Posted on: March 13, 2010 8:25 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2010 4:46 pm

Huskies' Bubble Floats to Pac-10 Trophy


Never underestimate the bubble team. They are focused. They are determined. And, if they're anything like Washington, they refuse to go gentle into that good night.

Earlier today, we mentioned that Cal could be stepping into a trap if Washington -- one of the most formidable defenses in the Pac-10 -- was ready to stop them. At the half, Cal supertar (and current leading scorer in the school's history) Jerome Randle looked lost with four points. So I'd call that a big yes. As a result, Washington beats down Cal 79-75.

Washington's Isaiah Thomas, who is rumored to have gained his name when his father lost a wager on a 1989 Pistons-Lakers playoff game, received a text before the game from his namesake which allegedly read "Go get 'em little Isaiah." So he did. Thomas split duties with Quincy Pondexter, the former with 16 points and the latter with 18, to take down the regular season champs (and #1 seed) and prove what a motivator the bubble can be.

To be fair, it was never easy for the Huskies in a blink-and-the-score changes type of game, with Cal still alive in the final ten seconds as Randle stood shooting free throws at the 77-74 mark, making one and missing one before his own lane violation handed the ball back to the Huskies. And the rest is Pac-10 tournament history.

So the Huskies are dancing. And Cal, still likely a good shot for a bid with its regular season title, has to wait till tomorrow to see what happens. Tonight, all they know is that you don't underestimate the bubble team.
Posted on: March 13, 2010 5:45 pm
Edited on: March 13, 2010 5:47 pm

Morgan State, So You Think You Can Dance?

Drew Franklin

You have been following the MEAC, right?

No, not MIAK. That's what Ernest P. Worrell used to kill the trolls in Ernest Scared Stupid.  I'm talking about the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.  It's probably like the best athletic conference ever.  I think they won an ESPY or something.  Anyway...

Our nation's 51st state, Morgan State, defeated South Carolina State in the MEAC Conference tourney today.  The MEAC Player of the Year Reggie Holmes scored 17 points for the Golden Bears in the win.

Morgan State became the first repeat MEAC champion since Hampton in 2001-2002.  The Golden Bears lost to Oklahoma 82-54 in last years NCAA tournament.

And in the ACC, Duke needed 27 points from Kyle Singler to barely eek past Miami in the semifinals.  The Blue Devils won 77-74 and were the only one of the top six seeds to reach the semifinals.


Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 13, 2010 5:39 pm
Edited on: March 13, 2010 5:41 pm

The game of basketball dealt a heavy blow

John Wilkinson

11 points. 

That's all Purdue could muster in the first half, as Minnesota builds an insurmountable 37-11 halftime lead in the Big Ten semis. 

We knew the Boilers would struggle for points without Hummel, but this is an abject farce of a performance and a potentially damning blow to their seeding tomorrow. Talk about flunking the eye-test. 

Gene Keady, have you ever seen anything this ugly? 

I know I have.
Posted on: March 13, 2010 5:25 pm
Edited on: March 13, 2010 5:28 pm

Who will be king of the mountain?

John Wilkinson

Final Four veterans Steve Fisher and Lon Kruger vie for the top of the Mountain West as San Diego St. and UNLV square off in Vegas at 7.

The Mountain West is already assured four tournament bids, but prime seeding took a hit with both BYU and New Mexico slipping in the semis. Nevertheless, UNLV and San Diego St. are two teams capable of streaking to the Sweet 16 and tonight's final in Vegas will be a thriller. 

Quick question, would you go to less class if you attended SDSU or UNLV?

The Aztecs entered the tournament needing at least one win to secure a spot in the ultimate bracket, so they went ahead and won a pair, just to be safe. In the process, SDSU snapped the Lobos' 15 game winning streak and perhaps a shot at a 2-seed. 

UNLV stymied Jimmer Fredette and BYU in the night-capper and will be tough to beat here on their home floor. The Rebs literally have the keys to this tournament, champions in 2 of the past 3 seasons. 

If you're an east coaster with a day job who might have missed Mountain West action this year, tune in, you've been missing some of the best ball being played in any conference right now.

Mountain West Conference Tournament

Championship Game

(4) San Diego St. vs. (3) UNLV 

Posted on: March 13, 2010 4:50 pm
Edited on: March 13, 2010 4:54 pm

Big Ten semis start with a bang

John Wilkinson

Evan Turner's 31 points and 10 rebounds propelled the top-seeded Buckeyes past Illinois in a double OT thriller. The Bucks advance to tomorrow's finals with heavy legs as 4 Ohio State starters logged over 40 minutes, and 3 stuck it out for all 50. 

Turner was fantastic yet again, though notching the tainted triple-double of 31, 10 and 10 TO's, and fouling out with a minute left in the 2nd OT. 

The Illini got 22 points out of Demetri McCamey and 18 boards from forward Mike Davis but will undoubtedly lament two wasted opportunities at the end of regulation and overtime where they ran out the clock without getting a game-winning shot in the air. Still a nice showing in Indy for Illinois as they will now rest up for the dance. 

