Boom Goes the Dynamite: 02.28.09 EditionPosted by rtmsf on February 28th, 2009
Welcome back to Boom Goes the Dynamite. It’s Noon eastern and it’s Saturday, so that means we’re affixed to the couch for the rest of the weekend. The day gets off to a little bit of a slow start, but keep in mind that RTC Live will be coming to you from Gampel Pavilion at UConn at 2pm, and we’ll be here for the rest of the action today (all 135 games). Let’s get it going…
12:17pm. We’ve got Villanova – Georgetown on ESPN and Cleveland St. – Butler on ESPN2 right now. UNC – Georgia Tech is on CBS, and if you’re really misogynistic, Depaul – St. John’s is on ESPN 360. Here at the RTC compound we’re going to keep an eye on Butler right now because they don’t get much air time, tracking the others.
12:22pm. Has anyone else noticed that we’re only a week until the end of the regular season, but several of these “national” games are complete garbage? Who’s making these schedules? There’s no way UNC – Georgia Tech should be a CBS game on Feb. 28 this year. Later we get the thrilling Oklahoma – Texas Tech game. Oh well, at least Blake Griffin is due to return today.
12:27pm. So far it’s a brickfest in Philly at the Georgetown-Nova game, while the UNC-Ga Tech game is (shockingly) lacking defense. Cleveland St. is giving Butler all they want so far – love the Hinkle Fieldhouse. Where are Coach Dale, Shooter and Jimmy Chitwood?
12:43pm. Yes, Bucky, it is definitely a whiteout there. Speaking of white, could Gordon Hayward be the second coming of Adam Morrison (w/o the floppy hair and needle injections during games)? They both have similar builds and games (from our viewpoint), but Hayward has the superior numbers as a frosh (GH: 14/6 on 48%/83%/46% vs. AM: 11/4 on 53%/73%/30%). Granted AM played 20 mpg his freshman season versus Hayward’s 32 mpg, but still. Butler takes a six-pt lead into the half.
12:52pm. Heading into the half, Carolina is up thirteen on Ga Tech now. This one is losing our interest quickly. Georgetown had a beautiful end-of-half break to take a five-pt lead into the half in Philly. The 1pm games are coming up soon – the only mildly interesting one is Memphis playing at home against Southern Miss. They should overwhelm the 14-13 Larry Eustachies, but we want to keep an eye on this Tiger team to see once again if they’re as good as their ranking.
1:02pm. A little bit of dead air right now among the three games we’re watching, so let’s put up a link. Basketball Prospectus takes a look at the “luckiest” and “unluckiest” teams thus far this season, and determines that one of the teams we’re now watching (Georgia Tech) has been the second unluckiest team in the conference season (behind only West Virginia). Is it bad luck, or do they just suck? Terrible decisionmaking in the clutch has to have something to do with this measure.
1:14pm. We’re back with game action here, and Carolina is ripping Ga Tech, so we’re removing that one from our focus for now. Butler is up six, and Georgetown remains up around 6-8 pts on Villanova. You know, if this Georgetown score holds up, and they win their last two against St. John’s and Depaul, the Hoyas would get to 8-10 in the Big East. We (and everyone else) wrote them off last week after the Ls to Marquette and Louisville, but looking at the numbers, wouldn’t a 17-12 Georgetown with an 8-10 Big East record get a long look due to their having the #1 SOS in the nation? Remember the poster case for a team like this was 2001 Georgia, who was 16-14 with the toughest SOS in the nation… it’s not out of the question.
1:33pm. Nova is fighting back, and Butler can’t quite get separation from Cleveland St. Did we mention Butler was going for its third straight Horizon League title today. It’s really pheonomenal considering what the Bulldogs lost from last year. RTC’s prediction of Butler finishing fourth was not an uncommon sentiment. In other news, Tyler Hansbrough just moved into first place in ACC history for most FTs made – insert your own joke here about why that might be.
1:41pm. Cleveland St. just took the lead and Butler responded. This is going to be a great finish. Butler has to win this game to secure the Horizon championship. CSU is playing for a chance at the #2 seed here.
1:47pm. Quick reminder – RTC Live has begun from Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, ready for the Notre Dame at UConn game that starts in about 15 minutes. Be sure to stop over at this link and leave your comments and questions. Keep in mind that we’ll be taking the best questions with us into the locker room and media room afterwards.
1:51pm. Georgetown’s season comes down to these next five minutes. If they can survive, they still have a realistic shot at the Tourney; if not, they have to win the Big East title. Two straight airballs from the NBA three-point line does not help. Over at Hinkle, Cleveland St. has the ball and a 2-pt lead.
