Posted on: March 14, 2010 4:22 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2010 4:28 pm
If we learned anything from Duke's 65-61 win over Georgia Tech today, it's that Kyle Singler will not tolerate anymore of Dick Vitale's ranting. Singler dove into the broadcast table with the fury of a masked luchadore, taking out Dick Vitale and Dan Shulman in the process. Luckily, everyone was ok after the play and Vitale's glass eye stayed in place.
As for the actual game, Duke looked to be cruising to victory but let an 11 point lead with six minutes left slip to just one. The Blue Devils needed a three-pointer from Jon Scheyer with 18 seconds on the clock to fight off the late Georgia Tech run. Scheyer finished with 16 points and Kyle Singler scored 20 to lead Duke to their league-record 18th tournament title. Duke has now won nine of the past 12 ACC Tournaments.
Duke likely sealed the deal on a #1 spot in the NCAA Tournament with the win.
Posted on: March 12, 2010 10:17 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2010 10:19 pm
See, it's clever because there was this book...
Georgia Tech all but solidified its spot in the field of 65 by topping second-seeded Maryland, 69-64 in an ACC quarterfinal Friday night.
The Yellow Jackets led by 19 in the first half and 16 at the break, but a furious rally by the Terrapins in the opening minutes of the second-half left things nip-and-tuck from the ten-minute mark on.
With Tech up 67-64 and under 15 seconds to play, ACC Player of the Year Grievis Vasquez pulled up for a potential game-tying three-pointer but had the ball stripped by Iman Shumpert. Vasquez then committed an intentional foul and Shumpert buried a pair of free-throws to seal the deal.
Georgia Tech negated 26 turnovers by shooting a season-best 56% from the field. Shumpert led the Jackets with 14 points while freshman star Derrick Favors added 11 points and 11 rebounds.
E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson combined for 50 of Purdue's 69 points as the Boilermakers overcame an early 11-point deficit and then held off a furious late Northwestern run to advance to Saturday's Big Ten semifinal against either Michigan State or Minnesota.
Following the game, Purdue fans said they didn't care which team they faced tomorrow night, just as long as the entire nation is still aware that Robbie Hummel is out for the season.
Georgetown and Marquette built upon a dazzling three days of Big East Tournament basketball by wowing the Garden crowd and a primetime ESPN audience with an 80-57 dud.
Not for your fault, Hoyas.
Georgetown, the No. 8 seed, advanced to the title game for the third time in four years. The storied program has brought the tournament title back to D.C. seven times.
Greg Monroe continued his campaign for tournament MVP by scoring 23 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and handing out seven assists. Not that the Hoyas needed it all. Jason Clark and Chris Wright both scored 15 points and Austin Freeman added 12.
Coming into the night, Marquette hadn't lost a game by more than nine all season. They fought to get it within five midway through the second half, but were outscored 24-6 from that point on. Jimmy "Jimmah" Butler led the Golden Eagles with 17 points.
Georgetown awaits the winner of tonight's West Virginia/Notre Dame clash.
SPOILER ALERT: They're going to lose to either one.
Down two with the ball and under 40 seconds to play, Dayton point guard Rob Lowery signaled for, and was granted, a timeout. Should've been the end of the story, but if it was it probably wouldn't have been the lead sentence. Xavier's Terrell Holloway slapped the ball out of Lowery's hands, an action the Flyer floor general apparently deemed worthy of punishment by half-hearted right cross.
Lowery received a technical, Holloway knocked down four straight free-throws and the Musketeers moved onto the A-10 semis.
Not that it should have ever come down to that.
UD led 61-46 with ten and-a-half minutes to play before they went ice cold from the field and turned to an ultra-conservative style of play. Xavier promptly went on a 19-3 run to claim a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Dayton will not dance (figuratively...and literally, I guess) in large part because of nine losses that were decided by five points or fewer.
Jarvis Varnado blocked 52 shots and Florida may or may not have seen its bubble burst.
