clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UNC Advances, State Out

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Quite an evening in the tournament, particularly locally.

Ohio really underscored just how much Kendall Marshall means to UNC as they forced 24 turnovers and took the Heels to overtime before a series of poor decisions doomed them.

Tyler Zeller was excellent offensively with 20 points and 22 boards, though as the TV guys kept saying, if anyone could have found him he would have had 30.

On the other hand, he had six turnovers himself, so he's as guilty as anyone in that regard.

The starting frontcourt had 14 of the turnovers and James Michael McAdoo had three more.

Marshall's replacement, Stillman White, surprisingly, had none and did rack up six assists and none of the turnovers were his.

They will get Kansas in the finals, and although KU had their own issues against State, almost blowing the game late, they are a very real team.

State underscored their season-long problems with foul trouble, depth issues and an inability to score inside against powerful defenders.

Jeff Withey, a good but hardly great big man, blocked 10 shots; State's Richard Howell had 16 boards but was just 2-12 from the floor.

Scott Wood was limited to 2-10 and Lorenzo Brown just 3-12.

Yet despite those three starters shooting just a combined 7-34 (20.5%), State hung in there. They played with heart and passion and, true to the best tradition of the Wolfpack, took the game to the very last seconds before yielding.

State fans should be really proud of this team. It could have given up, as past teams have, at various points during the season and for that matter this game. That they didn't speaks very highly of them and of what Mark Gottfried has accomplished in a relatively short period of time.

With several solid players coming in, things are really looking up for the Pack. We're very excited for their future and hope things keep going well.

We do wish they'd keep Jim Harrick at arms length though.

Kentucky rolled, pretty much as expected, though.

This game, when you couple it with the Ohio game and look back to the Kentucky-UNC game from early this season, really underscores the differences between what Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Harrison Barnes bring to the table.

It's no coincidence that Barnes heated up last year after Marshall took over at point guard; the guy is a savant at getting the ball to people where they want it.

Kidd-Gilchrist doesn't need someone to help in that sense, and that's no knock on anyone in UK's backcourt. The guy had 24 points and 10 rebounds and was 10-10 from the line, which indicates an aggressiveness which Barnes all too often lacks.

And while Barnes scored five in the overtime, including two free throws after drawing a foul on an Ohio defender, he also basically choked on two late shots in regulation and was just 3-16 (19%, rounded).

Kidd-Gilchrist? Against a markedly superior opponent to Ohio, he was 7-15 (46.6%).

By the way, Hoosier Cody Zeller, Tyler's younger brother, hit for 20 as well and had seven boards.

Baylor, in uniforms which will become a legendary eyesore, are next up for Kentucky after beating Xavier 75-70.

They ran out early and basically held on, but a win is a win, and they are the only team left in the field which can hope to compete athletically with Kentucky.

There are other ways to win of course, but these two teams are hugely athletic. Sunday should be fun.

Perry Jones, Quincy Acy and Quincy Miller, if they play to their potential, can more or less match Kentucky's frontcourt, but none of them have the warrior mentality of Kidd-Gilchrist.

We're not sure anyone left in the field does, though.

Two interesting games on Saturday as Florida and Louisville tangle and Ohio State tries to take the measure of a stubborn Syracuse squad.

No secrets between Florida and Louisville: Rick Pitino is Billy Donovan's mentor and the two are close enough for Donovan to hire Pitino's son for the duration of the extortion scandal which rocked Louisville.

He's back on his dad's staff but it's not like he knows any secrets his dad doesn't.

That should be a fun and interesting game to watch.

We'll be curious to see how Ohio State deals with Syracuse's zone as well. Jim Boeheim's team is proving just stubborn enough to hang around. That's a valuable trait in late March.

The Duke Basketball  Blue Book
DBR Auctions!
New T-Shirts!
DBR Is On Twitter!(DBRTweetz)