Blog Entry

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Posted on: March 22, 2009 8:54 pm
Edited on: March 23, 2009 2:05 am

In the time it takes you to read this sentence, Missouri's J.T. Tiller can go from being unable to shoot free throws to being ready to check back in to a basketball game. I know because I saw him do it Sunday . And boy, did it send Marquette's Buzz Williams into a fit.

Here's a rundown of Sunday's NCAA tournament action ...

Story of the day: Pittsburgh beat Oklahoma State and Louisville beat Siena , meaning all four No. 1 seeds have advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth consecutive season. The last time a No. 1 seed didn't advance to the Sweet 16 was 2004, when both Kentucky and Stanford lost in the second round (to UAB and Alabama).

Game of the day: Missouri was on defense with a slim lead, needing to prevent its opponent from going the length of the court to ensure a victory in Boise, and why does this sound familiar? Oh yeah. Because Missouri was in a similar position in 1995 against UCLA right before Tyus Edney went coast-to-coast in 4.8 seconds for a game-winning lay-up. For years, Missouri fans have questioned Norm Stewart's decision not to put a man on the inbounds passer, which is why they must've been nervous when Mike Anderson didn't put a man on Marquette's inbounds passer with 5.5 seconds remaining and the Tigers ahead by a basket. But then Lazar Hayward stepped across the inbounds line, the referee blew his whistle, called it a turnover, gave the ball back to Missouri, and the Tigers hit the subsequent free throws to ice an 83-79 victory that ensures 2009 will forever be better than 1995, at least in Columbia.

Upset of the day: Every higher-seeded team beat its lower-seeded opponent, which was a fitting ending to the second round of this NCAA tournament because that's pretty much how things have unfolded, with the teams that are supposed to advance advancing. As proof, consider that all of the No. 1 seeds, No. 2 seeds and No. 3 seeds made the Sweet 16, and two of the No. 4 seeds. The only exceptions were Wake Forest (No. 4 in the Midwest) and Washington (No. 4 in the West). The schools replacing those schools are Purdue (a No. 5 seed) and Arizona (a No. 12 seed).

Predictable star: Cole Aldrich has established himself as an elite college center and future NBA Draft pick, and he looked every bit the part against Dayton. The sophomore center got 13 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocks in Kansas' 60-43 win over the Flyers, becoming the first player to record a triple-double in the NCAA tournament since Marquette's Dwyane Wade did it in 2003.

Unpredictable star: Jamelle Horne took 11 shots, made six and finished with 15 points and five rebounds in Arizona's 71-57 victory over Cleveland State . The effort helped the Wildcats place four players in double-figures, which is rare. But when they do it they're very difficult to defend, and if they do it in the Sweet 16 they could give Louisville a tough time in Indianapolis.

-- Three random notes --

1. James Harden told reporters after Arizona State's 78-67 loss to Syracuse that he hasn't thought about the NBA Draft and isn't sure whether he'll enter it. That's essentially the same answer every talented underclassmen provides after their final loss of the season. But the guys who say that tend to enter the draft within a few weeks, and the smart money has Harden doing it, too, especially when you consider that he's a projected lottery pick.

2. Xavier's 60-49 win over Wisconsin pushed the Musketeers into the Sweet 16, where they will face their coach's alma mater. Yep, Sean Miller once played for the Panthers, and he's long been considered Jamie Dixon's successor, if Dixon ever were to leave Pitt. Expect to read dozens of stories about that this week.

3. Michigan State's 74-69 win over Southern California means Tom Izzo will participate in his eighth Sweet 16 in the past 12 seasons, and that's a good place to start if you're trying to figure out why Arizona would like to hire Izzo if it had the money (or why Kentucky also might if it needed a new coach anytime soon). The guy has been remarkably consistent despite early entries to the NBA Draft and departures from his staff, and now he's just two wins away from his fifth Final Four in the past 11 seasons.

Final thought: More than a month ago I provided a list of six schools -- plus one school that was at the time ranked outside the Top 20 -- and promised that the national champion would come from that list. The six schools were North Carolina, Connecticut, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma and Wake Forest, and the school ranked outside the top 20 that I included was Syracuse.

Six of those seven schools are in the Sweet 16 (Wake Forest screwed me).

And if you don't mind, I'd rather focus on that instead of my bracket.

Because my bracket is garbage.

Just like always.

