|Some names and numbers from the regional semis|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 27 March 2009 16:30|
The Big East's hopes of breaking its own record and becoming the first conference with all the teams in a Final Four ended with Syracuse's 84-71 loss to Oklahoma in the South Regional semifinals on Friday night.
The Big East followed up its record three No. 1 seeds in this tournament by setting another mark with five teams in the round of 16. All but Syracuse moved on to this weekend's regional finals.
The four teams in a round of eight is also a record.
Pittsburgh and Villanova will meet in the East Regional final Saturday, a game that guarantees the Big East at least one team in Detroit for the Final Four. Connecticut will play Missouri in the West on Saturday, while Louisville, which beat Arizona 103-64 on Friday night, will play the Michigan State-Kansas winner on Sunday.
Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Louisville were all No. 1 seeds.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino said facing all the different styles in the Big East has the teams prepared for the tournament.
``Arizona is a great slap down team, great steal team. But when you play against Marquette and Villanova, they are the quickest cats around. And it prepared us to play Arizona,'' Pitino said. ``When you go against great zones, you go against Syracuse's zone with their length. The Big East has prepared us for every time on defense.''
The Big East had three teams in the 1985 Final Four when champion Villanova was joined by Georgetown and St. John's.
The Big 12 has two teams in the regionals finals - Oklahoma and Missouri - and Kansas was playing Michigan State on Friday night, paving the way for the possibility that the North Carolina-Gonzaga winner could be the only team not from the Big East or Big 12 in the regional finals.
NO DOZEN: Louisville's 103-64 victory over Arizona on Friday night meant there will still have been just one No. 12 seed to reach a regional final.
In 2002, No. 12 Missouri beat No. 5 Miami, Fla., No. 4 Ohio State and No. 8 UCLA to reach the round of eight. The Tigers lost 81-75 to Oklahoma with a berth to the Final Four at stake.
The last double-digit seed to reach the regional final was Davidson last year. The 10th-seeded Wildcats lost to eventual national champion Kansas 59-57 in the fourth round.
The only double-digit seeds to reach the Final Four were No. 11 LSU in 1986 and No. 11 George Mason in 2006.
o Louisville on Friday night was by such a large margin that it six years for the Wildcats to accumulate that big a difference in points.
Arizona's last six losses in the tournament were by a combined 31 points and the last two were by 10 and nine points.
``Unfortunately for us, we just had no answer,'' Arizona interim coach Russ Pennell said. ``You know, I thought we got some good looks at the basket that didn't go in, then we just weren't quick enough on our rotations on the defensive end. Game got away from us.''
GRIFFIN'S POINTS: With two games remaining in the regional semifinals, there had been seven players to score 30 or more points in a game and Blake Griffin did it twice.
The Oklahoma forward had 33 points in the second-round win over Michigan and he added 30 on Friday night in an 84-71 victory over Syracuse.
And Griffin was doing more than scoring in those games, grabbing 17 rebounds against Michigan and 14 against the Orange.
Ben Woodside of North Dakota State had the tournament's highest-scoring game with 37 in a first-round loss to Kansas.