Blog Entry

Saturday Wrap-up

Posted on: March 12, 2011 6:38 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2011 11:58 pm
NEW YORK -- The Princeton Tigers and Memphis Tigers both won in the final seconds.

So they'll both be in the NCAA tournament.

Nolan Smith?

His hurt toe seems OK.

Here's Saturday's Wrap-up to recap a busy day of college basketball.

Best game: The Princeton-Harvard playoff received considerable hype relative to Ivy League standards, then lived up to that hype with a classic ending that featured Douglas Davis hitting a leaner at the buzzer to give Princeton a 63-62 win that'll send the Tigers to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2004. Harvard hasn't made the NCAA tournament since 1946, still. But the school can claim Natalie Portman, and that's worth something.
Other best game: Memphis was down 12 with less than 10 to play to a team it had lost to by 27 points three Saturdays earlier. Game over, right? That's how it looked, and I found myself breaking from the action to look at the Tigers' resume in an attempt to make an educated guess about whether they could earn an at-large bid as second-place finishers to UTEP in the C-USA tournament. Then Tarik Black scored four straight points and suddenly the Tigers were on a run that would culminate with Joe Jackson at the free throw line, his team behind by a point. Jackson made the first, then made the second. And when UTEP's Christian Polk missed at the buzzer, Josh Pastner was able to celebrate his first trip to the NCAA tournament and calm his passionate fan base, all at the same time.

Yet another best game: Isaiah Thomas rushed the ball up the court, ignored his coach's desire to get a timeout and sank a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to lift Washington to a 77-75 win over Arizona in the Pac-10 title game. Consequently, the Huskies are the automatic bid from the Pac-10 for the second straight season. Now let's see if they can make the Sweet 16 for the second straight season, too.

Yet another best game: Connecticut completed a historic run to the Big East tournament title with a 69-66 win over Louisvile in which Kemba Walker had 19 points. You want to read more about it, check my column from Madison Square Garden.

Team whose dream remained alive: Dayton finished ninth in the Atlantic 10 after being picked fourth in the preseason poll, which is a fact-based way of saying this hasn't been the best of seasons for Brian Gregory. But now he's just a win over Richmond away from erasing all that from his fans' memories and making the NCAA tournament thanks to a 64-61 victory over Saint Joseph's in the A-10 semifinals. The Flyers will be underdogs in the A-10 title game, for sure. But they'll have a chance, and that's not something that seemed likely a week ago.

Team whose dream was crushed: BYU's dream wasn't crushed, exactly. But the door to a possible No. 1 seed officially closed with a 72-54 loss to San Diego State in the Mountain West title game. That the Cougars could easily handle SDSU twice with Brandon Davies but could not handle SDSU without Brandon Davies is yet another sign that this isn't the same team that moved into the top five of the AP poll two weeks ago. And that's too bad. Because I'm no longer certain Jimmer's gonna be around for the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.

Performance I hope you witnessed: Harrison Barnes has elevated his game in recent weeks as much as Joe Jackson elevated his game in recent days. The North Carolina freshman now looks worthy of the Preseason National Player of the Year award bestowed upon him in October -- proof being the 40 points he dropped in UNC's 92-87 win over Clemson in the ACC semifinals. Barnes was 12-of-17 from the field, 6-of-8 from 3-point range and 10-of-11 from the free throw line. It took him longer than I expected to become a star, I admit. But can anybody deny he's reached that status heading into Sunday's ACC tournament final against Duke?

Performance I hope you missed: Texas dropped to 0-6 in Big 12 title games by falling 85-73 to Kansas in a contest the Longhorns never really threatened to win. They were down 48-33 at the half and let KU shoot 56.9 percent for the game. Their cooperation allowed the Jayhawks to secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Three things worth noting

1. Kentucky's 72-58 win over Alabama kept the Crimson Tide on the bubble and advanced the Wildcats to the SEC title game for the second straight season. Last year they played Mississippi State. This year they'll play Florida, the reigning SEC East champions.

2. Nolan Smith suffered a toe injury late Friday but returned early Saturday and scored 27 points in Duke's 77-63 win over Virginia Tech in the ACC semifinals. I think that means he's OK. Virginia Tech's at-large hopes? They're probably OK, too. But it's impossible to say for sure.

