March 26, 2011 – By Scott
With the Sweet Sixteen in the 2011 NCAA Tournament behind us, looking forward to the Elite Eight will draw college basketball fans to the television on Saturday and Sunday awaiting the teams who will reach the Final Four. Some of the favorites to make it to the Final Four found themselves going home after losses, while others unexpectedly moved on.
San Diego State had a stellar regular season and many thought they could continue their dominance all the way through the tournament. But Connecticut ended their story book run with a 74-67 win on Thursday. On the other hand, Butler will keep on playing after another year of great play in the tournament after their 61-54 win over Wisconsin.
One of the biggest upsets to many was Arizona sending No. 1 seeded Duke home. The Wildcats Derrick Williams led Arizona with a career high 32 points in their 93-77 win over the Blue Devils. This will mark the first time since 2005 that Arizona will compete in the Elite Eight.
Friday’s slate of games also was the downfall of another top-seeded team. The 4th seeded Kentucky Wildcats got past No. 1 seeded Ohio State 62-60 on a fifteen foot shot by Brandon Knight to seal the 62-60 win. This will be the second year in a row that Kentucky has reached the Elite eight and 17th time overall. VCU also continues their winning ways after upsetting Florida State on Friday night 72-71. Bradford Burgess hit a layup with 7.1 seconds remaining to keep VCU’s chances alive.
North Carolina and Kansas both advanced as expected with wins on Friday. The Tar Heels routes Marquette 81-63 and Kansas defeated Richmond 77-57.
Now, college basketball fans can sit back and enjoy Saturday and Sunday’s Elite Eight matchups. On Saturday, Florida will face Butler and Connecticut will take on Arizona. Sunday’s slate of games features North Carolina against Kentucky and VCU will face Kansas. Here are the lines posted by online sportsbooks for the Elite Eight games…
Florida 4 1/2 over Butler
UConn 2 1/2 over Arizona
Kansas 11 over VCU
Kentucky by 1 over North Carolina