(12) Richmond vs. (13) Morehead State
Senior NBA & College Basketball Editor
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(12) Richmond Spiders
It wouldn’t be the NCAA Tournament if there wasn’t a 12th seed that pulled off the upset against a 5th seed and the Richmond Spiders kept the streak intact by eliminating the Vanderbilt Commodores 69-66. The Commodores definitely had the advantage in star power with Jeffery Taylor, John Jenkins and Festus Ezeli, but the eight-deep Spiders proved that there is strength in numbers. They got a star effort from senior guard Kevin Anderson, who scored a game-high 26 points – 16 of which came in the second half including the eventual game-winner with 18.7 seconds left. Slowing down Taylor, who had four points on 1-10 shooting, was a big key for the Spiders. The Spiders’ 12-24 shooting from beyond the arc helped make up for getting outrebounded by 12. They have to rebound better as a team if they’re going to get by the Morehead State Eagles.
(13) Morehead State Eagles
The Morehead State Eagles pulled off the biggest upset of the 2011 NCAA Tournament by getting past the Louisville Cardinals 62-61 behind the three-point shot of senior guard Demonte Harper. Prior to that bucket Harper was 3-9 from the field and 0-5 from deep. The Eagles’ top scorer Kenneth Faried had an off night as well, only making four of his 17 attempts. However, he was stellar on the glass with 17 rebounds. It was actually junior guard Terrance Hill who carried the scoring load, going off for a career-high 23 including six threes. The Cardinals had a good look late to try and avoid the upset, but saw no foul called on a final attempt that did involve some contact. What hurt them more than anything was the absence of their leading scorer Preston Knowles down the stretch as he couldn’t return from an injury. With a spot in the Sweet 16 a win away the Eagles need to dominate on the glass once again and get Harper and Faried back on track offensively.
HOOPSWORLD’s Pick: Morehead State. The Eagles match up very well against the Spiders and will likely end up being the lowest seed amongst the last 16.
HOOPSWORLD’s 2011 previews were written by senior NCAA analysts Yannis Koutroupis and Luke Byrnes. 2011 March Madness coverage is sponsored by the United States Marines. To return to our preview headquarters, CLICK HERE.