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: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:51 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

You are the idiot. There are no unbeatable teams in this year's tournament, not even your precious Tarheels. Or the only other ACC team left, Duke. 

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:45 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

huh?   He was ~9 percentage points lower... Fact is, it UM placed a higher FT% shooter in for the 'injured' one....

No way the injured player should be allowed to return so quickly.  It was 'legal' but the rule needs to be changed... 

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:42 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Guess they forgot to read the memo on CSU's capabilities as they beat a good Butler team, and won at SU (albeit on a 70-ft prayer, but they proved they 'could' be competitive on select nights)

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:38 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Are you serious?  Umm... recall BE lower-level team Georgetown pasted Maryland by about 30 and didn't Maryland do ok against UNC or Duke... Shoot, BE bottom-team St. Johns was competitive against Duke (lost by less than 10, at Duke)...

You'll have a chance to see it your theory holds... however, look for Nova to beat Duke and UNC to lose to SU or Oklahoma... UNC plays lousy defense, so their trendy pick to win it is not a likely as people think...

UNC got lucky against a weak LSU team too....

as a 'conference'... how's the ACC doing?  LOL...    the BE is doing much, much better... the B12 a little better and the B10 is comperable...

BE is the first ever league to place 5 teams in the Sweet 16...   The ACC placed 2....   both started with 7...  hmmm....

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:17 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

 mfaoya- what a freakin moron. isn't that the purpose of being a #1 seed

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:11 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

The conference bragging rights mainly are a result of TV and $$$$ Money mouth , hence the ACC-Big Ten challenge, or years ago the ACC-BE challenge and now BE-SEC challenge or whatever one they come up with for TV.  As long as Vitale, Raftery, et al make comments about the relative strength of conferences then the fans are going to argue as well.

As far as saying the BE bottom is weaker than the ACC, well duh!  Let's add 4 mediocore at best teams to the ACC and get them up to 16 teams.  Then you can argue apples to apples.

The top 3 or 4 teams (or 2 in the case of the ACC this year) in the BE and ACC are always going to be interchangeable.  There is no question the BE, ACC, and Big 12 are the strongest conferences in basketball. I also think this year there is no question the BE has the larger number of good teams, as others have pointed out with the tournament seedings.

Being a SU fan, I also naturally root for the other BE teams in the tourney as I'm sure others do for their fellow conference schools.  That's part of the fun (and the last couple years the only way I could have interest in the tourney Cry ).




Since: Apr 6, 2008
Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:10 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)


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







Might want to wait until Villanova throttles Duke this week before you scurry away ACC fool.  The numbers don't lie  ACC= overrated like we al thought they were.  Jacka$$ alert!!

Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:09 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

 what are your thoughts on being FAIR in this tournament

1. NO conf should have more than ONE #1  SEED  (sounds fair to me)  give a conf 3 # 1 seeds and u give a conf the championship?

2. all regions shd only have teams from that region   i/e  all bigeast stays in the east  all acc southeast in south  fans do not want to see villinova and boston college in boise idaho?  who cares if half the teams play near home really if you r good dont matter where you play


     A> as always  ACC reigns SUPREME

     B> NO BIG EAST TEAM COULD BEAT UNC   and DUKE would beat 90% of them??

     C> and do not forget that the big east with conf recs of 16-3 etc  play all their games against each OTHER  funny

     D> and do not EVER EVER FORGET  ACC  RULES

     E>  see A

Since: Feb 16, 2008
Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:05 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

So you picked 5 schools of the top 20 ((and one outside), claiming that one would eventually become the champion. Now that your bracket is busted you think this BOLD prediction validates your knowledge of college basketball? Congratulations!

Next time pick one or two teams and stick to it. Grow some testicles.



Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 9:58 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

true-ky-boy says:

"Now I don't want anyone getting the fact that I'm choosing a side in BE vs ACC, and I don't understand when  college basketball became about conferences and not teams. I'm tired of hearing about this, it is the most ridiculous argument EVER! Is  everyone so insecure about their team that they have to love a conference instead, just in case their team loses. Who cares if the BE is better than the ACC or if the ACC is better than the BE. That doesnt make UNC better than Louisville or vice versa."

Although I do sympathize with your sentiment, conference strength, and therefore conference status, does have a huge influence on both the standings in the polls, and as a result the seeding in the NCAA tourney.

If a conference is a designated as a "strong" or "superior" conference, all of the games it wins within its own conference are treated as quality wins - in terms of RPI and SOS.  So if a conference is rated as the "best" conference at the start of the year, everything that happens after that is influenced in their favor.  The coaches know this.  Look at their schedules.  teams from the BEAST and the ACC schedule far fewer OOC games against quality opponents than do the schools from the mid-majors.  They don't need a strong OOC schedule to maintain a high RPI 'cause all their in-conference games are considered "quality" matches.  All of that is fine as long as the pundits get it right at the start of the year.   Personally, I think the BEAST is by far the strongest conference this year, with the Big 12 second.  However, the bottom rung of the BEAST is as poor a group as there is in any mid-major.  I think the ACC is a little over-rated this year.  I oersonally think C-USA is a little under-rated, but hey, I'm prejudiced.

Having a strongly-perceived conference can get you a lot of #1, 2 and 3 seeds in the tourney.  That can cover your behind for the first two rounds, if you aren't as good as the seedings would indicate.  However, once you get to the Sweet 16, everyone is good. 

Now the real tourney starts.  Right now, I have question marks on Duke, UNC, Pitt and Louisville that I didn't have before.  I was ready to write UConn off, but now they look like the team to beat (besides opur Tigers , of course).  I also love the way 'Nova is playing and they could surprise Pitt.


Either way, we've got a great looking two weeks ahead ous.  Good luck to all!


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or