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: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: March 23, 2009 6:00 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

BlueDevilCat I see what your trying to say about the Big East getting favorable seedings and all that, even though with ACC teams getting upset and it having nothing to do with seeding kind of lowers the quality of the argument, I'll try to give my best explanation for why the BE got the better seeds. I think they got the better seeds because the selection committee decided it based upon the talent each team had on their squad compared to the other ACC teams with equivalent RPI's. Duke and UNC got good seeds because they had good talent, but UL, Pitt, UConn, Nova, Syracuse, Marquette, and WV were definitely more talented than Clemson, WF, Florida St., and Maryland. Thats why they got the better seeds.


Since: Sep 18, 2008
Posted on: March 23, 2009 5:04 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

 Hey Hattie,

The U of M is gunning for you guys, mainly because of smart a-- guys like you.   Our toughest games will be Missouri then UConn, but we are determined to get to the final 4 just for the chance to play you overrated efs.   Five conference losses without playing the big guns on the road.  Yeah, that is your fault.

Since: Mar 13, 2007
Posted on: March 23, 2009 4:51 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Dtrain,  bigPAch..,  uoflcard -  please read my previous post  on page 9 - "Numbers Don't Lie, But there May be Bias!"  Let's face it,  the Big East got the favorable seeds of the tournament,  why I don't know.  It was slanted.  But on the other hand,  the ACC did stump its toe a bit and that was their own fault.


Since: Mar 4, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 4:35 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

 Yeah, UofL only won the regular season and conference championships in the best conference ever (being backed up as we speak).  We are so lucky.  Like UNC has a tougher road to this point?  Sienna is BETTER than LSU.  If you don't believe that, you're blindly picking and choosing what you see, or as the Bible says, "hearing what your itching ears want to hear".  And Arizona is just as talented as Gonzaga, although not as deep.  The national title is not decided in Sweet 16 games, though.  There are no easy games left (Sienna was not an easy game, anyway).  If UofL wins the title, it won't be because of their draw, it will be because they are the best team in the country.

Oh, and LMAO at Duke being better than any of the Top 3 (at least) teams in the Big East.  You're talking a lot of crap - you do know that Duke plays the #4 Big East team next, right?  I guess that means that should blow them out if, apparently, no Big East teams could even possibly beat the Dookies

Only 2 of 7 ACC teams made it to the sweet 16.  It's time to STFU about the ACC being as good as the Big East this season, because it is just not true.  And this is with Marquette losing maybe their most important player a couple weeks ago, and UConn losing their best guard.  It's STILL worlds better than the ACC!

Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 4:14 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

I believe last year PITT took down dookie, and we would spank any team fron the All Choke Conference, unless of course dookie or car-a-whina shoots their usual 40 free throws per game..


Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 3:39 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

UNC could beat any team in the Tournament thats a given, altough i dont think they will win it all, but Duke they couldnt beat Pitt , Ville or Uconn

Since: Mar 13, 2007
Posted on: March 23, 2009 3:31 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Yeah I agree,  4 of the ACC games were upsets,  #7's getting beat by a #10, #4 beat by #13 and #5 beat by #12;  'gulp' ,  that hurts to even say that.  But still, there does seem to be a bias in regards to seedings and may give rise to the notion of having a computer decide who's in and who's not. 

Maybe the heading should say "Numbers Don't Lie, and Computers (who the he## knows)". 

At any rate,  I'm not too impressed with Louisville or Pitt.  They both could easily have lost their games.   I think Mich St, Memphis (Memphis vs Conn would be a great matchup), UNC and Duke for my Final Four picks. 

Since: Jan 2, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 3:31 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

We'll just to tell you, Villanova is a team in the Big East and guess what. They're playing Duke. You saw the way the played against UCLA. I know UCLA was definetly not as good as they have been in the past, but a 20 point win over them is pretty impressive. I think if Nova plays the way they played against UCLA they can beat Duke. And if your're gonna say that it was because Nova had home court advantage, I would say that it's not the fans who play the game. Duke had trouble with a Texas team who is not nearly as good as Nova and if both teams played the way they played in round 2, Nova would have won. I know Duke is good, but every team is beatable on any given day.

Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 3:11 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

first time writer, had to finally comment on this issue. the Beast's are just that lets see how the ACC only had a chance with, NC and Duke at home stands up to the next round. If Marquette hadn't shot themselves in the foot (tough break) it could have been a really Sweet 16...Big 12 team will dominate the next round and if NC thinks it has a lock to the finals think again, three Big East teams won by 10+ and still played like crap...

SU vs. Okla. nice match-up

Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 2:19 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

 boy is this a reach. bottom line is wake, bc, and maryland got blown away. fla. st and clemson underperformed while losing to lower seeds.

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