Blog Entry

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In

Posted on: March 9, 2010 12:36 am
Edited on: March 9, 2010 12:39 am

Fairfield blew a nice lead.

Saint Mary's did not.

Here's Tuesday morning's Gettin' In.

Teams that punched tickets Monday: Old Dominion, Siena, Saint Mary's and Wofford each earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on Monday. That means nine of the 65 spots in the field are claimed.

Best game:
Fairfield was up 13 with less than 18 to play Monday night, and bubble-watchers everywhere were debating whether Siena could get an at-large bid after the sure-to-come loss in the MAAC tournament title game. My opinion: No, the Saints probably wouldn't have received an at-large bid given that they own zero top 50 victories. But guess what? It doesn't matter now because the Saints stormed back, forced overtime and recorded a 72-65 victory that made them the MAAC's automatic qualifier. Now they'll sit back and wait for the selection committee to give them a No. 12 seed, then we'll all pick them to beat some No. 5 seed.

Team whose dream remained alive: North Texas was nearly upset in the Sun Belt quarterfinals, but the Mean Green easily handled Denver in Monday's semifinals. The 63-56 victory will allow them to take a 10-game winning streak into Tuesday's title game.

Team whose dream was crushed: Western Kentucky fell behind by 16 points late in the first half and only scored 48 in the game, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Hilltoppers lost Monday in the semifinals of the Sun Belt tournament. What's surprising is that they had a chance to win, and that they actually led 48-47 with less than four minutes remaining. WKU seemed in control. But Troy countered with a 7-0 run, won 54-48 and ensured WKU's NCAA tournament streak will stop at two.

Performance I hope you witnessed: The West Coast Conference was probably going to be a two-bid league regardless, but Mickey McConnell ensured as much with a 26-point effort that keyed Saint Mary's 81-62 victory over Gonzaga in Monday's WCC tournament title game. McConnell hit 10 of 17 shots -- including four of seven 3-point attempts -- and helped the Gaels prevent Gonzaga from winning this event for the 11th time in 13 seasons.

Performance I hope you missed: David Schneider hit a big shot to lift William & Mary to the title game of the Colonial tournament, but missed pretty much every shot in said title game. He was 2-of-13 from the field in Monday's 60-53 loss to Old Dominion, 3-of-22 from the field in his past two games.

Three random notes

1. The Big East tournament starts Tuesday with four games. If you're a fan of a bubble team, you should root for St. John's to beat Connecticut, for DePaul to beat South Florida, and for Providence to beat Seton Hall.

2. The Horizon League title game is Tuesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. If you're a fan of a bubble team, you should root for Butler to beat Wright State because the alternative outcome would turn the Horizon into a two-bid league, which would effectively shrink the field by one.

The Oregonian newspaper reported late Monday that P.J. Carlesimo is a serious candidate to replace Ernie Kent at Oregon. Kent is expected to be officially fired at the conclusion of the Pac-10 tournament.

Final thought: Nothing in the Top 25 (and one) got folks fired up like Purdue down at No. 11.

But I don't understand the argument.

I mean, where do you think Purdue belongs?

No question, the Boilermakers were on their way to the No.1  seed in the NCAA tournament three weeks ago. But everything changed when Robbie Hummel tore his ACL, and this clearly isn't the same team. They looked average in a home loss to Michigan State, then backed that with a couple of wins over bad Big Ten teams, and I honestly think placing Purdue 11th is pretty darn generous.

It's unfortunate, but the fact remains that Hummel is gone.

So we'll never know what the Boilermakers might've otherwise been.

But I think I know what they are right now.

And that's something slightly less than a top 10 team.

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2010 2:02 pm

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In


You clearly know your stuff.  So you are telling me that OSU fans didnt make the short trip to Dayton for the first round matchup to support their team?  If that is the case than OSU fans everywhere should be ashamed of themselves. That is a disgrace.  Thank you for pointing that out to me, I always thought OSU fans were solid but I guess not.

Since: Feb 28, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2010 1:05 pm

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In

"Just sayin'."

