THE WIND-UP

March Madness: Elite Eight

Alex Jewell, Staff Writer

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The Elite 8 was by all accounts spectacular. As upsets, buzzer beaters and shoot outs were the stories in this year’s Elite Eight. Virginia (1 seed) punched their ticket into the Final Four, with a thrilling 80-75 overtime Victory over Purdue (3 seed). This was a back and forth game with each team exchanging 3’s. Purdue superstar, Carson Edwards, had another jaw-dropping 42 points in this game; but the Cavaliers proved to be too much as Mamadi Diakite, Virginia’s forward, put up a buzzer-beating shot to tie the game and send it into overtime, where they took care of Purdue. Texas Tech and Auburn both punched their tickets into their first final four.

 

Texas Tech (3 seed)  upset Gonzaga (1 seed) with a score of 75-69 with Jarrett Culver leading in scoring for Texas Tech with 19 points 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Texas Tech played superior defense holding Gonzaga to a below average score.  Auburn ( 5 seed) pulled off the upset over Kentucky (2 seed) in overtime with a score of 77-71. Auburn was short-handed with their star, Chuma Okeke, out with a torn ACL. Auburn struggled from beyond the arc early in the first half but found a rhythm to take a lead in the second half as well as overtime.

 

Michigan State (2 seed) shocked Duke (1 seed) in a 68-67 victory over the Blue Devils. This game was a classic to watch as no team got a lead beyond 10 for the entire game. It was a series of runs by both teams, as Duke went on a 12-0 run in the first half and Michigan State responded by going on a 13-0 run to put the Spartans up at half 34-30. Michigan State, star point guard, Cassius Winston had another spectacular game recording a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Michigan State forward, Kenny Goins, a former walk-on and fifth-year senior hit the shot of his life from beyond the arc with 30 seconds to go putting the Spartans up by one.  The freshman stars Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett again had impressive numbers and played great games but were not able to contain Winston as he ran out the clock. In the Final Four, it will be Virginia vs. Auburn and Texas Tech vs. Michigan State.

 

Overall the Elite 8 was fantastic. We finally had a buzzer beater after 3 rounds of waiting. All of the games came down to the wire and brackets all across the country were busted. I think the Final Four will be even more spectacular with no blowouts and games coming down to the last possession. I can’t wait to see what the Final Four has in store for us.

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March Madness: Elite Eight