2009 NCAA Tournament: West Regional Sweet 16 Recap & Elite 8 Preview
West Regional @ University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
No. 1 Connecticut (30-4) 72 - No. 5 Purdue (27-10) 60
Key Moment: Connecticut held a tenuous 34-31 lead early in the second half and went on an 8-0 lead to extend it to 42-3l. Hasheem Thabeet, Jeff Adrien and A.J. Price all played a part in the game-deciding run. The Boilermakers could get no closer than five points the rest of the way.
High Point Scorers: Connecticut -- Craig Austrie 17, Purdue -- Robbie Hummel -- 17
Analysis: Despite the off-the-court distraction of the Yahoo.com story about the alleged recruiting violations of a former player, the Huskies did not play like a team unnerved. In the Sweet 16, teams are going to get pushed. Purdue got solid games from Hummel and JaJuan Johnson (13 points), but E'Twaun Moore struggled with only nine points. Thabeet had a double double (15 points, 11 rebounds) for the Huskies who put four in double figures. Plus, they were able to use dribble penetration to get to the line. The Huskies had 30 free throw attempts to the Boilermakers' 11.
No. 3 Missouri (31-6) 102 - No. 3 Memphis (33-4) 92
Key Moment: Missouri's Marcus Denmon's 65-footer at the buzzer to end the first half signaled this was going to be Missouri's night.
High Point Scorers: Missouri -- J.T. Tiller 23, Memphis -- Tyreke Evans 33
Analysis: Missouri's Tigers were just better on this night and probably have flown under the radar too much this season. From about the middle of the first half and on, the Tigers broke down Memphis' pressure defense and got the shots they wanted and finished at 52 percent. They rode the emotional and scoring output from DeMarre Carroll (17 points) who continues to take his game to another level. Few probably expected any team to put this point total on Memphis. Memphis' 27-game winning streak was snapped. Missouri's Leo Lyons was great with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Regional Final: #1 Connecticut vs #3 Missouri
Early Take: History is at work here. Missouri is looking for its first trip to the Final Four in school history. Connecticut won the 1999 and 2004 national titles by coming through Phoenix. This might be the fastest game of the tournament. The Huskies live on a volume of possessions. The Tigers' version of 40 Minutes of Hell will be fun to watch. The key for Missouri is how much of a non-factor it can make Hasbeet to get the shots in the paint that it wants. By drawing him away from the basket, it will open things up. However, Connecticut has such great scoring guards led by Price, that they will make Missouri cover all the passing lanes. Give the No. 1 seed the nod.
Sweet 16 recap - East | Sweet 16 preview - Midwest | Sweet 16 recap - South | Sweet 16 recap - West
By Kevin Lonnquist
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer
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