'Cuse Control And 2 Other Things To Say About Basketball Today
Friday morning's cheat sheet about the NCAA's Division I men's basketball tournament (or March Madness, as it's better known):
-- Hoosiers Zoned Out: It's probably never right to say that a Syracuse win is a huge surprise, given the many years of success enjoyed by coach Jim Boeheim's Orange. But the 'Cuse are a No. 4 seed in the tournament's East region. So Thursday night's 61-50 win over No. 1 seed Indiana is worth noting.
Sports Illustrated even goes so far as to call it a "seismic upset."
How did Syracuse pull it off? According to SI, the win came:
"Thanks to the voodoo of its 2-3 zone defense. While the talent mismatch wasn't as steep, Syracuse stunned one of the country's best teams by not just beating Indiana, but completely overwhelming them."
Translation: Syracuse's defense was just too tough on the Hoosiers. Or, as we say in the headline, the 'Cuse were able to control Indiana.
-- Miami Melted: The Hurricanes were hobbled by the absence of big man Reggie Johnson, who is recovering from knee surgery. Without him, Miami was never really in Thursday night's game against Marquette. The Golden Eagles surged to a 71-61 win. As ESPN says, "Marquette owned Miami from the opening tip" and never let up.
-- Will FGCU's Magic Run Continue? Do Morning Edition Fans Want That To Happen?
We covered the tournament's most memorable team earlier in the week: "Florida Gulf Coast University: This Year's Cinderella Story In 10 Shots."
Around 10 p.m. ET Friday, the Eagles tip off against heavily favored Florida (TBS is the broadcaster). On Morning Edition, NPR's David Greene told the tale of a Florida DJ who promised to get a tattoo showing his love for FGCU if the team beat Georgetown last week. The Eagles won and the DJ, "Big Mama," made good on his pledge.
So, David told Morning Edition listeners on Friday: "If Florida Gulf Coast wins again tonight, I'll sing their fight song on air Monday. Steve Inskeep will be back. I'll talk him into a duet."
Now we're not sure how we feel about Friday night's game.
But back to the news. After Thursday night's four games, the teams that have advanced to the Elite Eight round so far are: Syracuse, Marquette, Wichita State and Ohio State.
Along with the Florida-FGCU contest, the other games Friday night have Kansas facing Michigan, Louisville playing Oregon, and Duke going up against Michigan State. CBS Sports, which has the brackets posted here, is the other broadcaster.
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.