1:54pm. CSU probably wanted to get a better shot than that baseline jumper (disagree with Bucky Waters there). They’re not sunk though, in part because Butler missed a foul shot to leave the door open. One score update – Memphis is up 32-14 on S. Miss at halftime. Yeah.
1:56pm. Tremendous perimeter defense by Butler there to challenge CSU’s shot to win the game. Speaking of defense, Villanova has played excellent D the last four possessions for Georgetown (who just missed the front end).
1:58pm. Butler hangs on despite missing three of their last four FT attempts. Georgetown and Villanova are stuck on 52-50. There’s a solid slate of 2pm games coming up, featuring the aforementioned ND at UConn game where RTC is liveblogging, and Clemson at Florida St. in an ACC matchup of middle tier teams.
2:01pm. Tough move by Chris Wright to give Georgetown a 3-pt lead with under a minute to play, followed by two huge turnovers. One more score update – St. John’s raped Depaul to put the Blue Demons at 0-16 in the Big East. We should have a postseason tournament with Depaul, Oregon, Georgia and Colorado. The two losers have to give up their hoops spot in a BCS conference to Gonzaga and Butler. Can anyone get this done?
2:06pm. Despite a long three by Nova, it looks like Georgetown is going to hang on. Their defense saved them in the last five minutes, because they sure weren’t getting it done on the other end. 6-10 with a great shot at an 8-10 conference regular season plus a win or two in the conference tourney gets them in, it says here.
2:17pm. Ok, we have two ACC games on ESPN Full Court now, as well as the ND-UConn game going. Creighton-Illinois St. is also on ESPN2. You guys have anything else?
2:24pm. Thabeet just had a volleyball spike rejection on Harangody that’ll make him think twice about fading away like that again. Wake and FSU are up early against their respective opponents.
2:30pm. FSU is starting out strong at home against Clemson, up seven mid-first half. We just turned it over to Wake-Virginia for a moment to see the Deacs running an open-court lob. Still, both of these games should tighten up. UConn only commits 12 fouls per game, which is two less than Samford, a team whose tempo is nearly last in the nation. Guess if you have a Thabeet back there at the rim, you don’t need to grab people out on the perimeter as much.
2:44pm. Kellogg is right. ND needs to hit their threes today to stay in this game. They have no shot going inside against Thabeet. UConn is a top five team against two-point shots defensively, but are a little softer against the three (#38 nationally). Of course, as soon as we say that, Thabeet goes out and Gody hits his hook shot.
2:50pm. McAlarney is heating up – sometimes all it takes is seeing one of them go through the net. ND has six threes right now, and it’ll probably take 12-16 for them to pull out this game on the road. UVa is hanging around with Wake in Charlottesville – not surprising – and FSU is still up double digits on Clemson.
3:04pm. Score check – Memphis cruised past Southern Miss by 16 to go 14-0 in CUSA. Texas A&M is destroying Iowa St. to move to 7-7 in the Big 12 and Creighton is up seven on Illinois St. at halftime. The only really intriguing 3pm game is Arizona at Washington, as the Huskies (western version) try to wrap up the Pac-10 title today.
3:12pm. Gody has figured out that he needs to face up Thabeet, and he has six quick pts in the early second half already. That hook shot was nearly the ugliest shot I’ve ever seen, but it went in, so whatever. Illinois St. is back within two of Creighton, but FSU continues to run Clemson (now up 17). UVa is back also – only down three to Wake.
3:20pm. Nice little run for UConn. We thought maybe ND would be better than 6-3 when they hit 10+ threes in a game, but they’re not. Wake has pushed it back up to 8, while FSU continues to smoke Clemson.
3:30pm. The best two games right now are the ND-UConn (obvious) and Creighton-Ill. St (less obvious) games. Duke is about ready to tip it off at Virginia Tech – can the Hokies knock off the Devils again?
3:40pm. UConn is killing themselves from the line (5-13), allowing ND to hang around. UVa is also still hanging around with Wake (4 pts with 5 to go). Clemson is working on a comeback, now down ten at FSU. And Arizona has moved in front of Washington just in front of the half.
3:51pm. Looks like we’re coming down to a great finish in Storrs. Must be the RTC Live effect. Adrien damn near plowed through his defender on that last possession. Gody is throwing in some ridiculously soft shots here late. Clemson still up ten and Wake only up three with 2:20 to go.
