Boom Goes the Dynamite: 03.07.09Posted by nvr1983 on March 7th, 2009
We’re back for the final weekend of regular season Boom Goes the Dynamite for this college basketball season. The highlights of the weekend are obviously the two top 10 match-ups (in Pittsburgh on Saturday and in Chapel Hill on Sunday). We would love to provide you with another RTC Live from those site, but apparently we’re not big enough for them yet. (The onus is on you to spread the word.)
In any event, we’re going to make lemonade out of those lemons so we’ll be providing coverage from our bi-coastal offices covering all the action. Today is loaded with 15 of the top 25 playing with the other 10 playing on Sunday. We will be trying out best to provide you with wall-to-wall coverage of the top teams in action as well as RTC Live from several different locations:
- Colonial Athletic Association at 2:30 PM EST for Hofstra-Loyola Marymount with Ryan Kish courtside
- Missouri Valley Conference at 5 PM EST for Creighton-Illinois State with Patrick Marshall
- West Coast Conference at 9 PM EST for Santa Clara-San Diego with Mike Vernetti courtside
In addition to our on-site correspondents we will be focusing in on a few key games for the majority of the day while also channel surfing over to the other games when the situation merits it. Here are the primary games that we will be covering today:
- #1 UConn at #4 Pittsburgh at Noon on CBS
- Michigan at Minnesota at Noon on ESPN and ESPN360.com
- #25 Syracuse at #15 Marquette at 2 PM on ESPN360.com
- #12 Missouri at Texas A&M at 2 PM on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com
- California at #21 Arizona State at 2 PM on CBS
- Oklahoma State at #5 Oklahoma at 3:30 PM on ABC
- Texas at #9 Kansas at 4 PM on CBS
- Washington State at #13 Washington at 5:30 PM on CBS
- Wright State at #22 Butler at 7 PM on ESPNU
- #6 Louisville at West Virginia at 9 PM on ESPN and ESPN360.com
As you can tell it’s a pretty ambitious schedule so we are asking you, our loyal legion of RTC followers, to help alert all of us if something interesting is happening. You can contribute by leaving a message in the comment section so we all can follow it.
One piece of RTC breaking news, UNC point guard Ty Lawson injured his left big toe yesterday in practice.
11:30 PM: ESPN GameDay is live from Morgantown, WV and they’re doing their own version of Make Your Case. I feel a little bit like Bill Simmons after ESPN stole his Mount Rushmore, but they aren’t paying me a million dollars a year.
11:45 PM: A couple pieces of NCAA tournament news to wrap-up before we focus on our TV for the next 12 hours: Cornell became the first team to officially get into the tournament last night by winning the Ivy League title and 3 others will join them when the Atlantic Sun, Big South, and Ohio Valley have their championship games today.
Noon: First up we have a pair of excellent games. One of them (UConn at Pitt on CBS) could be for the lead in the race #1 overall seed and a spot in the Boston East Regional while the other (Michigan at Minnesota on ESPN) might be for a spot in the NCAA tournament. Does anybody know the status of Levance Fields? I was busy getting the Lawson story up and eating during GameDay so I probably missed what they said.
12:05 PM: Interesting. Fields is out there, but did not practice or take part in the lay-up lines. We’ll be watching him throughout the day for any effects of the injury.
12:10 PM: Pitt is getting a lot of easy lay-ups on the inside right now. Hasheem Thabeet really hasn’t been a factor yet defensively, but he does have 6 points.
12:15 PM: Minnesota is up 5-4 as Michigan. The Wolverines only baskets so far came on its first 2 shots by DeShawn Sims. Both teams have gone 5 minutes without a field goal. I’m not even going to bother with a crack about the Big 10. The ESPN guys made an interesting point about the opposing players’ fear of going over the edge of Minnesota’s irregular court.
12:20 PM: Pitt has opened up a double-digit lead at 23-13 and Jim Calhoun calls a timeout after a Brad Wanamaker nails a 3.
12:25 PM: Our intern Matt has informed me that the UConn-Pitt game isn’t playing in North Carolina. Instead the poor fans are being subjected to NC State-Miami. I’ll try my best to keep you updated throughout the game. If you have any questions or comments, leave me a message and I’ll respond to it.
12:30 PM: That’s the second time that Pitt forgot to pick up Thabeet on a screen and he rolled to the basket for an easy basket. How do you miss a 7’3″ guy?
