Midwest — The top two seeds meet for a place in the Final Four. Johnson and Wales advances with a comfortable 14-point win over Sewanee. Defiance knocks off a dangerous-looking Wentworth side to improve to 32-0 on the year. After a couple late-game fades injected some excitement into Defiance’s first two NT games, carl’s crew stays solid over the final 10 minutes to win by 12. Compared to the other regions, it was a pretty calm night in the Midwest.
East — They’ll be talking about the Calvin-CSU, Eastbay game for quite a while out west. Eastbay led by six points with 29 seconds to play, but Grover Ross hit a pair of treys and Dustin Bell added a third with 6 seconds remaining to pull 6-seeded Calvin within a point. Joseph Shaner made one of two free throws with 5 seconds remaining to put Eastbay up 67-65, but a controversial foul whislted on Chris Pittman sent Matthew Callahan to the line for Calvin with no time remaining on the clock. The career 75.6 percent free throw shooter drained both, sending it to OT, where Eastbay never recovered from the shock. How cruel can teh game be? Eastbay ends the year 30-2, both losses coming in overtime. Opposite them will be the region’s top seed Hardin-Simmons, who turned in a workmanlike performance in dispatching Trinity (TX) by 13. While the results haven’t beel blowouts, that’s three straight smooth sailing contests for HS. An aside, Calvin and Hardin-Simmons met in the non-con with HS winning by 14.
South — For the second night out, top seeded Millsaps needed to play the rally card in the second half. Howard Payne, the 11 seed, had Millsaps down 5 at intermission, but couldn’t account for the midgame adjustments made by the 1 seed. Millsaps shot 17-for-32 in the second half and owned a 23-14 edge on the glass in the final 20 minutes. For a spot in the Final Four, they’ll face Buena Vista, who posted a 77-69 win over US Merchant Marines. The formula was simple as Buena Vista held UMMA to 37.3 percent shooting from the floor and forced 20 turnovers. Stiill, it was anyone’s game until an 8-0 Buena Vista run in the final two minutes.
West — The Wild West is at it again, playing the role of bracket buster. Top-seeded Rivier was up by five over 4-seed Texas Lutheran with 1:31 to play, but that lead evaporated when James Hazzard canned a three-pointer from the right wing with 9 seconds remaining. Rivier missed a fadeaway from the low blocks and a subsequent tip attempt in the waning seconds that could have won the game. From there, a clearly tired TL squad played on pure heart and desire, outscoring Rivier 6-2 over the final 59 seconds of overtime for a 76-73 victory. Their reward is a date with upstart 11-seed Webster as mschulte24’s magical postseason run continues. After opening round wins by 6 and 2 points, Webster made it a doubly bad night for the GNE out West with a 78-75 win over Emmanuel. Emmanuel led by nine with less than 8 minutes to play, but Webster took the lead for good on a John Johnson pull up jumper with 1:36 to play as neither team was able to hit many shots from the floor over the final 4 minutes.