St. Louis' upset of Memphis headlines NCAA Tournament action at Nationwide Arena
Published: Friday, March 16, 2012
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 00:06
Day one of the NCAA Tournament in Columbus Friday did not disappoint.
Midwest No.11-seed North Carolina State, Midwest No. 3-seed Georgetown, West No.9-seed Saint Louis and West No.1-seed Michigan State all won, advancing to the third round.
Georgetown and N.C. State is scheduled to meet in the first game at Nationwide Arena at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, with MSU and SLU 30 minutes following, with berths to the Sweet 16 on the line.
Midwest Region's No. 11-seed North Carolina State upsets No. 6 Seed San Diego State, 79-65
Playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006, the No. 11-seeded North Carolina State Wolfpack (23-12) upended No. 6-seed San Diego State (26-8), taking advantage of its superior play in the paint on the way to a 79-65 victory.
N.C. State got a team-high 22 points from junior forward Richard Howell, and sophomore guard Lorenzo Brown added 17 while grabbing nine rebounds.
“I thought today inside around the basket we were able to get a lot done,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. “And I thought Richard (Powell) in the first half was just sensational. And it wasn’t just him. But Richard really set the tone for us offensively.”
It was a two-man show for SDSU, as sophomore guard Jamaal Franklin (23) and junior guard Chase Tapley (19), combined for 42 of the Aztecs’ 65 points.
SDSU coach Steve Fisher attributed the loss to N.C. State’s size.
“It’s one thing to be big. It’s another thing to be big and good. And they’re big and good. And we had a hard time with their size,” he said.
N.C. State outscored the Aztecs’ 38-18 in the paint.
During the first half, neither team was able to pull away, with the lead changing six times and N.C. State on top, 33-29, after twenty minutes.
The beginning of the second half was more of the same, but towards the midway point, SDSU started to miss shots, and NCST didn’t.
The Wolfpack shot 65 percent from the field in the final twenty minutes, with the Aztecs only managing to hit 37 percent of their second-half shots.
Midwest Region's No. 3-seed Georgetown defeats No. 14-seed Belmont, 74-59
Georgetown and senior guard Jason Clark weren’t going to be denied this time.
After being one-and-done in their previous two NCAA Tournament trips, the No.3-seeded Hoyas, propelled by Clark, played with insistence Friday, cruising past No.14-seed Belmont, 74-59, in the second round.
Clark led the way for Georgetown (24-8), pouring in a game-high 21 points, while Hoyas’ freshman forward Otto Porter scored 16 and senior center Henry Sims added 15.
Sophomore forward Blake Jenkins dropped a team-high 17 points for Belmont (27-8).
“I think it was definitely a sense of urgency, not just for me but the whole team,” Clark said. “We know what we’ve done in the past. So it was a big thing for us to get this win today.”
The urgency showed early, as Clark scored 10 of Georgetown’s first 14 points. Along with Clark’s play, the Hoyas’ used a major size advantage inside to take a 36-27 lead into half time.
The lead remained around the 10-point mark for the majority of the second half.
Belmont coach Rick Byrd said his team was not able to make any runs against the Hoyas’ zone defense.
“I just didn’t predict that we’d face zone or that we’d do as poorly as we did,” he said. “But (Georgetown’s zone is) a great one. They’re well taught, and they’ve got great athletes.”
Georgetown’s efficiency on the offensive end allowed it to stave off any Belmont runs as well. The Hoyas shot 61 percent from the field, including nearly 70 percent in the final 20 minutes.
West Region's No. 9-seed Saint Louis beats No.8-seed Memphis, 61-54
In the most competitive game of the day, No.9-seed Saint Louis (26-7) held all but one No. 8-seed Memphis (26-9) player to single-digit points in a 61-54 victory.
Billikens junior guard Kwamain Mitchell led all scorers with 22, and SLU senior forward Brian Conklin played tough inside against bigger Memphis defenders, adding 16 points.