Sunday, March 27, 2011

Two-time defending women's national champion Connecticut defeated Big East rival Georgetown 68-63 this afternoon to advance to the round of eight, but the Huskies needed a major scoring run to do so. According to this game article, "Connecticut trailed 53-46 with 9:36 left, but responded with a 16-2 run..."

On the men's side, Virginia Commonwealth has just advanced to next week's Final Four, defeating No. 1 regional seed Kansas 71-61, in a game that had streakiness implications on so many levels:

*The No. 1 seeds of the four regions collectively had a losing streak in the sense that none of them will be playing in next week's Final Four.

*With this year's expansion of the tournament to 68 teams from 65, there were extra "play-in" games to enter the main bracket of 64 teams. In the past, only the two lowest-seeded teams (typically automatic-bid teams from the weakest conferences), but as a new twist this year, the lowest-seeded at-large teams also had to play in the extra round. VCU, a No. 11 seed, fell in the latter group, so it had an extra game. As a result, the Rams are now 5-0 in the tournament and could become the first team to win the national championship by going 7-0 instead of 6-0.

*VCU led 41-27 at the half, thanks to an 11-zip run that propelled the Rams from a 10-9 deficit to a 20-10 lead and 9-for-17 three-point shooting (.529). See the play-by-play sheet for further details.

*After a VCU layup to open the second half upped the Rams' lead to 16, the Jayhawks scored 12 straight to pull within four. At one point, KU pulled to within two, but VCU hit some threes and thereafter maintained relatively healthy leads.

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