Boom Goes the Dynamite: 03.01.09 EditionPosted by nvr1983 on March 1st, 2009
Well it’s finally here. The month of March is upon us. Here at RTC, we’ll be coming up with a ridiculous number of posts (I’m not sure how we will be able to do it with our other “lives”) so be sure to check back throughout the month as we will have posts for conference recaps, our unique bubble watch, frequent bracket updates by our resident bracketologist Zach, our favorite NCAA tournament memories, and the most comprehensive NCAA tournament preview anywhere. Ever.
11:00 AM: Just to set the table for today (and before I run out to grab some lunch before the games start), we’ll be following all three of the major games today, which will all be on CBS. At noon, Dominic James-less #10 Marquette will travel to #6 Louisville. Then at 2 PM, #8 Missouri will travel to Lawrence to take on the defending national champs, #15 Kansas. (CBS will also be airing the Tennessee-Florida game at 2. We will be very unhappy if we end up with that game instead.) The last time these teams met, Missouri shocked the Jayhawks with a Zaire Taylor 10-footer to hand Kansas its only loss in their last 13 games. A win here for Kansas would essentially seal the Big 12 regular season title for Kansas since they own the tie-breaker over Oklahoma (thanks to Blake Griffin‘s absence). Finally at 4 PM, #9 Michigan State will go to #20 Illinois. Like the preceding game, a win here would essentially clinch the Big 10 regular season title for the Spartans. In addition, we will be following the aforementioned UT-UF game (hopefully online instead of on our TVs) as well as a handful of bubble match-ups (Providence at Rutgers, Cincinnati at Syracuse, Michigan at Wisconsin, and West Virginia at South Florida).
11:50 AM: If any of you are wondering if I might decide to ditch this and go outside to enjoy the beautiful March weather, here’s your answer. On a side note, I just saw myself on ESPN for the second time this season (thanks to the miracle of HD).
11:55 AM: Wow. I just saw the Blake Griffin play from yesterday where we went over the scorer’s table. Pretty impressive after his concussion against Texas.
Noon: CBS just announced they will be have an interview with Jamie Dixon at halftime. So the Pittsburgh fans might want to tune in for that if a top 10 match-up in their own conference wasn’t enough.
12:05 PM: Rick Pitino is wearing his Colonel Sanders suit for the white out. As the CBS guys mentioned, last year he had to switch at halftime. Let’s see if it is more effective this year.
12:15 PM: Marquette has used a 7-0 run to go up 7-3 less than 4 minutes into the game. These timeouts are killing me. What’s was that? 2 timeouts in 2 minutes?
12:20 PM: These Marquette uniforms are hideous. Are these a version of the even uglier uniforms that the Cleveland Cavaliers wear?
12:22 PM: Thanks to Josh for pointing this out to us. We try to be fair and balanced here so we’re providing you with this play where Duke remarkably got the short end of the stick.
12:30 PM: Rick really could have completed the look if he had gone with some nice white alligator leather shoes.
12:40 PM: Jerel McNeal looks like he is pressing in an attempt to make up for Dominic James. He is 1/10 from the field so far. Buzz Williams might need to sit him down for a bit.
12:50 PM: Louisville is up 28-25 at half. Williams has to be thrilled that his team is this close on the road against the #6 team in the country playing with out James and having his best player (and potential Big East POY) McNeal playing poorly. I’m glad that Louisville is leading right now. It’s not that I am a fan (I honestly don’t root for or against either team). I am just looking forward to seeing Pitino wear that suit in the 2nd half.
12:55 PM: Did they just really talk about Nick Calathes? I know he’s a Naismith finalist, but do they really need to talk about him for the award? I’d be shocked if he even makes third team All-American.
1:00 PM: Quick points from Dixon’s interview: He isn’t worried about the grind that winning the Big East tournament might put on his team before the NCAA tournament. DeJuan Blair hyper-extended his knee and will play on Wednesday. Dixon and Blair are going to meet with the trainer right after the segment wraps.
