The “darlings” of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament are “now no more,” as CBS Sports reports. Florida Gulf Coast lost to University of Florida, 50-62.
FGCU, a 15th-seeded team, raised hopes early on, toppling top teams and gaining attention for the little-known school. Mark gave a rundown of 10 things to know about these “bracket busting hoopsters” on Monday.
But (alas?), David Greene won’t be singing on Morning Edition. CBS Sports blogger Matt Norlander has this consolation for Florida Gulf Coast fans: “While we shed a tear and remember the good times with Dunk City, let’s not forget: Florida’s, like, totally really good, everybody.”
Florida and Friday’s other winners join Thursday’s four best teams in the Elite 8 this weekend (the lineup is at the bottom of the post).
Michigan Vs. Kansas
Michigan’s Trey Burke was not so bad himself Friday night. In overtime, Michigan beat No. 1 Kansas 87-85. As NBC Sports recounts, Burke racked up the points right at the end. With 12.6 seconds left in the game, “Burke hit a three from about 30 feet to tie the game. When a three from [Kansas’] Naadir Tharpe bounced harmlessly off the front of the rim, the game was headed to overtime.”
Burke started overtime with more shots that helped push Michigan over the top. NBC adds: “And it’s the reason Burke was our National Player of the Year.” NBC cites an ESPN tweet about the player’s record:
Duke Vs. Michigan State
The other Michigan team didn’t do so well. Duke took down Michigan State 71-61 Friday. The Blue Devils head to the finals, and the team’s coach is “on the verge of another major milestone,” The Associated Press reports.
If Duke beats Louisville Sunday, the AP says, Mike Krzyzewski would match a record held by the late UCLA coach John Wooden: “12 Final Four trips.”
Louisville Vs. Oregon
As for Louisville, the Cardinals pushed out the Ducks 77-69, despite some sniffling.
“The Cardinals’ locker room after the game was in a subdued celebratory mood — filled with sedentary players, muffled coughs and runny noses,” The New York Times says.
Coach Rick Pitino told USA Today one of the team’s best players, Russ Smith, “has infected our team with a ridiculous cold.”
The team has been a powerhouse in the tournament so far, and one of its tactics is aggressively tracking an unofficial stat known as deflections, as NPR’s Mike Pesca reported Thursday.
The Elite 8 matchups for the weekend:
No. 4 Syracuse vs. No. 3 Marquette (Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET)
No. 9 Wichita State vs. No. 2 Ohio State (Saturday at 7:05 p.m. ET)
NO. 4 Michigan vs. No. 3 Florida (Sunday)
No. 2 Duke vs. No. 1 Louisville (Sunday)