3:54pm. Wake with back to back three-point plays to go up nine in C’ville. McAlarney really needed to hit that three for ND there. Duke is smoking Va Tech early 20-5, and FSU is still hanging on against Clemson, up seven with four to go.
3:58pm. Rushed follow-up by Peoples there probably finished off Notre Dame’s season. Even if the Irish get to 9-9 in the next week, their SOS is 48th and their RPI is in the 70s. In our eyes, they’d be in worse shape than an 8-10 Georgetown team because of those numbers. Great game in Storrs, though.
4:02pm. Clemson has come roaring all the way back and just missed a three to tie this game with 2:54 remaining. We’re sticking here for now.
4:06pm. Totally lost track of this game, but Creighton is only up three on Ill St. right now with a minute to go. FSU has gone on a 6-0 run since we last updated their game. Under a minute now, looks like FSU will move into a tie with Wake for third place at 9-5 in the ACC.
4:10pm. We’re very interested in seeing LSU at Kentucky today because we want to get a sense as to how legit (or not) LSU might be. They’ve been on national tv so few times this season. And as far as we’re concerned this is a must-win for UK. ISU continues to put the pressure on Creighton, still down two with 11 seconds to go. Now that FSU is finishing off Clemson, we’re moving over to the Arizona-Washington game on that tv.
4:20pm. LSU looks strong so far in Rupp – this UK team has to really frustrate their fans. As an example, the play where Michael Porter got ripped from behind walking the ball upcourt is just indefensible. Arizona is now up ten on Washington, and Duke is up eleven on Va Tech behind Gerald Henderson’s continued excellent play (17 pts).
4:26pm. More updates. A ton of action going on right now. Blake Griffin already has a dub-dub (14/10) in the first half against Texas Tech. Kentucky can’t really throw it in the ocean right now, and UW is making a push to pressure Arizona. We have a feeling that will be a great finish.
4:34pm. Funny sign spotted on Gameday this morning – Don’t bRuin Your Life. Love it – not much respect from Cal fans toward UCLA. Anybody out there this afternoon? Leave some comments so we don’t feel like we’re talking to the walls here….
4:40pm. Jordan Hill just rolled his ankle in the Arizona-Washington game. Could be a HUGE loss for the Wildcats – he’s in a lot of pain right now. UW had just taken the lead in that one with seven+ minutes to go. LSU is dropping deep threes in Rupp right now. Uh-oh, Hill is very ginger going off the court in Seattle. Not much change in the Duke or Oklahoma games. Yet. There’ll be a run. There’s always a run.
4:51pm. Coach K just lit into his team on the bench, which probably means Va Tech is about to make a run here. They’re down ten after an Elliot Williams three. LSU went into halftime up eight on the home team, and Washington has a 1-pt lead on Arizona.
4:55pm. Goodness. AD Vassallo just dunked all over Jon Scheyer on a drive down the lane there. Henderson has gone cold, shooting a lot of bricks up from the outside. Here come the Hokies. Meanwhile, Chase Budinger fouled out of the Washington-Arizona game.
4:57pm. Jordan Hill is out there limping around and he just hit a ridiculous fadeaway to keep UA within one. No wonder this guy is considered a high lottery pick.
5:00pm. Don’t think we’ve ever seen announcers steal the game ball in the middle of a game to do a simulation of what Duke is doing defensively. Please… let’s not do that again. Va Tech is still down seven, but they’ve got plenty of time to make the run. Washington is up three with thirty seconds to go. And somehow Texas Tech is hanging with Oklahoma in the Big 12.
5:06pm. An absolutely TREMENDOUS block by Va Tech to set up the break for an AD Vassallo dunk (who is going Greivis Vasquez on that azz right now).
5:09pm. Washington hangs on against Arizona, despite Jordan Hill’s magnificent 27 pts on a bum ankle. Dunno about you, but we’d hate to see UW on the other side of our favorite team in the bracket in two weeks. Va Tech has cut it down to three and has all the momentum right now.
5:14pm. Another great block by Va Tech, who has finally gotten itself all the way back behind AD Vassallo (19 pts second half). Duke is stone cold right now – largely due to VT’s defensive efforts. Kentucky has also gotten itself back, now down 2 to LSU early in the second half.
5:16pm. Sighhhhh…. another Duke flop where Scheyer was already at 45 degrees before the player even touched him. PLEASE NCAA GET THE SEMI-CIRCLE UNDER THE BASKET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5:31pm. Wow, UK has gone on a huge run to open the second half and effectively put LSU in the outhouse (now down 10). Meeks and Patterson have 40 of UK’s 54 pts. Virginia Tech got it back down to four, but blew a possession that would have given them a shot at winning this game.
