NCAA March Madness: Elite Eight Day 1 Recap

#3 Oregon and #1 Gonzaga are advancing to the Final Four

#3 Oregon and #1 Gonzaga become the first teams to book their tickets to the Final Four after the first day of this year’s Elite Eight. The Fourth String team recaps all the action from tonight’s two games.

#1 Gonzaga defeats #11 Xavier 83-59

#11 Xavier should be proud of their run – they were able to knock off #3 FSU and #2 Arizona and had the best Cinderella run of the tournament. But their luck was bound to run out at some point, and it ran out very quickly #1 Gonzaga. Xavier never lead in this game, and never came close to stopping the Bulldogs’ offensive onslaught. The stat that tells it all: Gonzaga shot 50% from beyond the arc while Xavier shot a mere 12%. Junior Guard Nigel Williams-Goss lead Gonzaga with 23 points and 8 boards while Junior Forward Johnathan Williams scored 19 points with another 8 boards. #1 Gonzaga is now headed to their first Final Four in team history, and will play the winner of #4 Florida vs #7 South Carolina.

#3 Oregon defeats #1 Kansas 74-60

Another #1 seed goes down as the #1 Kansas Jayhawks had their championship hopes cut short by the #3 Oregon Ducks and red-hot Sophomore Guard Tyler Dorsey (27pts). The Jayhawks simply couldn’t match the offensive production we have seen from them throughout the regular season and tournament play: shooting only 35% from the field and a meager 20% from beyond the arc. For those counting at home, that’s 20% worse than their regular season 3 point average. Aside from Senior Guard Frank Mason III, who scored 21 points, no other Jayhawk was hot tonight and the team was simply unable to keep up with the Ducks.

Jayhawks shot chart
This shot chart says it all: The Jayhawks were unable to score outside the paint tonight (ESPN)

The #3 Oregon Ducks should feel great about their tournament success so far this year. After Senior Forward Chris Boucher (11.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg) tore his ACL in the PAC-12 tournament, the Ducks have managed to make the Final Four for the firs time since 1939 by ending #7 Michigan’s undefeated streak in tournament play and upending championship contender #1 Kansas. The Ducks will now play the winner of #1 UNC vs #2 Kentucky.

-Joseph Politano

The Fourth String team


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