1:05 PM: Josh, I’m not sure what effect these “white outs” have. I think their biggest effect might be galvanizing the student body to be a single entity rather than a bunch of random people watching a game. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of it, but at least it’s better than what the Miami Heat did a couple years ago during the championship run (aka Dwayne Wade‘s “Fall down 7 times, shoot 14 free throws” campaign) when the fans treated it like a South Beach white party.
1:10 PM: I meant to comment about the Louisville uniforms earlier. They looked different. A little bit like Indiana‘s actually (might be a bad thing this season). And I didn’t need to hear about Wes Unseld‘s underwear. . .
1:20 PM: That has to be embarassing for Earl Clark. I believe that’s the definition of an “own goal”. It’s a good thing he doesn’t play soccer for Columbia or he might be in trouble.
1:25 PM: Great job by Marquette to cut the lead to 4. Wesley Matthews (15 points) is doing a great job picking up the slack for an injured James and a might-as-well-be-injured McNeal.
1:30 PM: Ugh. Buzz Williams sweating through his shirt in making it see-through. That’s the downside of HD. I might have to switch to standard definition if CBS insists on showing him. Seriously though, Buzz or Gary Williams? Who sweats more during the game?
1:40 PM: Interesting decision by Pitino to put Will Scott in during this stretch of the game. It’s nice that Scott’s father is the New York Knicks team doctor and he is going to study modern Chinese at Oxford, but is that a reason to put in a guy who gets most of his PT in garbage time?
1:45 PM: Big 3 by Edgar Sosa (aka Pitino’s whipping boy) to give Louisville a 7-point lead. He follows it up with an ugly lay-up attempt that Samardo Samuels puts back to stretch the lead to 9 with 5:44 left.
1:50 PM: McNeal makes a 3 to raise his shooting percentage for the day up to 16.7% (3/18 FG). Marquette will need to get him going if they want to pull off the upset here.
1:52 PM: Louisville is going to be kicking themselves away if they don’t close this game out. They still have an outside chance at a #1 seed if either UConn or Pittsburgh falter down the stretch and Louisville can win out.
1:55 PM: Louisville needs to hit its free throws down the stretch to close this one out.
2:00 PM: I’m pretty sure this is the first time I have watched a complete Marquette game and I have to say I’m really impressed with their resiliency. It’s too bad that they lost James (outside of just the personal reasons) because they would have been a tough out in the NCAA tournament.
2:02 PM: It looked like there was some contact on that 3 by Matthews even if he was trying to draw the foul there. I’m sort of surprised that they didn’t foul Louisville at the end there because they had almost 10 seconds left on the clock and it was only a 4-point game.
2:05 PM: Ok. I’m happy now. I’m getting the KU-Missouri game instead of UT-UF. To all of you who are getting the latter, I’m sorry.
2:10 PM: Couple quick things about Allen Fieldhouse that I hadn’t noticed before. (1) The TV cameras are positioned on the opposite side of the court. Usually you can see the benches facing you (except at Duke), but that isn’t the case here. (2) Why do they have the gaps along what I guess is media row? That’s basically inviting Jonathan Xavier to come onto the court.
2:15 PM: After watching Cole Aldrich dunk, I have to ask some of our more athletic readers something. Doesn’t it hurt when you dunk a ball off your head? Why don’t these guys grab their face after doing that?
2:20 PM: To those of you in Kentucky and other regions of the Southeast watching the UT-UF game, I feel your pain. After being raised in the South on college football, I’ve been stuck in the Northeast watching awful college football on Saturdays for the past 8 years.
2:23 PM: Kansas is blowing Missouri out right now. They’re up 21-5 with 12:14 left in the first half. It’s important to remember that Missouri rallied from 14 down at halftime in the first meeting so this one is far from over? Isn’t that right, Billy Packer?
