Boom Goes The Dynamite: 02.27.10 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on February 27th, 2010

Now it’s getting serious.  College basketball teams across the country now fall into one of four camps: bored, because they know their NCAA bid is secure; resigned, because they’ve known for a long time that they’re out; relieved, because they think they’ve played their way in; and downright antsy, because they’ve still got work to do.  That last group are the most interesting ones at this time of year, and there are plenty of them out there.  We’ll be keeping an eye on all of those games and, of course, commenting on any game we can find on the tube in today’s three-man weave version of BGTD.  We hope to hear from you while we’re at it.  Here are the games on which we’ll definitely be keeping tabs, though we’ll probably find more throughout the day:

  • 12 PM – Notre Dame @ #13 Georgetown on CBS (regional) – RTC Live
  • 12 PM – #2 Kentucky @ #17 Tennessee on CBS (regional)
  • 12 PM – Michigan @ #9 Ohio State on ESPN
  • 12 PM – Northeastern @ George Mason on ESPN2
  • 2 PM – North Carolina @ Wake Forest on CBS
  • 2 PM – #21 Texas @ #23 Texas A&M on ESPN
  • 2 PM – Mississippi @ Arkansas on ESPN2
  • 4 PM – #1 Kansas @ Oklahoma State on CBS
  • 4 PM – Florida @ Georgia on SEC Network
  • 6 PM – Mississippi State @ South Carolina on ESPN
  • 8 PM – Illinois State @ #22 Northern Iowa on ESPN2
  • 8 PM – Missouri @ #6 Kansas State on ESPN-U
  • 8 PM – Southern Miss @ Memphis on CBS College Sports
  • 9 PM – #8 Villanova @ #4 Syracuse on ESPN

We will start with our coverage at 11 AM. Feel free to drop by throughout the day and ask questions/comment on anything that is happening in the world of college basketball.

11:05: Well it certainly is very orange in Syracuse. And Bob Knight with the first shot of the day mocking fans who would pay $750 to watch this game. Nice. Evan Turner just signed a “Evan Turner” home-made trophy being held by some kid wearing a home-made “Villain” t-shirt.

11:06: Knight just admitted he is rooting for Steve Alford and New Mexico tonight. Not a surprise, but still amusing. I’m sure the BYU players will have something to say to the media after the game.

11:10: We would love to interview the fan who sits in that seat or the row of seats that Erin Andrews just featured. The almost looks like Final Four type seating or what we saw earlier this year for the game at the new Cowboys stadium.

11:17: Hubert Davis calling out the Mountain West and BYU. Can we get Shawn Bradley on the phone to mock UNC? Jay Bilas comes to BYU’s defense by comparing them to and crushing Virginia Tech. He’s not going to be a popular guy the next time he visits Blacksburg. Digger makes the best point of the entire discussion by saying that the reason we are talking up the mid-majors is because the PAC-10 is awful this year.

11:20: “This is the weakest at-large field ever. The weakest at-large field ever.” – Jay Bilas. He should be fun on Selection Sunday.

11:21: Does Digger have a yellow highlighter today? Is this the first time he has went with the traditional yellow for his highlighter?

11:35: Nice feature about Hank Gathers. I still remember hearing about it the day it happened on SportsCenter the night it happened. Still jarring to see the video. Nice shout-out to RTC fan Jeff Fryer. It’s too bad they ran into the buzzsaw that was the 1990 UNLV team. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing that “30 for 30″ documentary.

11:45: I love seeing the replay of the Scottie Reynolds shot. Not because I root for Villanova, but because it is the craziest basketball moment I have ever seen in person. Just the ecstasy of the Villanova fans that followed their utter despair after they had almost blown the game moments before.

Noon: Pretty tame GameDay. Hubert didn’t say anything particularly ridiculous. The picks: Kansas over Oklahoma State; Texas split with Texas A&M; Tennessee over Kentucky; New Mexico over BYU; and Villanova split with Syracuse. Knight just asked the committee to put two teams in the top 12 into the NCAA Tournament. Brilliant!

12:05: Jim Larranaga with a rousing pbre-game speech on ESPN2. Not quite Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday, but not bad for an actual coach. Right now my TV is getting Notre Dame at Georgetown, Michigan at Ohio State,  Northeastern at George Mason, and Boston College at Georgia Tech. I’ll be keeping an eye on those games and whatever else catches my eye. Make sure to leave comments/questions in the comment section and I’ll try to keep up with them. I’m not really happy with CBS keeping me from watching Tennessee-Kentucky because that is a much more interesting game.

