Boom Goes the Dynamite: NCAA Tournament Day ThreePosted by nvr1983 on March 21st, 2009
After a relatively weak set of 1st round games (except for very late last night), we’re looking to forward to our beloved tournament returning to form with a strong set of 2nd round games. One of the benefits of the lack of shocking upsets in the first round games is that we get a good set of 2nd round games that won’t be blowouts. Right? Anyways, here is your slate of games.
- 1:05 PM: #6 UCLA at #3 Villanova – RTC Live will be there
- 3:20 PM: #10 Maryland vs. #2 Memphis
- 3:35 PM: #9 Texas A&M vs. #1 UConn
- 5:40 PM: #5 Purdue vs. #4 Washington
- 5:45 PM: #8 LSU vs. #1 UNC
- 5:50 PM: #10 Michigan vs. #2 Oklahoma
- 8:10 PM: #12 Western Kentucky vs. #4 Gonzaga
- 8:15 PM: #7 Texas vs. #2 Duke
We’ll be starting this post around 3:20 so head over to the aforementioned RTC Live before that time for our coverage of the start of round 2.
3:23 PM: Memphis starts off like they did in the 1st round with a 35-second violation that wasn’t called because Maryland stole the ball as the shot clock expired. Greivis Vasquez just got called for his first foul 57 seconds into the game. That’s definitely something to watch for.
3:27 PM: Nice run by Memphis to silence any of the early doubts after their ugly opening game. This is the Memphis team I put in the Final 4.
3:40 PM: Sorry for the delay. I was busy responding to an e-mail from the NCAA trying to get you coverage from the NCAA East Regional (they’re pretty myopic in Indianapolis). Anyways, back to the game. . . John Calipari has to be pleased with this start. His Tigers have come out much sharper than they did against Cal State-Northridge.
3:42 PM: Memphis is up by 10. I just saw this article (seems more like a blog post) about activists protesting the AIG bonuses at outside the executives’ homes in Connecticut. I’m sure that Jim Calhoun feels a little better now.
3:45 PM: jgunnip, not sure about the rule regarding conference teams playing at the same time slot. It wouldn’t surprise me though. The NCAA has done an awful job with the logistics of these early games (start times and putting teams in pods being the most obvious ones). As for the shot clock thing. . .Get a bigger TV. I can see it just fine reading it off the actual shot clock, but yes I understand your point.
3:50 PM: Nice job by Maryland to get back in the game. Down by 12 with 6:31 left. The key is keeping this game close.
4:00 PM: Yikes. Awful start for Texas A&M. Already down 10-0. Memphis is up by 18. Let’s hope these get more competitive.
4:10 PM: Texas A&M has done a nice job getting back into the game. Maryland. . .not so much. Does Memphis beat Maryland by more or less than Duke did at Cameron?
4:12 PM: Does anybody think Billy Gillispie wouldn’t jump at the chance to have his Texas A&M job back?
4:30 PM: Ugh. Just a terrible pair of games. Let’s hope Texas A&M can turn it around because Maryland is dead. If the Aggies can cut it to single-digits at half they have a good chance today.
4:45 PM: Agree with Josh. This is awful. It’s also the reason that I’m not updating that frequently. UConn goes into half leading by 18. Memphis is up by 20 with 14:13 left. I know it’s early but this is the worst start to the 2nd round that I can remember. Honestly this entire Tournament has been kind of weak. There were a couple big moments last night, but other than that there hasn’t been much outside of Byron Eaton taking over against Tennessee.
5:05 PM: So. . .which games are you guys looking forward to tonight?
5:10 PM: ” Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes” -AMC. The fact that Calhoun is starting Gavin Edwards to begin the 2nd half should tell you this is over. I’ll give it until 10 minutes and a 15-point lead before it’s “RTC over”.
5:30 PM: Scott, we can only hope we get a close game today. Did Maryland win the 2nd half or just tie?
5:32 PM: Is this the 2nd time this year Vasquez has called out a team (other being Duke prior to the massacre at Cameron) and then gotten drilled?
5:33 PM: Did Vitaminwater just delete the bleeped out expletive from the commercial with Rick Pitino and Christian Laettner?