3. Not sure I had Ohio State needing to beat Northwestern, Michigan and Penn State to win the Big Ten tournament, but that's the way this event has unfolded. So unless you think the Nittany Lions are beating the Buckeyes on Sunday, go ahead and pencil in Thad Matta's team as the bracket's No. 1 overall seed. Better yet, just wait. Considering the way things are going, Talor Battle will be holding a Big Ten trophy Sunday afternoon.

Final thought: Paul Hewitt was tied to Georgia Tech a little longer than he probably should've been because of a $7 million buyout that the school previously didn't want to pay and Hewitt was never going to walk away from, wisely. But Georgia Tech officials finally secured the funds to move their program in another direction after Hewitt finished with a losing ACC record for the fourth straight season, and the school confirmed his termination early Saturday.

Both sides will be better for it.

Georgia Tech is a good school and Hewitt is a good man, but this relationship needed to end. The two sides had become like a numb married couple that's only together because it's more convenient than separating, and that's not fun for anybody. So good for Georgia Tech, and good for Paul Hewitt. Saturday was an expensive day for the former and a tough day for the latter, but it's a day both clearly needed to arrive.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Wrap-up

Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: March 13, 2011 2:44 pm

Saturday Wrap-up

SDSU deserves a number 1 seed. BYU deserves a 3 or 4 seed, especially with Davies missing now in the low post.  UNLV deserves a 6 seed.  The MWC top 3 teams would find themselves in the hunt with the top 6 teams in the Big East; West Virginia, St. John's, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Notre Dame and L'Ville would all be great competition for BYU, SDSU and UNLV.  They have comparable venues and for the most part compare to fan attendance so you get that "big time college basketball atmosphere."  Just to be sure, I looked quickly at Pittsburgh, ND, Syracuse and L'Ville and found they didn't "hit the road" until January? They played about 13 to 15 games before they ventured out on a real road trip (as defined by ESPN or CBS standings)? L'Ville played their third game in as many seasons against UNLV and (deservedly so) finally beat UNLV after failing in two earlier attempts. So, though I understand getting all caught up in the Dickie V "Big East is where it's at baby" hype, one should really take a step back and do at least a little thinking on one's own before bangin' the drum. Just sayin'........

Since: Feb 1, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2011 11:47 am

Saturday Wrap-up

One more thing, bombers: what conference does Butler hail from?!?  If my memory serves me correctly, weren't they seconds away from beating Duke and winning it all last year?!?  Try again.

Since: Feb 1, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2011 11:36 am

Saturday Wrap-up

I can see ACC winner getting a #1 seed, but please stop with the SDSU crap. There is no way a team that plays BYU 3 times and nobody else gets it over any Big East team. If SDSU was in the Big East, they would still be on the bubble with 13 or more losses!
In my mind, the 4 #1 seeds should go to the 4 best Big East teams...yeah, they should get all 4!

bombers -- You just validated your "Amateur" status.  Have you actually watched the Aztecs play this year?!?  Well, I have on a number of occasions this year (including yesterday afternoon) and they appear to have enough athleticism, size and skill to compete with anyone in the country.  Yeah, they don't have a bunch of marquee wins outside of BYU, but their power numbers are really impressive: SOS 22, RPI 3.  They have beaten the likes of Long Beach St., Gonzaga, St. Mary's, Cal, Wichita St. & UC Santa Barbara, none of which are pushovers and all (aside from Cal) were expected to be competing for a conference title and/or tournament bid at some point this year.  They have NO bad losses (and only 2 the entire year!) many Big East teams can claim that?!?  Enough of your major conference bias; if you actually paid close attention to the tournament, you'd know that conference affiliation means little once the games start (see Davidson, George Mason, Washington, Northern Iowa, etc., etc., etc. in recent years).  Competitive basketball does exist outside of the ACC, Big East, Big 10 and East should take a look at it sometime.

Since: Feb 21, 2011
Posted on: March 13, 2011 10:49 am

Saturday Wrap-up

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2011 10:45 am

Saturday Wrap-up

(rolls eyes)Yeah I like that idea lets put all the top 4 Big east teams and just give them the number 1 seeds. Andddd ANDDDDDDDD. Lets put 12 teams out of the Big east in the NCAA Tourney. Here comes the best part,Lets watch Over half of them lose in the first weekend then the other ones stumble and have one make it to the final four only to get knocked out right there. You should be on the Selection crew my friendUndecided.