Only facts you need.
Posted on: March 12, 2010 4:58 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2010 9:06 pm
If you want proof that NCAA's postseason play is entertainment second to none, this afternoon's games proved that. People across this great land were getting no work done this afternoon, and with good reason -- from an early scare for Kentucky in the SEC to giddy underdog teams making things happen, the path to Sunday is getting twistier than an a Hitchcock movie. Let's get to today's observations and scores, shall we?
The Illini likely got themselves a bid to the Dance this afternoon. Wisconsin rolled into Champaign last Sunday and ruined Senior Day; Bruce Weber swore that next time they'd be more prepared. They absolutely were today, as Illinois bumped Wisconsin off the ACC table (58-54) . Illinois big man Mike Tisdale led the march with 21 points as the Badgers played catch-up most the game. Demetri McCamey, who dropped a whopping 27 points on Wisconsin earlier this year, followed suit with 13 points and 8 assists. While Wisconsin still is considered a lock to grab an NCAA Tourney bid, Illinois needed this. And they got it all wrapped up in a nice bundle of revenge, too.
The Hurricanes are at least a category 4 . Let's be honest; Virginia Tech should have been playing Wake Forest in Greensboro today. Oh, wait. What? We have to play last-place Miami instead? That's even better. The Hokies probably expected a cakewalk -- and they clearly didn't learn anything from the lesson taught the Demon Deacons yesterday: that lesson being that Miami really wants this. The result? Miami drops Virginia Tech 70-65 . This game, on paper, is a blowout with Malcom Delaney wiping the floor with the 12-seeded 'Canes, but it didn't work that way today as Miami hung in there until the final seconds. Their magic may be up when they face #1 Duke tomorrow, but why should it be? After all, Miami's already showing us they're capable of surprising us. And isn't it nice to believe in magic sometimes? Especially against Duke?
Majerus' St. Louis got rolled by party-crasher Rhode Island . St. Louis, a contender to sneak into the Atlantic-10 championship, went head-to-head with Rhode Island's rams today and lost 63-47 . This was a game where both teams need a championship win to even be considered for an NCAA Tourney bid, but it was widely believed that St. Louis would make it a decent run and get in. That seems unlikely now as Jim Baron's boys pull a Miami and reach the stunning self-realization that they actually control their own destiny.
Also, the St. Louis Billiken is the weirdest mascot ever . Ever wondered what a Billiken is? According to a St. Louis newspaper, a billiken is a magical, good-luck creature who "represents things as they ought to be." That's like your moniker signifying "that feeling you get when you're driving to the beach and know you're close," or having your mascot represent "the strange but oddly nice feeling of using a Q-tip."
If billikens do exist, no one told the Miami Hurricanes or the Rhode Island Rams today, because by all accounts, and according to seed, things definitely aren't as they ought to be in the NCAA this afternoon. And that's what makes this time of year so great.
Posted on: March 12, 2010 10:50 am
Good morning! You ready for some basketball?
Me too. Here are ten things to look out for today...
