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 23, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:27 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

 Why would Izzo want to go to Kentucky or Arizona?

Izzo is, and always will be, a Spartan !


Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:26 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

why would a duke player comment? duke almost lost to a texas team that turned the ball over 50 times and couldnt make a SINGLE free throw in a DE FACTO home game at that! 

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:24 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Hey! I am a Yankee fan and a BEAST fan. Watch it now.



Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:19 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

How can you complain about easy roads when last year UNC didn't have to leave the state of North Carolina until the final four. And last time I checked Arizona has more NBA players on their squad than Duke does. Your just getting angry because those wins you guys got in the ACC aren't looking like quality wins anymore. As I've said on other posts, this year the Big East is better than the ACC from top to bottom, while just three years ago the ACC was the top conference. I don't understand why you ACC guys have to act like you have a stick in your butt just because your not the best conference anymore. Get over it.



Since: Oct 23, 2007
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:18 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

I am so tired of hearing this..FOR THE LAST TIME...Louisville did not play Pitt or Uconn in the BET because neither of those two teams could get out of their first round game..what part of that do folks not get?  Why is there an assumption that either of these teams would have beaten UL had they gotten there?  UL beat Pitt head to head people!  Pitt and Uconn have done nothing over the last 12 games to prove they are any better than UL.  (By the way, UL has won two championships in that time).  How do you figure they are somehow better when UL wins BOTH CHAMPIONSHIPS (being the only BCS school to do so) and beating 2 number 3 seeds by double digits in the process?  Maybe I missed something but that logic is seriously flawed.

On to BE vs ACC..I think teams from both conferences have done their part to prove that this is no contest.  You heap all kinds of praise on UNC and Duke but UNC was down to an average LSU team out of a weak SEC before Lawson took over.  Duke..LOL they almost got beat by an underachieving Texas team.  Both teams are very beatable.  The BE on the other hand, its actually the lower of the BE seeds that are dominating (outside of Uconn).  Pitt and UL will defenitly pick it up. 

This is not even a question..the w/l records bear that out

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:17 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Parrish fails to address the greatest injustice in college basketball, which has existed since the Big East expanded to 16 teams. With 16 teams the conference was only given 7 bids. That is less than 44% of the teams in the league. This despite the face that prior to conference play both Notre Dame and Georgetown established their tournament bonafides and merely got chewed up by the nastiest conference in college basketball. Additionally,Providence, which had the same record as Arizona (19-13) and had a winning conference record was not even considered for the tourney. Nevertheless, 5 of BEAST schools are in the Sweet 16. FIVE!

Leagues like the Big Twelve which had 6 of 12 (50%) selected, the ACC which received 7 bids depite only having 12 teams (58%) and worst of all the Big Ten got 7out of 11 teams invited (64%). None of these conferences come close to the depth and toughness of the BEAST.

Using the percentages that those "power" conferences had invited, the super power, carnage producing uberconference BEAST should have had a minimum of 10 teams invited particularly those who had proven themselves out conference and those with winning conference records. Prior to conference play Notre Dame was a Top 10 team and Georgetown climbed as high as number 3 before losing to Providence; who just by coincidence had a winning conference record. Those bids should have come at the expense of Arizona (19-13 record the same as Providence), Maryland (I'm an alum and ashamed that this atrocity is being committed to the BEAST) and Michigan/Minnesota.

The bottom line is that the BEAST is the toughest conference in the country and the tems within it should be rewarded for the brutality of having to play 3 #1 seeds; sometimes twice. 

It is time to give the BEAST its' due and award it the amount of bids it deserves as the alpha dog of college hoops. This is not the first year the BEAST has been shortchanged. The selection committee must open their eyes and commit to giving the best in college hoops their just reward and expect the BEAST to produce 10 tournament teams every year. Perhaps 8 in a down year and 11 or even twelve when the conference is this dominant.


Since: Jul 21, 2008
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:17 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

My last comment was intended for the guy on the first page who asserted UNC or Duke would beat any Big East team that played them.



Since: Jul 21, 2008
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:15 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)


I'm an ACC fan, but I'm not stupid enough to make that assertion.

Big East is tops this year. Get over it.

Since: Mar 29, 2008
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:11 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)


 Syracuse also lost on a halfcourt buzzer beater while Wake Forest never had a chance in that game. But go ahead and spin it however you want.

Since: May 21, 2008
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:09 am

San Diego St. v. Louisville


Unpredictable star: Jamelle Horne took 11 shots, made six and finished with 15 points and five rebounds in Arizona's . 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."


I just can't see you ever saying "... Saint Mary's, San Diego State, Creighton ....  very difficult to defend, and if they do it in the Sweet 16 they could give Louisville a tough time in Indianapolis."  The rigth team is playing in Indy, and they are realistically more of a 4 seed, than a 12.


Bear Down!

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