Jeff Eisenberg

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of the Dagger. Prior to joining Yahoo! Sports in Feb. 2010, Eisenberg worked for 4 1/2 years at The Press-Enterprise covering everything from UCLA basketball, to USC football, to the Los Angeles Lakers. If he's not watching basketball, you'll usually find Eisenberg enjoying the California sunshine, sampling craft brews or cooking on the grill.

  • All of a sudden, Louisville looks like a Final Four threat again

    The momentum swing was sudden and violent. 

    At first glance, surging Northern Iowa is about to slice a 12-point deficit to four on a Wes Washpun transition dunk. Seconds later, the Louisville lead was eight again with less than four minutes to play because Wayne Blackshear came from nowhere to swat the dunk attempt and the ensuing Cardinals fast break resulted in a Montrezl Harrell lob dunk.

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    That sequence proved to be the decisive blow in fourth-seeded Louisville's 66-53 victory over fifth-seeded Northern Iowa in a East Regional round of 32 game. The Cardinals ended the game on an 11-4 surge to dispatch of the Missouri Valley tournament champions and secure their place in a suddenly wide-open East Regional semifinals. 

    With top-seeded Villanova and second-seeded Virginia both falling this weekend, the East Regional appears poised to produce the Final Four's dark horse entrant. Louisville has a realistic chance to fill

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  • Gonzaga celebrates with backflips, breakdancing after breakthrough win

    They had secured their first trip to the Sweet 16 in six long years, so Gonzaga's players and coaches clearly felt they had earned the right to let loose.  

    Moments after blasting seventh-seeded Iowa 87-68 in a South Regional game on Sunday night, the Zags piled into the locker room and celebrated a breakthrough victory.

    Guard Eric McClellan pulled off a back flip. Coach Mark Few performed a handstand that evolved into a  breakdancing move. Few then announced to the team that they have four more of these celebrations to go as the players clapped and cheered all around him.

    Sunday's victory had to feel especially good to Gonzaga even if the Zags' reputation for underachieving in the NCAA tournament is largely overblown. They haven't reached a Sweet 16 since losing to eventual national champion North Carolina in 2009, but they're also one of only two

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  • Wichita State earns a win to savor against Kansas

    To understand how Wichita State toppled second-seeded Kansas and earned in-state bragging rights for years to come, you only need to watch one sequence from Sunday's hotly anticipated NCAA tournament clash.

    The Jayhawks already trailed by nine points midway through the second half when Wichita State freshman forward Zach Brown deflected a Frank Mason pass and tipped it into the frontcourt. All the urgency should have been with Kansas considering the deficit it already faced, yet Brown outraced Kelly Oubre to the ball, attacked the rim and threw down a two-handed transition slam.

    No play better sums up why seventh-seeded Wichita State claimed a 78-65 victory over Kansas than that one does. The Shockers may not have the size and strength in the paint that the Jayhawks do or a roster full of former McDonald's All-Americans, but they played Sunday's game like the outcome mattered more to them.

    Wichita State's victory was meaningful to its program for more reasons than merely just securing

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  • Duke makes quick work of cold-shooting San Diego State

    To stay competitive with top-seeded Duke on Sunday, San Diego State needed to hit an abnormal number of jump shots, contain Jahlil Okafor on the low block and keep the Blue Devils out of transition.

    Unfortunately for the Aztecs, they really didn't accomplish any of those things, which explains why they endured a 68-49 pounding at the hands of a superior team.

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    A cold-shooting San Diego State team that has struggled offensively all season without graduated star point guard Xavier Thames endured an especially frigid performance. Winston Shepard was the only player in double figures as the Aztecs shot 31.6 percent as a team and 2 of 17 from behind the arc.

    Wayward jump shots and 11 turnovers proved to be a terrible combination for San Diego State because they fueled Duke's fast break attack. Justise Winslow and Quinn Cook were especially effective attacking in transition and scoring before San Diego State could set its

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  • Michigan State ends Virginia's season for a second straight year

    The ACC's outright regular-season champion is also its first team eliminated from the NCAA tournament.

    Second-seeded Virginia could not survive Michigan State's upset bid for a second straight season, falling to the seventh-seeded Spartans 60-54 on Sunday in the round of 32. Michigan State also ended the Cavaliers' season last year in the Sweet 16.

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    Whereas Branden Dawson was the difference maker last season for Michigan State, what hurt Virginia most this year was the early and late heroics of guard Travis Trice. The senior had 13 of his game-high 23 points in the opening six minutes to power the Spartans to a 15-4 lead and then he also had a huge late shot clock 3-pointer to extend the gap to eight with less than three minutes to play.

