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: Feb 17, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:47 pm

with class like that

 I'm sure you're a Duke graduate.  Pompous A$$

Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:37 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

 i respect your opinion, but i have to disagree. conference usa is regarded as poor as it should be.  syracuse and texas finished a midpack sixth in their respective conferences. the conf use equivalent to that is ucf. yuck. georgetown finished 12th in the big east and i honestly believe they would of been the second best team in conf usa. sorry man.

Since: Mar 13, 2007
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:35 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Gary Parrish quotes:  Story of the day: ...., meaning all four No. 1 seeds have advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth consecutive season.  Upset of the day: Every higher-seeded team beat its lower-seeded opponent, ..., 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).

 Numbers Don't Lie but there may be Bias

Being an ACC fan,  I'm spending Monday here licking wounds from the previous weekend's conference debacle  A good night's rest does wonders however.  Was the ACC the better conference this year as proposed by not only Gary Parrish but also ESPN (which ranked based on RPI ratings, and #2 was the Big Ten).  Probably both were still right when considering all teams in the various conferences.  But when it comes to the Big Tournament - NCAA,  rankings really don't mean that much.  It's the seedings in the tournament that do. 

Based on the above quotes/facts from Parrish in comparing the ACC to the Big East this is how the seedings went:

Big East - of 7 teams selected - 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, 6, 6  (or 3 #1's, 2 #2's and 2 #6 seeds).

ACC -    of 7 teams selected  -  1, 2,4, 5, 7, 7, 10  (or 1 #1, 1 #2,  1  #4,  #5,  2 #7,  1 #10 seeds). 

     If the ACC was so strong, how is it the Seedings don't match up.  How did both Uconn and Pitt get #1 seeds when Pitt didnot win a single conference tournament game nor did Uconn being bounced by #16 Syracuse (Uconn also lost their last 2 games).  Memphis deserved a #1 seed over one of those 2 teams. 

     Syracuse to Fla. State was the biggest surprise.  Syracuse finished the regular season ranked #16 in the country as their highest poll and Fla State was ranked #14 in the final poll.  Syracuse wins 3 of 4 conference tournaments including a win over #3 Conn but Fla State does the same,  winning 3 of 4 in the conference tourney incl. a win over #1 North Carolina.  Syracuse ends up with a #3 Seed in the tournament while Fla State gets a #5 seed -  Uh???   Fla. State got the shaft. 

     The only other flipflop and not a biggies was Wake Forest and Villanova.  Wake finished regular season poll #8 in 2 of 3 polls while Villanova finished #10 (#12 and #13 in other 2 polls).  Wake loses its first ACC tournament game and Villanova wins 1 Big East game and is gone.  Villanova ends up with a 3 seed and Wake a #4 seed.  Little surprised although Villanova did beat Marquette in their tournmanet but a #3 seed I think was a gift. 

But based on Parrish's facts/quotes above and only 2 #4 teams lost this past weekend while everyone above that won,  it would make sense that the Big East is 5 and 2 while the ACC is 2-5 after the first 2 rounds.  Is there bias - it sure looks like it.  Not sure the BE deserved 3 #1 seeds and definitely can't see Syracuse a #3 and Fla State a #5,  makes absolutely no sense.  And I think Villanova got a gift at #3 ( a solid #4 but #3,  not hardly). 


Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:03 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Leafsn Tigers,

Yeah, I saw saw your comments so I hope you don't think I was plagiarising from your postWink

I've shared those same sentiments really ever since the creation of the BCS...better overall yes...but not THAT much better.


Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 12:42 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

body of work,

Not so surprising that we seem to see this exactly the same way, as per my previous post.  GO TIGERS!



Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 12:18 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Of the 5 Big East teams remaining, UConn and Villanova to me look the most dangerous. I don't put a whole lot of stock in Round 1 game results (margin of victory, struggling vs. a lesser opponent) because lets face it... sometimes lesser team tend to get overlooked for the potential round 2 opponents and there is a lot of adrenaline running out there. Round 2 game performance is a much truer indicator in my opinion.

That said, Pitt and Louisville both undelivered as #1 seeds so i'll be interested to see how they do in R3 (a #12 seed AZ suddenly looks pretty dangerous). Syracuse was right about on target as a #3 seed and their game with OU should be entertaining. UConn, and Villanova looked the most impressive so far (granted, Villanova struggled in the first half against American in R1, but have played 3 impressive halves since. UConn is playing with a real chip on their shoulder after so many in the media have jumped on the Memphis bandwagonto advance out of that region. If Memphis get past Mizzou, (I expect a real dog...or maybe catfight), then a potential UConn-Memphis regional final will be one of the most compelling match-ups in the whole tourney. I hope my MEMPHIS Tigers don't dissapoint!    

I think the fact that BE, ACC or Big 10 teams are so highly regarded based on their interconference results is somewhat misleading and over-rated. I do agree that these are all premier conferences but the level to which they are better is grossly overrated by media bias. i don't think it is an abberation that Pitt and Louisville had close games yesterday. Neither team is dominant (both are really good and still can with the whole thing) but I wouldn't be the least surprised to see one of them get beat in their next game.

There are no dominant teams in this field of 16. The BE might end up with 4 teams in the final 4...they might end up with zero (extremely unlikely) but still a case can be made in any of the upcoming matchups.

 My final 4   Louisville, Memphis (yeah, I'm a homer but a fairly objective one), UNC and Villanova.


Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 12:15 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

 'Cuse lost at home to Clevand State at the buzzer.  Wake was never in the game in their loss.  And the ACC does suck this year.

Since: Mar 16, 2007
Posted on: March 23, 2009 11:46 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)



The differnce between those 2 losses was the fact that SU lost on a 50 ft buzzer beater and WF got blown out.  I might add that SU lost when Clev St was an unknown, WF should have been ready for them since they just beat Butler in their conference tourney.





Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 11:46 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

 The Big East gets seven teams in, including three no. 1 seeds and you think the confence has suffered "the greatest injustice in college basketball?"  

Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 11:44 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

yes sir...Wink



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