5:35 PM: How do you guys think Ty Lawson will do today? I’m not sure they really need him, but if he isn’t feeling it Roy Williams can take him out and use Bobby Frasor. If Frasor isn’t enough, he can put Lawson back in the game.
5:55 PM: Solid if unspectacular start by the Tar Heels. It will be interesting to see what the crowd is like for the next game with Duke since a majority of the people in the stands being UNC fans.
6:05 PM: LSU has done a good job hanging close to UNC in the first 8 minutes. When do you guys think the big UNC run will come? I’m guessing it will come with about 8 minutes left in the first half. If LSU can stay within 10 in the first half, Trent Johnson should be content. UNC has to be under a ton of pressure playing so close to home and being one of the favorites to win the title in Tyler Hansbrough‘s last year.
6:10 PM: I’m guessing that we won’t see Lawson unless they really need him in the last 10 minutes. At least that’s what I would do if I was Roy Williams.
6:15 PM: I agree with Josh here. Not to keep tooting our own horn here, but we said this the day before the Duke game (first “national’–meaning not based in North Carolina–media outlet to cover it) that it’s a significant injury. The “traditional” media just realized this last week at the ACC tournament. The information coming out of UNC has been so sparse that I can’t really say much more about it, but if all they did was a plain x-ray (what I’ve read) they could still be missing a fracture. Pretty poor job by the trainers and the medical staff in Chapel Hill.
6:33 PM: It looks like we have a pair of good games now, which means I won’t be watching The Godfather during the second half.
6:35 PM: Josh, I’ll agree with you up to a point. I’m aware that Roy and any other team official would try to downplay the injury, but I would assume that any journalist who can get a job at a national media outlet could figure out that a toe injury for a guy who bases his entire game on speed and explosiveness would be a big deal. I’m not expecting them to know that a plain x-ray can miss a fracture, but they should at least realize the importance of the foot (and especially the toe) just by having been around sports. I’m sure a handful of the analysts who played basketball in college have also had the injury so they should have known that much.
6:39 PM: Griffin ran up the court gingerly. I’m not sure if he’s just being lazy, but it seems like he reinjured his “tailbone”.
6:50 PM: Who thought that the 4/5 game would have a bigger margin than the 1/8 or 2/10 match-ups?
6:55 PM: Could LSU end Hansbrough’s college career just like they ended J.J. Redick‘s? This has the makings of the first great game of this year’s tournament.
7:05 PM: LSU is up 12-1 on the boards this half. This just feels like it has the makings of an upset. As good as the Tar Heels are, the Tigers seem like they are more athletic. UNC wins this game 8/10 times (probably 9.9/10 if Lawson is 100%), but this could be one of those 2 times.
7:10 PM: That’s 3 on Hansbrough with 10 minutes left. Who do you guys think will win this game?
7:15 PM: UNC has made 8 of their last 9 shots. Can LSU weather this run?
7:30 PM: Ok. Well at least they kept it close for 35 minutes. Purdue-Washington looks promising. . .
7:35 PM: Ok. They definitely changed Pitino’s last line by switching the (bleeped) “asshole” to “guy”.
7:40 PM: Yikes. Awful job of saving timeouts by Matt Painter. The Boilermakers are out of timeouts with 3:30 left. Jon Brockman just made it a 2-point game off the Isaiah Thomas miss.
7:47 PM: Purdue doesn’t have an answer for Brockman. JaJuan Johnson is a force on the inside, but he lacks the bulk to challenge Brockman.
7:50 PM: I’m actually going with Purdue winning and Michigan losing.
7:55 PM: Enjoy the win Purdue because UConn is waiting for you. I’m giving UConn a 10-point edge in that one. Johnson will have tough time against that frontline. . .and Manny Harris just fouled out. Goodbye Michigan.
7:57 PM: Oklahoma goes 4 corners and it works thanks to a 30-foot 3-pointer. They’ll get the winner of Syracuase-Arizona State, which should be an interesting game tomorrow.
8:00 PM: Short break before the next set of games. Be back around 8:20.