You are an idiot if you don't get it he just explained it.  The other "bodies of work" teams you mention have their players back now, yours doesn't.  Let's face it, you won't beat Wisconsin or even Illinios without Hummel, much less MSU or Ohio State.  You are lucky to not be ranked below Wisconsin.

Since: Feb 7, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2010 1:03 pm

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In

bmurcer1, you misread my intent. I wasn't taking a swipe at the Buckeyes, I was just pointing out the reality of the situation. Over the last 5 years, Siena has played 23 non-postseason games against top 100 opponents. The breakdown is 7 home, 17 away and 2 site neutral. 4 of those games are regular home & away from conference play and the 2 neutral sites were a pre-season tournament. For teams with an RPI in the top 50, the breakdown is 2 home 11 away 2 neutral. (Props to St. Joe's and Stanford for risking a traditional home & home split)

I chose this year's Butler-OSU game only as an example of what might happen. Big name schools have nothing to gain playing "lesser" teams on their own court. The big time program is expected to win anyway. Heaven forbid they lose. That is why there are so few examples of this happening. The lack of big names in mid-major buildings is one more reason why those smaller schools have trouble recruiting 2nd or 3rd line talent, making short term streaks of quality so commonplace. Ohio State deserves praise for taking the risk, regardless of the underlying circumstances.

Since: Nov 2, 2009
Posted on: March 9, 2010 12:52 pm

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In


You'll notice that I complimented the Bulldogs on their ability to sustain a great "mid-major" program.  I was attacking The_Troll who took a back-handed slap at the face of OSU... for agreeing to play on the road at places like Hinkle Fieldhouse.  I did not intend to insult Butler at all, so hopefully you didn't feel that way.

I had not heard that Matta had decided to cancel the home-and-homes w/ Butler.  I hope you are incorrect b/c I enjoy that series very much.  I certainly did not forget about the blasting OSU took in Indianpolis in the winter of 2007.  I was in attendance at that game in Indy, just as I was in attendance both times Butler came to Columbus.  I would have gone back to Indy this year, had I been living in Columbus still.  The trip from Miami, FL would have been a little excessive!  However, I definitely love Hinkle Fieldhouse.  It had a great atmosphere.

As for a discussion of that game in 2007, it was baffling.  OSU was up by 17 in the first half w/ 7 minutes to go.  Matta took out our best player, Jamar Butler... and both teams didn't make a shot for roughly the next 6 minutes.  In the final minute of the first half, Butler made a mini-run and Mack hit a ridiculous 3 at the buzzer to pull the Bulldogs w/in 10 at halftime.  In the 2nd half, Butler came out and shot lights-out... a complete turn-around from their poor shooting display of the 1st 20 minutes.  I still have no idea why Matta took out Jamar Butler for the last 7 min of the 1st half; I don't know if he was sick or what.  If he had continued to play, OSU might have pushed the lead over the cold-shooting Bulldogs to over 20 points at the half.  Then it would have been interesting to see how hard Butler played or if Butler could have blitzkrieged the Buckeyes in the 2nd half.

That's my opinion on that... I'm still baffled by the events of that night.  At the same time, though, I couldn't be too upset b/c Pitt beat WVU in football that night and Oklahoma got smoked in the Big XII championship game, allowing OSU to slide back into a NC appearance in football - in a rebuilding year.  So oh well, you win some and you lose some.  Hopefully you've heard wrong though about Matta cancelling the series in bball.  I hope OSU and Butler continue to play b/c they have all been competitive games.

Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: March 9, 2010 12:46 pm

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In

pdx_pur, no offense, but you must have your black and gold colored sunglasses on.  Cool  Rankings or seedings for the tournament are based on how good you think that team is.

Let's take this a step further.  What if ALL five starters for the Boilers went down because of injury.  Would you not move them down?  They're a different team than they were before, right?  Just because there's no evidence yet that there NOT the same team as before doesn't mean you can't reevaluate the team based on the new chemistry and experience of the players that are left.

Yet, in this case we DO have evidence that supports the theory that this Purdue team isn't as good as the one WITH Hummel.

I am a big Purdue fan.  I just decided to take my sunglasses off for a moment.

