Fallen Ballers def. Four Dudes and One Chick, 21-15
With strong winds making scoring difficult, the game started slow and close. It was the No. 6 seed Fallen Ballers, though, who were able to get going first, opening up an 8-3 lead.
Senior and Fallen Ballers captain Ryan Prom said his team’s ability to take early chances was a major reason for their victory.
“We were able to get out and run a few times, got easy buckets, and then just got after the 50-50 balls,” Prom said.
No. 11 seed Four Dudes and One Chick soon found their own offensive rhythm, however, and were able to stay in the game, but Fallen Ballers continued to look strong and led 11-6 at the half. It opened up a 19-11 lead in the second half before Four Dudes and One Chick closed the score to 19-15, but fouls became an issue for Four Dudes and a Chick, and two free throws from Prom were enough to close out the game.
Prom said Four Dudes and One Chick’s rally worried him, but his team’s earlier performance was enough to allow them to hold on.
“You always worry at this stage in the tournament when a team starts on a bit of a run because the teams are all so talented,” Prom said. “But they always still had a long way to go, so we were able to relax and keep playing our own game.”
Boil a Cardinal Sagehen into an Irish Cavalier def. CowChow5, 21-8
No. 14 seed CowChow5 unsuccessfully tried to unseat the No. 3 seed Boil a Cardinal Sagehen into an Irish Cavalier for a chance to advance to Thursday’s Elite Eight game. Cardinal Sagehen featured five MBA students, while CowChow5 included a team of five St. Edward’s seniors.
CowChow5 hung in with Cardinal Sagehen during the first half, exchanging buckets and rebounds with the older MBA squad. With the score sitting 11-6 at the half, CowChow5 was doing its best to stifle the high-power offense of Cardinal Sagehen by trapping it in a 2-3 zone. This was not enough, however, as Cardinal Sagehen’s tough man-to-man defense began to overpower the offensive efforts of CowChow5.
Cardinal Sagehen was led by graduate student Chris Hernandez, a former first-team All PAC-10 basketball player at Stanford who went on to play professional ball in Spain and Mexico. Hernandez said his team will need to focus on rebounding and controlling the tempo of the game.
“Rebounding is big, especially on an outdoor court where the wind is bad and the court and the key are not that big,” Hernandez said.
CowChow5 put up a solid fight, but the No. 3 seed started the second half with a couple of easy baskets and never looked back. Cardinal Sagehen ran away with a 21-8 win over CowChow5.
Hernandez said he hopes the weather will better match the team’s style of play in the next game.
“Hopefully our next game won’t be as windy so we can get some solid 10-foot perimeter shots in,” Hernandez said.
The Drones def. The Bash-Cringing Clashers, 21-15
No. 4 seed The Drones used control of the paint to build an early lead and keep the 13th-seeded Bash-Cringing Clashers at arm’s reach for most of the game en route to a 21-15 victory.
With strong play on the interior, The Drones controlled the glass after the game was tied 2-2 and went on a 9-4 run to end the first half up 11-5.
“We played a physical team, and they were a good team, but from the get-go we felt good about it and we were in control the whole time,” Drones captain Michael Bradley said. “With the wind, shooting from outside the key was almost impossible. So we knew we had to push the ball down low to our big guys and try to get to the rim.”
The Drones are starting to come together as a team when it matters most, Bradley said.
“It was a team effort tonight and that’s how we’ll play moving forward,” Bradley said. “We’ve played very well these last two games and we’ve really started to click regarding our efficiency.”
Led by Holy Cross point guard Karl Columbus’s play up top, Bradley said his team’s big men established themselves inside, something the team will need to continue to do.
“Tomorrow’s supposed to be even colder, I hear, so we’ll see how that goes but we’re just excited to be moving forward,” Bradley said. “Frankly, I think we have a good shot.”
Little Big Boys def. Harden the Paint, 21-14
The eighth-seeded Little Big Boys started fast and raced to a 5-1 lead, using their size advantage to great success in securing rebounds and never looked back.
No. 9 seed Harden the Paint were able to stop the gap widening much further, but Little Big Boys remained on top. Little Big Boys captain James Granas said that the team’s offensive success was mostly down to excellent team play.
“I’d say our overall offense and our ability to work together was the real story of the day,” Granas said. “It was definitely a team effort; there were definitely a few players that showed up, but you’ve just got to attribute it to the overall team.”
Despite the weather conditions, Little Big Boys was unafraid to shoot, taking several difficult shots against the wind but often proving successful. Granas said this was always part of his team’s gameplan and they had no intention to change it.
“You can’t really alter your game plan due to the weather,” said Granas. “You’ve just got to play on through it. Yes, you’re going to miss more shots than you make out here but in the end you’ve got to keep up the versatility and the diversity of the shot type you take, otherwise the other team can focus on what we’re doing.”
Team 537 def. Private Law, 21-19
Seventh-seeded Team 537 and No. 10 seed Private Law played an instant classic of a bookstore basketball game.
Private Law came out with a crisp offensive style, using sharp passes and quick ball movement to grab hold of the early two-point advantage, but two was the largest lead either team would hold.
The second half was played almost entirely with a one-point lead swapping back and forth between the two sides, but trailing 19-18 late in the game, Team 537 captain and Holy Cross freshman Adam Vizard said he had faith in his team’s ability to make the key plays down the stretch.
“We were down for a lot of the second half, we knew we had to come back,” Vizard said. “Our team’s been here before, we’re tough. We knew that we could pull it out in the end.”
Team 537 hit a free throw to tie the game and then got a tip-in for the winning bucket.
Vizard praised the Private Law team, saying they were very good defensively, but said the key to the game was Team 537’s ability to get to the foul line.
“We got the ball inside, which was good in the second half, and we got in the bonus so we were hitting free throws and it’s just great to get inside, get to the line and hit some easy buckets,” Vizard said.
Team 43 def. Team Tire Rack, 21-12
In high-intensity game, No. 5 seed Team 43 were able to hold on despite tensions almost boiling over at times.
The game was close throughout the first half, with underdog and No. 12 seed Team Tire Rack making a 4-0 run to come back from 7-4 to lead 8-7. However, Team 43 began to pull away, leading 11-8 at the half and later establishing a 17-10 lead as they dominated the rebound game.
Senior Cody Gilfillan of Team 43 said his team’s size advantage was truly able to show in the second half.
“We started out a little slow, but once we worked it to our big guys we were able to get some easy buckets and separate in the second half,” Gilfillan said. “I would say our size and rebounding advantage was the difference, both on the defensive side, and on offense getting some nice easy baskets and offensive rebounds too.”
The game was hard-fought by both teams, at times almost leading to teams losing their cool.
“The game got pretty competitive,” Gilfillan said. “Both teams were trying to win, trying to compete hard and sometimes emotions get the best of both teams, but in the end we all shook hands and we were fine with everything after the game.”