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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / October 23.
  • Chris Chiozza’s Game Winner Puts Three SEC Teams in the Elite Eight

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    NEW YORK — Only one conference has more than a single team in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

    And Florida’s Chris Chiozza made sure that the SEC now has three teams in Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina.

    Chiozza and No. 4 Florida made it a trifecta for the SEC with an 84-83 overtime win over No. 8 Wisconsin in the second game of the East Regional at Madison Garden.

    “Just trying to get down the court as fan as I can and get a good look,” Chiozza told Allie LaForce of TBS. “They slowed me down enough to where I couldn’t get to the rim. And I saw the clock had a second left. I knew I had another dribble and a shot so I just took what I had.”

    “I’m still kind of at a loss, it was an unbelievable shot,” Florida’s Mike White said on TBS. “What a tough guy this is.”

    Chiozza’s shot came after Wisconsin’s Zak Showalter his a circus three-pointer at the end of regulation to force OT.

    Now the SEC has three teams into the Elite Eight, and will get at least one Final Four team in the South Carolina-Florida winner.

    The ACC (North Carolina), Big 12 (Kansas), Pac-12 (Oregon), Big East (Xavier) and WCC (Gonzaga) all have one apiece.

    “If you’re still playing, there’s going to be eight of us left, how about South Carolina?” Kentucky’s John Calipari said on CBS after the No. 3 Wildcats took out No. 2 UCLA, 86-75, to advance to an Elite Eight matchup with No. 1 North Carolina in the South Regional in Memphis.

    “How about Frank Martin, what he’s doing in the Elite Eight? Did Florida win? Don’t put three SEC teams in the Elite Eight. No, not from the SEC.”

    Martin guided No. 7 South Carolina to its first-ever Elite Eight appearance with a 70-50 rout of No. 3 Baylor in an East Regional Sweet 16 game earlier Friday at Madison Square Garden, as I wrote here for FanRagSports.com.

    Said Martin: “I want to credit the teams in our league and the SEC for preparing us for these kinds of games you have to play at this time of year.”

     

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.