The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

March 26, 2013

Best and worst of NCAA tournament's 1st weekend

— Florida Gulf Coast was the breakout star of the weekend, alley-ooping its way on to the national stage to capture everyone's attention. You probably watched the Eagles crash the round of 16 like everyone else. Well, there were 63 other teams playing last weekend, too.

La Salle broke through as well. Bluebloods such as Duke and Michigan State were big winners as well. So the next round will have something for everyone.

Now the Eagles, and the rest of the country, get to take a deep breath before we get going again on Thursday. So here is a look at some of the highs and lows from a memorable first weekend.

___

—BEST PLAY: Brett Comer to Chase Fieler vs. Georgetown. The exclamation on Florida Gulf Coast's emphatic introduction to the masses. It was brazen not only for the casual nature with which Comer flipped the ball practically over his head to a soaring Fieler, but also in its timing. The Hoyas were making one final charge, down seven points with two minutes to play when Comer made a pass usually reserved for dunk contests. Fieler threw it down one-handed, and the Eagles rolled to the victory.

—BEST GUTS: Aaron Craft, Ohio State. The heady point guard made the play of the game against Iowa State. Twice. First he stepped in at the last second to take a charge, a call that Iowa State fans will dispute for a long time, as the Cyclones' Will Clyburn was driving for the go-ahead basket. Then he took, and made, his only 3-pointer of the game just before time expired to push the Buckeyes into the regional semifinals, where they will meet Arizona.

"The moment's a lot bigger than me," Craft said. "It just happened to be in my hands at the end."

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