5:34pm. Purdue is dominating Ohio St. in the Big Ten, and Oklahoma finished off Texas Tech behind Blake Griffin’s 20/18. Meanwhile, Va Tech gave up a totally unacceptable runout to give Duke a five-pt lead again. UK’s run is 28-10 in this half against LSU.
5:40pm. ABC just showed replays of Jon Scheyer lifting and moving his pivot foot three separate times in a trap situation. Coming on the heels of this one last week, what exactly are the refs looking at in these situations? It’s ridiculous. Duke wins. Va Tech is squarely on the bubble, which they seemingly domicile on every year around this time.
5:45pm. Scott, to answer your question, I wouldn’t want to see Georgetown for sure anywhere near my 3/4/5 seeded team as a first round opponent. Kentucky – agreed because of the dynamic duo of Patterson/Meeks. I’d throw Arizona in there as well – when you have three scorers like Wise/Budinger/Hill, there’s always a danger that two or all three have good nights. My fourth would be a Big East team like Providence/Cincy/Notre Dame, where you’re not sure what you’re going to get on a given night, but you’re pretty sure they’re good enough on their good nights to beat just about anybody.
5:51pm. This LSU-Kentucky game is coming down to the wire, and UK is playing it like this is their entire season (partially because it could be). Over in the A10, Dayton is leading Temple by five in a battle of 9-4 teams. And in a huge Mountain West game, Utah leads BYU 24-19.
5:55pm. Amazing putback and-one by Marcus Thornton. LSU has a three-pt lead on that three by Spencer. To Scott’s question: probably because nobody has a clue who is actually on LSU’s team this year, haha. Did that three by Darius Miller just save Kentucky’s season?
5:59pm. Ok, he made it, but WHY would Tasmin Mitchell take a three with 9 seconds still on the clock there?!?! That looked like a John Brady-coached player there, not a Trent Johnson-coached one.
6:02pm. LSU showed a lot of guts and moxie in this one, to be down ten pts in Rupp with that place rocking and still be able to hit big shot after big shot to win their tenth in a row. What does this mean for Kentucky and the streak of 17 NCAAs in a row? Probably need to win the last two vs. UT and Florida and make a run to the SEC Finals, at minimum. The Cats’ computer numbers just aren’t competitive otherwise this year. LSU is really an unbelievable story this year. Had the Tigers not gotten romped by Utah and dropped out-of-conference games to Xavier and Texas A&M, they’d be in the top 5. Still, it’s hard to really gauge them because the SEC looks so terrible this year. Something tells us that this team is better than their conference profile, though.
6:20pm. The only game we’re seeing right now is the Holy War at BYU vs. Utah – the Cougs are up two and that place is going insane right now. Josh, the tech was ridiculous, and I completely agree with you on the “policy” for dealing with injured players on one end of the floor. We don’t want to encourage malingering so that fast break opportunities are erased for the team with the ball, but I too have noticed the inconsistent application you’re talking about. But the blatant pivot foot thing is driving me nuts (and it’s not just Duke).
6:45pm. The Marriot Center continues to go nuts in Provo, as Lee Cummard has dropped 12 in the second half to push the BYU Lead up to 12. A win here would put BYU one game behind the Utes with two to play next week. Both of these teams are probably safely in the Dance, but there’s no love lost between these two Utah schools. Over on ESPN, Oklahoma St. has jumped out quickly on Texas 28-15, and UPSET ALERT, Wazzu is leading Arizona St. by three up in Pullman late in the second half.
7:00pm. For Josh’s sake, we’re putting this up. :-)
7:03pm. The ASU-Wazzu game isn’t on anywhere we can find, but somehow Arizona St. scored three pts in the last two seconds of regulation to send this one to OT. Now they’re down two with under ten seconds left in the extra period. BYU is busy wrapping up its game against Utah – the grape juice will be flowing tonight!
7:20pm. Wazzu held on for the upset over Arizona St, 51-49. It’s no inconceivable that Wazzu would finish with a win over Washington next week (they are playing much better) to get to 9-9 in the Pac-10, but their computer numbers are so awful that they’re going to have to win the Pac-10 Tourney to make the NCAA Tournament. Not likely, but look at their last three wins – Arizona, UCLA, Arizona St. Not exactly three games against Oregon there. Texas is finally waking up in Stillwater – they really can’t afford to lose this game – their seed is dropping like a granite basketball lately.