8:20 PM: Bad start for the Blue Devils. Down 6-2 and Lance Thomas already has 2 fouls in the first 2:30.
8:30 PM: Nice response by Duke. An 11-2 run to take a 13-8 lead. Duke’s 6 FGs are by 5 different players. Now comes the mass substitution.
9:07 PM: Both games have nearly identical scores. Duke has struggled from inside the arc, but finished the half well (up by 7). Weird flow to the game. In the Gonzaga-Western Kentucky game, Orlando Mendez-Valdez is going off (17 points on 6/8 FG including 5/7 from beyond the arc.)
9:12 PM: Weird decision by Mark Few not to put anybody on the lane for the FT at the end of the half. Anybody have any insight into his reasoning?
9:17 PM: Scott, I’m assuming you are talking about my comment about trying to get access to the East Regional. The people at the NCAA basically have reading comprehension issues. They write criteria, which we meet, and they’re still denying us by citing those same criteria. Basically it’s your typical bureaucracy that is made stronger by being a government-enabled monopoly.
9:35 PM: The teams are trading 3s in Greensboro. A lot of open looks. Awful shot by Gerald Henderson there. I think he was looking for a foul/bailout there. Gonzaga has opened up a 6-point lead to start the 2nd half.
9:45 PM: “That’s ammonia strong right there!” – Clark Kellogg. Umm, ok. . .
9:46 PM: Does Texas have anybody who can guard Henderson? He’s really starting to look like a pro prospect. If Duke is going to make a run this year, he will be the key.
9:52 PM: Big 4th foul on Dexter Pittman there. 10:52 left. How long does Rick Barnes sit him for? I’m guessing until the 5 or 6 minute mark.
10:05 PM: Duke has a healthy 8-point lead wih 7:31 left but Texas is going to the line. Gonzaga is holding onto a 3-point lead with 7:01 left. Texas misses and is just 9/17 from the line tonight.
10:07 PM: Really late call on Kyle Singler (his 4th) on an A.J. Abrams 3-point attempt. He makes all 3 to cut it to 7. Henderson goes straight to the rim and gets the foul.
10:15 PM: Nice job by Lance Thomas crashing the boards there, but he misses the 2nd FT and then fouls out. Should be a good finish here. Could we only have 1 ACC team left going into Sunday?
10:22 PM: Josh, I agree that some of the calls have been questionable, but it’s 19-19 on the fouls right now. With 2:30 left, this has to go through Henderson.
10:23 PM: Onions! Big shot by Varez Ward. Tie game with 1:36 left. Over to Gonzaga-WKU. . .WKU with the last shot down by 2 with 24.8 to play coming out of the timeout.
10:26 PM: Huge play by Singler. Duke up by 2. . .WKU ties it on a tip-in. Huge play by Demetri Goodson!!! He saves Gonzaga’s season and my bracket. Best finish so far.
10:28 PM: Apparently Singler fouled out while we were away. Nolan Smith going to the line and he make 2 to give Duke the edge with 47 seconds left. Damion James has a 3 that goes in. . .and out. Henderson going to the line with 30.8 seconds left. Wow. That was close.
10:30 PM: Phenomenal play by Jon Scheyer and a foul by Gary Johnson on Elliot Williams should just about do it. That might be the play of the tournament.
10:33 PM: 48.8% FT from a point guard? He makes Jason Williams seem like Rick Barry. Henderson gets the rebound and should be able to make 1 of 2 to give the Blue Devils a 2-possesion lead. He makes the first and Barnes calls a timeout. Why didn’t he call one before the first FT? Ice the guy and draw up the play even if there are 2 FTs left. Ugh. He kills me.
10:37 PM: And Duke holds on. Great pair of games. The Gonzaga one was “better” from the 30 seconds I saw of it, but the Duke win wasn’t bad either. I’d say this officially kicks off the tournament. I’ll be back tomorrow for a marathon session of BGtD. Check back around noon tomorrow when we kick off the day’s action with Syracuse-ASU. Be sure to bring your friends along.
10:39 PM: Josh, thanks for the correction. You’re right. I was thinking of when he replaced Nolan Smith in the lineup. And that makes his shooting even worse. . .Until tomorrow.