Five things to watch when Columbus hosts NCAA tournament second round games

Friday will be a challenge for the Nationwide Arena.

On most nights, the game-winning shot in the last second of a game remains an indelible memory of a day with four games of the first round of the NCAA Tournament on the same court. But while the Florida Atlantic’s one-point win over No. 9 seed Memphis in a nightcap was a thrilling end to the day, it pales in comparison to the historic result in the previous game.

You know, this is the second time that the No. 1 seed lost to the No. 16 seed. Half an hour before the Owls beat the Tigers, the No. 16 seed Fairley Dickinson controlled the game against the No. 1 seed Purdue, leading at 25:42 on their way to a stunning 63–58 victory over the regular season and the Big Ten Tournament. champion. The defeat reverberated throughout the sport and became the undisputed main headline of the first two days of the March madness.

Now it’s time to do it again. In Columbus at 5:15 p.m., there will be a game between No. 2 Marquette and No. 15 Michigan State, which preceded No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson against No. 9 Florida Atlantic. The winners of both teams will advance to the Sweet 16.

Here are five things to watch out for.

Can Farleigh Dickinson build on his frustration?

Knights coach Tobin Anderson was equally accommodating and proud of the win, noting that while his team expected a good game against the Boilermakers, there was a chance they would lose that game “99 times out of 100.”

Now the first-year coach is faced with the task of making sure that his team is not content with one victory.

“My message was, what we did last night was special, let’s do something else special,” Anderson said Saturday. “I talked to them[Friday]after the game, hey, make sure these guys know we have something to do. I don’t feel any sense of complacency or satisfaction from us. Today we are very relaxed, focused but relaxed, and that is how you should be at this time of the year.”

Anderson was hired late after Fairleigh Dickinson fired coach Greg Herenda in late April after nine seasons on the program. He came to the Knights through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Division II program, where he was head coach from 2013-22, and inherited a program that went 4-22 last season.

He now has one win over the Sweet 16. This caused quite a stir for Anderson, who said he didn’t pack enough underwear for the long trip.

“I now have about 1,200 unanswered messages,” he said. “The problem every time I look at my phone gets bigger and bigger. My message, if anyone is listening, stop posting right now. Give me a chance to catch up.”

The same applies to Reynoldsburg product Sean Moore.

“The phone is going crazy; until now,” he said. “I try to reach everyone. I appreciate everyone who shows love. So it’s definitely life-changing.”

Florida Atlantic’s Nick Boyd catches up

After appearing in 19 games as a 6-3 freshman in 2020-21, the 175-pound guard missed the entire 2021-22 season with an injury before landing one of the hardest hits in program history on Friday night. .

With two seconds left, Boyd’s layup proved to be the deciding factor in a one-point win over 8th-place Memphis to take the Owls to a second-round showdown with the Knights. It was the first NCAA tournament win in the program’s history.

“I don’t know if I have ever been around someone who is as passionate about work as Nick,” said trainer Dusty May. “He loves to work on his game. He loves to work out in the gym. It has really improved in every aspect. It’s because he put good old elbow grease into it. It’s easy to believe in him because he’s prepared. But he looked up from the audience and said: “Coach, I understand.” He attacked the space, made a great decision and finished the rally.”

It was the only two-point field goal that Boyd scored in four attempts against the Tigers. He scored 8 points, had four rebounds and four assists without a loss in 24 minutes.

“I don’t know how I felt then,” Boyd said of his winner. “I just felt it and it just happened. And I just told the coach that I think I can hit the target. And he drew a great play. And thanks to everyone who was on the court, on the bench.”

Joey Houser underestimates Marquette matchup

Joey Houser spent his freshman year in college basketball playing alongside his older brother Sam for Steve Wojciechowski at Marquette in the 2018-19 season. After averaging 9.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 34 games, including 31 starts, Houser decided to move and signed with Tom Izzo at Michigan State.

Now in his fifth year of college basketball, Houser will try to upset the team that originally signed him from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, when the Michigan State seed plays Marquette Sunday night. Between that game and Friday’s 72-62 victory over No. 10 seed USC, Houser downplayed that this was some kind of revenge game.

“I don’t know the players or the coaches there,” he said. “That was a long time ago. So I don’t have a grudge against them. It’s just Michigan vs. Marquette.”

March Madness:Oller: Reynoldsburg’s Sean Moore provoked Farleigh Dickinson into upsetting NCAA No. 1 Purdue

Houser said he didn’t talk to his brother about the game. Sam Houser also moved after the 2018-19 season, missed a year and played for Virginia in 2020-21.

“Being with my brother was an incredible experience just showing me the basics of college basketball, and getting used to traveling and playing big games definitely helped me,” the younger Houser said. “Getting into Michigan State, sitting out that year was tough, but I think since I got here I’ve grown a bit in those areas.”

Tom Izzo Supports Matt Painter

While Michigan State’s game against USC was largely viewed as a toss-up, the same cannot be said for the other Big Ten team that temporarily settled in Columbus. After the Spartans got ahead and the Boilermakers didn’t, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo said he texted and talked a bit with Purdue coach Matt Painter after his team’s embarrassing loss to Fairleigh Dickinson.

“Perdue, I think Matt Painter is a new breed,” Izzo said. “He is a young promising coach, and he is young in age, not in experience, because he has been there for a long time. But he’s a guy who did an incredible job and worked for one of the best at Gene Keedy. Everything is good there. I know some of their players. I recruited some that I didn’t get. And our players know their players.

“When something happens there, I think it hits the house a little harder.”

Shaka Smart turned to Michigan State for advice while attending VCU.

He’ll play against the Spartans on Sunday, but Marquette coach Shaka Smart has spent some time with the Michigan State program before. As a VCU coach, Smart was leading his No. 5 Rams into a second-round game with No. 4 Michigan at Auburn Hills Palace when he sought advice about facing the Wolverines.

“Before the game, I always use these different things in the preliminary games and different props for the team,” Smart said. “So I’m using this audio recording of Mateen (Cleaves). He called me and left a voice message. And I just asked him to give the guys some words of wisdom, because he really came and spent a couple of days in VCU at the beginning of this season. And I can’t publicly say what he said here, because it’s inappropriate. But what he said will forever remain in my memory.

The Wolverines won the game 78–53, and three years later Smart became the Texas coach.

“I love the year he’s had,” Izzo said of Marquette’s season. “I just can’t love this two days. But I like what he did. I respect what he did. And he tried to do it his way. And I think it works.”

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