Category: NCAAB

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: March 22, 2009 10:26 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

DOUBT you ever had a thought IF thats a sample---

 I'm Guessing you're also a Yankee fan...too  !!    Sound like one !! 

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: March 22, 2009 10:23 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

we're going to find out with nova-duke beeeeotch!! 

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: March 22, 2009 10:19 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Yep, it's not Louisville's fault that the Big East Tournament went the way it did.  They didn't have to play those teams because those teams lost.    Just like Duke didn't have to play North Carolina. 

As for Siena, they are right up there with Oklahoma State in terms of giving the best fight to a #1 seed in Round 2.  That was no cakewalk for Louisville, and I doubt Pitino was smiling when they drew that team for the second round matchup.  

Did Louisville get the best draw in the Sweet 16?   Well, given that no other team orther than Arizona is worse than a #5, you have to say without a doubt Louisville got the best draw.  That doesn't always equate to victory of course.   A few years ago, everyone thought UConn got the best Final Four draw when George Mason was carving up the other side of their bracket.  Look how that turned out.

I agree that the Big East - ACC stuff can be annoying - but I guess it's good for basketball that you have such arguments every year amongst the big conferences.  But again, it really doesn't mean very much in the tournament.  The league you came from really means absolutely nothing right now.





Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: March 22, 2009 10:14 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

 YEP--  It was all Louisvilles fault--OH wait --Wasn't #4 seed WAKE FORREST in UL's  bracket??  Oh --right --they had to play out of conference & couldnt bring those Acc refs with them---like some we won't mention----  Well-  You'll get your chance , & hope it Tastes good !!!

Got a life But thanks anyway---Kiss-kiss

Since: Nov 11, 2006
Posted on: March 22, 2009 10:00 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

We need more intelligent posts like this. Let's blame Louisville for not having to play Pitt or UCONN in the Big East Conference tourney. Let's blame Lousiville for having to play Sienna and now my Arizona team. 

None of that matters. You can only play the next team on the schedule. Let's see how all this shakes out come Final Four time. The cream usually rises to the top regardless of who they have to play in the tournament. I like Big East and ACC teams...but man their fans are nothing but crybabies.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: March 22, 2009 9:58 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Really, who cares about what league sends the most teams to the Sweet 16?    The five Big East schools that made it include three #1 seeds and two #3 seeds.   I think the people who criticized the Big East called it a top-heavy league.  The tournament has validated that...three outstanding teams.  Two very, very, very good teams.  Everyone else?   Not much there.   But the top of the league was so good that it didn't matter that that the bottom of the league was mediocre, at best.

The five Big East schools that made the Sweet 16 all deserve their place.     They are overall the best league in the NCAA this year (even with a poor bottom half of the conference) - and I think most people agreed with that.  The proof was in the seedings.

But, at the end of the day, the NCAA tournament is about individual schools & matchups more than it is conference supremecy.    





Since: Dec 4, 2008
Posted on: March 22, 2009 9:48 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

While I agree the B-East is the best conference this year - it all comes down to the fact that the 5 schools that made it were top seeds in their sub-regional.  There is no surprise that three 1's and a two 3's made the sweet 16 - just the fact they were all seeded that high is a testiment to the strength of that conference, at least in the perception of the selection committee 

Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: March 22, 2009 9:47 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Gary, what did you think about Tim Floyd's end of game strategy?  Less than a minute left and down 4, and he lets Michigan State just sit on the ball and get a 35 second violation?  It gave him no time to get 2 full court possessions in.  Maybe I am in the minority, but I just dont get that strategy. 

Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: March 22, 2009 9:37 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

 how about my thoughts  DUMMY

1..  louisville    did not play   pitt nor uconn in big east tournament  plus they play siena and arizona  geez just hand them the freaking trophy

THE BIG EAST COULD PUT 10 teams in sweet 16 and NONE NONE




Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: March 22, 2009 9:08 pm

NCAA recap (Sunday) BEAST V ACC


 What are your thoughts on the fact that the BEAST has 5 teams In the Sweet 16  & The heralded ACC has 5 teams home watching the tourney..the only 2 left standing playing on "home Courts" with Fans, support , & local Acc refs....???   Any feeling on this ?? Any Significance or fuel as to ESPN & Vitale- Bilas's  Assertions of ACC  Superiority???   Your thoughts would be Welcomed & I'm sure Very Interesting... Stay well- & Enjoy the rest of the NCAA's......

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