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SUNDAY THOUGHTS
March 20, 2005

RECAPS   |   STARS   |   THOUGHTS

GAME-BY-GAME GLANCE

(7) NC State over (2) Connecticut : The Wolfpack's run continued with a big upset of defending national champ UConn. NC State has now won six of their last eight games and is finding its groove at just the right time. All-American candidate Julius Hodge was clutch in the effort.

(2) Oklahoma State over (7) Southern Illinois : The Salukis gave it a great effort, but the Cowboys were just too tough. OSU's Ivan McFarlin had another outstanding game as OK State bounced back from a seven-point halftime deficit to win the contest by eight points.

(5) Villanova over (4) Florida : The Wildcats jumped out early on UF, but the Gators, fresh off a SEC Tournament title, battled back. Matt Walsh and Florida got close in the second half but could never get over the hump and eventually lost the game by eleven.

(1) North Carolina over (9) Iowa State : The Tar Heels have put up one of the most impressive two-game spurts in the Tournament. After dismantling Oakland on Friday, UNC came out and dominated the Cyclones on Sunday, outscoring ISU by double-digits in both halves and winning by 27.

(5) Michigan State over (13) Vermont : The Spartans continued their solid play and ended the Catamounts' Cinderella season. MSU led by seven at the break and controlled the second half, coming away with an eleven point victory. State now advances to face Duke.

(1) Duke over (9) Mississippi State : Duke led the game at halftime but saw MSU battle back in the second half. The Bulldogs, though, failed to capitalize on free-throws and committed crucial turnovers late. With the eight-point win, Duke now heads on to Austin.

(4) Louisville over (5) Georgia Tech : In their quest to prove they deserved better than a four seed, the Cardinals again made a huge statement. Rick Pitino's squad led by 15 at the intermission and eventually knocked off the Jackets by 22 in a game that was never close.

(6) Wisconsin over (14) Bucknell : The Bison failed to pull off two huge upsets in a row but will have a season to remember with victories over both Pitt and KU. The game was in striking distance for BU most of the way, but the Badgers played good 'D' and won the game by nine.

EIGHT STARS

Julius Hodge, NC State : 17 PTS, 5-10 FG, 7-7 FT, 3 REB, 6 AST

Ivan McFarlin, Oklahoma State : 31 PTS, 10-13 FG, 6 REB, 3 STL

Jason Fraser, Villanova : 21 PTS, 5-9 FG, 15 REB (9 OFF)

Marvin Williams, North Carolina : 20 PTS, 8-12 FG, 2-4 3PT, 15 REB

Maurice Ager, Michigan State : 19 PTS, 7-13 FG, 2-2 3PT, 3 REB

Daniel Ewing, Duke : 22 PTS, 7-13 FG, 4-7 3PT, 4 REB, 3 AST

Larry O'Bannon, Louisville : 16 PTS, 5-7 FG, 2-3 3PT, 4-4 FT, 3 AST

Mike Wilkinson, Wisconsin : 23 PTS, 9-15 FG, 5-7 FT

THOUGHTS

NC State has really got things going right now. Even with Julius Hodge, the Pack doesn't seem to have a dominant player, but they play as a team and rely on Hodge to make plays when they need them.... Props to Villanova for toughing one out against Florida without star forward Curtis Sumpter. The junior went out in the first half with a knee injury, and the 'Cats were still able to find a way to win.... North Carolina and Washington are the only two teams that seemed to dominate both games they played in their entirety.... Though on paper Michigan State doesn't seem to have the firepower, the Spartans obviously know how to win. Five of the team's top six scorers are either juniors or seniors.... When the machine that is Louisville gets rolling, the Cards are near impossible to stop.... On to the Sweet Sixteen!

 > Talk about it in The College Corner...

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