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 1:02 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Hey Mr. Expert (Gary)

What happen to your Wake Forest team that you've pick to go to the Final Four. I think you are the worst analyst in the country. HAHAHA 

Since: Oct 2, 2007
Posted on: March 23, 2009 1:01 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

I understand exactly what you are saying, the ACC has been quite disappointing in the tournament this far. What I do have a problem with is saying that UNC and Duke playing in Greensboro is the reason they won.  Both UNC and yes the Puke Blue Devils are great teams and can win even if they are playing in Japan. Don't say they won because of location, the game is played on the court not in the stands.



Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2009 12:41 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

"that's funny, because duke lost to MICHIGAN, who would get THRASHED by anyone in the Big East, and both Duke AND UNC lost to Boston College, who lost to HARVARD."

Pure genius. Michigan would get "THRASHED" by anyone in the Big East?  First of all, Dook played Michigan twice. The first game, dook beat them by 15 on a Neutral court...UConn beat Michigan by 8 AT Uconn. Thrashed though, right? Any team in the Big East, right?

As for the rest of the post, these types of chain link theories are my favorite. Let's give one a shot in the Big East:

Louisville lost by 14 to Western Kentucky on a neutral court. Western Kentucky lost to Florida International...who is ranked lower than Harvard at Kenpom.

Good times.

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2009 12:37 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

I still believe Wake Forest is one of the top 5 teams in the country, they were just unlucky playing a Cleveland State team who hit every shot they took.

i still agree with you parrish.. 

Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 12:31 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

Well, the controversy is mainly about the fans.  The games will decide the best, and the talk is the fun part.  It may turn out that 2 teams from the ACC (Duke, UNC) and 2 from the Big East (UConn and Louisville) will be in the final 4.  Many times the quality of the players, coaching and the overall team is so close that different teams would win on different nights, just look at how the season ending conference tourneys turned out.  A call goes one way, a bounce another, a stumble, a slip, sweat in the eye when shooting, etc.  These teams are all deserving and both conferences are great.  I don't think there is a suitable way to determine conference supremacy, so keep debating it.  That's what keeps us interested between games!

From previous posts- As for Arizona not deserving to be in the tourney, I look at it like a strike in baseball.  If the umpire calls it a strike, it's a strike.  Play ball.  If Arizona is placed into the field of 64, then they belong because we don't get to decide.  If you didn't make the field and want to make it, win your conference, or hope that you beat some great teams.  Inconsistent teams like Arizona are much more exciting in the tourney because you never know if they will show up, and when they do, with their great talent, then it makes the brackets less predictable, more exciting, and I love it.  Very few consistent, but questionable teams (12-14 seeds) ever move on, but the inconsistent ones are the dangerous ones. 

Go Zags


Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2009 12:29 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

More facts:

Wake Forest was a 4 seed. Syracuse is a 3 seed. 3 < 4.

What do Syracuse and Wake Forest have in common? Both lost to Cleveland State this season.

What was different about those losses? Syracuse lost AT HOME to Cleveland State.

But, the ACC sux, cuz we said so!!!

Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2009 12:26 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)


I've got $2 that says you can't get any dumber.  You seem so intent on discussing the ACC refs, blah, blah, blah- explain to me then why the ACC did so well OOC, without ACC refs? Do you think the ACC refs mattered much in the Heels' 43 point win over Radford? The 14 pt win over LSU? Seriously?

Oh, and now some facts for you (not that you seem to care about those pesky little things), but there are rules in the NCAA tournament around refs from a single conference. For instance, in the LSU / UNC game- there was one referee who refs primarily Big East & MAAC games, there was another who refs primarily Big East & ACC games, and a third who refs primarily SEC & Big East games.


Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: March 23, 2009 12:24 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)


 There should be plenty of chances to come for these conferences to play each other in this tournament. Nova is playing Duke next, and if Duke wins they'll probably then have to play pit. If Syracuse beats OK they will probably then match up with UNC. The further these teams make it in the conference, the more they will have to play each other. Unless of course both acc teams get eliminated before the final four, in which case they really only have these 3 potential match ups. 

Since: Sep 7, 2008
Posted on: March 23, 2009 12:21 am

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

First thing I have to say is I Love the statement that BRADHURT made on his comment. "Louisville couldn't even rent UNC much less own them". LOL...I couldn't agree more!!!  But we will never know because we will not get the chance to see them play in this tournament. Why?????? Because Louisville isn't goning to win the Midwest Regional. Michigan State will make sure Louisville won't be in the final 4 so the UNC-Louisville matchup will never happen.

Also for all you (I AM STUCK ON THE BIG EAST) your not going to win the West Regional either. And now you all think I'm gonna say Memphis will knock them off...nope...not gonna say that one either. The BIG 12 will have a rep. in the final 4. Missouri will take care of both memphis and UCON and be that special team in the final 4 that no one thinks will have a chance of being there. I don't care who's shooting their free throws and who's stepping over the inbounds line or who's getting fouled or not getting fouled on a last ditch effort 3 pointer. Misourin will make it to the final 4.

The ACC for sure will not be represented in the final 4 from the East Regional because the Dukies aren't going anywhere except to the Villanova schredding machine to be picked up by a recycle truck in hopes of being made into something better next year. Pitt will stop the schredding machine to be the final 4 rep from the East Regional.

In the South Regional the Sweet Sixten game to watch will be the Syracuse-Oklahoma game. That should be a great game but it won' matter much because UNC will beat Gonzaga and chew up and spit out the Syracuse-Oklahoma winner.

Guess what all you Big East Freaks...You have one rep in the final 4. That would be good by most standards but when you have 5 in the Sweet 16 you would think maybe more than one would make the final 4.

So you have Michigan State, Missouri, Pitt, and UNC. Four different conferences...just the way it should be.

Michigan State beats Pitt for the 2009 NCAA Championship.

Where does that leave the ACC, and the Big East...well I guess there allways could be next year. Wink 

Since: Jul 16, 2008
Posted on: March 22, 2009 11:59 pm

NCAA tournament recap (Sunday)

I guess we will find out if one of the big east schools can beat Duke as they play villanova in the next round.  It should be a good game.   

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