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Tag:South Carolina
Posted on: March 11, 2010 4:53 pm
 

Alabama Knocks Out the Gamecocks

MATT JONES

4:48 PM



South Carolina dominated 30 minutes of its SEC Tournament tilt against Alabama and seemed ready to try and take out Kentucky for the second time this season.   But thats why they play a full 40 minutes, as Alabama dominated the last ten minutes of basketball and turned an 18 point second-half deficit into a 68-63 victory in Nashville.  The Tide were led by Mikhail Torrance with 17 points and Justin Knox who finished with 16 in the victory. 

Until the last ten minutes, the Tide looked listless, playing without energy and very little effort.  But in the end, they were able to capitalize on late Gamecock turnovers and take the victory.  The arena became a bit of a road crowd for South Carolina late, as Kentucky fans who traditionally swarm the Conference Tournament began rooting for the Tide so as to avoid another game against the Devan Downey-led team.  Tony Mitchell made a late layup with two minutes to go in the game that finally gave Alabama the lead 60-59, and they never looked back, pulling the small upset.

For Alabama, the win was validation to Anthony Grant's plan of preaching patience to a somewhat restless fanbase in his first season.  They now face Kentucky, with a chance to pull a program-building upset.  And win or lose, Anthony Grant will look smooth.  If  dry cleaner used him to advertise their ability to starch shirts, I cant imagine it wouldnt be successful.  Find me a better looking starched shirt, and I will let you blog on the SWAC final.

Posted on: March 6, 2010 4:46 pm
 

Today We Are All Chanticleers

MATT JONES

4:45 PM

As I sit and enjoy the Big South Championship game that looks like it is being played in a local YMCA, some thoughts:

--- Whether you care about Championship Week or not, you cant help but enjoy stories like the one with Coastal Carolina today.  First of all, they play in a gym that holds less than 1,000 people.  My high school gym held more than that and we were terrible and in an economically depressed area.  Coastal Carolina has no such excuse but still insists on having a facility that holds primarily friends and familes.  Then, they are coached by Cliff Ellis, who used to be the coach at Clemson and Auburn and is seeking to take his 4th team to the NCAA Tournament, something only six other coaches have other done.  Then you have the fact that the team's nickname is the "Chanticleers", a reference to a character in Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales."  For real.  Small gym, vagabond coach and literary mascot...my kind of team.

---  Louisville beat Syracuse, thanks to the play of an unknown hotshot named "Kyle Kuric."  Before today, Kuric could have walked into a Kuric family reunion and gone unnoticed...now he will have the pick of the coeds of UL.  Life can change in a blink of an eye.  Big win for the Cards and proof that Syracuse can be beaten if you gameplan correctly.

---  West Virginia took a big one at Villanova in a game that gave Gus Johnson the practice he needed to go crazy in two weeks during his NCAA coverage.  For Villanova, the seeding keeps getting worse and any dream they had of a #1 seed is now over.

---  South Carolina won at Vanderbilt, proving that (a) Devan Downey isnt human and (b) the SEC is really down outside of Kentucky.  Vandy is the consensus second best team in the league, and if that is your role, you cant lose to a non-NCAA Tournament team at home on Senior Day.  That is just the rule.

---  Idaho suspended their second leading scorer for comments he made about the coach on Twitter.  The kid later went back on Twitter and wondered what all the fuss was about but when you claim that no team can win with your current coach at the helm...well you gotta think some kind of punishment is on your way.

---  ESPN has a redheaded announcer who looks like the guy from "The Incredibles."  If he werent calling the Big South Championship, this would be a major national story.

Back to the games...if you arent watching whatever is on CBS (which I am sure is wonderful), turn it over to ESPN2 for the three Championship games going on today and tonight.  And no matter what is going on in your life, take solace in one thing.  Ben Roethlisberger is not in your town.

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