Boom Goes the Dynamite: 02.21.09 EditionPosted by rtmsf on February 21st, 2009
It’s BracketBuster Saturday, and we’re back with another compelling edition of Boom Goes the Dynamite. We don’t know how it is where you live today, but it’s rainy and chilly here at the RTC Western Compound, which means it’s a great day for huddling up on the couch, firing up the three tvs, ordering up some pie and watching hoops all day. There are some pretty strong games on the slate today, starting with Butler v. Davidson early and finishing with BYU v. UNLV late. Settle in and feel free to make your own observations in the comments section.
12:08pm. Oh no, Steph Curry’s mom is NOT at the Davidson game today!!!! Who will the cameras show in the crowd?!?!!? Oh yeah, Dell’s there. Ok. Whew.
12:10pm. Wonder how ESPN decides who gets to host these games? Seems like a pretty big decision considering Butler and Davidson are so tough at home, and the loser could drop a seed line or two based on this game. Curry doesn’t like quite as quick as normal so far – the ankle is probably a little tender.
12:17pm. Our new uber-intern sent over some interesting news today – looks like Patrick Patterson might go for Kentucky today against Tennesee (coming up at 1pm), and surprise of all surprises, the NCAA is investigating USC with respect to recruiting Daniel Hackett. His dad is the strength and conditioning coach at USC (which is legal, btw).
12:30pm. There are a couple of other BB games that started at 11am, and the most interesting one is Northeastern at Wright St., which is on ESPN2. NE is leading by six right now, while CAA sibling ODU is crushing Liberty and Seth Curry.
12:46pm. How many games this year have we watched Davidson only to hear some announcer talking about Steph Curry having an “off” game. It would be nice if he’d just come out and blow up one of these nationally-televised games. As it now stands, he’s 1-10 and 0-6 from three.
12:50pm. Interesting stat from Brad Nessler there – that if Curry continued his 30 ppg pace for another season-plus at Davidson, he could conceivably catch Pete Maravich’s all-time scoring total record. Of course, Pistol Pete did it in three years, but that would be a phenomenal record to approach. We’ll see if we can figure the math and get back on that.
12:52pm. Early afternoon bubble watch. Miami is smoking BC in S. Florida at halftime (up 12) and ND is also up 12 at halftime on Providence. These are both pretty much must-wins, although Notre Dame needs it a little more than Miami.
12:57pm. Somehow three of the top four CAA teams drew road games in the BracketBusters event. So far, the CAA looks good. VCU only lost by one at Nevada last night, and Northeastern is finishing off Wright St. ODU already won, and it’ll be very interesting to see what George Mason can do at Creighton later this evening.
1:02pm. Wow, Doug Gottlieb just eviscerated Jay Williams as to why Georgetown was going to make the tournament. He must have thought he was back on that motorcycle there. No inside presence? Except the best freshman big in the country, Greg Monroe. We get his point about frontcourt depth, but we’re with Gottlieb here – we think Georgetown makes a run to get to 9-9 in the Big East.
1:06pm. We’ve got some 1pm games starting here, incl. Bruce Pearl’s orange blazer at Kentucky (speaking of bubbles), Buffalo at Vermont on the deuce, and the second half of ND-Providence on ESPN FC. Oh, and did we mention Gus Johnson is in Lexington today. Oh yes.
1:11pm. Thanks CBS for showing me a graphic telling me that UK is on a 5-0 run in the last 3:20… or, to start the game. Brilliant.
1:18pm. Ok, here’s the deal on Curry catching Maravich. Curry had 2414 coming into today. Maravich ended with 3667 pts. If we assume eight more games this year (three regular season; three SoCon Tourney; two NCAA Tourney), and 35 games next year, that’s 42 games. He’d have to average 29.84 over that stretch to pass him. Since he’s averaging 29.0 already this season, this is eminently possible should he stick around another season. That would be fairly cool to track next season – let’s hope he returns.
1:25pm. Looking around the dial here, UK started out 13-0 on Tennessee, who wouldn’t know defense if it fell out of the sky and landed on their face. Butler continues to keep Davidson at bay, holding a 12-pt lead with twelve to go, and ND is doing the same with Providence (also up 12).
1:41pm. Tonight’s GameDay game is Oklahoma at Texas. Here’s an interesting analysis of the line at Vegas Watch, which actually favors Texas by a point or two. Clearly Pomeroy has a great model for predicting success, but one thing statistical models aren’t good at predicting is whether teams are ‘clutch.’ Winning a lot of close games might signal that you’re overrated; but it might also signal that you’re a team that executes superbly down the stretch. It’s an interesting argument.