(1) Greivis Vasquez chasing the NCAA hair gel record. The ACC Player of the Year is closing in on the All-Time NCAA record for gallons of hair gel used in a single season. Vasquez, who prefers LA Looks - Level 10 Cement Hold, is just a few faux hawks away from breaking the record held by former UCLA head coach Steve Lavin. Maryland vs. Georgia Tech, 7:00 pm
(2) The Hummel-less Boilermakers. Purdue begins their Big Ten tournament title defense today without star player Robbie Hummel. The junior forward, who was averaging 16 per game, tore his ACL on February 24, leaving him sidelined for the remainder of the year. Purdue vs. Northwestern, 6:30 pm
(3) Kentucky begins their return to glory. It has been six years since the Wildcats won the SEC Tournament. Today marks the beginning of the end for the rest of the SEC. Kentucky vs. Alabama, 1:00 pm
(4) Marquette and Georgetown? Who let them in? The Golden Eagles and the Hoyas pulled off upsets yesterday over 'Nova and Syracuse to advance to the Big East semifinals. Which team will continue leaving the dream and move on to the finals? Only time will tell. My money is on Greg Monroe. Georgetown vs. Marquette, 7:00 pm
(5) Duke slapping floors all the way to a #1 seed. Duke controls their own NCAA seeding destiny as they enter the ACC tournament as the top team for the first time in four years. They play Virginia in a rematch of a game we saw on our Road Trip. If history repeats itself, Duke will win in a blowout and I will stare at the hot blonde two rows down in front of me. Duke vs. Virginia, 12:00 pm
(6) Are the banks still open in Madison Square Garden? West Virginia's Da'sean Butler banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer last night to beat Cincinnati's "Born Ready" in his hometown. Today, the Mountaineers face the Fighting Flat-tops of Notre Dame in the semis. Look out Dub-V, Harangody is back and he's hungry. West Virginia vs. Notre Dame, 7:00 pm
(7) UCLA vs. California. You don't actually need to watch this. It will probably break your heart if you do. UCLA is terrible. But, I had to show the Pac-10 some love. UCLA vs. Cal, 9:18 pm
(8) Wayne Chism's headband is almost off. Wayne Chism's headband is barely hanging on to his noggin as his 8-year career comes to a close. Will today be the day that it finally flies of the back of his head? Or will it continue to hang on for dear life as Chism jacks up ill-advised threes? Tennessee vs. Ole Miss, 3:15 pm
(9) Support the N.J.I.T. If you care about your most prized electronic possessions, you'll support the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Remember, they'll be your tech support when those porn windows keep popping up on your desktop. N.J.I.T. vs. Houston Baptist, 9:30 pm
(10) Jimmer Fredette is the real deal. BYU's Fredette has been demolishing records all season and he's trying to add Mountain West Conference champ to his resume. Today, his BYU Whatever-They-Are's face Stacey Augmon and Greg Anthony's Running Rebels. Watch this one, because Grandmama says so. BYU vs. UNLV, 11:30 pm
Enjoy your day.
Posted on: March 12, 2010 12:48 am
Edited on: March 12, 2010 12:56 am
They've shut off the lights in the Greensboro Coliseum as the first day of the 2010 ACC Tournament has come to a close. Major General Nathaniel Greene would be very proud of the first round play if he were still alive today to see the action his North Carolina town is hosting.
Let's take a look at Thursday's games where upsets were a common theme. The lower seed won three of the four games and in the fourth, North Carolina fans just remained upset.
(7) Georgia Tech 62, (10) North Carolina 58... Tyler Hansbrough scored 26 points and Ty Lawson added 22 in the Tar Heels win over.... whoops. Sorry, I'm still not used to North Carolina sucking. Let's try this again... Georgia Tech, led by Derrick Favors' 18 points and 9 rebounds, defeated North Carolina today in the ACC tournament's 7/10 matchup. Favors made his first seven field goal attempts and had a critical block on a Tyler Zoeller layup attempt late in the game. Georgia Tech advances to face Maryland while North Carolina returns to Chapel Hill to watch old home videos of the good ol' days.
(8) Virginia 68, (9) Boston College 62... Virginia won its first ACC tournament game since 2006 with the victory over Boston College. Sammy Zeglinski scored 16 of his season high 21 points in the first half to lead Virginia in the win. First year coach Tony Bennett advances to the second round where he'll sing a duet with Barbara Streisand if his Cavs upset the #1 Duke Blue Devils.
(12) Miami 83, (5) Wake Forest 62... Ya know what they say in March - fear the 12/5 upset. That was the case today when Miami beat the living hell out of Wake Forest. Redshirt freshman Reggie Johnson scored a career high 22 points in the rout against his hometown school. The Demon Deacons never even got within 16 in the second half.