7:40pm. Whew, the only game currently on is the Texas-OSU game. OSU is still leading, up 8, with just under eight minutes to go. Reviewing OSU’s numbers, a win here would put the Cowboys at 8-6 in the Big 12 with a solid RPI (32) and SOS (16). Even more importantly, they’re trending the right way, having won four in a row (soon to be five?). Actually, Gonzaga at San Diego should be starting soon, but there’s some NASCAR nonsense with a burning car currently on that station.
8:10pm. OSU held on after Texas made a push to get it within 1-2 pts. This will be a tremendous boost to the Pokes’ tourney chances. As for Texas, the fact is that they don’t have a point guard and they’re not going to have a point guard, which means when AJ Abrams isn’t going nuts (like today, 3-15 FGs), the Texas offense sputters. Gonzaga is up early on USD, but we’re going to take a little break until the Cal-UCLA game begins in about 40 minutes.
8:47pm. Ok, we’re getting ready for the Cal-UCLA game here. The Cal fans are all over Knight for his red-sweater wardrobe. On the other channels, we’ve still got Gonzaga leading San Diego by five in the early second half, and we also have Pittsburgh leading Seton Hall early. Jumping back to the Gameday game, we like Cal at home tonight. The difference between this year’s Cal team under Mike Montgomery and last year’s under Ben Braun is that the 08-09 version actually attempts to play some defense occasionally. They’re not great at it, ranking in the 130s in defensive efficiency, but considering they were in the bottom forty teams in America last year, they’ve come a long way already. It’s already been discussed that UCLA’s defense isn’t what it has been for the last several years, so we’re anticipating a high-octane shootout tonight in Berkeley.
8:54pm. Does Vitale not travel to the west coast? It’s odd that he’s not calling the Gameday game tonight, isn’t it? We know he’s cut back considerably on games this year due to his vocal cord scare last season, but come to think of it, has anyone heard from him in a week or more?
9:22pm. Cal is looking good so far, but UCLA is hanging around. Pitt is in a dogfight with Seton Hall, there was a scare to DeJuan Blair earlier but it appears that he’ll be ok. Gonzaga ran the table in the WCC again (14-0), with a road win at USD. USD was probably one of the bigger disappointments in the mid-major world this season.
9:40pm. Cal is nailing these threes (4-7), but more importantly, they’re holding the Bruins to 36% shooting from the field. Pitt is back on, with a two-point lead over Seton Hall. Other scores – Stanford is up four on USC in Palo Alto and St. Mary’s appears to be heading to the #2 seed in the WCC Tourney as they’re up 15 on LMU.
9:53pm. Wow, Mike Montgomery was absolutely livid about that seven-pt play that briefly gave UCLA the lead. Cal should consider itself lucky by having 12 turnovers and still leading the game by two points at halftime. This game will turn on whether Cal can cut down its turnover problem and if someone – Aboya, Collison, Shipp – can get hot for the Bruins.
10:14pm. Quick 7-0 run by UCLA to start the half, but Cal responded. You know what really irritates me right now – the fact that I cannot see the GD three-point line in Haas Pavilion. WHY do teams insist on putting a yellow-on-wood three-point line down on these floors? See the Ugly Floor post for more discussion of this.
10:25pm. Patrick Christopher hits another three – is he one of the more unknown really good players in the country? Along with Jerome Randle, they combine for 33 ppg, both shoot a high percentage from everywhere on the floor, and they’re both juniors who are probably going to be back next season.
10:37pm. A 13-0 spearheaded by Darren Collison gives UCLA the lead, and now the Bruins appear to be running away with this game. Pitt finished off Seton Hall in the Big East, but they’ll no longer be #1 when the new polls come out on Monday.
10:54pm. Cal’s possession where they took a ridiculous three that turned into an airball followed by Darren Collison dribbling off of his leg then throwing in a shot probably put the nail in the Bears’ coffin.
11:02pm. Cal keeping their hopes alive with a late three by Randle. If UCLA holds on to get this one, this is an impressive win for them. It shows that they still have the moxie to step up when their backs are against the wall (having come in losing 3 of 5). Cal VERY nearly got a couple of steals there that would have given them a shot to tie the game. Nevertheless, UCLA is going to the line with a chance to salt this one away. Josh Shipp bricked the first, but got the second to essentially salt this one away. Great win for the Bruins.
11:10pm. Well that’s pretty much it for another all-day edition of BGTD. We’ll be back tomorrow with full coverage of tomorrow’s games, although why anyone in their right minds would want to watch the FSN games tomorrow night is beyond us (Maryland v. NC State; Oregon v. Oregon St.). Have a great night, Hoops Nation…