1:46pm. Tennessee has made a mini-run to get back in the game at Rupp; meanwhile, ND is well on its way to 100+ at Providence and Butler continues to lead double figures at Davidson.
2:00pm. Speaking back to the Oklahoma argument, it very well may signal you’re overrated. Or it could signal that you as a team have trouble focusing against lesser teams. The question is whether OU is more like 2004 Stanford or 2007 Florida.
2:04pm. ND finished off Providence – ‘Gody had 17 in the second half despite foul trouble, but we had this one circled as possibly the tipping point game for the Irish, considering three of their final four games are now winnable home contests to get to 9-9 in the Big East. Butler also finished off Davidson. It’s probably safe to now say that Davidson only makes the Dance if they win the SoCon Tourney (which they probably will). Curry was 6-23 and a wretched 2-13 from three. On the good side, BU’s Gordon Hayward hit for a career-high 27/10. Nobody will want to see this Butler team in their pod next month.
2:10pm. Things are picking up – Louisville @ Cincy is on ESPN FC, and Marquette @ Georgetown is coming on ESPN. UK’s Jodie Meeks only has four pts early in the second half, and UT is showing signs of life (down only four now).
2:15pm. By the way, can we just say that we love how clean the Kentucky and Georgetown courts look with the single men’s three point line on the floor? The double-line thing just doesn’t work and the women’s game needs to move their line back another foot as well.
2:23pm. You know when Michael Porter (31% 3FG) is hitting threes, UK has it going. The Cats are back up double-figures and UT looks listless. Taking a look at Georgetown-Marquette, MU thus far looks like the better team (which they are). Cincy is hanging with Louisville thus far.
2:37pm. This Tennessee team is garbage – why is anyone talking about them as an at-large team? Their strength of schedule is high (#2), but their best win by far came in December against Marquette. Speaking of which, the Eagles are still up on Gtown. Their guards are just so difficult to stop on dribble penetration.
2:48pm. Louisville’s T-Will hit a big three near the end of the half to give the Cards a three-point lead going into the half. Quick note on a BracketBuster game we normally wouldn’t care about – the new intern dug up a story that one of the Canisius assistant coaches (someone named Lazare Adingono) was arrested last week for savagely beating his 4-yr old with a belt. Where we come from, that’s called comin’ correct, son! No, seriously, fry this guy if it’s as bad as we’re hearing. Oh, and Canisius is tied with Bowling Green at the half, 29-29.
2:55pm. Georgetown is playing for dear life, but we can guarantee they’re not going to hit 7-11 threes in the second half. To win this game, they’re going to have to figure a way to slow down the Marquette guards – Matthews and McNeal have 29 pts combined. God please don’t let Mike Patrick near a statistic EVER AGAIN. He just stated that the three-point pcts. this year were nearly identical. Yeah, if you don’t have any sense of scale whatsoever. This season’s percentage is the lowest it has been in ten years (see below chart). Patrick needs to understand that a single percentage difference (even a half-percent) is a HUGE difference statistically when it comes to this number.
Stats by StatSheet.com
3:06pm. Dan Bonner just declared Jodie Meeks reminded him of Jason Richardson, except a better “long-range shooter.” Would that be the same J-Rich who shoots 43% from the NBA line this year?
3:14pm. Looking around the dial here, UK finished off Tennessee and Vermont is putting away Buffalo in a BB game on ESPN2. Mizzou is up 12 on Colorado and Baylor is doing its best to finish off their chances, down 5 to Oklahoma St. UConn is in a closer-than-it-should-be game with South Florida (up 11 in the 2d half), and Purdue is taking care of business vs. Indiana. Out west, Wazzu is up early on UCLA.
3:29pm. Georgetown seems to be playing about as well as it can and still they’re only up one point. Louisville can’t quite shake Cincy despite T-Will doing just about everything for the Cards.
3:36pm. Maryland vs. UNC is starting on ABC – if the Terps have any delusions of making the NCAAs at all this year, they need a good showing here. No 50-point losses like earlier this year (ok, slight exaggeration).
3:42pm. Thinking ahead, supposing that the Hoyas actually managed to sneak into the NCAA Tournament, how’d you like to be the #5 or #6 seed – someone like Arizona St. or Purdue, and this Georgetown team as your #12 or #11 seed? Based purely on talent in the starting five alone, there wouldn’t be many teams in that seed range we would pick over the Hoyas. Wild.
