 in a West Region first-round contest. It was Kentucky's 16th straight year with a win in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Villanova battled back from a ten-point second half deficit to make it interesting down the stretch but could not hit the big shot down the stretch. Freshman Scottie Reynolds scored 23 points while senior Curtis Sumpter added 19 points in his final college game. Villanova ends the season at 22-11. Top Stories