(11) N.C. State 59, (6) Clemson 57... NC State ended the day of upsets in the ACC with a two-point win over the Tigers of Clemson. Clemson rallied late in the game after trailing by double-digits in the second half but came up short in the end. NC State advances to play Florida State in the second round.
Friday, the big dogs take the court in the second round to face the victors from today's contests.
I don't know about you, but I'm ready to see the Plumlee Brothers and Greivis Vasquez' hair in action. I can barely hold back the excitement
Posted on: March 12, 2010 12:16 am
Edited on: March 12, 2010 1:17 am
After what already seems to be four to five weeks of conference tournaments in our rear view mirror, Selection Sunday is now coming up on the horizon and things are starting to sort themselves out a bit. On Thursday, some teams were relegated to the bubble and prayers (Memphis) while some teams continued their post-season hoops hopes (Notre Dame). With 27 games on the docket for Friday, including the Patriot League Championship, answers are certain to be headed the way of all college basketball fans. Before we get started, though, let's look back at what turned out to be a big-time Thursday in the world of college basktball.
Will the Onuaku injury affect seeding? - Perhaps the biggest story on Thursday (besides Syracuse's loss) was the injury suffered by Syracuse big man Arinze Onuaku which, depending on who you talk to, is either major or minor. Onuaku will have an MRI on Friday and the results will be available….probably after the seeding is announced. Especially if it’s serious. Regardless of what the injury turns out to be, you’d have to assume the Orange is fairly safe with their #1 seed. What they need to be more concerned about, however, is how a team that is now essentially only six-deep is going to respond in a two games in three days tournament setting.
The Big Names are Done - It was really only a matter of time until they all bid adieu to this year’s college basketball season, but a trio of big name programs finally had the final nail placed in their post-season coffin on Thursday. North Carolina jumped out to a double-digit lead against Georgia Tech and then came out in the second half looking all North Carolina-like and gave the game away. Tom Crean’s Indiana Revival, still sputtering along in year two, took a thumping at the hands of mighty Northwestern while Arizona’s run of 25 straight NCAA tourney appearances came to an end (after two years of undeserved bids) against another traditional power on life support, UCLA. They say things are going to get better. I say at least they didn’t give up like UConn. I am worried about Sean Miller, though. The losses seem to be taking their toll and he’s gone from looking like a sober Billy Gillispie to Texas A&M Billy Gillispie. That’s not a good trend.
If a tree falls in the Staples Center, does it make a sound? - The national media wrote the Pac-10 off a long, long time ago. Surprisingly, the Pac-10 fans apparently have done the same. Outside of the Salt Lake City's Megaplex 12 during the premiere of I Got the Hookup, it’s possible that no venue has ever been so empty for such a fan-friendly event. I watched Oregon and Washington’s overtime affair Wednesday night (a great game) while feeding my son and the Staples Center appeared to have about only 7-8 people more than my couch. When UCLA plays in their home city and can’t get fans, you know it’s bad. However, the Pac-10 tournament did introduce me to Rebecca Haarlow, so it can’t be all bad, right?
Coaching redemption in C-USA - With John Calipari gone from Memphis, the national spotlight has dimmed significantly on the only official conference of the United States. UTEP seized the opportunity and grabbed the regular season title with a 15-1 record, but it’s a couple of underdog coaches that are making the most of their chances. Seventh-seeded Houston coach Tom Penders is being reported as a dead man walking whose employment only lasts as long as his team’s season. After an upset of second-seeded Memphis, it lasts another day. His semifinal opponent, Southern Miss, is coached by another recognizable name trying to make the most of his situation. Larry Eustachy, the disgraced former Iowa State coach, has made steady improvements in his sixth season in Hattiesberg and brought home his 20th win in an upset of UAB (and their former big name coach Mike Davis). By Friday evening, one of these two maligned coaches will be one win away from going dancing.
