ATB: 903 for Herb MageePosted by rtmsf on February 24th, 2010
#903. Philadelphia 76, Goldey-Beacom 65. It’s not D1, but we don’t really care. Anyone who wins 903 games deserves all the accolades he can get, and RTC is happy to oblige (especially when their fans oblige us with a well-deserved RTC). With local coaching luminaries such as Villanova’s Jay Wright and Temple’s Fran Dunphy in attendance, the 68-year old coach Herb Magee thrilled an SRO crowd by avenging the school’s only CACC conference loss as he officially became the all-time leader in NCAA wins, passing Bob Knight’s 902. His Rams move to 23-6 overall and 15-1 in the conference as they look to make another run in the Division II Tournament next month. Magee won a national title at the school in 1970 and has averaged over twenty victories a year ever since, yet he says he has no plans to slow down as long as he’s healthy, inviting everyone back in “four and a half years” for the next celebration at 1,000. After the game fans were given t-shirts with Magee’s name and the number 903 on the front — if anyone can send us one of these, we’d be exceptionally grateful. Congratulations, Coach Magee — a class act, through and through.
The Wild and Wonderful Big East. #13 Georgetown 70, Louisville 60. As soon as you think you have this league figured out, it surprises you again. Come on, who wasn’t saying at halftime of this game tonight that the Cards were surging and the Hoyas were cooked. It’s ok, you don’t have to admit it to us, but that’s what we were thinking too. Um, we guess the Hoyas weren’t thinking that. Georgetown used a 24-5 run to start the second half and silence the Freedom Hall crowd behind Austin Freeman’s 29/4/4 assts, the vast majority of which came in that half. The rest of the game was academic, as Rick Pitino’s team fell back into its old habit of Edgar Sosa (24/8 assts) and Samardo Samuels (11/6) doing most of the shooting (and scoring). Both of these teams are now 9-6 and one game behind West Virginia for magical double-bye that the Big East Tournament offers its top four seeds. Georgetown has two winnable home games vs. Notre Dame and Cincy sandwiching a tough road game at WVU, while Louisville has three pretty tough games remaining (UConn and Marquette away, Syracuse at home). As for the long-term viability of these two teams, both have warts, but Georgetown’s better offensive balance and big-game ability carries a lot more weight with us — if having to choose now, Louisville looks like a first-round upset waiting to happen, while the Hoyas are a Sweet Sixteen team so long as their starters stay on the floor.
Upset of the Night. Evansville 55, #24 Northern Iowa 54. How badly must suspended UNI center Jordan Eglseder feel now? Although the Panthers are still safely within the NCAA field even if they lose in Arch Madness next week, this loss to the hapless Evansville Purple Aces will have a serious impact on their seeding two Sundays from now. Evansville, who has won only two games in the MVC all season but beat the top two teams (UNI and Wichita State) on their home court, held Nothern Iowa to 33% shooting and only 5-27 from three, one of their three worst performances of the season. The few Evansville fans who were there actually RTC’d, but we haven’t yet found any photographic or video evidence of this yet.
RTC Live. #4 Syracuse 99, Providence 85. At halftime of tonight’s tilt between Syracuse and Providence at the Dunkin Donuts Center, the Friars held a five-point lead and had dropped 52 points on the Orange using a barrage of three pointers and acrobatic dunks. Thoughts of last year’s upset over Syracuse in that very building were certainly floating through the minds of the Friar faithful. Then, right around the first TV timeout of the second half, something clicked for the Orange and they started playing like the team that’s been ranked in the top ten for a majority of this season. Andy Rautins began canning three after three, Rick Jackson and Arinze Onuaku turned the game into their own layup line, and the Orange’s patented 2-3 zone started to force turnovers that resulted in fast break points. The stars for Syracuse were Rautins and Jackson, two complementary players in years past that have certainly emerged as vital pieces for a team with hopes of raising Jim Boeheim’s second championship banner. They combined for 23-33 FG and 56 points. Jackson brought down nine rebounds and Rautins drained eight threes in the effort. Providence received outstanding offensive games from both Marshon Brooks (10-19 FG) and Jamine Peterson (8-13 FG, 4-8 3pt), but Syracuse outscored the Friars 52-33 in the second half to turn a nailbiter into a laugher. After the game, coach Boeheim was pleased with his team’s all-around effort in the second half when they tightened up the defense and Rautins began opening up Providence’s already lackluster D. Syracuse has a chance to do something special this season — become the first Big East team to sweep their road games since the 1998-99 UConn national champs. They are one road win in Louisville away from accomplishing that feat after the 99-85 win tonight over Providence.
Other Games of National Interest.
- Florida 75, #17 Tennessee 62. The Gators really needed this win for their NCAA profile, and they used a 27-6 second half run to ensure that they got it. The Gators put four starters in double figures as the program reached twenty wins for the twelfth consecutive year, but it’s the improved play of Vernon Macklin (13/10) that has Florida ready to return to the NCAAs for the first time since the Oh-Fours left campus. UF played the game in front of a member of the NCAA Selection Committee, so tonight certainly didn’t hurt their chances. They still have games against Vandy and Kentucky among the final three, but if they can split those, they should be relatively safe. Tennessee has now dropped three of their last five.
- Seton Hall 76, Rutgers 70. The Hall kept their slim NCAA hopes alive with a key win over their in-state rival tonight behind Jeremy Hazell’s 25 points. SH will play Rutgers again in a week and has games left against Marquette and Providence remaining to bolster their resume. With solid wins over Cornell, Pittsburgh and Louisville, Bobby Gonzalez’s team has a fighting chance if they can continue to win games, but their RPI of #51 leaves something to be desired.
- Hofstra 73, Northeastern 62. With one game left for both teams, Old Dominion with its win over Georgia State now controls its destiny as far as winning the CAA and at least guaranteeing itself an automatic bid to the NIT this season. However, if ODU loses to VCU on Saturday, and Northeastern wins at George Mason, then the Huskies will take the regular season title by virtue of the tiebreaker. NE isn’t playing well, though, having now lost three of four after starting 12-1 in the league.