South Region Recap
by Jon Gonzalez
No.6 California 82, No.11 Pennsylvania 75
Not even the quasi home court advantage of playing in Pittsburgh could save the Quakers. Joe Shipp poured in 20 points as the Golden Bears upended Ivy League champion Penn 82-75.
Both teams played well, but it was Cal (23-8) who hit key shots when they needed to and proved to be more than Penn (25-7) could handle. Brian Wethers added 19 for the sixth-seeded Golden Bears.
Ivy League player of the year Ugonna Onyekwe and Koko Archibong led the Quakers with 16 points apiece.
No.3 Pittsburgh 71, No.14 Central Connecticut State 54
The Blue Devils came out on all cylinders for their first round match-up with Pitt Friday, but in the end, Brandin Knight and the Panthers were too much.
Knight, showing no effects of the quadriceps injury he suffered against Connecticut in the Big East Championship, scored 17 points and displayed great floor leadership in the Panthers 71-54 victory. The Big East co-player of the year also garnered nine assists and picked up five steals despite a sore right little finger.
“I call him the Einstein of point guards,” Pittsburgh coach Ben Howland said of Knight.
Early on it looked as if CCSU was the favorite as the Blue Devils (27-5) took an early lead and looked to wear the Panthers (28-5) down. But sloppy ball handling and the excellence of Knight did the Devils in. The loss snapped CCSU’s 19-game win streak and left the Northeast Conference winless in NCAA tourney play.
Next up for the Panthers, who won their first tournament game in 11 years, sixth-seeded Cal.
Sub-Region Day 2 MVP: Joe Shipp, Cal
Sub-Region Day 2 Best Name That Describes His Team’s Outcome: Koko Archibong, Penn. You guessed it, the KO in Koko must stand for a Knock Out, which Cal handed Penn.