3:52pm. Baylor has now lost seven of its last eight games to fall to 4-8 in the Big 12. With an RPI in the 50s, they’re probably finished with another loss, but should we be discussing Oklahoma St. at all? The Cowboys are now 17-9 and 6-6 in the conference with an RPI in the 30s. They’ve now won three in a row to get back to even, but they should be able to get to 8-8, which probably gets Travis Ford’s team a bid, don’t you think?
4:04pm. Len Elmore’s right about that one. Greg Monroe should have shot and made that one to make it a two-point game. They were bailed out by the resulting missed FT, but it may not be enough. Marquette doesn’t typically lose these kinds of games.
4:08pm. Mike Patrick just called Marquette the “Warriors.” When was the last time he did a Big East game? Did his buddy Vitale dump him for the younger, cuter Dan Shulman?
4:11pm. Georgetown really needed to win this game today. Now at 5-9 they’re facing a position of having to win three of their last four just to ensure being on the bubble. Go 2-2 and we think the Hoyas will have to make a deep (possibly title game) run in the Big East Tournament.
4:20pm. Interesting BB game on ESPN2 right now – Siena is torching Northern Iowa by twenty in the mid-second half. Score catchup – Purdue, Missouri and UConn held on for no-sweat wins; Louisville sweated a little more but still got the W against Cincinnati. Florida is crushing Vandy, UNC is up nine on Maryland at the half, but the best current game is UCLA-Wazzu on FSN Regional – the Bruins are down two in a high-scoring contest (can you believe that with Wazzu involved?).
4:33pm. From the Clemson @ UNC department of absurd stats, Wazzu is lifetime 1-51 at Pauley Pavilion, with the only win coming in 2004. They’re now four minutes away from another one, as Taylor Rochestie just hit a three to put the Cougs up seven.
4:49pm. This UCLA game got a little crazy there for a while. UCLA ended up with a three by Collison to put the Bruins down by one, but it missed. It’s not over yet, but this would be a terrible loss for UCLA – Wazzu, with an RPI in the triple digits, has no business winning a game at UCLA – this loss alone should cost Ben Howland’s team a seed line.
4:55pm. For some reason, Wazzu refuses to foul UCLA down the stretch and they keep dumping threes from thirty feet. Now they’re missing FTs, and Shipp had a 40-footer to win, but it was partially blocked. This was clearly Wazzu’s NCAA Tourney game – does the Pac-10 champ get any better than a five seed this year?
Update: our tv pixelated during the end of this UCLA game, and we thought it was an appropriately devilish face that resulted on Ben Howland…
4:57pm. Moving over to the UNC-Maryland game, the Terps have made a comeback to get this game within five points. Plenty of time (11:40) left. On ESPN, Memphis is going into the half down three at UTEP. Interesting – their 53-game CUSA winning streak of course is on the line.
5:10pm. The Terps are showing signs of trying to pull this thing off – down only two with under-seven minutes to go. This could get very intriguing – Maryland absolutely needs this win, but the one thing Carolina has been able to do is get Lawson to the rim repeatedly this half.
5:15pm. Lawson is taking over this game much the same way he did last week at Miami. He suckered the defense based on his previous drives and stepped back to nail the three-ball. There’s a sense that Lawson isn’t a shooter in the same way as his buddy Wayne Ellington or others like Stephen Curry because he doesn’t shoot many of them, but he’s hitting a superb 49.4% from three this year (well above his still-solid career 40.4%).
5:21pm. A few more quick updates – Siena held on to win by five over UNI. New Mexico crushed San Diego St. to further muddle the top of the Mountain West, and over in the Patriot, American got a key win against Holy Cross to take a commanding lead in that conference.
5:25pm. Brutal possession for the Terps indeed. That’s Greivas Vasquez in a nutshell – can get you nearly a triple-double while also throwing the ball into the stands on key possessions. No wonder Gary is so angry all the time.
5:30pm. Great mini-comeback there by Maryland to put the pressure on the Heels here. We’re betting Lawson breaks his man down and goes to the rim on this play.
5:32pm. Admittedly, we didn’t see this coming at all. Maryland looked sunk and defeated. Lawson had to give it up on the previous play and of course he can’t guard Vasquez (every legit PG blows up on the Heels), but it surprised us a little he settled for the long two on the last play. Figured he was going all the way there. The Heels actually seemed a little rattled there.
