Seth Davis: Villanova happened. The only way the Blue Devils were going to win was to make a lot of outside shots -- they're a good jump-shooting team and if they were going to win, they were going to shoot the lights out. Instead, they went 16-for-60, which I don't think is anyone's definition of lights out. What happened was 'Nova's defense was so good, it got in Duke's heads. In the second half, Duke would have opportunities for open threes, but it wasn't taking them because it was convinced Villanova was a step closer than it actually was on defense.
[Villanova coach] Jay Wright made a comment after the game that Villanova is getting better every game ... when it faced Louisville [on March 13] it lost 69-55, but it has to feel pretty good about its chances right now.
SI.com: Another scare for Pitt -- what's going on with that No. 1 seed?
SD: It's almost like the Panthers want the game to be tied with three minutes left, and then they have you where they want you. But Levance Fields came through in the clutch -- I honestly cannot remember a player who has a knack for making dramatic shots like the three he hit with less than a minute left and then that steal that he converted for layup. He's been great in the clutch his whole career, though: I was in Madison Square Garden for his step-back three (against Duke in 2007), against UConn (this season) for the 10 points he scored in the last three minutes to win -- he just always comes through in the clutch and he's a great leader.
SI.com: Did you ever think you'd be saying Missouri is going to the Elite Eight this year?
SD: Give Luke Winn credit, the first time it occurred to me was when he wrote it in his column about sleepers. Missouri is really impressive. It put Memphis in such a hole, and Memphis looked really impatient in the second half, when it would have been better to work the ball around instead of taking quick shots. My all-glue team captain, J.T. Tiller, had a great game -- he scored a career-high 23 points -- but that's what the tournament is all about: unexpected performances.
SI.com: What were you the most impressed with about UConn?
SD: Everything. UConn has probably had the best tournament, if you look over the last three games. It all starts with their defense and it was superb tonight. UConn held Purdue to 60 points -- Robbie Hummel had a great first half and then the Huskies shut him down in the second half; and JaJuan Johnson, who was so key against Washington, had 13 points and it took 12 shots, so that wasn't very helpful for the Boilermakers. UConn survived a relatively bad night from A.J. Price and it won't be able to do that in its next game, but it was good enough defensively that it didn't hurt tonight. Missouri's not going to be a comfortable matchup for UConn because UConn won't be the only one speeding up the game and vice versa -- it's going to be much like the Memphis game tonight. I'm going to guess the loser has 75 points.
SI.com: What's the best game to watch Friday night?
SD: I think that North Carolina-Gonzaga will be aesthetically the most fun game to watch, as will Louisville-Arizona. I think you'll see two really high-scoring games from those two and the other two will be more of a grinder-type of games. So if you like to see a lot of points scored, and I think most people do, I'd check out UNC-Gonzaga or Louisville-Arizona.
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