2:30 PM: Quick scoreboard check: Kansas 25, Missouri 12; UT 29, UF 19; Providence 14, Rutgers 10; Syracuse 22, Cincinnati 11; Wisconsin 24, Michigan 15.
2:40 PM: Missouri is in danger of getting run out of the building by halftime if they don’t pick it up.
2:55 PM: Sorry for the long break. I was responding to an angry reader who was upset about our post on Kyle Singler getting elbowed. This KU-Missouri game is basically over. A 26-point deficit at half on the road should be too much to overcome, right?
3:05 PM: Last team out according to the CBS guys: Ohio State (Greg Anthony) and Oklahoma State (Seth Davis). Player to take the last shot: Jeff Teague (Anthony) and A.J. Price (Davis). I’m surprised that neither of them took Stephen Curry.
3:20 PM: Syracuse and Kansas have huge leads right now while Tennessee and Providence merely have double-digits leads so I’m going to turn my focus to Wisconsin-Michigan where it’s a 39-36 game with 15:34 left.
3:22 PM: Sorry. I was enjoying watch the clip of Paul Pierce (aka “The Truth”/”The Kobe Killer”) from his days at KU. Back to following the other games.
3:25 PM: Wisconsin has used a 13-2 run to grab a 9-point lead with 11:28 left in the game. UT is up by 15, Providence is up by 12, Syracuse is up by 33 (!), and Kansas is up by 25.
3:30 PM: I’m not getting either of these games on TV so maybe one of you can give me an update on what’s going on. Wisconsin is up by 6 with 9:33 left and the UT lead is down to 8 with 9:03 left. Calathes has 18 so far.
3:40 PM: Mercifully, CBS switches over to UT-UF, which is the game I didn’t want to see when the day started. . .
3:45 PM: Wisconsin is hanging onto a 2-point lead with 3:57 left in the game. UT has stretched it out to a 14-point lead with less than 4 minutes left.
3:55 PM: Well we have a pair of great finishes here. UT is up by 6 with 2:15 left off a short jumper by Wayne Chism. Wisconsin is up by 3 with 52 seconds left and Michigan has the ball.
4:00 PM: It looks like DeShawn Sims is trying to get it back 3 points at a time. He missed two consecutive 3s and it looks like Wisconsin will escape behind a great performance by Trevon Hughes (19 points so far). We were down to a 3-point game at UF, but Chism made a shot to extend it to 5 with 1 minute left.
4:02 PM: Big block by Scotty Hopson on Erving Walker‘s 3-pointer from the corner that could have tied it. A free throw and big rebound by Tyler Smith over Calathes should just about do it. This will be Billy Donovan‘s first loss at home since almost a year ago when they lost to. . .Tennessee. Will this be enough to get Bruce Pearl and the Vols into the NCAA tournament?
4:05 PM: Can’t Jeremy Foley find a seat for Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow? Maybe it’s part of the new “Give a dime back” program for big-time college coaches.
4:07 PM: Wow. Hopson almost fouled Walker on that last 3 for what could have been a tying 4-point play. Did anybody else notice Walker kick in the direction of Hopson after the play? I’m not sure if it was just frustration or he was just fortunate that Hopson got up quick and had already run away to start celbrating. Meanwhile, Wisconsin hung on to win 60-55 thanks to Michigan’s inability to hit a 3 down the stretch (6/21).
4:15 PM: Scott, thanks for the comment. I’d have to say that they might be the last team left out at this point. However, their easy finish (USF and Seton Hall) to finish the season gives them the realistic shot at going 10-8. If they reach that and win a game in the Big East tournament, I can’t see how the committee can leave that record out particularly this year when there aren’t many good mid-majors (assuming that something crazy doesn’t happen in a few conference tournaments).
4:20 PM: Chester Frazier just took a hard fall, but he seems to be ok and hit both free throws to cut it to an 11-9 Michigan State lead with 13:39 left. Bruce Weber just took him out (probably just to be safe).
