March Madness: Defense Always Prevails

The Tennessee Volunteers decided they were going to throw their bodies around and create physical mayhem. By the time Duke was able to stabilize themselves from the chaos it was to late. Tennessee’s bully ball won the day for them. Uros Plavsic sought out Duke’s Kyle Filipowski early, running into him on one play with a aggressive box out. Olivier Nkamhoua emerging in the second half to push the Vols to the Sweet Sixteen.

In a hard fought contest between Auburn and Houston, Houston came out victorious. Both teams were tough in their pursuit to move forward in the big dance. Yet, Houston had a little more push led by Jarace Walker and his six blocks. J’Wan Roberts added to the defensive effort with another five blocks.

Arkansas was in a grind it out fight with the finesse and talent of the Kansas Jayhawks. A defensive possession is not complete until there is a score or a rebound. Arkansas came out of the game with 15 offensive rebounds. They out rebounded the Jayhawks 36-29 in the game. Kamani Johnson had six of the total 15 offensive rebounds for the Razorbacks.

San Diego St. was also able to put on a rebounding clinic against the Cinderella hopeful Furman Paladins. The San Diego State Aztecs out rebounded their opponent by 17 rebounds. Led by forward Nathan Mensah with nine rebounds.

UCLA forward Adem Bona was simply put, relevant against Northwestern. He did not fill the stat sheet in his 20 minutes but when he was on the court his presence was felt.

Alabama out rebounded Maryland 44-32. Not to say the intensity was not even throughout the game. Alabama’s length was on full display against the Terrapins, and proved to be disruptive. Forward Brandon Miller had an sequence in the game that stood as a metaphor for the game. There were three changes of possession in a span of 15 seconds, without a score. As Maryland moved on a fast break Miller leaps to block a lay up off the back board. He then runs down the court free throw line extended is passed the ball and drains a three. Alabama seemed to win the plays that could go any teams way.


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