12:07: By the way, if you weren’t aware we are covering the Notre Dame-Georgetown game with a RTC Live so be sure to check it out.

12:10: We just found a link to the Kentucky-Tennessee game. Here it is if CBS tried to cheat you out of the game.

12:15: Notre Dame out to an early 11-4 lead. The Hoyas look sloppy right now. Speaking of sloppy, the UK-UT game is 4-3 almost 4 minutes into the game. Weak stuff from the Buckeye fans playing their rivals and they have huge patches of empty seats in the lower bowl. Ugh. George Mason 4, Northeastern 2 almost 7 minutes into the game. This is awful. I might not watch this game at all. It is probably hazardous for my health. Georgia Tech 15, BC 7 with 15 minutes left in the first half. This is probably the least important game of the game, but the most interesting so far.

12:30: Tennessee destroying Kentucky right now. Up 18-4 with 11:22 left. In DC, all 5 Notre Dame starters have already scored midway through the 1st half. They look like the much more focused team today. Georgetown looks a little lost out there. Obviously Austin Freeman‘s absence hurts, but they should be able to overcome that against a Gody-less Irish squad. Ohio State up 19-12 on the Wolverines with 9 minutes left in the first half. Fireworks at the Patriot Center, GMU up 13-6 on Northeastern with 8:34 left. Georgia Tech has opened up a 10-point lead with 9 minutes left.

12:40: Kentucky is getting worked right now. Down 29-18, but they may have just taken Tennessee’s best shot. If I were a UK fan I would be having flashbacks to the South Carolina game right now though.

12:50: The Irish up by 4 at half. If Georgetown gets their act together they should win this game pretty easily. Ohio down by 1 at half to the Woverines. This would kill their seed.  Pitt is up 30-23 at St. John’s on another of our RTC Lives.

12:57: Seth Davis with some good-natured taunting of Greg Anthony about the 1991 Duke-UNLV. At least I think it was good-natured. If we see Seth come back from the next break with a black eye we will know otherwise.

1:00: Ok. Now I know Greg doesn’t care. He just did a commercial joking about that game.

1:10: Tennessee up 40-29 at half against Kentucky. It looks like the Wildcats might be headed to their second loss of the year, which should wrap-up the #1 overall for Kansas even if they slip up in the Big 12 Conference Tournament.

1:30: William Buford is killing Michigan. He has 23 today. Turner “only” has 16. OSU only up by 7 with 4:13 left. As Magic Johnson would say “It’s winning time.”

1:45: Looks like a huge win for the Irish. Up by 13 with 2:15 left. Bad loss for the Hoyas. They’re looking at a #4 or #5 seed right now. Ohio State hangs on for the win over Michigan by 9. Are they a #2 seed right now? On the other CBS game, Tennessee might just blow this game.

1:55: Great finish on ESPN2 for what seemed like it was going to be atrocious earlier. GMU up by 3 with 33.9 seconds left. Northeastern ball. Timeout.

1:57: Huge 3 by Northeastern. Nice for them to get a lucky 3 after last weekend where they were crushed by a bank 3 from Louisiana Tech. Tied with 23.9 seconds left. GMU ball.

2:00: Awful finish on ESPN2. GMU blows it on a stupid foul with time about to expire and Northeastern hits a pair of FTs to win it 50-48.

2:05: And CBS switches over to the better game finally now that the Georgetown-Notre Dame game is over. 2 point game with 1:08 left after a wild sequence. I really hope the Vol fans don’t RTC if they win this. Huge 3 by Scotty Hopson. 5-point lead with 33.7 seconds left and John Calipari takes a timeout. He is now 1/6 from 3.

2:10: John Wall gets called for a charge. This is why LeBron James didn’t go to college (and the $95M Nike contract). No superstar calls in college unless you play for Coach K. Tough loss for Kentucky, but they showed some heart in coming back.

2:20: Ok. This next set of games looks significantly less entertaining. On the bright side you get to watch the best game of this session being played on what might be the ugliest court in college basketball.

