Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Wisconsin survived a scare, defeating Texas A&M Corpus Christi 76-63 after trailing 27-19 at halftime. The Badgers' 76 points were the most ever in an NCAA Tournament game for a team that had fewer than 20 points at the half. The previous record was set by LSU in an 87-71 loss to Magic Johnson's Michigan State team in the regional semifinals on March 16, 1979.
The Islanders' eight-point advantage at the game's midpoint matched the largest halftime lead in tournament history for a team seeded 15th or lower. Three others did it, but only one hung on to win the game. In 1991, 15th-seeded Richmond beat Syracuse (No. 2) 73-69 after leading 44-36 at halftime.
• Tennessee won a shootout against Long Beach State 121-86. The 207 points scored by the teams were the most in a regulation (non-overtime) tournament game since Tulsa's 112-102 first-round upset of UCLA in 1994.
Plenty of teams have lost a tournament game by at least 35 points, but none had ever before lost by such a wide margin while scoring as many points as the 49ers. The previous high was by Wichita State in a 118-82 loss to Princeton in 1965. Bill Bradley set a tournament record with 58 points for the Tigers in that game, a mark subsequently topped only once, by Notre Dame's Austin Carr in 1970 (61 points).
Chris Lofton scored a game-high 25 points and was supported by JaJuan Smith (24 points) and Ramar Smith (22). The Volunteers became only the third team in the last 17 years to have three players each score at least 22 points in a tournament game. The other trios to do it over that span were Wake Forest's Eric Williams, Chris Paul and Taron Downey in an overtime loss to West Virginia in 2005, and Oregon's Luke Ridnour, Freddie Jones and Luke Jackson in a victory over Wake Forest in 2002.
• Florida ran its tournament winning streak to seven games by ousting Jackson State 112-69. The Gators were one of three teams to break the century mark Friday, joining Kansas (107-67 over Niagara) and Tennessee. The last time that three teams each scored at least 100 points on the same day of the tournament was in the 1992 Elite Eight, when Duke defeated Kentucky 104-103 and Indiana topped UCLA 106-79.
Florida's 43-point margin of victory was the second-largest ever for a defending champion in any round of the tournament. In 2002, Duke beat Winthrop by 47 points (84-37) in the first round.
Kansas, Tennessee and Florida were the first trio of teams to post victories by margins of at least 30 points on the same day of the tournament since March 13, 1998: Kansas over Prairie View 110-52; Purdue over Delaware 95-56; and Duke over Radford 99-63.
• Kevin Durant made 15 of 16 free-throw attempts and scored a game-high 27 points for Texas in a 79-67 win over New Mexico State. It's been ten years since any player made such a high percentage of so many foul shots in a tournament game. The last time it happened was March 14, 1997, when two players did it: Austin Croshere for Providence (15-for-15) and Kiwane Garris for Illinois (16-for-16).
• UNLV eliminated Georgia Tech despite Kelly Kruger's poor shooting. Kruger misfired on all eight of his field-goal attempts, all from beyond the arc. The only other player to go 0-for-8 (or worse) from 3-point range for the winning team in a tournament game was Florida's Anthony Roberson against Ohio in 2005.
• Only two double-digit seeds had upset wins over the past two days (Virginia Commonwealth and Winthrop), the fewest ever in the Round of 64.
• Missed shots by Stephon Marbury, Channing Frye and Steve Francis in the final ten seconds of the game allowed the Hornets to escape New York with a 92-90 victory. Only one other NBA team has lost a game this season in which three of its players missed field-goal attempts in the final 10 seconds while trailing by fewer than three points. Jamaal Tinsley (two), Jeff Foster and Danny Granger missed shots for the Pacers during the last five seconds of a 103-102 loss to Sonics on Feb. 7.
• The Knicks had a 43-25 lead during the second quarter. It was the first time in nearly two years that New York lost a game in which it led by 18 or more points. Its last such loss came April 12, 2005, when Herb Williams' Knicks led Toronto 54-35 with two seconds remaining in the first half, before the Raptors took a 105-93 decision at Madison Square Garden.
Friday's loss matched the largest lead that an Isiah Thomas-coached team has ever blown in a loss. On April 2, 2002, Thomas's Pacers had an 18-point lead evaporate in a 105-94 loss to the Celtics in Indianapolis.
• The Rockets (41-25, .621) beat the Raptors (36-30, .545) on Friday. They are the only teams in the NBA to show a .200-point increase in winning percentage from last season to this season. Their 2005-06 records: Houston: 34-48, .415; Toronto: 27-55, .329.
• Kyle Korver's jump shot with 5.1 seconds remaining in the game gave the Sixers an 89-88 triumph over the Jazz. Korver, who sank all three of his foul shots in the one-point victory, has now made his last 43 free-throw attempts to match Kobe Bryant for the longest such streak in the NBA this season.
• The Heat extended their winning streak to nine games by beating Sacramento 103-97. Miami is in a virtual tie for first place in the Southeast Division (percentage points behind the Wizards), after trailing Washington by as many as 7½ games (on the morning of Feb. 1). Over the past 12 seasons, the only NBA team to overcome a deficit of more than seven games to win its division was San Antonio in 2002-03 (climbing out of an 8½-game hole).
• Dirk Nowitzki (30 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots) and Josh Howard (30, 8 and 3) led the Mavericks to a come-from-behind victory over the Celtics. Nowitzki and Howard were the first NBA teammates in more than ten years to each register at least 30 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in the same game. The last to do it were Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Bryant Reeves for Vancouver (against the Celtics on Valentine's Day in 1997).
• The Bobcats scored more first-quarter points (37) than they did in the second and third periods combined (29) in their 102-93 loss to the Clippers. Charlotte was only the third NBA team since the inception of the shot clock to score at least 37 points in the first quarter of a game and then score fewer than 30 points over the next two periods.
• The Pistons completed a sweep of their five-game interconference road trip with a 105-83 win at Phoenix. Since the Pistons themselves did in March 1992, only one other Eastern Conference team has swept a road trip of at least five games all against Western Conference opponents. Miami was 6-0 on a journey through the West in November 1996.
• Kobe Bryant scored 65 points, nine in overtime, in the Lakers' 115-111 triumph over the Trail Blazers. Bryant leads the NBA with 62 points in overtime this season, 13 more than the runner-up, Zach Randolph (49, including six Friday).
• Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray scored his 17th power play goal of the season in the Canadiens' loss at Pittsburgh. Souray's 17 PPGs tie him with Al MacInnis (1990-91 Flames) and Brian Leetch (1993-94 Rangers) for the third-highest single-season by a defenseman in NHL history. The record for power play goals in one season by a defenseman (18) was set by the Islanders' Denis Potvin in 1975-76 and matched by the Canucks' Adrian Aucoin in 1998-99.
• Two members of the NHL's 2005-06 rookie class scored their 30th goal of the season on Friday night: Sidney Crosby and Jason Pominville. (Both players added their 31st goal later on.) Two other sophomores had already reached that milestone this season: Alex Ovechkin (41 goals) and Pominville's teammate Thomas Vanek (34). Special mention goes to Washington's Alexander Semin, who scored 10 goals as a rookie in 2003-04, but didn't return to the NHL until this season, in which he's scored 34 times.
• The Rangers lost 2-1 in overtime to the Thrashers in Atlanta on Friday night. The Rangers have not allowed more than three goals in any of their 15 road games since the NHL's Christmas break. New York's streak of 15 consecutive road games in which it allowed three or fewer goals matches the longest single-season streak of its kind in franchise history. The Rangers did the same in their final 15 road contests in 1932-33 and then went on to win their second Stanley Cup.