There won’t be two teams from Florida in the Elite Eight this year.
Miami, who had hoped to join the winner of tonight’s matchup between Florida and Florida Gulf Coast, fell to Marquette in the East Regional semifinal in Washington D.C. on Thursday night, 71-61.
Marquette jumped out to a 12-4 lead and never trailed. Miami did not reach double digits until the 8:49 mark of the first half and trailed 29-16 at halftime. The Golden Eagles didn’t let up in the second half and led by as many as 18 points. Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga said his team didn’t have the answers.
The Hurricanes were without their starting center and leading rebounder, Reggie Johnson. Point guard Shane Larkin said the team was hurting without its center.
Marquette was led by guard Jamil Wilson, who went 3-of-4 from beyond the arc en route to a 16 point performance. The Golden Eagles also got 14 points apiece from guard Vander Blue and forward Davante Gardner. Blue said his team was fueled by doubters picking the Hurricanes.
In the East’s late game, Indiana became the second top seed in the tournament to fall as it lost to Syracuse, 61-50. Hoosiers coach Tom Crean said his team’s poor performance was not due to a lack of effort.
The Orange got a career high 24 points from freshman point guard Michael Carter Williams. The Hoosiers lineup went cold; their four starters aside from Victor Oladipo went a combined 7-of-30 from the field.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said he was impressed with what their Elite Eight opponent, Marquette, did to Miami.
The other two seed that was in action last night, Ohio State, avoided an upset as it got a go-ahead three-pointer from LaQuinton Ross with two seconds left to win 73-70 to advance to the West Regional final in Los Angeles. Ross said hitting the shot was a dream come true.
Ohio State trailed from 33 seconds into the game until the 17:40 mark in the second half. The Buckeyes’ comeback was fueled by 17 points from Deshaun Thomas and 17 from Ross. Coach Thad Matta said his team was able to play its game in the second half.
One Cinderella’s run came to an end in the other game out west while another’s continued as ninth seeded Wichita State defeated 13th seeded LaSalle, 72-58. The game was over before it had a chance to begin as the Shockers jumped out to a 14-2 lead in the game’s first five minutes. Explorers head coach Dr. John Giannini said the first half cost his team the game.
Explorers leading scorer Ramon Galloway was held to just 8 points on 4-of-15 shooting while the Shockers got a game high 18 points from guard Malcolm Armstead.
Witchita State head coach Gregg Marshall said he’s looking forward to taking on Ohio State for a spot in the Final Four.