2:30: The Aggies use an 11-2 run to go up 18-9 with 8:24 left. Texas is in trouble of getting blown out here. Ray Turner is controlling the game with his effort and already has 6 points. Nobody on the Longhorns seems to want to compete with him.

2:55: Texas explodes after being held to 11 points in the first 16 minutes (obviously Dogus Balbay was the problem. . .) to cut the Aggie lead to 31-23 at halftime. In a more surprising result, Cincinnati is up 39-33 at West Virginia with 13 seconds left. In Winston-Salem, UNC is beat Wake Forest 32-28.

3:15: The most interesting game right now is going on in Morgantown where the Mountaineers are down by 7 with 16:55 left thanks to the Bearcats shooting 70% (7/10) from 3-point range so far. A loss here would take WVU out of the 2 seed line, which would really shake things up.

3:35: The Aggies have opened up a big lead now. They’re up by 15 with 9 minutes left. The Longhorns look dead right now. I don’t see them making a comeback here. Meanwhile in Morgantown, the Mountaineers made a big comeback to take the lead with 11:10 left in the game. All the momentum is in their favor so they should be able to pull away. The Bearcats just aren’t tough enough to respond on the road.

4:10: Well it looks like the Texas-Texas A&M game finished just the way that we expected, but Cincinnati is hanging around at West Virginia (down by 6 with 59.7), but the real action is on CBS with Wake down to UNC by 5 with under 45 seconds left. Huge offensive foul on Wake Forest and it looks like the Deacons are going to come up just short.

4:15: West Virginia and UNC hang on for wins. Big losses for Cincinnati and Wake Forest. I’m not sure what to make of the Deacons at this point. They should be a lot better at this point in the year and UNC was awful from the FT line. What does it say about how far UNC has fallen this season that I’m criticizing Wake Forest for losing to them?

4:20: OK, so here we go with Kansas and Oklahoma State.  OK St has jumped out to an early lead (15-9) but I think its safe to say — ha — that KU will be back.  Kansas is playing to stay perfect in the conference, and OSU is playing for…well, the NCAA.  Their position is a little less tenuous than it has been recently, but this win would seal it tight.

4:28: If OSU is going to even have a prayer at pulling this off, they’re going to need that early level of intensity from both themselves AND the crowd.  And they can’t trade missed deep threes for old-fashioned and-ones.

4:36: While we have this meeting of the minds at the scorer’s table, I checked in on the Georgia Dance Team Georgia vs Florida game (32-28 UGa, 3:00 1H) and the color guy said that before today, he didn’t think that Tennessee’s bid was secured for the NCAA, but it is now.  Was it even close for UT?  Of COURSE they were in before today.

4:44: Of course, if KU’s defense keeps allowing OSU players easy layups, that intensity will stay up and KU will be in for a long one.  Jeez, that Anderson three makes it a SIXTEEN point lead.

4:51: KU, to be sure, has moved their hands a lot more than their feet on defense so far.  Cripes, another three and it’s up to 17.  By the way, J’Covan Brown was hit hard and took a pretty bad fall, and was taken off on a stretcher in a C-collar.  Hope he’s OK.

4:59: James Anderson is FEELING it for OSU.  It’s up to 19…until that Collins three takes it back to 45-29.  That’s your halftime margin.  The question now is, will OSU come out and play to win, or not to lose?  Back at UGA/Florida, Georgia went on an 11-2 run and have themselves a 45-35 lead.  Florida’s getting NOTHING inside.

5:17: Anderson has missed a three and Collins has hit one to start the 2nd.  I expect Collins to go to that place that so few players can, and take over this game.  He’s done it before.  And…uh…Matt Pilgrim just had a HUUUUGE one-handed follow slam and a snazzy move against Aldrich for two straight buckets, and this is a 19 point game again.  Aldrich could have gotten called for a foul, too.

5:23: Aldrich answered with an and-one!  This is getting good.  I know substance matters over style, and I know I’ve said it before…but that Cole Aldrich free-throw shooting style is about as graceful as the barrel-throwing ape in Donkey Kong.  Hey, whatever works.

5:30: Anderson’s starting to get a little cute with the ball.  And he’s starting to cool down.  Kansas has realized that the two things that will erase this deficit are defense and good shot selection.  This is a good TO by Travis Ford to calm his players down.  We’re barely five minutes into the half, the lead is still 16, but you can still sense some nerves in the Cowboys.

