Short-handed K-State falls to hot-shooting Syracuse: Syracuse was down their starting center with academics and the Wildcats of Kansas State found themselves holding out power forward Jamar Samuels, a crucial piece to the gameplan due to his own eligibility issues; Samuels led the Big 12 in free-throw rate and was fourth in offensive rebounds per game. But even his presence couldn't slow down the likes of Scoop Jardine's clutch play in the second-half where the Orange rolled past their opponens.
Prospect rising: Jordan Henrieuz, C, Kansas State
Prospect falling: Kris Joseph, F, Syracuse
Craft dominates defensively, Buckeyes escape: The Big Ten's two-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Craft often lays low offensively, picking and choosing his spots and deferring to his Buckeyes teammates. But that was not the case against Gonzaga as Ohio State rode Craft's play to the Sweet 16. The sophomore guard stalked opposing point guard Kevin Pangos into 3-of-13 shooting on the night, while quietly piecing together 17 points of his own on a variety of drives and finishes; he also had 10 assists.
Prospect rising: Deshaun Thomas, F, Ohio State
Prospect falling: Kevin Pangos, G, Gonzaga
Marquette hands Murray State second loss: Big East Player of the Year, Jae Crowder, led his team to victory with a tremendous second-half effort to advance to the Sweet 16: he had game highs of 17 points, 13 rebounds and 3 steals. The key plays was a charge that Crowder took on the defensive end to force the Racers turnover and then almost immediately hit the momentum-stealing 3-pointer down at the other end.
Prospect rising: Jae Crowder, F, Marquette
Prospect falling: Isaiah Canaan, G, Murray State
Vanderbilt lives and dies by the 3-ball: Wisconsin moves on: Perimeter snipers John Jenkins and Jeff Taylor found it difficult to get a clean look at the rim, not matter where they were on the floor against a feisty Badger defense. The Vanderbilt guards were held to a collective 23 points on 7-of-25 shooting. And Wisconsin was just good enough offensively to get things done to advance to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time under Bo Ryan.
Prospect rising: Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt
Prospect falling: John Jenkins, G, Vanderbilt
Indiana's late-bucket prevents VCU from another NCAA run: The normally-stingy defense of Shaka Smart's Rams couldn't slow down the accuracy of the Indiana Hoosiers, but they did force 22 turnovers to bring the game down the wire. It was a situation wing Will Sheehey relished as he his the winning bucket with seconds remaining.
Prospect rising: Cody Zeller, C, Indiana
Prospect falling: Victor Oladipo, F, Indiana
Wildcats too powerful for Iowa State: Top-overall seed Kentucky just had too much fire-power on offense and defensively, the Wildcats shut down the perimeter game of the Cyclones, leading to the double-digit beatdown. ISU entered the game making the sixth most 3-pointers in the country this season, but were held to just 3 makes on 22 attempts. Meanwhile, four UK players had 15+ points.
Prospect rising: Marquis Teague, G, Kentucky
Prospect falling: Melvin Ejim, F, Iowa State
Heslip's 3-point specialty too much for Colorado: It wasn't the future NBA frontline of Perry Jones, Quincy Miller or Quincy Acy that hurt the under-sized Buffaloes of the Pac-12- it was the undeniable shooting of Brady Heslip, the team's 3-point specialist. All nine of his field-goal makes were from beyond the arc, eventually sinking Colorado's ship.
Prospect rising: Quincy Acy, F, Baylor
Prospect falling: Perry Jones, F, Baylor
Is Louisville this year's UConn? Could it be? The second-straight Big East champion to advance to the Sweet 16, Louisville is the winner of six straight games, including a most-recent victory over New Mexico. With Peyton Siva relatively ineffective, sixth man Russ Smith had a sold game with 17 points and 3 steals off the bench. Gorgui Dieng played well on the defensive end, but Lobo forward Drew Gordon still had 21 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.