    Virginia cut the lead to two early in the second half and to four several times thereafter, but the Cavaliers didn't make enough shots to keep pace. They shot 29.8 percent from the

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  • Sunday lookahead: In-state showdown highlights loaded slate

    The only silver lining to Friday's chalk-filled, drama-free slate was that it set up a pretty incredible Sunday teeming with compelling matchups. Here's a primer to get you ready for the second day of the NCAA tournament's round of 32:

    1. Which Sunflower State program will emerge with bragging rights? More than just a bid to the Sweet 16 will be on the line when in-state foes Wichita State and Kansas meet in Omaha on Sunday. The game will also determine which fan base has bragging rights until the programs someday meet again. Wichita State has been clamoring for a shot at Kansas since even before the Shockers ascended to national relevance with three straight 30-plus win seasons. The Jayhawks have a chance to remind Wichita State it should be careful what it wishes for if they oust the Shockers from the NCAA tournament. The game itself may come down to whether Wichita State can defend Perry Ellis in the paint and keep Kansas off the offensive glass. The seventh-seeded Shockers have a

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  • Should Utah star Delon Wright start being more selfish?

    PORTLAND — The first few times he played with Delon Wright, Utah forward Chris Reyes paid a price for not being ready to receive a pass.

    "I got hit in the face a couple times," Reyes said. "I learned in a hurry to keep my hands up."

    Stories like that are common among Wright's teammates because Utah's senior point guard might be college basketball's most unselfish star. He is the antithesis of a volume shooter, the rare All-American who can dominate a game without taking more than a handful of shots.

    Seldom has that trait been more on display than in the final seven minutes Saturday when fifth-seeded Utah pulled away from fourth-seeded Georgetown for a 75-64 victory to earn a trip to the Sweet 16. Wright had a hand in most of the baskets his team scored during its game-clinching 22-11 surge even though he only contributed three free throws and didn't attempt a shot.

    Time and time again, Wright would use a high ball screen to attack off the dribble, force the Hoyas defense to collapse on

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  • Gabe York could be an underrated key to Arizona's title hopes

    PORTLAND — All alone in the corner with no defender in 10 feet of him, Gabe York clapped his hands, whistled and did everything but wave pompoms to get point guard T.J. McConnell to notice him.

    McConnell spotting him a half second too late isn't what's important. York having the confidence to demand the ball is.

    On an Arizona team that features an all-conference point guard and four potential NBA prospects in its starting lineup, York is as important to the Wildcats' national title hopes as any of them. The undersized shooting guard is the best perimeter shooter on a team of explosive slashers and skilled big men, the guy most capable of shooting opposing teams out of the zone defenses Arizona is likely to see from now until its NCAA tournament run is over.

    That's exactly what York did Saturday in second-seeded Arizona's 73-58 victory over 10th-seeded Ohio State in a round of 32 game in Portland. The 6-foot-3 junior scorched the Buckeyes for 19 points and sank four 3-pointers during

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  • UCLA capitalizes on its good fortune with unlikely Sweet 16 run

    They made the main draw of the NCAA tournament with a resume that may not have been worthy of the First Four. They won their opening-round game against sixth-seeded SMU on a disputed goaltending call. They drew a No. 14 seed in the round of 32 when UAB stunned Final Four dark horse Iowa State.

    There's no question UCLA has benefited from some good fortune this March, but credit the Bruins for not letting it go to waste. 

    Tony Parker scored 28 points and Bryce Alford added 22 to lead 11th-seeded UCLA to a 92-75 victory over 14th-seeded UAB on Saturday in Louisville. The Bruins advance to a second straight Sweet 16 where they will face either second-seeded Gonzaga or seventh-seeded Iowa in a game teeming with storylines no matter the opponent.

    [Photos: UCLA vs. UAB game action]

    If UCLA gets the Zags, it will be a rematch of the 2006 Sweet 16 game that ended with Arron Afflalo helping up a tearful Adam Morrison after a stunning Gonzaga collapse. If UCLA draws Iowa, it will be a matchup

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  • Saturday lookahead: Four storylines to watch

    Thursday was one of the most chaotic and fun days in NCAA tournament history. The only suprise Friday was that there were no surprises. What does Saturday have in store for us? Here's a primer to get you ready for the opening day of the round of 32

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    1. Does Cincinnati have any chance of upsetting Kentucky? Scroll down the list of attributes a team needs to challenge Kentucky, and you'll soon discover that Cincinnati doesn't have nearly enough. Three-point shooting is a must against a long, athletic Kentucky team rife with shot blockers to protect the paint, but the Bearcats are 290th nationally in 3-pointers made and do most of their scoring at the rim. Cincinnati is also a below average defensive rebounding team, which should mean lots of second-chance opportunities for a Kentucky team that excels on the offensive glass. Stout defense could enable the Bearcats to keep the game competitive for a while, but this is not

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