4:30 PM: We’re going to be following 2 games the rest of the day. They will be Michigan State at Illinois and West Virginia at USF.
4:40 PM: Tom Izzo needs to work on some of the finer points of ball-handling as his team had turned it over on an obvious travel and a blatant carry in the past 5 minutes.
4:45 PM: At this point, West Virginia is in the tournament barring a collapse, but they are struggling today at USF . If they manage to lose here and it’s not inconceivable (ask Buzz Williams and Jerel McNeal), they could end up at 9-9 unless they beat Louisville, which will be a difficult task even if the game is in Morgantown. At 9-9, they might need to win a game or two in the Big East tournament to ensure themselves a spot in the NCAA tournament. It might sound ridiculous, but if they lose tonight, lose to Louisville, and don’t win a post-season game, the Mountaineers would finish by losing 4 of their last 5 games.
4:55 PM: Michigan State is up 37-30 after closing the half on a 10-4 run.
5:10 PM: Questionable call on Mike Davis there, but I didn’t get a good look at it. This is where we could use a courtside reporter like we had yesterday. Illinois needs to start hitting some 3s pretty soon (1/7 isn’t going to get it done).
5:15 PM: Well it looks like Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers were checking out our site at half (much like every single person ever affiliated with Duke) as they have come out of halftime on fire going on a 10-1 run. That one could be over very soon.
5:20 PM: Great play by Kalin Lucas to extend the lead to 47-38 with 15 minutes left in the game. Is he a potential Big 10 POY?
5:25 PM: “Down goes Frazier!” – Dick Enberg after Chester Frazier goes diving for a loose ball. Quick question: Nothing against the Big 10, but why in the world is Dick Enberg doing a Big 10 regular season game? Did he give some of his money to Bernie Madoff?
5:30 PM: CBS just listed the following teams being on the bubble: Arizona, Cincinnati, Miami, Ohio State, and Providence. How would you rank those teams 1-5 in terms of whether or not they deserve a NCAA bid? Leave a comment below letting us know what you think.
5:35 PM: Big sequence there. It looked like Demetri McCamey was fouled, but it wasn’t called and Delvon Roe converted a 3-point play for a 5-point swing. Nice work by the CBS crew pointing out that holding a left-handed player’s right arm when he’s going up for a lay-up isn’t the most effective play. Did the Illinois players bother reading the scouting report? Or was that cut from the budget?
5:40 PM: Out of curiosity, does anybody know if Michael Jordan shows up for any of Jeffrey Jordan‘s games at Illinois? Nice finish by the younger Jordan there to tie it at 58 after he turned the ball over a little bit earlier.
5:45 PM: West Virginia is letting USF hang around. They’re only up by 9 points with 3:38 left. They need to put the Bulls away pretty soon or they are going to have make free throws down the stretch. Fortunately for Huggins, they can just give the ball to Alex Ruoff (80.6% FT) if that happens.
5:50 PM: I like how the CBS guys just ignored the figure showing that Lucas’s his assists have dropped by about 50% between the two splits.
5:55 PM: Tight game on CBS with 2:25 left. Illinois can’t seem to get a lead, but it’s down to 1 point now. Meanwhile in Tampa, West Virgina pulled off a 64-50 win so they’re definitely in now even if they collapse.
6:00 PM: Awful decision by Davis to throw into a triple team there. Are we sure that wasn’t Rex Grossman?
6:05 PM: The ref at Illinois is looking at himself on the courtside TV, which is showing him looking at himself on the courtside TV, which is showing him looking at himself on the courtside TV. . .
6:10 PM: Well Michigan State wrapped up the Big 10 regular season title. I don’t agree with Seth Davis that they have an outside chance at getting a #1 seed, but they should be set for a #2 seed. Well that’s it for us for this edition of BGTD.