The winner of Minnesota and Purdue, just underway, will have to like their chances to upset the Buckeyes, who really only use 6 players. However, Turner has never given us reason to doubt his pluck and the Bucks have a lot to play for with a #1 seed still on the table. 
Posted on: March 13, 2010 4:38 pm

Kentucky Gives it to the Vols, 74-45


4:40 PM

There is no doubt that Kentucky is a contender to win the national title.  But when they are hitting threes with the authority they did in a 74-45 victory over Tennessee on Saturday, they may be very difficult to stop.  Kentucky made eight threes, including five by Freshman Eric Bledsoe in beating their biggest conference rival before a loud crowd of what John Calipari called "The Blue Mist."  The game was characterized by its emotion and chippiness, as two sets of double technicals were issued, one Vol player was ejected for a flagrant elbow and one Kentucky freshman (Daniel Orton) was sent by his coach to the locker room for a cool-down period after arguing with the staff on the bench.  All in all, just another Kentucky-Tennessee game.

For the Vols, the loss probably slots them as a 4 seed for the Tournament, a tremendous accomplishment for Bruce Pearl's team after the loss of their best player, Tyler Smith.  The Vols were frigid from the field, shooting just 30 percent and only 13 percent from behind the three point line.  They were led with 11 points from Scotty Hopson, who talked trash and gave effort all game, but ultimately fell victim to the Kentucky talent and the fact UT was on its third game in three days.

As for Kentucky, the players said that John Calipari told his team before the game, "dont let them punk you out" and the Cats jumped out early to a lead and never looked back.  Demarcus Cousins led all scorers with 15 points, despite missing ten free throws.  The Cats shot 52 percent for the game and afterwards admitted, in the words of Patrick Patterson, "we really like beating those guys."  They now have one more to win to get an SEC title, and their #1 seed in the tournament is all but assured.

The Cats move on to face the winner of Vanderbilt and Mississippi State, two teams now playing in front of a disinterested crowd of UK fans who feel obligated to stay at the game because they paid so much for their tickets.
Posted on: March 13, 2010 4:26 pm

Get ready for some Buckeye on Buckeye MACtion

Thomas Beisner

4:00 PM

Under the watchful eye of second-year coach John Groce, an Ohio cult hero responsible for assembling OSU's Oden-Conley-Cook recruiting class, the ninth-seeded Ohio Bobcats have put together a Cinderella-like run in the MAC tournament.  After an overtime victory against the Ball State fighting Boom Goes the Dynamite Guys, Groce's squad beat down top-seeded Kent State by 17 points.  Now, after a 12-point victory over "MAC Daddy" Charlie Coles and his Miami Redhawks, all that stands between the Bobcats and a miraculous trip to the NCAA tournament is the Akron Zips.

However, the third-seed Zips don't plan on going into the night quietly.  Thanks to stats so evenly distributed Karl Marx wears a Zips hoodie, Akron has conquered their neighbors to the north, beating Eastern Michigan Thursday and Western Michigan on Friday.  Coach Keith Dambrodt, LeBron James' high school coach, doesn't have the luxury of a 6'8" 240 pound superstar anymore, so he relies on balance, playing eight guys at least 17 minutes per game. 

With neither team having a shot at an at-large bid, it's do or die tonight in Cleveland, which I'm sure is not the only time that statement's been made.  Maybe the first time it hasn't been literal.  If the Bobcats prevail, the NCAA tournament will have yet another heartwarming story and if the Zips should win, Kentucky might lose superfan LeBron James, whose front-running fandom (Yankees, Cowboys, Kentucky, Jordan's Bulls) knows no bounds.

It's the MAC and it gets started at 6 pm.  Don't miss it.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 13, 2010 2:02 pm
Edited on: March 13, 2010 7:16 pm

Houston Responsible for Fatal Mining Accident


UTEP hadn't been beaten in two months until today. The last time they were beaten, it was by the Houston Cougars. 

Today, the Cougars did it again. This time, though, they'll take home a Conference USA trophy and a bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

It didn't start off pretty. UTEP jumped out to a very early lead against the Cougars, looking dominant, just as was expected. UTEP's cast was performing strong, leading 43-38 at the half. 

Then Tom Penders' gang got it together. And decided it was time to stop losing, apparently. The second half saw a rousing surge that, if we're being truthful, almost seemed too exciting to be Conference USA basketball. Kelvin Lewis, Aubrey Coleman and Adam Brown joined forces to create an undeniable wave -- both offensively and defensively -- and surge against the Miners. 

When Houston's Kelvin Lewis hit a long, bold three to take a one point lead at the 3:18 mark, and Adam Brown followed it up to put the Cougars up four, a momentum was underway that couldn't be stopped. And underdog Houston dethrones UTEP 81-73. Somewhere, CBS alum Jim Nantz is happy about that. 

So the Cougars slip and slide into the NCAA tournament. Who's next?
Category: NCAAB
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