Boom Goes the Dynamite: 03.06.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on March 6th, 2010

Folks, it’s March and we’re now approximately eight days until Selection Sunday sets the sports world on fire.  By our count, there are about twenty teams fighting for half as many at-large spots, and this weekend’s games will have increased importance in the all-too-important ‘sniff test.’  The NCAA Selection Committee is made of humans just like the rest of us, and if they see a couple of teams look great on tv this weekend, it could be the little extra push needed to earn a Dance card next Sunday.  But it’s not just about those so-called bubble teams; it’s also about positioning.  Which team will step up in the last week to grab the likely one remaining #1 seed, along with Syracuse, Kansas and Kentucky?  Who will be able to secure a top four regional seed in order to play closer to home?  There are so many questions unanswered still remaining.  Today is the last Saturday of the regular season, and as always, we’ll be with you on Boom Goes the Dynamite throughout the day.  Below are the key games we plan on keeping an eye on — of special note is that three more automatic bids will be delivered today, in the Big South, Atlantic Sun and Ohio Valley Conferences.

  • Noon – West Virginia @ Villanova on CBS – RTC Live
  • Noon – Texas A&M @ Oklahoma on ESPN
  • Noon – Cincinnati @ Georgetown on ESPN360
  • 1 pm – Tulsa @ Memphis on CBS College Sports
  • 1:30 pm – Maryland @ Virginia on ESPN360
  • 2 pm – Kansas @ Missouri on CBS
  • 2 pm – Syracuse @ Louisville on ESPN
  • 2 pm – Notre Dame @ Marquette on ESPN360
  • 2 pm – UConn @ USF on The Big East Network
  • 2 pm – Notre Dame @ Marquette on The Big East Network
  • 2 pm – South Carolina @ Vanderbilt on ESPN2
  • 4 pm- UCLA @ Arizona State on CBS
  • 4 pm – Texas @ Baylor on ESPN
  • 4 pm – Big South Championship: Winthrop vs. Coastal Carolina on ESPN2
  • 4 pm – Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech on ESPN360
  • 6 pm – Tennessee @ Mississippi State on ESPN
  • 6 pm – Atlantic Sun Championship: ETSU @ Mercer on ESPN2
  • 8 pm – OVC Championship: Murray State vs. Morehead State on ESPN2
  • 9 pm – UNC @ Duke on ESPN
  • 9 pm – New Mexico State @ Utah State on ESPN360

We will be back at 11 AM for our continuing coverage so check back then and feel free to comment or ask questions in the comment section.

11:00: Nice showing by the Duke student for GameDay. Not going to be Kentucky because of the smaller student body and smaller arena.

11:10: Ugh. Speedo guy segment coming on GameDay. I will be switching the channel for a few minutes when that segment is going to start. Way to show segments that your audience will be interested in. Would they do a “Bikini girl” segment or would that not be PC?

11:20: Coach K does not approve of “Speedo guy”. I think we have finally found something that UNC fans will agree with him on. Seriously ESPN. Why are you featuring this idiot?

11:25: Be back in 5 minutes. Tell me when it is over.

11:30: Back again. Knight does not look amused, which amuses me.

11:40: Hey Lunardi. We had Zach Hayes on this over a month ago. This is why you don’t want a 96-team tournament. Also DeCourcy was right on expansion.

11:45: So Sherron Collins was a great athlete in high school, plays video games, and like macaroni. I’m glad we found that out. Why can’t GameDay do legit segments like the one on the Syracuse zone they did earlier this year?

Noon: Hubert picks UNC. Big surprise. Knight and Bilas are calling for a Duke beat down. I’d go with something in between the two.

12:05: Three interesting games on right now none of which is the FSU-Miami game that ESPN2 decided to show over Cincinnati-Georgetown. The best of the three games is clearly the West Virginia-Villanova game, which we are doing a RTC Live for so be sure to check that out.

12:15: Interesting news: Both Luke Harangody and Austin Freeman will play today according to Seth Davis and Jeff Goodman respectively.

12:30: Most exciting moment of the games so far? Scottie Reynolds almost taking out Greg Anthony, Gus Johnson, and the CBS table. WVU looks awful. They are so bad they have taken the Villanova crowd out of it. In Norman, Texas A&M is putting their chances at a 4 or 5 seed at risk with a slow start against the disappointing Sooners. Georgetown is continuing their recent struggles as they are only up by 2 with 4:27 left in the first half at home against the Bearcats.