Jimmer! - Obviously wanting to prove that Montana's Anthony Johnson isn't the only guy out west who can fill it up, BYU junior Jimmer Fredette poured in a Mountain West tournament record 45 points in a win over TCU. Fredette, who had been battling strep throat, mono, a stomach virus, typhoid fever, the mumps, pink eye, an ingrown toenail and Osgood Schlatter's disease, returned to the lineup with a bang, though I feel his 45 points are cheapened a bit by 23 made free throws. Anthony Johnson wouldn't do that. But, I do respect The Jimmer for his honesty displayed in this interview, perhaps the most honest in college basketball history (fast forward to 3:45).
The Almosts - Oh, how close they came. Air Force and LSU, winners of a combined three conference games, pushed a pair of highly ranked teams to the brink. LSU gave Bruce Pearl and Tennessee all they could handle before fading down the stretch and Air Force lost a heartbreaker to New Mexico, 75-69. I wish we could say some inspiring things to both teams but there’s nothing left to say. Except maybe to just clean out their lockers. You don’t want this season lingering any longer than it has to.
The other #1 seeds take the floor Friday - On Thursday, Syracuse fell to Georgetown and Kansas got a good little push from Texas Tech. On Friday, the presumed other two top seeds, Kentucky and Duke, take the floor and try to get used to their dancing shoes. Duke will square off with Virginia, a team that once lead the conference and snapped a nine-game losing streak Thursday, in a game where they’ll be heavily favored. With West Virginia still in contention for a Big East title, the Dukies might have to win the ACC tournament to keep their top seed. Meanwhile, John Calipari will lead his troops against Alabama in his first ever SEC tournament game. The Cats beat the Tide on February 9 and shouldn’t encounter much trouble. However, they then will likely face Tennessee and Vanderbilt in loseable games. Their #1 footing is more solid than Duke’s, but it's important that the young Cats get comfortable in the post-season tournament setting before embarking on the what is shaping up to be a journey full of very high expectations.
Illinois vs. Wisconsin 2:00 pm
* denotes championship game
Posted on: March 11, 2010 9:47 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2010 9:48 pm
Upset Thursday continued in the Big East as No. 7 Notre Dame eliminated second-seeded Pittsburgh, 50-45. Tory Jackson hit 4-of-6 threes to score 12 points and Luke Harangody came off the bench to add 12 more as the Fighting Irish won back-to-back games in the Big East Tournament for the first time in program history.
The loss dropped teams which had earned double-byes into the quarterfinals to 0-3, with only third-seeded West Virginia left to take the court.
After advancing to the championship game in four straight seasons, the loss marked the second straight one-and-done tournament for the Panthers, who were also the No. 2 seed in 2009.
Notre Dame's newfound commitment to defense was on full display again, as they held Pitt to their lowest point total of the season. The Irish have now held five of their past six opponents to 54 points or fewer. They've won all six games over that span and leapt from NIT-bound to single-digit NCAA Tournament seed.
Georgia Tech went ahead and put the bullet in the head of the gravely injured animal that was North Carolina's 2009-2010 season, knocking the Tar Heels out of the ACC Tournament by a final score of 62-58.
The Yellow Jackets, playing with their season on the line, trailed by ten at the break but a monster second half by star freshman Derrick Favors helped keep them (most likely) in the dance for the time being. Favors finished with a game-high 18 points.
Kansas State began its three-day case for a one seed by completely humiliating Oklahoma State, 83-64 in a game they led by as many as 33. Jamar Samuels scored 21 of his career-high 27 points in the first half.
The Cowboys are still almost certainly in the field of 65, but the loss - which came just a day after an impressive rout of rival Oklahoma - may have knocked them down a seeding row or two.
OTHER MAJOR CONFERENCE GAMES I WATCHED ZERO SECONDS OF
Elsewhere, Minnesota beat Penn State by 21 in a game I thank every possible religious deity that I wasn't forced to watch, and Florida at least momentarily speared itself from the knowledge of having a stressful Sunday on the horizon by knocking off Auburn, 76-55.
Posted on: March 11, 2010 7:57 pm