5:35pm. Vasquez is a mini-conflagration right now. 30/11/10 and a dagger three to give the Terps their first lead in a looooong time today. The Heels’ body language sucks right now – Roy needs to get in their faces here.
5:38pm. Terrible shot selection is right, and wow, Lawson is seriously showing some chops in recent weeks from deep. We just knew that three was going down when he got the space to release it. This game is there for Maryland if they want it bad enough – we don’t see anyone other than Lawson on UNC who seems like they’re leaving this building in a bodybag only.
5:43pm. Guess who – Vasquez for three and then Lawson for a very long two where he got fouled. Is this Hansbrough’s team? Really?
5:45pm. Not sure what the Heels were doing there, letting 24 seconds go off the clock before a foul was given. Maryland hits both and Vasquez just did an Enrique Iglesias impression. Maryland defended that really nicely by not letting UNC get off a three.
5:48pm. What the hell is wrong with Musberger talking about missing the second shot there? That would have been, I dunno, completely retarded? Considering there is almost six seconds left, plenty of time to foul and get the ball back downcourt for a score. Sometimes I really wonder about these guys.
5:50pm. Scott, not sure why UNC didn’t foul – obviously, Maryland was playing keepaway, but maybe Roy told them to go for the steal and they ultimately got out of position and wasted too much time?
5:53pm. Monumental comeback upset for the Terps here. The question is whether this was their NCAA Tournament or if they’ll sack up to do it again this week when Duke (who mauled them last time out) comes to town. Vasquez was awesome – not only did he have a trip-dub, but he made clutch shot after clutch shot. Even the one time he blew it (the easy layup underneath late in regulation), he followed up by rebounding it and putting it back in. Congrats Maryland – Wake, Duke, Clemson and FSU are thanking you heartily (each one game back in the ACC standings). Scott also brought up a good point in the comments – where was Psycho-T in the overtime? It’s as if the Heels hardly looked at him.
5:58pm. No rest for BGTD… Kansas just finished off Nebraska. We think the Jayhawks might be the best team in the Big 12 again. Guess we’ll find out on Monday. Meanwhile, Memphis is up 8 on UTEP and Tyreke Evans and Stefon Jackson are putting on a show. What else is going on? Out west, St. Mary’s (w/o Patty Mills) is up nine on ranked Utah St in Moraga – that would be a great win for showing the NCAA Cmte the Gaels’ can win without Mills. Also, Cal is up seven on Oregon St. – could Cal be the best team in the Pac-10 this year (damning with faint praise, true)?
6:20pm. Took a little break to catch our breath, and Memphis was able to hang on against UTEP. One thing that we needed to be reminded of – Memphis doesn’t make FTs in the clutch again this year. Good to remember come March when we’re making our picks.
6:38pm. St. Mary’s continues to lead Utah St. by double figures, in part because USU’s Gary Wilkinson has been held to 12 pts so far. Oregon St. just went on a run to take a 4-pt lead over Cal in Corvallis. One other bubblicious score from earlier – Mississippi St. lost in double-OT to Alabama, probably finishing off the Bulldogs as a legitimate NCAA prospect.
6:55pm. Another upset brewing as Oregon St. is about to defeat Cal. Simply amazing what Craig Robinson has done with this program overnight (esp. in contrast to the mess going on over in Eugene these days). Utah St. has come back on St. Mary’s, down only three now with just over two minutes remaining. Could be another great ending…
7:06pm. Didn’t happen. USU never could quite get over the hump, and St. Mary’s definitely sent the committee a statement about their ability to play without Patty Mills. If the Committee is convinced that Mills will be back in time for the first game of the Dance, we’re fairly confident that the Gaels are in (assuming they win their last two games at Pepperdine and LMU).
7:17pm. What’s going on now around the country? Not a whole lot – USC is leading Washington, and if the rest of today in the Pac-10 is any indication, then SC will probably win this game. K-State is down in the early second half to Iowa St., and that’s a loss they cannot afford. They’ll probably come back, though. Pitt is also up early on Depaul. FSU-Va Tech is the only key game starting at 8pm, so we’ll be a little lighter around here until the 9pm start of OU-Texas.
8:29pm. USC has stayed in front of UW, but only barely. We’ve been skittish all year on USC, but if they get this one they’ll be at 8-6 in the Pac-10 with a low 40s RPI. It’s not inconceivable that this Trojan team could be standing on Selection Sunday. K-State held off Iowa St. so they’re still trending upwards, and Pitt is up 23 on Depaul (who will go to 0-14 in the Big East tonight). Wow.