1:05: Bob Huggins is not going to be happy at halftime. Just an awful half of basketball by the Mountaineers. In DC, the Hoyas continue to let the Bearcats hang around. It’s somewhat amusing how many “experts” said the they wouldn’t collapse this year (unlike last year) and now they are doing it again although not to the same degree. They might be the most difficult seeding decision for the NCAA committee.

1:20: We’re about to start the 2nd half in Philadelphia, but the more interesting development is that both the Hoyas and the Aggies have taken control of their respective games and look like they both might roll here. Both up by about 10 almost midway through the 2nd half.

1:40: Great comeback by the Mountaineers to tie it up at 34 with 12:06 left. What is it with Big East teams? So many huge early leads that were blown. Is this a good thing for the team that is trailing or does it speak negatively for how bad the team that is leading plays to lose that lead? I’m leaning towards the latter and it makes me not trust the Big East teams. Kentucky and Kansas won’t let you comeback from those deficits.

1:55: Well it looks like the other 2 games are basically done so let’s focus on the CBS game. The crowd in Philly is dead right now. I think they are shocked that the Mountaineers came back to take the lead on a Devin Ebanks jumper. This game is probably for a #2 seed. I don’t buy that either of these teams could get a #1 seed. I think they are borderline #2s at best.

2:10: We’re tied at 53 with 2:26 and the Mountaineers have the ball. If the Wildcats find a way to lose this game, it would be a crushing blow. With their recent stumble they could end up being a #4 seed or might even slip to a #5 seed if they lose their first game in the Big East Tournament. This is a huge 2:26 for them.

2:15: Brian, we’d love to follow every game, but it’s difficult with one TV and I don’t think any of those games will be on my TV. I’m not even sure if they will be on ESPN360.

2:20: Big 3 by Da’Sean Butler gives the Moutaineers a 1-point lead with 52 seconds after they had an awful foul called against them on a Scottie Reynolds flop. The refs respond with a make-up offensive foul on Corey Fisher. He might have extended his arm there a bit, but that was an Oscar-worthy flop job that Manu Ginobili would be proud of.

2:25: Unbelievably dumb play by Ebanks at the end of the game after a huge NBA 3 by Fisher to tie it up. Ebanks couldn’t have known that it was tied there. I’m looking forward to the post-game comments on that one. Also I don’t buy the argument that the situation was caused by WVU lacking a PG. They just needed someone with a brain. I’m pretty sure the Bulls did just fine in end of game situations with MJ (not a PG) in those situations in the ’90s.

2:35: Awful sequence by Scottie Reynolds. Just flings the ball at the rim. What happened to the team with the PG there? Looking at you Greg Anthony. Exciting game, but I’m not buying either team right now.

2:40: Huge shot by Butler to give WVU a 2-point lead with 5.7 seconds left. Last March in Boston, Reynolds had 5.5, but this time he comes up a bit short (actually a bit long) on a 3 from the corner that could have won it and sent the crowd into a frenzy. Even though CBS didn’t mention it I think the shot may have been a bit after buzzer. Would have been close.

2:55: Ton of games to catch up on right now. Kansas is looking like the #1 team in the country right now thanks to a 16-0 run to close the half (in the last 3:52) at Missouri. Syracuse is up by 5 in the last game at Freedom Hall for Louisville while Temple is struggling at home up by just 1 against George Washington at the half. Some good news for Boilermaker fans, Purdue is up by 11 midway through the 1st half on the road. The bad news for those same fans? They’re playing Penn State who they won’t be playing in the NCAA Tournament.

3:15: Most interesting development of the afternoon so far? UConn playing its way out of NCAA Tournament contention at USF. Down by 9 with 15:20 left in the 2nd half. This game is not good for Jim Calhoun‘s health.

3:30: Syracuse looks flustered right now. Louisville up by 7 with 11 minutes left. That #1 ranking could be gone by Monday even if they come back to win with how good Kansas has looked today.

3:32: Spoke too soon. Kansas lead is down to 4. Damn 18-22 year-olds. . . Can’t just play consistently. Well if Syracuse loses then Kansas or Kentucky (if Missouri continues to control the 2nd half) will be #1. </obvious>

3:45: Kyle Kuric is killing the #1 team in the country right now with 13 points. I think the Cardinals are already in, but if they win here they are officially off the bubble.

