Round of 64 recap...
Midwest -- After a pedestrian first half, #1 Millsaps outscored Baptist Bible by 31 in the second half to cruise 95-58. They get Oglethorpe, which rallied from two down at the half to win 61-48 over Redlands. The latter school struggled for just 19 points after intermission. John Carroll didn't have a player score more than 10 points, but that was enough for the 12-seed to pull the upset of No. 18 Penn St. Altoona 68-58 thanks to some strong production off the bench. Now they'll get #11 and 4-seed Willamette, which needed a pair of Richard Muraski free throws and a Henry Conroy block of a layup with 1 second to play to force overtime. From there, conditioning took over in an 82-73 OT win over New England. All week, Cazenovia fans were talking about their school's first-ever NT appearance. This morning, they may be wishing they'd missed the dance again as #21 Johnson and Wales did a 100-55 Spider Monkey lambada all over them. Charles Pettis went off for 27 points for J-Dub. Now they get #5 Webster in a 3 v. 6 pairing. Webster won 73-58 over Sewanee in a game they had to open up in the second half. The 10-seed of Howard "brought the" Payne sent Northland packing with an 84-77 win. Craig Allen's 20 points in 19 minutes and Northland's 17 turnovers appear the likely culprits. And sticking with a theme, #10 Dickinson also found itself in a close game at the half before extending to a 78-64 win over Ohio Wesleyan as the 2 seed in the region.
East -- In the East, top-seed Emory, the tournament favorite in *ahem* SOME publications, rolled to a 93-52 win over Polyann, er, Polytechnic. That was a 58.2% shooting display for phalla's crew. Now they get 9-seed Wentworth, which outran UMass Dartmouth in the second half for an 87-77 victory in the 8-9 coinflip. Keep an eye on sophomore Joseph Marrs, off the bench with five steals in the contest! #23 Whittier survived the curse of the 5 seed, thanks in part to a controversial illegal screen call whistled against SUNY Cortland with 11 seconds to play in a 57-54 final. Life wasn't easy for #9, but 4-seed, Worcester St. either in a 69-63 win over Lynchburg. Committing just 9 turnovers really helps in these close affairs. Speaking of turnovers, committing 23 of them usually doesn't bode well, and such was the case for Earlham in an 81-67 loss to #17 US Merchant Marines. Danger lurks on the horizon though as USMM now has to face dangerous 14-seed Hardin-Simmons. Never underestimate a vet coach with an unheralded team, because they have nothing to lose. Prime example last night as they just ran 3-seed Simpson out of the gym 108-77. Ouch! The numbers on that truck were David Claudio's 26 and Michael Evans' 22..in just 39 combined minutes. Western New England scored a timely 14-0 run late in its game against Trinity for a 76-69 upset as the 10-seed. Now, instead of a 7-seed, they'll be looking to knock down #7 Palm Beach Atlantic, which opened a double-figure lead in the first half to cruise 78-62 past Franklin. Sadly, Simmy did not kneecap Martin Perry, who netted 30 points and will likely shell me to the same tune tonight.
South -- Top seed Colorado needed back-to-back OT wins to win the So. Cal. tournament. Screw the drama, they said in a 98-54 dismantling of Carroll. Next up, 9-seed Hamline, which had drama in a 93-84 OT win over Greensboro. Hamline saw a 16 point halftime lead and a 6-point lead with 1:16 to play evaporate. Christopher Gaskell had to block a layup with one tick remaining to get it to OT. #14 Ursinus endured in an 80-70 win over Hood that saw them rally from a point down at the break. 23 points in 18 minutes from William Hayes in the win. Now comes #15 Wooster, a comfortable 85-62 winner over the College of New Jersey. Should we make an observation here about pseudochamp's second round struggles? Nah, we'll be merciful. The 6-seed Austin worked extra minutes in a 94-89 win over Nichols. It's deep sighs of relief for Austin to be moving on after a 7-point lead with 3 minutes to play vanished in regulation. They'll have to step it up against #13 Ozarks, 98-68 burner of witches and basketball nets against Salem St. Forcing 29 turnovers also helped. Calvin got a free-throw line jumper from William Ray with 1 second left in an 87-86 win over New York U. The wild overtime ending made up for a dull finish to regulation where neither team scored in the final 1:22 with a tie score showing. Now they face #12 South Vermont, which raced to a 96-77 win over Frostburg, 58.7% shooting and just 8 turnovers will be a tough formula to top.
West -- Top seeded #3 Piedmont had an unfair advantage as five of its guys ganged up on some dude named Roger Williams for an 84-43 victory. Roger shot just 30.8% from the floor. Now they face Occidental, who presumably will have five guys on the court, after a 71-67 win over #22 Vassar as the 9 seed. Dalton Little had a little to say about it with 27 points. Man down! Man-fricking-down! Fifth-seeded and #8 ranked Texas Lutheran got 12'd by Wisconsin-La Crosse. They'll be struggling to figure this one out in Seguin as TLU lost a 12-point halftime lead in a 74-72 loss. UWLC used 53.5% shooting to compensate for a 37-25 rebounding deficit as it unceremoniously sent packing the team that *ahem* SOME publications had called the tournament favorite. Better watch out #25 Louisiana. You're next in the underdog's path after your 81-62 win over Elmhurst. THe 51-point first half sealed the deal. #19 Mount St. Mary marches on with a workmanlike 78-67 win over Misericordia. Some day I'll have to look up how they named that college. Following the lead of the region's top seed, #20 Dallas ganged up on some guy named Christopher Newport. Good thing they only let one guy on the court, because Dallas barely squeaked by 67-63 in the contest. 10-seed Wittenberg slipped past Capital 70-63 in a battle for Buckeye State bragging rights. Now comes #4 Ramapo, which didn't give Maranatha Baptist Bible a prayer, holding the 15-seed to 31& shooting in an 87-50 yawnfest.