Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Florida is the 21st defending NCAA basketball champion to make it back to the championship game. Of the previous 20 teams, 12 won, although John Wooden's UCLA teams accounted for seven of those wins. Since the Bruins' last repeat win in 1973, only four defending champions have made it back to the final: Georgetown in 1985 (lost to Villanova), Duke in 1992 (defeated Michigan), Arkansas in 1995 (lost to UCLA) and Kentucky in 1997 (lost to Arizona).
Florida and UCLA are the fifth teams to meet in the final or semifinal of the NCAA Tournament in consecutive years. In four of the five cases, the same team won both times. The instances:
|2006 Final||Florida 73, UCLA 57||2007 Semis||Florida 76, UCLA 66|
|1990 Final||UNLV 103, Duke 73||1991 Semis||Duke 79, UNLV 77|
|1967 Semis||UCLA 73, Houston 58||1968 Semis||UCLA 101, Houston 69|
|1961 Final||Cincinnati 70, Ohio State 65||1962 Final||Cincinnati 71, Ohio State 59|
|1959 Semis||California 64, Cincinnati 58||1960 Semis||California 77, Cincinnati 69|
• Al Horford had 17 rebounds and Joakim Noah had 11 on Saturday. Over the past 30 years, there have been only three other final or semifinal games in which teammates combined for as many as 28 rebounds: Nick Collison (21) and Jeff Graves (16) for Kansas in the 2003 final; Derrick Coleman (19) and Rony Seikaly (10) for Syracuse in the 1987 final; and Akeem Olajuwon (22) with Clyde Drexler (7) and Benny Anders (6) for Houston in the 1983 semifinals.
There have been only two other Final Four games in the past 30 years in which two teammates combined to outrebound their opponent. Collison and Graves outrebounded Syracuse 37-34 in the 2003 final; Indiana State's Larry Bird (16) and Alex Gilbert (5) outrebounded DePaul 21-19 in the 1979 semifinals.
• Ohio State is going to the NCAA Tournament final for the first time in 45 years, since the Buckeyes lost to Cincinnati in the 1962 final. The only team that went more years between appearances in the final is Utah, which had a 54-year gap between 1944 and 1998.
• Georgetown got all of its points from its starters Saturday. The last time a team had no points from its bench players in either the semifinals or final was when Syracuse had no bench points in the 1996 final, a loss to Kentucky.
• The Hornets defeated the Knicks in overtime Saturday, and they have now won their past seven overtime games, the longest current streak in the NBA. The last team to win seven straight overtime games was the Pistons from 2003-04.
• The Knicks shot 1-for-8 from the floor in overtime, their worst OT shooting performance since going 1-for-9 in a loss at Washington on April 14, 1999.
• Tyrus Thomas scored 27 points off the bench for the Bulls on Saturday, tying for the most by a rookie substitute this season. The Nets' Marcus Williams scored 27 off the bench Nov. 24. In the past 30 years, the only other Bulls rookie to score that many points off the bench in one game is Ben Gordon, who did it six times in the 2004-05 season.
• Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis reached the 100-point plateau this season in the Lightning's win over the Capitals on Saturday, joining teammate Vincent Lecavalier, who scored his 100th point last Saturday. Over the past ten seasons, only two other teams had a pair of players who each scored at least 100 points: the 1998-99 Mighty Ducks (Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne) and 2005-06 Senators (Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley).
• Paul Stastny's game-winning goal Saturday gave him 72 points on the season, tying the most points in one season by a rookie whose father also played in the NHL. Carey Wilson, the son of Jerry Wilson, who played three games for the Canadiens in 1956-57, had 72 points as a rookie in 1984-85.
• Defenseman Tomas Kaberle scored with 1:05 left in overtime to give the Maple Leafs a 5-4 win over the Penguins. It was Kaberle's sixth career overtime goal, third-most among defensemen since the NHL introduced the five-minute extra session in 1983-84, behind Scott Niedermayer (10 OT goals) and Brian Leetch (seven).
• Dany Heatley's empty-net goal gave him 100 points for the season, after he had 103 last season, his first in Ottawa. He's the first player with back-to-back 100-point seasons for a Canadian team since Pavel Bure did it for the Canucks and Doug Gilmour did it for the Maple Leafs in the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons.
• The Rangers' Petr Prucha, who scored 30 goals as a rookie last season, scored his 20th goal of the season Saturday. He's the fifth member of last year's rookie class to score at least 20 goals in his first two NHL seasons. The last rookie class that had five members with at least 20 goals in each of their first two seasons was the 1992-93 class, which had six players do it: Alexei Kovalev (the last Rangers player to do it), Eric Lindros, Shawn McEachern, Teemu Selanne, Keith Tkachuk and Alex Zhamnov.
• Canadiens rookie goaltender Jaroslav Halak beat the Sabres 4-3 in Montreal to keep intact his perfect record on home ice in his brief time in the NHL. Halak is 6-0-0 with a 2.14 goals-against average and .924 save percentage in six games at Bell Centre.
• Two goaltenders won ten games in March: Roberto Luongo (10-2-2) and Peter Budaj (10-0-2 with his win for Colorado on Saturday afternoon). The only other goaltenders to win as many as ten games in a calendar month this season are Dominik Hasek and Martin Brodeur, who both did so in December (Hasek 10-1-0, Brodeur 10-3-1).
• The Bruins lost at home to the Thrashers 3-2, extending Boston's streak of not scoring more than three goals in a home games to 16 games. That's the longest single-season streak of that kind in Bruins history. The longest overall streak in club history was 26 straight home games scoring no more than three goals, from 1924 to 1926 (and encompassing the entire 1924-25 season).
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