3:50: HOLY CRAP, what did Kyle Kuric eat for breakfast this morning?!?  Sign me up  and pour me a bowl, because he’s throwing down alley-oops, going in for two-hand dunks, and DRAINING threes.  Good afternoon, folks, John Stevens taking over for NVR today, who had a BGTD today that, if this were a basketball game, he’d go to the bench to loud applause.  Hope I can follow him up properly.  I’ll be handing to rtmsf later today for the final segment of yet another…three man weave edition.  Oh, and Kyle Kuric just went in for another two-hand slam.

4:05: He’s taken some heat for it, but I actually approve of the red jacket on Pitino.  Just his attention-getting way of propping up Denny Crum.  Nothing wrong with that.

4:08: This is great, we are in the middle of a SLEW of games.  South Carlina is up on Vandy in a game that could make tomorrow’s Kentucky/Florida game moot in terms of SEC implications…Vandy down 73-75 with 10.9 seconds.  Baylor/Texas just started, and we have a bid on the line in the Big South with Coastal Carolina vs Winthrop.  And if you can’t get excited for CC vs Winthrop today, you have no soul.

4:11: There it is.  South Carolina wins, 77-73, and Vanderbilt falls 1.5 games back in the standings to Kentucky, making tomorrow’s UK/Florida game inconsequential in terms of SEC standings.  Jon Sciambi, doing play-by-play, has already called it Win-thorp twice, but appears to corrected himself now.

4:20: In the ultimate bubble game, Notre Dame vs Marquette, we’ve got a 61-60 game in OT with 2.7 left.  Notre Dame ball….

4:22: …and ND wins it, 63-60, and I think that assures them a bid.  No matter what happens in the Big East tournament.  Welcome, Irish.  So what do you think?  Is their improved play a matter of stepping up at the end of the year when they need wins, or are they actually BETTER without Harangody (I know he played, but only 11 minutes)?  Or both?

4:30: So this is the winningest Baylor class ever?  Yeah, I can see that.  Hands up, in the early part of this year who among us thought that Baylor would be ranked ahead of Texas at ANY time?  We didn’t either.  Speaks more to the downfall of Texas than the skill of Baylor.  We’ve known Baylor was talented.  Down two to Texas, mid-1st half.

4:44: And checking in on…Coastal Carolina vs Winthrop, WOW, that’s a lot of teal.  CCU goes in ahead at the half in a low-scoring affair, 26-24.  But seriously, except for that one end-zone, it almost looks like…a TEAL-OUT crowd!

4:53: Good game so far with Baylor up just a little on Texas, 38-34.  This is good for Baylor.  They’re expected to win this, and we know they’re in the dance, so these close games against “big-time” (*ahem*) opponents can only help them right now.  42-34 at the half, Bears lead.

5:00 I have to give a little ribbing to CBS College Sports, here.  Today’s the final Saturday of the hoops regular season, and in the middle of the day, they’re stepping up with…lacrosse?  I like lacrosse, I even played a little lacrosse.  CBS-CS has been a pleasure to watch for most of the year in terms of their hoops coverage, but COME ON, guys!  This is hoops time!  And now the interview show One 2 One has Troy Aikman?  Wow.  Even Aikman doesn’t seem terribly into this.  For the five seconds I watched it, I mean.

5:14: Coastal Carolina and Winthrop is still a close one, and still quite low-scoring (32-29 CCU).  I’d love to see some amazing finish here.  Nothing like a buzzer beater or overtime to go to the dance.

5:18: By the way, how do we all feel about this Old Spice commercial guy?  “Ladies, look at your man.  Now look at me, back to him, NOW BACK to me.  Sadly, he’s not me.”  Am I the only one who finds this commercial hilarious?

5:22: Boy, Mississippi could really use this win at Arkansas to give them 21 wins overall and make them 9-7 in the SEC.  The Rebels have consistently been showing up in the “First Four Out” blocks of most bracket projections.  Chris Warren is getting HOT, and he’s 24 with TEN minutes left.

5:34: Worthless.  Someone threw something on the floor in the Winthrop vs Coastal Carolina game.  I’m amazed by people who think that’s actually a good decision in the moment before they do it.  Winthrop now up three, though…about 8 mins left.  NICE finish upcoming there, it looks like.

5:40: Question:  is Texas playing like one of the 34 best teams in the country?  They are DOWN 12 at Baylor with ten minutes left.  A loss here would make it eight losses in 14 games.  WHAT happened in that loss to KSU that mentally destroyed this team?  Not to take anything away from Baylor. Tweety Carter, QuincyAcy, and Ekpe Udoh are fun to watch and excellent ballers.  DANGEROUS team if they can mentally stay sharp.