12:31 PM: Ridiculous shot by A.J. Price. He was definitely looking for the foul there, but he was saved by the miracle shot. The refs are letting a lot of contact go right now.
12:33 PM: I’ve said it before, but I love Sam Young‘s game. UConn doesn’t have anybody who can guard him.
12:35 PM: Thanks to JR for providing a video link for the UConn-Pitt game for the less fortunate among us. The URL:
12:37 PM: For those of you who prefer to watch tournament basketball, Georgia State is tied with Virginia Commonwealth and Eric Maynor over on Comcast Sports Network.
12:40 PM: DeJuan Blair just picked up his 2nd foul and heads to the bench. In games where he has 4 + fouls, Pitt is just 3-3. When he doesn’t, they are undefeated. What is it with Pittsburgh and towels? First the “Terrible Towel” and now the “Calhoun Crying Towel”.
12:42 PM: Thabeet has 14 points with 4 minutes left in the first half. He was very lucky not to get called for his 2nd foul there when he ran over a Pitt player on the offensive end.
12:44 PM: Is that Franco Harris sitting in the corner near where Jermaine Dixon was called for stepping out of bounds?
12:47 PM: Minnesota goes into half leading 35-32 against Michigan. Sims has 13 points to lead all scorers. NC State is leading Miami, 30-21 at halftime. Jack McClinton is having a horrible day. He has just 2 points on 0/7 FG. A loss here might kill Miami’s NCAA chances although nobody else seems to want in so maybe it won’t matter. Cincinnati is up 30-22 at half on Seton Hall. Boston College is up 30-25 on Georgia Tech at half.
12:50 PM: Amazing game last night between Wichita State and Creighton. First time I have seen the highlights. Huge shot by Booker Woodfox to win the game for Creighton. RTC correspondent Patrick Marshall has a recap over on his site.
1:00 PM: It looks like every game is at half right now. We’ll be back with the updates when the games restart.
1:05 PM: Big 3 for Manny Harris from the corner. He’s been struggling today. John Beilein needs the Big 10′s leading scorers to get hot if he wants to steal a win on the road.
1:10 PM: McClinton just hit his first shot of the day for Miami. It was a 3 with 18:56 left in the game. Let’s see if he can get hot as well.
1:15 PM: Georgia State just scored it first points in almost 40 minutes of real-time (no idea how many minutes of game time elapsed). They’re trailing VCU 30-17.
1:17 PM: Georgia Tech has tied the game against BC at 34 with 15:59 left. Jeff Trapani is having a rough day. He is 1/7 from the field and the announcers just said it’s painful watching him try to bring the ball up the court against Georgia Tech.
1:20 PM: Michigan has went cold missing their last 5 FG attempts and Minnesota has stretched the lead out to 12. DeShawn Sims hits a pair at the line to cut it to 10 with 13:30 left.
1:22 PM: Sam Young has 24 points now after hitting a 3 to extend Pitt’s lead to 12 points over UConn.
1:25 PM: Interesting story that the CBS guys touched on. Apparently, DeJuan Blair’s old high school (Schenley) was closed because of asbestos problems.
1:30 PM: Miami just took the lead 45-44 with 9:48 left. Georgia Tech is leading BC 42-41 with 11:44 left. Cincinnati is beating Seton Hall 49-42 with 7:30 left. Minnesota is still up by 10 with 10:11 left.
1:35 PM: Georgia Tech is on fire right now as they have come out of halftime and hit 8 of their first 11 shots from the field. Michigan has cut the Minnesota lead down to 4 with 8:40 left. Miami is up 50-45 as McClinton has 12 points in the first 12 minutes of this half.
1:37 PM: What is that on Jerome Dyson‘s suit? It looks like a regular suit with some crazy gold glitter logo on the left side.
1:38 PM: UConn has used a 10-0 run in the past 3 minutes to cut it to 4 with 9 minutes left. Thabeet just picked up his third foul, which shouldn’t have come up because Price got tripped on that drive.
1:40 PM: Jamie Dixon calls a timeout after UConn cut the Pitt lead to 2 on a Stanley Robinson dunk.
1:42 PM: BC has used a 7-0 run to go up 48-44 with 8:44 left. Minnesota is still up by 4 with 7:52 left after a runner by Lawrence Westbrook. The Miami lead is down to 3 with 4:39 left.
1:50 PM: Sam Young is having a career game today (31 points on 13/22 FG). I’m assuming this is Senior Night at Pittsburgh and it would be a quite a way to go out. The crowd is going nuts on his dunk and one. Pitt is up 61-53 with 4:30 left.
1:52 PM: Jeff Adrien just got called for a moving pick/lowering his shoulder. Pitt is up by 10 now with 3:30 left. BC and Georgia Tech are tied at 53 with 6:10 left. Michigan has finally grabbed a lead at 62-60 with 3:50 left. Miami is up 55-52 with 3:17 left.
1:55 PM: Michigan is still up 62-60 with 2:33 left. Does anybody want to score to win this game? Or is it just going to end up this way?
1:57 PM: Wow. Michigan hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1998. I knew it had been a while, but I didn’t think it had been a decade. For a little perspective I was just finishing up my freshman year when that happened. That would be my freshman year of high school.
2:00 PM: Well Pittsburgh has this one wrapped up. Interesting subplot: With a win tonight against West Virginia, Louisville would win the Big East (aka “Greatest Conference Ever”) regular season title, but most experts don’t think they are a #1 seed. How do you not give them a #1 seed if they do that (and don’t blow up in the conference tournament)?
2:05 PM: Ouch. Tubby Smith called a timeout with time running out just before Westbrook hit a 25-footer that would have tied the game. Let’s see if he can hit a shot after the timeout.
2:07 PM: And it backfires. Westbrook lost the ball and had to throw up a prayer. That win might be enough to end Michigan’s 11-year NCAA tournament drought.
2:10 PM: Rakim Sanders gets called for reaching in and Georgia Tech takes a 66-65 lead on a pair of FTs by Lewis Clinch. BC has 12.4 seconds left. Let’s see if Al Skinner can get the ball to Tyrese Rice. This would be a nice way for Rice to end Senior Day.
2:11 PM: And he takes another time out after dribbling the ball down the court. I don’t agree with that call. The ball was in Rice’s hands. Now they only have 7.4 seconds to get it back in his hands again.
2:12 PM: Sanders (game-high 19 points) redeems himself with a huge stepback jumper with 1.7 seconds left. Awful execution by Georgia Tech off the make leads to Clinch not even getting a shot off in time.
2:15 PM: A few quick hits before I hand off to rtmsf for a bit. Miami ended up hanging on for the win helping their NCAA tournament chances. Cincinnati just killed their NCAA chances by blowing a double digit lead at home losing to Seton Hall 67-63 in OT. Judging by the looks of it, Josh Carter may have a MCL injury early in the game against Missouri on Senior Night.
2:27 PM: It’s 65 degrees outside… the sun is shining… and we’re perfectly content to sit in here and watch these games – who else is with me? Alright, let’s take a look around the dial here. On CBS, we’ve got Arizona St-Cal, and ASU is already up 24-11. Neither team really needs this game, but ASU has been slumping so maybe this is a sign they’re coming out of the doldrums. Lotta game left, though. Texas A&M and Missouri are over on ESPN, and so far A&M looks good (although we already mentioned the Josh Carter injury earlier). One mid-major note, but up in the America East conference tourney, 6-10 Albany just rode a home crowd to an upset over 13-3 Vermont (such is the life in small confs sometimes).
2:35 PM: As far as we’re concerned, the other CBS game (Kentucky-Florida) is a knockout game – the loser will have to win the SEC title to get into the Dance. We’re trying to get it online, but have to install a new media player or some other ridiculousness. Meanwhile, Syracuse and Marquette are playing on ESPN FC & 360. Close game there so far. ASU continues to give Cal all kinds of trouble – typical Sendek team; when they’re hitting shots, they’re very difficult to beat.
2:46 PM: James Harden is hitting just about everything he’s throwing up for ASU. We’ve documented his struggles in recent weeks (~30% shooting), so it’s nice to see that he might be breaking out of it today. People really need to see this guy in March Madness. Marquette will take a 1-pt lead into the locker room vs. Syracuse, and Memphis finally pulled away from Tulane. WOW – just turned it back over to ESPN and Texas A&M is blitzing Missouri by twenty right now. Also, keep an eye on Penn St, who is tied at Iowa 24-24. The Nittany Lions are in no position to be losing that game.
2:53 PM: James Harden just hit another NBA-move three to give him 18 for the first half. A&M is apparently hitting about 70% so far – the thing about Mizzou is that the way they force turnovers (4th in the nation), they’re not out of a twenty-pt game, esp. with this much time remaining. Over in Gainesville, Florida is up nine on Kentucky at the half. Could UK really lose four in a row to end the regular season… talk about out like a lamb.
2:55 PM: Given the Pitt-UConn result today, we’re convinced that Pitt at full strength is the best team in the country. The only thing that scares us is what happens to the Panthers when DeJuan Blair gets into foul trouble (they lose), and there will be at least one game in the Tournament where he does so. RTC interviewee Seth Davis (transcript coming soon) just declared Pitt is going to win it all, but that’s a tall order for a program where simply making the E8 is noteworthy.
3:04 PM: Keep in mind that we’re liveblogging all day from three different conference tournaments this weekend – the CAA, MVC and WCC. At the moment, Ryan Kish is courtside at the CAA Tournament liveblogging the ODU-Hofstra game, which is still early in the first half. Take a look at his liveblog here.
3:06 PM: Just heard an ESPN halftime commentator make reference to Dominic James’ injury as part of the reason that Marquette slumping. Not sure about that – they were going to have a helluva time with this stretch of games anyway (UConn, Pitt, Louisville, Syracuse). If they had come out of that stretch at 1-3 with James, I would have been surprised.
3:16 PM: Two blowouts here, so we’re going to concentrate mostly on Cuse-Marquette. One note on Texas A&M’s Josh Carter, though – he looks ok, as we were worried about his knee in a first half injury. Penn St. is still struggling against Iowa, and South Carolina/Florida both have ten pt leads on their opponents.
3:28 PM: Marquette is hanging around here, it wouldn’t surprise us if they came back to win this game. Syracuse is one of those teams that has to frustrate the snot out of their fans. I’m not saying they underachieve necessarily, but there’s a hint that they could be so much more if everything went right for them. Yet they’re 22-8 (10-7), which is a very good record, it’s just not spectacular. Tell us if we’re crazy about this.
3:35 PM: Arizona St. just went on another run on CBS – glad we can’t get the CBS online streaming to work for the UK-Florida game. Syracuse just went on a mini-run to open up an 8-pt lead. Penn St. is killing themselves – now down 8 at Iowa with under-four minutes to go…
3:41 PM: Testing the announcer’s theory that Syracuse plays better on the road this season… well, they’re 4-5 on the road and 16-3 at home this year. You tell us. Cal has cut it to 11 on CBS – still enough time if some threes drop. Here’s an interesting score… App St. is only down 4 to Davidson with ten minutes to go. If Davidson loses this one, they’re an NIT team this season. CBS has its App St voodoo dolls out in New York.
3:46 PM: Maybe that’s why Cuse seems to not reach its potential – two boneheaded plays in a row gave Marquette four quick points. Um, make that three boneheaded plays in a row (Harris’ charge). Why doesn’t the BE Network have the score up consistently? How stupid.
3:52 PM: Another boneheaded-ass play by Syracuse. Marquette is on a 10-0 run and at least eight of those pts are attributable to what I was referring to earlier. Maybe it’s low basketball IQ; maybe it’s just a tendency to FUBAR. I don’t know – but what I do know is that Syracuse is a frustrating team.
3:59 PM: South Carolina and K-State got needed wins. Somehow, someway, Penn St. has gotten itself into OT with Iowa. Maybe the bubble teams want to play in 2 weekends after all! Huge TO and-one finish by Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn to give Cuse the lead back with 0:31 left.
4:01 PM: Gigantic three by Jerel McNeal to give Marquette a one-pt lead. Syracuse had a chance to win it at the line, but missed the second end. Now we’re going to OT after Marquette missed another three.
4:09 PM: Trading threes in the OT in Milwaukee; meanwhile, Missouri has cut it to seven against A&M, but they’re running out of time (1:11 left). Kentucky’s bubble has burst in Gainesville, and Penn St.-Iowa are headed to a second OT. Oh, and Davidson has pulled out in front of App St by ten with under-four to go…
4:11 PM: Big steal and finish by A&M to jump back up to six after allowing Mizzou to hit a three to cut it to four. Over in the MVC Tourney, N. Iowa has moved out in front of Bradley, while there are two really awful games going on ABC – ok, UCLA-Oregon should be terrible, but UO is actually leading 37-34 right now; Maryland-Virginia is the other one.
4:15 PM: Just saw that Steph Curry dropped 43 in their game vs. App St. – no way he was going to let them lose that one. Call the Aggies Texas A & IN with this win over Missouri today. Mark Turgeon really has his team playing well right now. Syracuse is now up two possessions with under-15 seconds… and they’re going to hold on. Cuse moves to 11-7 and gets to the #6 seed in the Big East Tournament next week.
4:19 PM: Ok, we’re moving over to the Big South Championship on ESPN, which features the high-scoring VMI team already up nine on Radford. At 83 possessions per game, the Keydets are the fastest tempo in the nation; they also lead the nation in turnovers forced per game. Over on ABC, we’ve got that UCLA-Oregon debacle. Going into halftime, it appears UCLA will have a small lead. Expect the Bruins to rip them in the second stanza. On CBS, Kansas is up early on Texas. It’ll be interesting to see how KU responds after that horrid loss to Texas Tech last week.
4:25 PM: Oklahoma will take a 6-pt lead into the half against OSU in Norman. Over in the Big Ten, Iowa finally outlasted Penn St. – PSU couldn’t afford that loss. They’re going to need a bit of a run in the Big Ten Tourney to feel secure now.
4:27 PM: Damion James is on fire for Texas so far, with 14 of Texas’ 17 total pts. This KU team has been a great story this year. They remind us of the 97 Kentucky team that went to the final game and lost in OT with the subs from the 96 national championship team. Collins and Aldrich are a phenomenal duo.
4:30 PM: Just saw the comments. Marquette was never a F4 contender. Period.
4:32 PM: VMI would be a great addition to the NCAA Tournament this year. They play a lot like the old Loyola Marymount teams – shoot the ball within the first ten seconds of the shot clock, and only a modicum of defense. It’s not quite as one-sided as those LMU teams, but it’s reminiscent. If they were a #16 against a UNC, that game might reach the 150s.
4:34 PM: Over at RTC Live, Hofstra is leading a good, low-scoring contest against ODU by one with two minutes remaining. In the MVC, Northern Iowa has pulled away and will face either Creighton or Illinois St. for the MVC title tomorrow.
4:39 PM: Could Auburn be sneaking onto the backside of the bubble? They’ve won 7 of 8, and the only team they lost to in that stretch, LSU, they’re currently leading in the first half. If they won today, they’d be 10-6 in the weak SEC, but with a strong finish and a decent run in the SEC Tourney… who knows?
4:52 PM: RTC Live is now gearing up at the MVC Tournament with our man Patrick Marshall on the sideline. Go see him over there today for the Creighton-Illinois St. semifinal, starting in about 25 minutes. The winner gets Northern Iowa tomorrow.
4:58 PM: KU made a nice 7-0 run there to keep pace with Texas, who had gone up by as much as 14. Still like KU to win this game at home, especially considering nobody has been able to do that this year. Radford is up 4 on VMI at halftime, and OSU has kept the pressure on Oklahoma (down six) in the mid-second half.
5:09 PM: Ok, the East Coast Compound host will take over for the next little while. Oklahoma remains up about six pts on rival OSU, and UCLA has predictably pulled away from Oregon. In the other worthless ABC game, Virginia is still leading Maryland by about 9 pts and Auburn is still leading LSU by around the same margin.
5:20 PM: Did I just hear Green Day playing in Norman? I was expecting some Garth Brooks or Dixie Chicks there. Ok, maybe not the Dixie Chicks after that whole anti-USA fiasco from a few years ago. It’s awfully quiet there right now as Oklahoma State has cut it to 5 before Omar Leary hits a 3. Sooners up 73-64 with 5:29 left.
5:25 PM: I just noticed that ESPN posted the news about Ty Lawson’s injury about an hour ago. How in the world do we beat them by almost 5 hours? Maybe they need to get on RTC’s e-mail favorites list. Blake Griffin has 32 points and 13 rebounds. Not sure if I need to say anything else. If he can work on his free throw shooting a little (maybe get up to 65-70%) he could be a superstar in the NBA.
5:30 PM: VMI ties it up at 56 with 15:30 left. Interesting stat: VMI’s Holmes’ (Travis and Chavis Holmes) are highest scoring twins in NCAA history (41.4 PPG coming into today). Not to diminish that accomplishment, but that is still less than what Pete Maravich averaged in his lowest scoring season at LSU (43.8, 44.2, and 44.5 PPG in his 3 seasons) and that was before they had a 3-point line in college. The ESPN guys just mentioned how they sometimes switch up who is shooting the FTs and get away with it.
5:40 PM: Oklahoma State cuts it to a 3-point game with 1:56 left off a 3 by James Anderson (35 points). Auburn is still up by double-digits against LSU with 7:50 left. Illinois State is up 24-9 on Creighton with 9 minutes left in the first half.
5:42 PM: Willie Warren might have sealed the game with that 3. If the Sooners are going to make a run to Detroit this year (ugh, what a horrible prize), Jeff Capel is going to need a consistent performance out of Warren. Griffin is the unquestioned star on the team, but Warren will be the one with the ball when it’s “winning time” not just because he’s a guard, but also because of Griffin’s poor free throw shooting (think a homeless man’s version of Shaq-Kobe at the turn of the century). The Sooners hold onto win 82-78 despite 37 points from Anderson.
5:55 PM: Here’s an interesting result that we may have missed earlier today: UMass with the huge upset on the road over Rhode Island 72-71. Virginia also pulled off a big upset knocking off Maryland 68-63 after the Terrapins fought their way back from 8 down by 7:26 left. VMI is down by 8 with 5:30 left. Let’s see if they can get hot to make this interesting. It will be tough since they are getting killed on the boards. Radford has almost as many offensive rebounds as VMI has total rebounds. Kansas is up 69-65 with 6:10 left. Nice response by the Jayhawks after being down by as many as 14 in the first half.
6:00 PM: Rick Barnes calls a timeout after Kansas opens the lead up to 7 with 3:05 left after a 3 from Brady Morningstar and a dunk by Tyshawn Taylor. Back in DC, Georgetown continues to kill its NCAA chances as it has let DePaul back into the game (tied at 24 with 15 minutes left).
6:10 PM: Big rebound from Cole Aldrich means that Texas will be fouling the rest of the way. With 1:21 left, this should go on for at least 10-15 minutes.
6:12 PM: It looks like VMI is done. Radford is up 98-87 with 1:31 left, but they need to hit their FTs. Artsiom Parakhouski is having a huge game for Radord (26 points and 17 rebonds).
6:18 PM: It looks like the Radford students are getting ready to rush the court.
6:20 PM: Pretty nice job by the Radford fans. A little more subdued than i would like, but they came out quickly and en masse.
6:25 PM: In response to rtmsf (below in the comments), I don’t see how they are that much different than the 2006 Villanova team that lost to eventual national champion UF. I figure if you can get to the regional finals, which you are basically expected to do (by definition) as a #2 seed, you should at least be considered a contender to win that game.
6:30 PM: Washington is up 30-25 on Washington State a half. Washington State basically needs to win out if they want a NCAA bid.
6:40 PM: Georgetown has picked it up and is now up 42-34 with 3:10 left. Before the Big 10 fans go nuts, yes that’s an ugly game. DePaul is shooting a putrid 25.9% FG so far.
6:50 PM: Thanks for the comment Kevin. We agree that people gloss over the unbalanced Big East schedule too often. We have forgotten about it this year at times. I guess my problem stems from the argument that comes from college football where it’s a huge debate when a team lands in the title game without having won its conference title. While this is different (you actually have to beat the best to win in college basketball), it just seems ridiculous on the surface to have the Big East regular season conference champs be seeded below two teams that finished below it in the regular season in conference play. As for Sam Young, I’ve been telling everyone all year long (including NBA scouts I met at games) that he is a beast, but nobody seems to listen to me.
7:03 PM: Back in the saddle here. Over at the MVC, Creighton got obliterated from start to finish by Illinois St., Setting up an ISU-N. Iowa championship game tomorrow afternoon. RTC Live will be there, as usual. Washington is holding off Wazzu, but they can’t seem to get comfortable separation. In the OVC, ETSU is bombing Jacksonville despite only 1 pt from their star Courtney Pigram.
7:09 PM: Not a whole let else going on right now but the A-Sun and the Pacific NW games.
7:16 PM: Wazzu is still hanging on against Washington (down 2). Should be a good ending. Maybe Taylor Rochestie has another miracle finish in him to get Wazzu further along in the conversation. Projecting a little bit here, but if history is any indication, whoever draws ETSU in the first round of the NCAAs is in for a war. In 2004, Cincy escaped by three; in 2003, Wake Forest did likewise. In 1992, they actually beat Arizona before losing to Michigan in the second round. In 1991, they lost by three to Iowa. Beware the BCS team that draws ETSU next week.
7:22 PM: Just came to my attention the post was on private for a brief while – sorry about that. We wouldn’t want to hide our world-class analysis from public consumption.
7:29 PM: Big missed three there by Wazzu probably ensured that Washington will win its first outright Pac-10 title since the 50s. I think they were still tying up the basketballs back then. Jacksonville is showing no signs of life in the A-Sun.
7:36 PM: UW is celebrating their Pac-10 championship. Still, the Huskies look like a second-round team to us. There’s not a ton going on right now, but we did find another CAA quarterfinal (George Mason vs. James Madison) on ESPN FC, and the Stanford-Arizona game is beginning on FCS Pacific. Another upset from the Am East to mention – UMBC upset Boston U. in their quarterfinals, meaning the #2 and #3 seeds are already out of that tournament.
7:45 PM: Arizona has come out strong on Stanford. UA really needs to win this game to get another W on their resume. Another score to keep an eye is that Xavier is down ten at Richmond in the first half. The Muskies have had all kinds of recent troubles on the road lately, and it appears to be continuing so far today.
7:57 PM: Mason-JMU is going down to the wire in the CAA, as Mason has a 1-pt lead with under-four to go. What think, fair readers, how long will it be before we see another Mason-like run to the F4?
8:21 PM: Ok, we’re going to take a little break until WVU-Louisville starts. Mason held on in the CAA Tourney, and Arizona is going into the half up 11. Oh, and ETSU is your third NCAA entrant by virtue of winning the Atlantic Sun title. The fourth will come in a little while from between Morehead St. and Austin Peay. How wild would it be for a school called Morehead St. getting into the Tourney?
8:47 PM: A few games to update here. Xavier’s road woes appear to be intact, as the Muskies are still down nine at Richmond with under-four to play. Butler is up five on Wright St, which might as well be ten between those two teams. In the Summit League Tourney, 16-2 NDSU is only up 1 on Centenary, and Arizona is still up ten on Stanford in their efforts to stay on the good side of the bubble.
9:07 PM: Louisville and WVU just tipped off – noticed that Vitale is back with Shulman this week. Does he not go to the west coast? How else to explain that he wasn’t around last weekend in Berkeley?
9:14 PM: Richmond held on to beat Xavier by three, NDSU survived and Butler is going to hang on to beat Wright St. Arizona is still up double-digits on Stanford, and Austin Peay is up seven at the half in the OVC title game.
9:18 PM: The computers love this WVU team; in fact, so does Vegas. Here’s Louisville making a case for a #1 seed, and they were a two-point underdog on the road to an unranked team. Does anyone understand this? This is a solid team, but look at their schedule, who have they beaten this year? Villanova at home appears to be the Mountaineers’ best win. After that, you’ll struggle to find an NCAA team they’ve beaten (maybe Providence or Ohio St?). We don’t get it.
9:30 PM: Here’s the thing about Louisville. If you as an opponent cannot pressure their guards to beat you (i.e., make Sosa, Smith, Knowles and McGee hit shots), then you really have no chance to beat them. Terrence Williams and Earl Clark are just so multifacted and talented – either one of them can play point forward. Even if Pitino could get one of those guards to catch fire for a month (like Preston Knowles did recently), that might be all that they’d need to get to the F4 and win the national title.
9:39 PM: Quick look-in over at the OVC reveals that Morehead St. has come back and is now only down four to Austin Peay. Does anyone else remember the imitable Dick Fick, who once coached there? What a story that would be, MSU hasn’t sniffed the Big Dance in 25 years.
9:47 PM: Another surprising score out of the CAA – Northeastern is down 7 at the half to 5-13 Towson. WVU is making a bit of a run, but I’ve yet to see anything that shows me Louisville is going to lose this game. Yet.
9:51 PM: T-Will broke a 10-0 WVU run with a dagger three from about 25 feet. Jeez, Huggins looks like he just got out of the saloon with the sweat and his ruddy complexion there. Friendly, too. Guy makes Billy Gillispie’s halftime interviews look like Emily Post trained him.
10:04 PM: Morehead St. is all the way back, now tied with 2 minutes left.
10:09 PM: The Louisville-WVU game is back, but we’re staying with Austin Peay-Morehead St. for now – tie game with 34 seconds to go.
10:10 PM. WOW! What a play to run a screen/roll lob to possibly win an NCAA bid! Peay will have 6.7 seconds to tie or win the game.
10:14 PM. Phenomenal finish there – Caleb Brown threw in a loose ball with 1 second left, OFF GLASS, to tie it and send it to overtime. It was funny to watch the reaction of the player who lost the ball in the lane leading to the game-tying shot – he was lying under the rim, waited to watch the ball go in, and then he rolled over and acted hurt. Hilarious. Should be a great OT, though.
10:20 PM: WVU continues to hang in with Louisville, but they can’t seem to get over the hump. They just showed the brackets for the Big East Tourney, and I’m not sure that Marquette is thrilled to see Georgetown as its possible opening opponent on Wed. Over in the OVC, we’re still tied.
10:27 PM: Interesting that a charge call was made there when it wasn’t on the other end at the end of regulation. Austin Peay will have about 3 seconds to get it downcourt and put up a game-winning shot.
10:28 PM: AP came up with a great play there to get it upcourt and a reasonable shot, but Morehead seemed to be waiting on it, and their big man Faried packed the game-winning three attempt into the third row. Let’s go to double-OT. WVU is now up three on the Cards, btw.
10:34 PM: The OVC teams are starting to look tired, but that big man for Morehead (Fareed) might be the difference – he’s very active inside. Louisville back on top by three now – maybe WVU does have what it takes to win this game – less than nine minutes to go there.
10:40 PM: That should be it, MSU’s Steve Peterson hits a 12-footer from the baseline to give the Eagles a two-pt lead. AP will have 1.4 remaining to get it upcourt and win the game. Fyi, we just looked up the numbers on Kenneth Faried – this guy is a beast! 23 double-doubles this year and 17/16 in this tournament coming into tonight. He’s like a mini-Blake Griffin. First time in 25 yrs for Morehead St. – what a great story.
10:45 PM: Now that we’ve had a buzzer-beater to put a team into the NCAA Tournament, is it safe to say that Championship Week is here?
10:55 PM: Alex Ruoff’s zero pts has really hurt WVU’s chances to pull off the big upset tonight. But, the Mountaineers are still right there with 2:20 to go. Louisville is 22-0 when leading at the 5-minute mark, so they’ll have their work cut out.
11:00 PM: Huge shot by Jerry Smith to put the Cardinals up four. Alex Rouff just followed it with another airball three, and it was such a bad shot, they managed to get a dunk out of it.
11:01 PM: Could have been a hook on the drive that Jerry Smith just took down the lane, but we’ll see what he can do from the line with a little pressure on him.
11:08 PM: T-Will bricked both “ice” FTs, leaving the door open for DeSean Butler, who had a really nice look at a three from the top of the key. Just a little long on it, but Louisville finishes at 16-2 and in so doing wins the Big East and the top seed in next week’s tournament. Pretty amazing considering how bad Louisville has looked in certain games this year, and how good this conference is.
11:12 PM: In some other nightcap games, USC outlasted Oregon St. to get to 9-9 in the Pac-10, but we still don’t think they’re NCAA-worthy. Santa Clara took care of business against San Diego, and they’ll move on to face Gonzaga tomorrow in the WCC Tourney. In the Horizon, Cleveland St. is in a tight one with Green Bay in the second half. Finally, we’re having trouble finding it, but UNLV vs. San Diego St. is happening somewhere – it’s a close, low-scoring affair in the early second half now.
11:19 PM. So we’re gonna wrap it up for today. Thanks for riding the big waves with us all the way into shore. We’ll be back tomorrow with more BGTD and (hopefully) RTC Live from the CAA Tournament and WCC Tournament. We’ve already gotten four teams into the Dance in the last 24 hrs, and should get one more tomorrow out of the MVC. Rest easy, Hoops Nation.