Since: Nov 2, 2009
Posted on: March 9, 2010 12:42 pm

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In


You're actually off-base.  Playing in Dayton is nothing like a home game for OSU.  The crowd there actually roots against OSU, except for the OSU fans who travel to see the game there.  Dayton loves UD, and many people nearby like Cincinnati.  Indianapolis is also the same distance from Dayton as Columbus is so there are some IU and Purdue and Butler fans in that general area.  Furthermore, many people in Dayton or suburbs in b/w Dayton and Cinci love ND.  ND and OSU mostly hate each other.  All of that leads up to the fact that once an opportunity presented itself for the crowd that night, they jumped all over OSU and cheered hard for Siena.

It's very similar to when Cincinnati got a high seed under Bob Huggins in 2004.  They got to play in downtown Columbus, OH.  Virtual 2 home games for Cinci??? Absolutely not.  The crowd consisted of many OSU backers and they jumped all over the Bearcats.  The arena was jumping... but in complete support of their first-round opponent, East Tennessee State -- who almost pulled the huge upset.  In UC's 2nd game of the weekend, Illinois absolutely destroyed them, much to the delight of the Columbus crowd.

So you don't know what you're talking about... you better hope IU doesn't run the table in the Big 10 tourney and get a 13/14 seed and play your Panthers again.

Since: Jun 18, 2009
Posted on: March 9, 2010 12:38 pm

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In


Don't forget about getting blasted 65-46 in Indianapolis the year before last.Smile  The home team has won each of the four matchups between the two schools during the series.  Ohio State was still able to get the 8 seed even after losing Lighty right after the Butler game; that was a very good, ranked team last year (including Evan Turner! ::gasp::) that barely took down the Bulldogs at home.

Conveniently, That Matta canceled the series after this year, but to me the decision is baffling.  Last year when Ohio State beat Butler it was looked at as a resume-boosting win.  The road losses were to ranked teams garnering (presumably this year as well) single digit seeds.  Why cancel the series?  Why take a quality team off of the non-conference schedule?

Since: Mar 5, 2010
Posted on: March 9, 2010 12:25 pm

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In


Well, almost every bracket has Purdue as a #2 seed at this point therefore they are a top 8 team.  Putting them at 11 shows you don't know what you are doing.

Bottom line... a team shouldn't be penalized by losing a player.  A team should be penalized by losing games. 

Perhaps Purdue will be rank around 20-25 at the end of the year if they lose badly as you expect.  However they haven't had any bad losses....not worst than K- St or Villanova. To have these teams ahead of Purdue TODAY is wrong!!

If you still don't understand this maybe you shouldn't be a sport analyst.


Another fired up folk due to having Purdue at No. 11  (why so many of us??)

Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: March 9, 2010 12:23 pm

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In

Purdue's loss to Michigan St was a bad loss because Michigan St has been playing terrible lately.  On top of that Purdue only scored 44 points against them at home!  Purdue beat Mich St AT Mich St WITH Hummel.  Even Penn St took Mich. St to the wire AT Michigan St!  I would argue that Michigan St is ranked too high as well. 

I hope Purdue can learn to play without Hummel soon.  But at this point they have struggled without him.  Don't just look at the record without him (3-1).  Look at who they beat (MN, Indiana, Penn St) AND how they beat them.

Imagine if Purdue started the season at 3-1 with nothing else to go by but the MN, Mich St, Ind, Penn St games AND knowing how they won or lost those games.  How would you assess their team?  I would say they are an average team in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten NOT a Top 10 ten in the nation.

Any arguments with that?  

Since: Jan 12, 2010
Posted on: March 9, 2010 12:22 pm

Tuesday morning's Gettin' In

I totally agree with the statements from Grizz. We all know that Purdue is a different team than they were with Hummel.  But they haven't provided any evidence that they're bombing.  The loss against MSU could have happened even if they had Hummel.  What else can they do but win the games they won?  If they would have lost either to IU or PSU, I could understand some of this.  But they didn't.  The record still shows them as a 4 loss team.  Until they give you a reason to drop them, I don't see how you can.  I don't think its right to penalize teams for speculation that they will be worse without a certain player.  At least give them the benefit of the doubt. 

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