Friday, March 27, 2009

memphis newspaper

The first two games of the NCAA tournament’s Sweet Sixteen continued this month’s trend by playing out according to chalk Thursday night: Connecticut, the No. 1 seed in the West region defeated No. 5 Purdue 72-60, and top-seeded Pitt needed a big comeback but put away No. 4 Xavier 60-55 in the East region.The Wildcats, who won their only championship by stunning Georgetown in 1985, never trailed after rallying from an early 5-0 deficit. “From the very start, Villanova played to win, not to avoid a loss,” Bob Ford writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer. “From the very start, the Wildcats gave No. 2-seeded Duke far more than it wanted. If the game was a test of will, only one team passed. And at the very end, Villanova got what it earned. One more game. Whatever this postseason will become, however far it will go, it isn’t over yet.”

In the other late game, Missouri ended Memphis’s 27-game winning streak to move within a win of its first trip to the Final Four. Mizzou built a 24-point lead before the Conference USA champs made a game of it. Still, it was a disappointing ending for Memphis, which lost the national-championship game to Kansas last year. How did Missouri beat Memphis? “With speed and defense and just a bit of pure good luck,” Geoff Calkins writes in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “This is how the game of basketball goes, of course. The Tigers know better than most. How many times has Memphis stunned some poor team over the last three years? How many times has a Memphis player hit a preposterous shot? Against Maryland last week, it was Tyreke Evans banking in a three. And you just knew the Tigers couldn’t lose that one. ‘Sometimes the shots go your way,’ said Memphis guard Antonio Anderson. And sometimes, alas, they don’t.”

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