Written by: Ryan Cunningham
There’s nothing better than two nail biters to start off what will probably be a crazy weekend in D.C. Both of these games had an average margin of 4 points. Let’s take a closer look at what occurred on Wednesday.
#13 Massachusetts 69, #12 La Salle 67:
With the help of C.J. Anderson’s 21 points, UMass hung on to beat La Salle in the first round of the torunament. Luwane Pipkins added 15 points. This was as good a defensive performance I’ve seen from UMass all year. Despite being undermanned, Matt McCall had his plays playing hard. McCall’s energy on the sidelines mirrors his team’s intensity on the court. La Salle had a chance to win at the buzzer, but Pookie Powell’s attempt went wide right. Tony Washington scored 20 points to lead La Salle, who finished the year with a 13-19 overall record. B.J. Johnson and Powell each had 18 points for the Explorers. Washington and Johnson are two players I am going to miss watching. UMass will take on #5 George Mason on Thursday at 2:30 in what should be a good one. Click HERE for highlights.
#11 George Washington 78, #14 Fordham 72:
Jair Bolden led George Washington with 22 points in a close win for the Colonials to move on to the second round where they will face #6 Saint Louis at 8:30 on Thursday. In a night where Yuta Watanabe struggled, the GW bench scored 26 points. This was large in part due to Bo Zeigler, who had all 16 of his points in the second half. Joseph Chartouny led Fordham with 18 points. Fordham, who finished the year with a 9-22 overall record, stayed with George Washington for pretty much the whole game and had a chance to tie it with 26 seconds remaining in the game, but couldn’t convert. Click HERE for highlights.
Here is an updated bracket after Wednesday’s games:
Check back tonight for a recap of the second round.