Tahlequah Daily Press

College Sports

March 26, 2013

Best and worst of NCAA tournament's 1st weekend


— BEST GAME NEXT ROUND: Duke vs. Michigan State.

Does it get any better? Two tradition-drenched programs. Two of the game's most successful coaches in the Spartans' Tom Izzo and the Blue Devils' Mike Krzyzewski. No. 2 seed against a No. 3 seed. Can we play tonight?



The sixth-seeded Bruins delivered a stinker that belies the program's proud tournament history in a 20-point loss to No. 11 Minnesota in the South Region. Shabazz Muhammad and the short-handed Bruins went nearly five minutes without scoring a field goal to start the game and showed little fight or inspiration against the Golden Gophers, who were reeling with three straight losses entering the tournament. The listless performance was the final straw for UCLA brass, which fired coach Ben Howland.

— WORST ENCORE: VCU vs. Michigan.

The only havoc being brought in that game was from the Wolverines. Shaka Smart's Rams pounded Akron in the opener, winning by 46 points. Smart strutted out to the court for the game against Michigan like an amped-up prize fighter, then watched Trey Burke and the Wolverines knock his team out in the first few minutes. Michigan handled the Rams' vaunted pressure defense with ease, leading by 30 points in a 78-53 victory.

"Certainly in retrospect it wasn't a very good matchup," Smart said.

— WORST SOUVENIR: Harvard guard Siyani Chambers' tooth.

After a stirring upset of No. 3 seed New Mexico in Harvard's first game, Arizona brought the Crimson crashing back to reality, and Chambers scrambling for part of his front tooth. While going up for a rebound, Chambers inadvertently ran into Arizona guard Kevin Parrom's elbow, knocking part of his tooth out. Teammate Christian Webster picked the fragment up off the court and gave it back to Chambers.

"That showed how physical the game was," Laurent Rivard said. "It wasn't even close to the rim. Guys were scratching and clawing. But it was an accident."

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