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STAT OF THE DAY

No. 2 seed Missouri is a popular pick to displace one of the four No. 1s at the Final Four _ and with good reason. The Tigers convert possessions into points better than any team in the country, averaging 1.2555 every time they bring the ball up the court, according to STATS LLC. That’s important because four of the last six national champions have come into the tournament ranked first or second in that department and a fifth _ the 2010 titlists from Duke _ were sixth. The outlier? UConn, which won last season despite ranking 43rd.

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QUOTES OF THE DAY

“Because God is a Gael,” Washington Nationals utility man Mark Teahen, who’s played seven years in the major leagues with the Royals, White Sox and Blue Jays, explaining his pick of his alma mater, Saint Mary’s, over Purdue.

“WOW these officials in the Syracuse game clearly have money on Syracuse. Terrible,” tweeted NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin.

Sounds like his money was on UNC-Asheville.

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THURSDAY’S RESULTS

EAST REGIONAL

At The CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh

Kansas State 70, Southern Mississippi 64

Syracuse 72, UNC Asheville 65

Gonzaga 77, West Virginia 54

Ohio State 78, Loyola (Md.) 59

Story Continues →