ATB: Jimmy V ClassicPosted by rtmsf on December 10th, 2008
Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up. We’re old enough to have watched the Jimmy V speech live in 1993, and it remains one of our two or three favorite speeches we’ve ever heard. As someone whose own family has been impacted by the scourge that is cancer, we’re very supportive of this annual Classic and the Jimmy V Foundation, which has raised over $80M to fight cancer in the fifteen years since its inception. We have no doubt that these dollars are helping, as many forms of cancer are becoming much more manageable and treatable; but there is still much left to do, and we can only hope that someday in the next generation we’ll all be watching the Jimmy V speech together and wonder in muted awe how such a disease could have taken so many lives. So oblige us… give the speech one more viewing this year, and think about ways you can help, whether it’s time, money, karma or prayer.
Davidson 68, West Virginia 65. Stephen Curry did tonight what great players do, even when they’re having an “off” night. They step it up in the clutch and make big-time plays when their team needs it most. So how did Curry do it? Only by individually spearheading an 8-0 run with two dagger threes on consecutive possessions that effectively ripped the heart out of WVU and Bob Huggins and left it beating beneath the floor of the MSG court (see below video). This came on the heels of a long stepback two and another three that kept Davidson afloat when it appeared the game was slipping away from them. Just another normal Curry night, right? Well, not really. Prior to the late flurry of threes (+ a two), Curry had gone 1-13 from outside the line and just 5-23 overall, as the long arms of the WVU defense frustrated him (he finished with only 27). He also had ten assists, including several phenomenal setup passes, but his eight turnovers included some equally terrible looks to the WVU defense. It’s still somewhat up in the air to us how Curry can run a team when he’s not calling his own number thirty times a game. Otherwise, this was a fairly ugly game. Neither team shot well, and WVU’s offense appeared to be the miss-a-shot-and-rebound-it strategy, as the Mountaineers corralled more offensive rebounds (23) than Davidson got defensive rebounds (18) on the same end. Curry was cold for most of the game, and neither team could make a FT (27-46). Frankly, WVU looked a lot like any number of Huggins’ old Cincy teams, and the result was vaguely reminiscent as well (a close game followed by a Huggins loss). WVU was led by Da’Sean Butler’s 24/14 and freshman Devin Ebanks’ 13/17. One final note: Andrew Kahn at TBR did a quasi-liveblog of the game while sitting courtside at the game, so it was interesting to read his takes rather than listening to Vitale blather on about Georgia/Illinois or K-Rod or the BCS or whatever else it is he blathers on about.
Texas 67, Villanova 58. Texas just outlasted and outmuscled Villanova in this brawl, which was filled with plenty of physical play on both sides. For a while we weren’t sure if that was Texas or Pittsburgh in burnt orange out there. The difference in the game came down to a period in the mid-second half when Villanova crept within three points, only to see AJ Abrams (26 pts) and Damion James (16 pts) go on a sixteen-point outburst by themselves to push the lead to double digits and from where Texas never was threatened again. Otherwise, this game was also fairly ugly, as neither team could hit FTs (what’s up with the MSG rims? maybe the excessively mic’d rims are contributing to the ugly foul shooting), and 32 turnovers and 46 fouls interrupted any significant flow of the game. Both of these teams are going to be very good, though, but Villanova will have problems with size all year long. They were paced by Dante Cunningham’s 23/12.
Other Games You Weren’t Watching.
- Georgia 67, Virginia Tech 66. If anyone can figure this Georgia team out, let us know. Bad loss for Va Tech’s at-large profile.
- Purdue 68, Ball St. 39. Purdue held Ball St. to 26% and their lowest point total at home in 56 years tonight.
- Wisconsin 60, Idaho St. 58. UW with very nearly a devastating loss to the 2-6 Bengals.
- Drake 66, Iowa St. 63. Solid win on the road for Drake (now 7-2). Maybe the post-Keno Davis dropoff isn’t going to be huge after all.
On Tap Wednesday (all times EST):
- Mississippi St. v. Charlotte – 7pm
- Xavier v. Ohio – 7:30pm
- Indiana v. TCU (ESPN2) – 8pm
- Oklahoma v. Maine (ESPN FC & 360) – 8pm
- Utah v. California (The Mtn) – 8pm
- Bradley v. Butler – 8pm
- Creighton v. Dayton – 8pm
- Arizona v. San Diego St. (FSN) – 9pm
- Gonzaga @ Washington St. (FSN) – 10pm
- BYU v. Boise St. – 10pm