8:50pm. UW went on a run to take a 5-pt lead with under two minutes. Tell ya what – if Demar DeRozan thinks he’s ready for the pros, and the pros think he’s ready for them, it’s a sad state of the draft. He could be a really good player after two more years of college – too bad that’ll never happen.
9:27pm. Ok, now we know why that Vegas line mentioned earlier was so weird – Blake Griffin is already on the bench with two fouls. Clearly the refs knew this line also. One score to mention from the SEC – South Carolina avoided a bad loss at home by outlasting Arkansas in OT. Also in the SEC, league leading LSU is in a battle with Auburn. Auburn? Griffin is coming back into the game – let’s see if Texas goes right at him.
9:58pm. Believe it or not, but Oregon is about to get its first conference win against Stanford. Well, maybe. They’re only up two with under a minute and the ball, and this team is capable of finding myriad ways to lose games. LSU finished off Auburn by seven to go to 11-1 in the SEC, and we still have no true sense of how good this team might be.
10:00pm. In a game that actually means something to the bubble, Virginia Tech is sliding off of it with another loss, this time to Florida St. FSU, on the other hand, moves into sole possession of second place and will await the winner of tomorrow’s Wake vs. Duke game to see who will join them there, one game behind the Heels. Oregon just got its own rebound off of a missed FT while up three, so it appears the Ducks are going to get that elusive first conference win.
10:10pm. And now Blake Griffin has a suspected concussion – boy, those Vegas oddsmakers are prescient, aren’t they? The OU trainers refuse to put him back into the game, and OU is now down 12 early in the second half. They have literally no chance to win this game without him. One other score that was interesting comes out of the A10 – Dayton, the league leader, just dropped a contest at St. Louis which puts the Flyers into a tie with reeling Xavier for first place.
10:15pm. Hmm… who just said “they have literally no chance to win this game without him.” Must have been the new intern. Well, it would still shock us if OU could win this one w/o Griffin on the floor. Speaking of which, as a brief aside, should OU lose tonight, Pittsburgh will undoubtedly be the new #1 team in America on Monday. RTC Live will be at Providence Tuesday night to catch their first game as (possibly) the new #1 team. Start thinking of your questions for Jamie Dixon now.
10:20pm. Even if Pitt is #2, RTC Live will still be there. Anyway, OU just went on a 14-0 run to take the lead, and frankly, not even the Vegas people could have seen that one coming. We’ve been impressed by Willie Warren’s playmaking during this run. We have to agree with Vitale and Shulman here regarding keeping Griffin on the bench. Unless it’s meant to keep Texas off balance somehow, why not take him to the locker room and let him recover properly?
10:26pm. There’s a really good BracketBuster game on ESPNU – George Mason @ Creighton – but we can’t even see it because ESPN360 isn’t offering it. What’s the point of this? Why not offer every game on ESPNU on 360 as well? ESPN knows that most of us are held hostage by our cable company – why not let us get access to those games?!?!?
10:41pm. Willie Wonka Warren must have taken the same A-Roid juice that Blake Griffin has been taking, because he just turned into a cross between LeKobe in the last five minutes of this game. He’s playing so well that he’s cramped up and it didn’t even involve his shooting arm.
10:49pm. This is crazy. Now AJ Abrams is hitting everything he throws up – 13 straight points for the Texas guard, including several difficult threes. What a wild game in Austin tonight. We would make a prediction for the rest of this one, but it would be guaranteed to go the opposite way so we won’t.
10:55pm. Abrams is ridiculous right now. Quite note on the Creighton-GMU game; it looks like Creighton is about to blow Jim Larranaga’s doors off out in the flatlands.
10:58pm. Dexter Pittman’s huge rebound and putback followed by an OU miss effectively ended this one. Give all the credit to AJ Abrams for saving his team tonight, but we’re not sure that they could have pulled this off had Griffin been playing in the second half. This one meant a lot more to Texas than OU, but it sets up a battle for the top spot in the Big 12 on Monday night in Norman.
11:12pm. Ok, we were just informed that if we want to continue living in the West Coast Compound for the immediate future, we have to go get some pizza with Mrs. rtmsf. Fair enough. It’s been an exciting day around here, and we’ll try to be back with some wrapup a little later. Creighton is still up nine on Mason late in the second half, and on CBS College Sports, UNLV is up very early on BYU. Hopefully we’ll be back to see the finish of that one later. So for now, we’re signing off of BGTD for today. Stay safe out there, and we’ll see you all tomorrow at the regular time.