Written by: Ryan Cunningham
#8 VCU 77, #9 Dayton 72:
All five of VCU’s starters were in double figures in a comeback win over Dayton. Justin Tillman led the Rams with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Trey Landers led Dayton with 19 points and 10 rebounds. With 3:16 left in the game, the Flyers had a 70-65 lead. De’Riante Jenkins made a three pointer for VCU to make it a two point deficit. After the Rams got a stop, Issac Vann hit a layup to tie the game. VCU used a 12-2 run in the final three minutes to win the game by five. Dayton finished the year with an overall record of 14-17. Next up for VCU is a date with the top seed in the conference, Rhode Island. A couple members of the VCU pep band had an interesting exchange with Rhode Island head coach, Dan Hurley. This may symbolize a war tomorrow when these two teams meet. Click HERE for highlights of Dayton/VCU.
#5 George Mason 80, #13 UMass 75:
Luwane Pipkins’ 31 points wasn’t enough to push UMass over the hump against George Mason. The key to this game was depth. George Mason’s bench outscored UMass’ 24-5. Everyone knew coming into this game that the Minutemen are very limited in terms of numbers and it showed towards the end of the game. Guys were gassed. I guess that’s what happens when you play six guys. I have to give tons of credit to UMass head coach, Matt McCall. He was just as animated at the end of the game as he was in the beginning. There was a questionable call at the end of the game that prevented Pipkins from shooting a potential game-tying three, where Pipkins pushed off and was called for an offensive foul. McCall went right to Pipkins’ defense and I think he was right. It may have been a little bit of a foul, but the referees should not have made that call in that situation. I say let the kids play, especially near the end of the game. If it’s a blatant foul, call it. If it’s a little push, there’s no need. Otis Livingston II led George Mason with 21 points. Goanar Mar added 16 points. Dave Paulsen, George Mason head coach, should be very happy with the way his team responded to UMass’ hot start. Mason was down 28-14 with 7:38 to go in the first half and ended the half on a 25-11 run to tie it at 39 at the break. George Mason hit nine free throws and got a few key stops in the last 3:16 of the second half to win the game. Click HERE for highlights.
#7 Richmond 81, #10 Duquesne 68:
Richmond shot 57% in a convincing win over Duquesne. The Spiders had five guys in double figures. Jacob Gilyard had 20 points. Nick Sherod added 17 points and 4 rebounds. Duquesne was led by Rene Castro-Caneddy with 17 points and 5 assists. Mike Lewis added 14 points and 4 steals. Richmond out-worked Duquesne on the boards, out-rebounding them 33-23. After a good start to the year, Duquesne finished the season with an overall record of 16-16. Head coach Keith Dambrot did a great job in his first season. Next up for Richmond is a matchup with St. Bonaventure. I wouldn’t be shocked if Richmond wins this game. As I’ve said before, they have one of the best starting fives in the conference and if they shoot well, they are tough to beat. Click HERE for highlights.
#6 Saint Louis 70, #11 George Washington 63:
Saint Louis had four guys in double figures in their gritty win over George Washington. Jalen Johnson led the Billikens with 18 points. Javon Bess added 16 points and 8 rebounds. Saint Louis continues to play well after the loss of Jordan Goodwin. Jair Bolden led GW with 16 points. Bo Zeigler came off the bench and put up 13 points and 7 rebounds. Yuta Watanabe sprained his ankle pretty badly late in the game, which looked like it deflated the Colonials. That’s a pretty tough way to go out, but Yuta had an unbelievable career at George Washington. GW finished this season with an overall record of 15-18. Saint Louis will move on to the quarterfinals and take on the #3 seed Davidson on Friday night. Click HERE for highlights.
Here is an updated bracket after the second round: