Boom Goes the Dynamite: NCAA Tournament Day One EditionPosted by nvr1983 on March 19th, 2009
IT’S. FINALLY. HERE.
If there’s one thing in life you can count on, it’s that every spring the Taxman will ask for his pittance and the NCAA Tournament will have you screaming at the top of your lungs with excitement. There is no more compelling annual event in all of sports. Every year, schools you’ve never heard of take on the ones you’re sick of hearing about and, for just a moment, a mere sliver of time, they stand as equals, where how well you play the game is all that matters. No computers, no RPIs, no BCS, no BS… just an orange ball and five players a side battling for the same goal – to survive and advance. This is why we’re all here. Let’s tip it off…
If you’re just now managing to get caught up to the fact that the Tournament starts today, get a life make your way over to the RTC 2009 Tournament Portal, which has all the information you’d ever want on the games and to watch for. Game previews, team previews, columns, etc. It’s all there.
Mike Lemaire will start the madness with the first group of games at the Noon hour, beginning with two difficult-to-read 8/9 games. Nvr1983 will be back in his usual spot in the cockpit for the second block of games at 2pm. Schedule below (all times EDT):
12:20 pm – #8 LSU vs. #9 Butler
12:25 pm – #2 Memphis vs. #15 Cal St. Northridge
12:30 pm – #8 BYU vs. #9 Texas A&M – RTC Live is there!
2 pm Block
2:30 pm – #5 Purdue vs. #12 Northern Iowa
2:50 pm – #1 UNC vs. #16 Radford
2:55 pm – #7 California vs. #10 Maryland
3:00 pm – #1 Connecticut vs. #16 Chattanooga
4:55 pm – #4 Washington vs. #13 Mississippi St.
7:10 pm – #7 Texas vs. #10 Minnesota
7:10 pm – #7 Clemson vs. #10 Michigan
7:20 pm – #3 Villanova vs. #14 American
7:25 pm – #4 Gonzaga vs. #13 Akron
9:40 pm – #2 Duke vs. #15 Binghamton
9:40 pm – #2 Oklahoma vs. #15 Morgan St.
9:50 pm – #6 UCLA vs. #11 VCU
9:55 pm – #5 Illinois vs. #12 W. Kentucky
Let’s get it started….
12:07 pm. Hey All, its your faithful RTC intern here, and this will be my first attempt at Boom Goes the Dynamite. I may have technical troubles so bear with me, but I am diligent, and I will be watching all the games starting with Butler and LSU.
12:10 pm. Questionable music selection, but if you aren’t excited by CBS’ tournament memory montage, then there is something wrong with you. Quick update on point guards Ty Lawson and Chester Frazier: Neither player is 100% healthy, but I seriously doubt those two guys will miss a game, they are just too competitive.
12:22 pm. The tip is up and we are under way. Quick start for LSU and Bo Spencer as the Tigers are up 9-0 zip already and Spencer hit a three, then stole the ball and made a layup. Good timeout by Butler coach Brad Stevens, the last thing he wants is for LSU to take off.
12:30 pm. Since the early flurry by LSU both teams have settled in 11-3. It looks like the Bulldogs will have a tough time on the glass. Matt Howard is going to need to play a huge game if they want to win. In other news, Cal. State Northridge has an early 7-2 lead on Memphis…..upset anyone?
12:35 pm. Quick tangent, I know this Tournament is an advertising bonanza, but do the commerical breaks seem longer than usual or is it just me? Its been 13 minutes since the start of the game and they have played less than four minutes of basketball.
12:38 pm. The Bulldogs don’t have anyone that can match-up with LSU’s Tasmin Mitchell, especially now that Matt Howard is out with two quick fouls. It just seems as if LSU is more physical right now. Score checks: 14-6 LSU, 11-11 CSU v. Memphis, and 11-5 TXAM.
12:43 pm. Important things to know from the first few minutes. Matt Howard has two fouls, so do Robert Dozier and Tyreke Evans of Memphis. Texas A&M has come out on fire and is up 18-7 early on BYU.
12:53 pm. Now its just 15-11 LSU as Butler has gone on an 8-2 run. The Bulldogs are a tournament seasoned team, and the Tigers are not, so it will be interesting to see how the emotions and runs ebb and flow throughout the game. Keep in mind Butler made this run with Matt Howard on the bench. I will try to keep up with the other games, but the gamecast is slow so I might just try score checks.
1:00 pm. Now its Marcus Thornton who has taken over for the Tigers who have opened up a 27-18 lead. Butler is hanging around but they will need to hit their threes if they want to keep pace. Right now it looks like the Bulldogs haven’t been able to guard Mitchell and now Thornton. Matt Howard is still out though. In other news, TX-AM Bryan Davis has 12 points and is perfect from the field as they lead 32-19, and little known Roburt Sallie has 14 points as Memphis leads by 4.
1:13 pm. Halftime with LSU leading 35-29. Marcus Thornton has 13, Tasmin Mitchell has 10 as the Tigers have used their size advantage to outplay the Bulldogs in the first half. This game is far from over however. Matt Howard will be playing for most of the second half, as long as he doesn’t pick up fouls, and Butler still hasn’t gotten hot yet.
1:18 pm. Halftime check with the rest of the games. Robert Dozier has just two points, but little used reserve Roburt Sallie has 17. Memphis is only up by four points and haven’t been able to get out on the break much. Meanwhile, TX-AM is at the half with the score 42-30 in favor of A&M. The Aggies are shooting better than 60% from the field while holding the Cougars to just 37%. The length is bothering BYU.
1:23 pm. Just a reminder, I will be here until around 2 pm. Taking you through as much as I can. But stay tuned for nvr who will be around for the Maryland v. Cal game, and UNC v. Radford game among others….More after the half.
1:30 pm. ESPN just notified that UCONN coach Jim Calhoun will not coach against Chattanooga tonight due to an undisclosed illness. Shouldn’t make much of a difference tonight, but definitely something to keep an eye on.
1:38 pm. Timeout LSU as Butler’s execution and defense has drawn them to within 1 at 41-40. Howard has 14 points for the Bulldogs, and every time it looks like LSU will run away with the game the Bulldogs come back and make a run. Big key is if they continue to shoot well from outside, Shelvin Mack and Willie Veasley need to get it going.
1:44 pm. Great part of the game, Willie Veasley alley-oop, great jumper from Marcus Thornton, then a backdoor layup by Ronald Nored.
1:52 pm. A break in the action as this game continues to get good. LSU is up just four, and the teams are going back and forth trading good offensive possessions. In other news Memphis is up just 2 at last check.
1:58 pm. This is right around the time I wish I could split my TV in half and watch the Memphis game and the Butler game. Memphis is down one to Fullerton with just over 8 minutes remaining, and Butler is up 1 on LSU with just over 8 remaining as well…..I love this Tournament.
2:02 pm. Scary moment for LSU fans as Thornton goes up for a lay-up, makes it, and comes down hard. I will try to keep you posted as information unfolds.
2:10 PM: Ok. This is nvr1983. I’ll be taking over for Mike who did an admirable job in his first attempt at a BGtD. We have 2 great games going on. Butler and LSU are tied at 58 with 5:15 left, but the big news is Cal State-Northridge up by 3 on Memphis with 8:33 left.
2:15 PM: Marcus Thornton is carrying the Tigers. He has 26 already including 3/4 from 3-point range. I just got the Memphis game on MMOD (busy finding out where I’ll be working next year earlier). How is this game still close? Has the Memphis D been that bad?
2:20 PM: Scott, thanks for the comment. Has the CS Northridge outplayed Tyreke Evans that badly? CS Northridge has missed 7 straight shots and the Tigers have a 6-point lead with 4 minutes left. It looks like they might survive this one.
2:23 PM: Just a heads up for everybody. I’ll be posting my interview with Bill Laimbeer later in the day. He was promoting Coke Zero’s Taste the Madness campaign, but we got some decent quotes out of him regarding Digger Phelps. I’ll post a link on here later in the day.
2:24 PM: Matt Howard just fouled out for Butler. That should do it for them. It’s a 7-point game with 30 seconds left. On cue, Gordon Hayward hits a 3 to cut it to 4 with 30 seconds left. This could be interesting. Memphis looks like it has this one wrapped up. A 10-point lead with 1:02 left.
2:25 PM: Wow. That Axe commercial was weird. I just noticed that Jim Calhoun is too sick to coach UConn‘s in their first round game against UT-Chattanooga. LSU becomes the first team to win in this year’s tournament (75-71 over Butler).
2:30 PM: Another piece of news from today: Coach K calls out Barack Obama for not focusing on the economy. I wonder who the Cameron Crazies will side with. Two other winners today: Memphis and Texas A&M. We have about a half an hour break until the next set of games start. We only have Purdue and Northern Iowa on right now and that’s just starting.
2:45 PM: Purdue (the Big 10 champs) is killing Northern Iowa (the MVC champs) right now. It’s 16-6. Not a good start for the mid-majors. Butler has already gone down (put up a fight though), BYU got beat easily by Texas A&M, and Memphis struggled against Cal State-Northridge although the Tigers have built up enough rep in the tournament that most people will let it slide.
3:00 PM: This has to be embarassing for the NCAA. Those stands are barely 50% full in the lower level. This is why you don’t put 3 teams that are more than 1900 miles away from a site in the same pod. I’m sure they will have a lot of Washington fans for the Huskies later today, but it is dead in that arena right now.
3:15 PM: Purdue is up 32-20 at halftime. UConn and UT-Chattanooga are tied at 8 with 15 minutes left in the first half. UNC is up by 8 with 12 minutes left in the first half and fellow ACC member Maryland is up 16-12 with 12:34 left in the first half.
3:25 PM: When did ESPN start letting Jay Bilas do work for CBS? By the way, we only have 1 good game right now (Maryland-Cal) although UConn still hasn’t opened up a lead yet.
3:35 PM: More proof that Calhoun isn’t feeling well. Bilas just reported that Calhoun said that Stanley Robinson is more athletic than Rudy Gay was when he played at UConn.
3:50 PM: Sorry about the delay in posting. I just put up our latest statistical analysis from Ben Allaire. I think it’s definitely worth checking out.
4:00 PM: Quick halftime scoreboard check before I focus on Purdue-Northern Iowa (Purdue up by 10 with 8:59 left). Tyler Hansbrough broke J.J. Redick‘s ACC scoring record with 15:43 left in the first half appropriately enough on a free throw. Maryland is up by 3 at half. UNC is up 53-34 at half (scoring well without Lawson) while UConn is up 48-18 in the last minute of the first half.
4:08 PM: 6-point game with 6 minutes to go in Portalnd. This is starting to get interesting. Can the Panthers pull off the 5/12 upset?
4:10 PM: The CBS analyst with the Sisyphus reference. I haven’t heard that too often during a sporting event.
4:12 PM: Patrick, thanks for the clarification. I’m not sure how I missed that. So why doesn’t CBS get ESPN’s other talent (see Andrews, Erin)?
4:14 PM: Jersey, I’m not sure about the exact BP numbers, but our data from 1985-2007 (needs to be updated) shows that BYU has underperformed its seeding over that period. It doesn’t speak to this specific team though.
4:20 PM: Solid work by the CBS people the Maryland-Cal game (start of 2nd half) over the Purdue-Northern Iowa game (single-digit game with 1:42 left) on TV. I know they have MMOD, but I’d rather follow the interesting game on the big screen.
4:23 PM: And they switch over in the last minute and a 4-point game. A Purdue timeout means that we go right back to the Maryland-Cal game.
4:25 PM: Big offensive foul there. That would have made it a single-possession game with 28.3 seconds left.
4:30 PM: Well the Panthers put up a strong fight, but they came up short (61-56). Another mid-major is gone. . .
4:40 PM: Maryland has opened up an 8-point lead with 10 minutes left off a 9-0 run. Cal could be in trouble if they don’t turn things around soon.
4:55 PM: I’d give Cal until the 3:30 mark, if it isn’t in single digits by then this game is over.
5:05 PM: Well the Bears did not get there and as long as Maryland doesn’t do anything stupid they should be able to hold on. Does anybody think that the Terrapins can knock off the Tigers in the 2nd round?
5:10 PM: Ok. Short break now, but we’re planning on being back for the games around 7. We’ll be back then. Leave comments/messages below.
7:30 PM: And we’re back. Agree with Washington looking good today, but Mississippi State just is not a good team. It’s not about ripping the SEC, but unless they have Jarvis Varnado they have no chance. Once he got in foul trouble it was basically over. As for upsets tonight, the two trendy ones are VCU over UCLA and Western Kentucky over Illinois. I think at least one of those will happen.