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March Madness Studs and Duds: Elite Eight (2)
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On March 31, 2013 @ 10:24 pm In Main Page,NCAA | No Comments
The Final Four match-ups are set. Michigan will face Syracuse and Louisville will face Wichita State. The winners will compete for the national championship. Here were the studs and duds of Sunday’s action:
Trey Burke, Michigan – After saving Michigan’s season on Friday night, Burke came up big once again against the Florida Gators. Burke’s near triple-double on Sunday afternoon lifted the Wolverines into the Final Four for the first time since the Fab 5 era. Burke finished the game with 15 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals. He was making plays all over the court and led Michigan to victory.
Nik Stauskas, Michigan – While tournament star Mitch McGary had another solid game (11 points, nine rebounds, five steals and two blocks), it was Stauskas who emerged as Michigan’s best offensive player against the Gators. The freshman guard had 22 points and he was incredible efficient, shooting 7-8 from the field and knocking down all six of his three-point attempts. You never know which player is going to step up for Michigan and have a huge game. They have a ton of weapons in their arsenal, which is why they’re so scary.
Russ Smith, Louisville – Smith has been one of the tournament’s best players. Every time he has taken the court, he has landed on the studs list several hours later. He had the highest point total of any player today, finishing with 23 points in Louisville’s win over the Duke Blue Devils. Smith also had two steals for the Cardinals. The junior guard has been incredible through four games, averaging 26 points and 3.25 steals in the tournament.
Gorgui Dieng, Louisville – Smith led the Cardinals in scoring, but Dieng dominated the paint for Louisville. He had 14 points on 6-8 shooting from the field as well as 11 rebounds, four blocks and two steals. Not only was Dieng impressive on the glass and on the defensive end, he was able to consistently knock down midrange jumpers, which made things easier offensively for Louisville. Dieng showed just how important he is to the Cardinals on Sunday evening with an excellent performance on both ends of the floor, and he did it against a very good big man in Duke’s Mason Plumlee.
Mason Plumlee, Duke – Plumlee played well in his final college game, finishing with 17 points on 6-9 shooting from the field and 5-6 from the free throw line. He also had 12 rebounds and a block in the losing effort. The senior forward wasn’t able to lift Duke into the Final Four, but he went out with a great game. Now, he’ll start getting ready for the 2013 NBA Draft, and he’ll almost certainly be a first-round pick.
Erik Murphy, Florida – Murphy, who averaged 12.6 points during the regular season for the Gators, didn’t score a single point in Florida’s loss to the Michigan Wolverines. Murphy went 0-11 from the field. He couldn’t do anything on the offensive end, which really made things difficult for the Gators. He contributed eight rebounds and two blocks, but it wasn’t enough to make up for his poor offensive performance and three turnovers.
Rasheed Sulaimon, Duke – The freshman guard really struggled against Louisville’s defense. Sulaimon was coming off of two strong performances against Creighton and Michigan State, but he finished with just three points on 1-10 shooting from the field against the Cardinals. He missed all four of his three-point attempts. He also picked up five fouls and turned the ball over twice. Sulaimon picked a bad time to have one of his worst outings of the season.
Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan – The Wolverines advanced to the Final Four, but Hardaway Jr. wasn’t very effective in the win. He had just nine points on 3-13 shooting from the field. While Trey Burke, Nik Stauskas and Mitch McGary picked up the slack, Michigan will definitely be a tougher out if Hardaway can return to the level he was playing at earlier in the season when he averaged 14.8 points per game. His point total has steadily gone down in every round of the tournament.
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