Since: Mar 13, 2011
Posted on: March 13, 2011 10:06 am

Saturday Wrap-up

I can see ACC winner getting a #1 seed, but please stop with the SDSU crap. There is no way a team that plays BYU 3 times and nobody else gets it over any Big East team. If SDSU was in the Big East, they would still be on the bubble with 13 or more losses!
In my mind, the 4 #1 seeds should go to the 4 best Big East teams...yeah, they should get all 4!

Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2011 9:53 am

Saturday Wrap-up

By the way Gary, Do you think a team with 2 or 3 losses should be
in your 25 and 1   rankings?   I do?


Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2011 9:49 am

Saturday Wrap-up

The only possible fair  4  #1  seeds

midwest  Kansas
west      SDSU

the above is what i picked 7 days ago   lol

One thing for sure (AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN)   TO PUT  12  and 13  loss teams ahead
of other schools that had great years is   DISCRIMINATION



AH I FORGOT     ALABAMA AND MSU   WITH THEIR 13 losses   not deserving at all
no matter who they play  THEY LOST 13 DAMN GAMES


Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2011 6:45 am

Saturday Wrap-up

A deep run??  A deep run?  Come on dude, who did they beat??  They played a weak schedule in a weak conference, I will be very suprised if they get to the sweet sixteen and if they do it is night night there.
For those who keep getting on BYU and SDSU for their "weak" schedules, they both finished the regular season with SOS's in the top 33 (along with UNLV for that matter), comparable to Duke, and better than anything the Pac-10 can throw out there.  But I'm sure in your mind, Arizona and Washington are MUCH better equipped to make deep runs in the tournament.  If you haven't seen BYU or SDSU play, they are both capable of hanging with "the big boys," especially in this year where there are no run away best teams.  I'll be picking SDSU to make it to the sweet 16.  And your comment about it being night night there, well, yeah, most likely they'll play the 3 seed from their region where it will be a 50-50 game.

Since: Feb 17, 2011
Posted on: March 13, 2011 4:57 am

Saturday Wrap-up

Wow, you really are the definition of a classless/jealous Ute "fan".  Guys like you are the reason Utah was voted to have the worst fans in the Mt West. I am sure that will continue in the Pac.  I dont like Utah but Van Horne, Miller, Doliac, Bogut were all great players ani I dont have a problem saying that.  But then I am not drunk all the time either.

Just some points
   -  Jimmer is most likely going to be the Player of the year.  You dont win that or even get an all American if you have big weaknesses in your game
   -  Lots of players could score 40...  No they couldn't.  Only an absolute idiot would think that.
   -  Actually he is usually one of the first up the court on defense.
   -  I have seen him get more than 2 fouls - several times.  Do you actually watch the games?
   -  Also - Rose is doing a lot to protect Jimmer - He is far to valuable as a offensive threat to let him sit the bench with 2 fouls early in the game.  Only an idiot would think otherwise...oh yah.
   -  Scored 25, 52 and 30.......  Seems like a liability to me.
   -  Really, the 8th ranked team in the country should get a 5 or 6 seed?  Do you know how to count?  The winner of this game should get a #1 seed and the looser a #2.  Pretty hard to justify otherwise but I am sure the selection comittie will do their magic again and give SDSU and BYU a 3 and 4 seed.
   -  It was actually the gheto SDSU player trying to rub it into Jimmers face.  Did you actually watch the game or hear the announcers wonder why White ran over to Jimmer?
   -  Really - Jimmer is a protected player.  Is that why ESPN and others wrote articles about how Jimmer was getting shafted by the officials?  This "Protected player" got 1 free throw against New Mexico.  Tonight he got grabed and thrown to the court in the first half and no call.  The Mt West reffs were blatantly anti BYU all year.  They would have been anti Utah as well if Utah was any good. The same as the Mt West screwed TCU on the football schedule for next year. 
   -  Not sure what you think an offensive foul call is but Jimmer was called for 3 in a recent game.  Replay and the anouncers on the game showed that 2 of the 3 should have been called blocks.  Guess that is what happens to a "Protected" player.
   -  Real reffs at the tournament?  Odds are jimmer goes to the line 15 times because the reffs will not have some "BYU is leaving the conference" agenda.

Basically you are ludicrously wrong on every "point" you tried to make.  Not one person who is not a Utah "fan" thinks anyting like you do.  I am guessing your other aliases are hedgehog and ChrisB.

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