5:34: Anyone know who that was sitting to T. Boone Pickens’ left?  Anyway, there’s Kansas’ plan.  They had the chance to shoot two threes on that possession and pased them up, eventually getting a nice 8-foot jumper from Tyshawn Taylor.  That was right after Anderson missed another questionable three.

5:40: Georgia’s gone cold and it’s a 17-4 run for Florida — the lead is two, 71-69 with 5 minutes left.  Florida could REALLY use this one.

5:42: I’m a little surprised they called that foul on OSU’s Keiton Page.  He was hand-checking, but to be honest the KU guards have had their hands on OSU’s guards all night out front.  Kansas’ shot selection is still impeccable, but OSU’s is almost as good.  Anderson has missed his last three shots outside the lane but hit his last two in the lane.  It’s STILL 16…with 8:55 left.  Hmmm…

5:46: Page and Xavier Henry trade TWO threes apiece!!  Taylor then answers for KU.  The last FIVE FGs have been threes!  OSU better hope Anderson got his rest in the time he’s been on the bench — the last two minutes of game time.  Because I doubt  he’ll sit again, with about seven minutes left.  UGA/Florida’s still a 78-76 game with 90 seconds left.

5:53: OSU should be giving thanks for Matt Pilgrim today — another FG means he’s 7-7 and I think he’s only missed once from the FT line.   AND…Dick Enberg just stole my Thanksgiving/Matt Pilgrim line.  I can’t believe the timing on that.

5:57: Georgia pulled it out against Florida by the above score.  OSU is starting to get a little smarter with the ball, taking good shots deeeep into the shot clock.  Anyone surprised by that Collins trey, though?   Guy’s ridiculous in crunch time.  Still…it’s 11 at the under-4.

6:07: Oklahoma State cannot afford to miss FTs.  Kansas is starting to hit some shots and you can’t leave free points out there against #1, especially when it’s a tournament-sealing win.  It’s single digits…

6:10: Anderson tweeked the back on that dunk, he’s hurting.  I’ll say this, ol’ Keiton Page is a good time-waster.  That boy can run off seconds at a time just dribbling through traffic.  Still eight, and 1:20 is a LONG time with all the scorers KU has.

6:16: Looking grim for the Jayhawks now.  What is it about the color Orange and Kansas?  First Tennessee, now it looks like Oklahoma State.

6:19: The students are poised at Oklahoma State…

6:22: And there it is.  The OSU students RTC after defeating Kansas and Oklahoma State probably just played themselves into the NCAA Tournament.

6:28: Is Syracuse playing for the #1 ranking?  Looks that way.  And it looks like they’ll get it, given the success of nationally-televised orange-team upsets today.  Then again, the only stronger theme on the day is…the upset.  I guess Texas (I know, it’s not really orange) didn’t live up to it.

6:31: And now, Mississippi State and South Carolina.  MSU is another squad who neeeeds a win, and as we know, South Carolina is not an easy place to play.  Just heard a great stat about Tennessee: UT has held their opponents to less than 69 points 19 times this year.  They’re 19-0 in those games.  Listen, 69 is not a low number.  That’s impressive.  And I didn’t see the UT players doing the John Wall dance immediately after the game.  I don’t know, fellas…he kind of ruined you for a few minutes, there…but hey, to the victors go the dancin’ rights.

6:40: MSU has set themselves up well, since SC played that late game on Thursday.  SC has to be a little tired, so this halftime seven-point lead they’ve built is a little bigger than it looks.

6:54: So helped and hurt themselves today?  OK State, Notre Dame certainly on the good side.  Cincinnati and Florida took punches today.  And as I’m scanning the dial…there’s ESPN-U’s Lowell Galindo.  Anyone surprised?  I don’t think that guy goes home.  I think he has a cot there in the studio, and the rest of the time he’s right there in that chair.  Halftime show analysis?  There he is.  High school football recruiting show?  Bang.  Lacrosse rankings?  Yep.  I hope they’re paying you by the hour, Lowell.  I used to joke about the full Windsor knot he sports — and make no mistake, it’s as big as ever — but he also deserves credit for knowing his stuff and working like crazy.

7:14: It’s a little bit of a quiet time right now, with only MSU-South Carolina and Stanford-Arizona on my package.

7:26: MSU has pushed their lead out to 16 points at this time, which if it holds would be a pretty good win for the Bulldogs.  This would make it 5 of 6 wins heading into the last week of the season.  With 21+ wins and a winning SEC West record, you figure that they’re going to do well enough to make the NCAAs, but their OOC schedule was really weak and therefore they can’t really afford to drop these kinds of games.

7:30: Just switched over to catch a minute of the Arizona-Stanford game and the announcers were discussing the fantasy that the Pac-10 would get three teams into the NCAA Tournament.  What I love hearing at this time of year is when announcers in every league in America argue over and over that their conference is so tough and deserves X number of teams (usually what they really deserve plus two).  Coaches do the same thing.  Cal of course is probably in as the league champion and with a solid OOC schedule, but that’s gonna be it unless another team wins the Pac-10 Tourney.

7:34: Watch out, SC has their game down under double-digits now.  And as soon as I type that, MSU drills a three to push it back up to twelve.

7:40: Good point in terms of the SEC teams playing a late Thursday night game followed by travel and a Saturday afternoon game.  Both Kentucky and South Carolina looked a little slow today.  The Pac-10 is one conference that typically does the Thurs/Sat two-step, but they’re usually in the same area with no travel between the two days.

7:43: Of course, completely blowing my theory out of the water is the fact that Vandy-Georgia played an OT game on Thursday night, and both teams won today.  Nevermind.

7:46: Promo for Syracuse-Villanova there… how crazy would it be if Syracuse loses and Purdue (w/o Hummel) beats Michigan State at home tomorrow and subsequently moves up to #1?  Should that happen, and the Boilers manage to also do well in the Big Ten Tournament, I think the Committee would have no choice but to give them a #1 seed.

7:50: MSU finishes off South Carolina, and we’d have to say that Carolina has been one of the bigger disappointments of the year.  14-14 (5-9) with their fifth loss in a row… it appears that the team has quit on Darrin Horn this year.

8:00: Checking out Gameday here, and Bruce Pearl is puffing up his program a little with their big wins over Kansas and Kentucky this year.  That’s all fine and well, but if you want to be considered more than a team that can pull off big upsets, you have to win something in March, and UT has definitely struggled with that in years past.

8:04: As we pass through the 8 o’clock hour here, a couple of interesting games are popping up.  On ESPNU, we’ve got Kansas State hosting Missouri and Gonzaga taking on San Francisco in a rematch game with a team responsible for one of their losses in the WCC.  I’m very interested in K-State tonight; they need to make sure that they’re not looking ahead to their game with Kansas this upcoming week.

8:10: Wow, New Mexico winning at BYU is a huge win for the Lobos.  The highlights of Jonathan Tavernari jawing with Darington Hobson and Steve Alford was phenomenal.  I wonder what got him so upset.  Other than losing the game, of course.

8:20: Mizzou is off to a pretty good start so far at K-State.  The Tigers are one of the quietest good teams in America this year.  It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if they were back in the second weekend again this year because their style of play is so difficult to prepare for in March.  Especially in the second game of the weekend.

8:26: I just noticed that Cornell is ripping Penn a new one in Ithaca tonight, and my immediate thought was wondering if the Big Red could clinch the first NCAA bid tonight.  Alas, Harvard would have had to lose, and they’re up big on Yale in the second half so the best Cornell can do if they hold on tonight will be to clinch at worst a one-game playoff with Harvard for the NCAA bid.  They’re definitely still in the driver’s seat, though.

8:28: Maryland is on a 14-2 run to finally get on top of Virginia Tech.  Tech has dropped its last two games and Maryland came into today having won their last four.  If the Terps can win this one, they’ll likely head into Wednesday night’s game versus Duke just one loss behind the Devils in the loss column.

8:35: Quick check-in on a couple of other games finds that Gonzaga is up 27-20 now while on a 21-4 run, so it appears the Zags may have started this one in sleepwalking mode.  Stanford is up eight on Arizona in Maples, as it appears to me that Sean Miller’s team has just worn down the last third of this season.  I also have LSU-Auburn, but I can’t bear to watch that abomination right now.

8:45: Missouri still up 8 on K-State in the first half, but I’m fixated right now on the Maryland-Va Tech game on 360.  Jeff Allen just had a huge dunk to tie the game again, and this one has every indication of going down to the wire.

8:54: Back to tied in Blacksburg after Greivis Vasquez got a big steal for a layup.  He’s not shooting the ball well tonight, but he has 31/5/3 assts in a game where it’s pretty much him doing all the heavy lifting for the Terps.

8:58: Tech has been a lot more balanced offensively, with Malcolm Delaney, Dorenzo Hudson and Jeff Allen all in double figures.  Holy cow, I just turned it over in time to see Arizona exact some revenge in Maples for its buzzer-beating loss several years ago.  Lamont “Momo” Jones banks in a fading 18-footer at the buzzer mere seconds after Stanford looked like they were going to take the lead and win the game!

9:00: Great finish there.  Back in Blacksburg, Maryland leads by three and is on the defensive end as Va Tech is taking out the ball with 0:18 on the clock.  The Terps are making a habit of these close games, but the good news is they’re winning them.  Wow, a crosscourt pass led to a JT Thompson three that just tied the game!  What an amazing sequence of events – Eric Hayes hits a two with five seconds left, followed by VT’s Malcolm Delaney going all the way Tyus Edney-style to tie it back up.  Vasquez’s shot at the buzzer to win wasn’t all that far off, but we’re headed to OT.

9:11: I’ll get to the marquee game in Syracuse here.  A few minutes ago, Bob Knight called the Orange zone the best he’s ever seen?!?!  It’s really good, but I have trouble believing that statement.  The amount of orange in that building looks pretty cool on HD, but it makes it a little difficult to see the ball on high-arcing shots!

9:20: Back over to the Maryland game, and the Terps are up one with about two minutes left.  Maryland’s defense was able to force a shot-clock violation but the Hokies will get another chance after a Terp turnover.

9:22: This game defines back-and-forth, as VT’s Terrell Bell just hit a three to give the Hokies a two-point lead, followed by a foul that will send the Terps to the line with a chance to tie.  A shot by Vasquez to win was off and it appeared Va Tech might have enough time to get it downcourt and win but they were a little late on the final layup attempt (which missed anyway).

9:30: Villanova looks strong so far despite the 35,000 screaming orange fans in the building.  One thing I have always enjoyed about Jay Wright’s teams is that his guys never seem to get rattled.  Over in the double-OT game, Maryland continues to put the pressure on the home team, but it’s still only a two-point margin.

9:34: Vasquez now has 41 points on 13-32 shooting.  Whew.  Maryland up three, but Va Tech isn’t going away.

9:36: It’s always interesting to see people holding beers at a college basketball game.  Considering the late 9pm tipoff in Syracuse, I think it’s safe to say that this crowd is well lubricated tonight.

9:38: Tech’s Dorenzo Hudson had a great look on a layup attempt to tie it, but VT will get the ball back here down two with about 40 seconds remaining.

9:42: Wow, didn’t really see Malcolm Delaney going to the line and missing both!  Va Tech is definitely behind the eight-ball now, down four with thirty-five seconds to go…  so of course Delaney goes into the lane and gets an and-1 opportunity.

9:46: Timeout allows me to check back in on Villanova-Cuse and I just saw Derrick Coleman, Pearl Washington and Billy Owens sitting there.  Ah yes, the days when Jim Boeheim was considered a recruiter who couldn’t win the big one (sorta similar to John Calipari nowadays).

9:48: Malcom Delaney coast to coast again to cut the Maryland lead back down to one after Eric Hayes hit two FTs.  He’ll step to the line again.  After a Hayes miss, Delaney drove to the left and kicked it out to Erick Green (who was 0-3 at that point) for a trey to win.  Not sure I understand that decision.  Maryland also got a little lucky in that they called timeout when they didn’t have one there!  But the referee said that there was a foul prior to the timeout, not that it makes much sense.  Still, Va Tech lost an OT game for the first time in seven games.  Maryland just continues to sneak by and win these close games.

9:52: Back on K-State vs. Missouri, the Wildcats are up six in a very low-scoring affair in Manhattan.  At Syracuse, Arinze Onuaku has been a quiet warrior for SU this year.  You can count on him to give you 10/5 and act as an anchor to that zone every single night.

10:00: The refs just missed two straight calls on the Syracuse end.  I’m not sure how three guys can miss calls that are so obvious?  I don’t like Villanova’s offensive decisionmaking right now.  They’re 1-15 but the shots are not well-considered and Syracuse is simply taking the ball off the rim and heading the other way.

10:06: A couple of other games heading to the wire, as Gonzaga is holding off SF and K-State is up eight on Mizzou.  Still three minutes to go there.  Syracuse’s offense looks fantastic in transition right now.

10:08: Great half for Syracuse, with a 20-6 run to end the half.  Villanova can’t hit shots, and that makes all the difference for the Wildcats.  I’m over on the U now and Mizzou is down only five with 1:10 left.

10:12: Missouri with a silly foul on Pullen and a missed FT isn’t helping their chances.  With the losses at the top of the polls today, how about K-State as a darkhorse #1 seed should they either a) defeat KU on Wednesday, or b) win the Big 12 Tournament?  They have no bad losses, and they’re pretty much on fire, having won six in a row coming into this one tonight.

10:18: That’ll do it for Mizzou as K-State is up six with the ball going to the line under twenty seconds.  Heading back over to Cuse-Nova, and VU has already cut a little bit into the lead.

10:21: Yarou is an absolute necessity along with Pena if Villanova has visions of another Final Four this season.  He’s come out strong here in this second half.  Reynolds is 4-10 from the floor right now (3-6 from deep), and I suspect he’s going to look to go off here shortly.

10:30: Syracuse continues to maintain the roughly ten-point lead here.  Knight and Bilas just had a little bit of an Andy Rautins lovefest, before Onuaku made me look good with a sick follow jam.  When playing like this, the Orange are the best team in the country.  I’m not sure even Kansas can go as talented at the sixth and seventh players on the team.

10:38: Haha, reading lips, Boeheim said “I saw the ball.” to the ref on that latest call that he didn’t agree with.  Really nice rejection by Yarou who has shown a lot of promise on the big stage tonight.  With eleven minutes to go, I feel like Scottie is going to have to try to take things over soon or they’re going to be too far down to come back.

10:42: Syracuse is +16 on the glass and has seventeen offensive boards right now.  WOW, look at Onuaku with the falling-down and-1 on yet another offensive board of his own miss.  Reynolds hit a three the last trip down, but he’s really going to have catch fire to even give Nova a chance at this rate.

10:44: Onuaku with another and-1!  The Orange are absolutely destroying Villanova inside.  The environment in this building is electric.  Taylor King, where have you been all evening?

10:48: I liked Jay Bilas’ description there — Syracuse has just cut Villanova up tonight.  As good as Villanova is, they just are not capable of handling the inside power of Syracuse.  Everyone is getting into the act for SU.  Boeheim has only played seven players, but six of them are in double figures already.  Brandon Triche is the lone outlier.

10:56: This is starting to really get ugly for Villanova.  I’d expect that if these two teams play again in the BE Tourney or the NCAA Tourney, they will not easily forget this feeling.  Syracuse is clearly the better team, but I’m not sure that they’re twenty points better.

11:00: And with the promo that next week’s Gameday game is Duke-UNC, I’m reminded again why picking those games ahead of time isn’t the best idea.  The way they should handle it is to do it like the football program where they pick the big game of the week.  With all of the games they show every Saturday on their limitless number of channels and affiliates, there are only a few games each weekend they wouldn’t be able to cover.

11:05: Thanks, Coach Dale.  Are the buckets really ten feet here too?

11:07: Grandson, son and other guy?  I think Knight just hit his medication alert.  He turns into a senile old bat after 11pm.

11:12: 35K on their feet as the Orange celebration is in full effect.  What an amazing story for a team that lost so many of their “stars” from last season’s team.  Jim Boeheim is a smiling man, indeed.  Villanova will be fine, but I do remain concerned about their lack of post play heading into March.

11:14: A few other scores while we were fixated on the Syracuse-Villanova game.  Marshall beat Central Florida 121-115 in three overtimes tonight, and Gonzaga ended up winning by six over USF.

11:16: ESPN says there’s no consensus pick for the #1 team in America.  I still don’t know why Kansas isn’t that team.  If anyone can explain to me how they differ all that much from last year’s Carolina team, I’d love to hear about it.

11:18: And that’ll do it, folks.  Another twelve-hour, 5,000+ word masterpiece.  We’ll be back next weekend to go through all the games with you again.  Be sure to stop by and let us know what we’re doing wrong.  Another great day of college hoops… let’s move on to March!

jstevrtc (547 Posts)


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