5:50: OK, we’re gonna focus a little more closely on CCU/Winthrop and Ole Miss/Arkansas.  Ole Miss is only down by two, 65-63 with a minute left.  Winthrop is up 8 with 3 minutes left.  Down to the wire, and tournament implications abound…

6:00: Ole Miss wins it with a block at the end, and are now 21-9 and 9-7.  Gotta be in the conversation.

6:07: Winthrop beats Coastal Carolina 64-53 by going on a 21-8 run late.  Winthrop wins the Big South, and clinches an NCAA bid.

6:10: Baylor is now up 13 on Baylor, 88-75, with a minute left.  Texas is reeling.  I don’t care if they WERE ranked #1 earlier in the season, this is an epic drop off.  This isn’t just a late swoon, this is over the whole second half of the season.  Dare I ask it…is Texas bid-worthy?  A first-round loss makes that a verrrry interesting question.

6:15: Baylor takes out the seniors, and Tweety Carter ends his home-court career with a 16 point/10 assist game in a win over Texas.  LaceDarius Dunn had 30/6!  Acy had 24 off the BENCH.  Anyone want to draw Baylor in their brackeet?  I thought not.

6:21: How big of a game is this for Mississippi State?  Win, and you’re the outright SEC West champ.  Lose, and that loss to Rider earlier this year looks PRETTY BAD.  And what do they do?  They come out uninspired, and are down 17-0 to Tennessee to start the game!

6:30:  Jimmy Dykes just CALLED OUT Dee Bost for not being in a defensive stance and not being awake while his man scored an easy back-door hoop.  And you know what?  He’s right!  You’re playing to go to the NCAA Tournament, man.  Even the title on the telestrator graphic was “Wake Up!”

6:34: Do we have a nice one in store for us in the Atlantic Sun final?  ETSU and Mercer are tied 27-all with a little less than 6 minutes left in the first half.  I know it’s early, but how can you NOT love these early Championship Week conference final games?

6:39: To commenter JR:  Absolutely, it’s VERY interesting, but do people view Harangody as a guy who plays for himself?  I’ve never seen him as a selfish player, which is what makes this recent Irish success such an interesting phenomenon.  But your point about how his ND career be perceived later on is a good one, especially if ND has a good BET/NCAA run.

6:45: Checking the 360, Iowa State is shaking up the #1-seed talk with a lead at Kansas State 34-29 with about 3 minutes left in the first half….but it’s early days, there.  Lot of time for KSU to come back and you know they will.  Also, Siena has a tenuous 2-point lead on Manhattan in a MAAC quarterfinal, but Siena is looking for an at-large if they don’t win this tournament and therefore can’t afford early losses in the conference tourney.  It’s 52-50 at the second half- under-12 TVTO there.

6:54: Mississippi State has had chances to get this lead down to double-digits but just can’t get over that barrier.  It’s back to 15.  I agree with Jimmy Dykes, who continues his surprise and dissatisfaction with the Bulldogs.  You’re at home, the SEC West is on the line, an NCAA Tournament bid is on the line, it’s Senior Day.  And you come out completely uninterested.  They look like they’d rather be hitting a couple of those Robert Trent Jones golf courses in March than going to the dance.

7:00: East Tennessee State/Mercer in the A-Sun final is the better game right now, by far.  37-35 at half.

7:04: Now, taking the ball in this three-man weave is rtmsf who’ll see you through these second halves and then UNC-Duke and the others.  This would never happen in real life, because that would mean rtmsf would actually be taking the ball to the hole to score after the weave, and that’s a lost cause.  But he’ll suffice for the BGTD cause.  Enjoy the rest of the evening with him, folks — GREAT day of hoops and more to come.

7:15: There’s still a lot of action left tonight, and we’ve got several second halves going right now on the RTC television bank.  The SEC game mentioned above, where UT is still up double-figures on the bubbly MSU Bulldogs.  Maybe they thought Renardo Sidney would be able to play today?  Then on FSN, we’ve got Cal-Stanford in the hoops version of the Big Game.  On ESPN2 ETSU is up a deuce on Mercer, who, yes, is still playing on their home court.  Finally, on 360, we’ve got K-State still struggling to catch up with Iowa State, down seven.  Still a lot of time in ALL of these games, though.  Let’s see where they go…

7:28: Mercer has had several recent shots go halfway down before coming back out.  Down six now after I made my tweeted proclamation about James Florence getting his first two of the game.  Back to K-State, and Denis Clemente keeps firing bricks from outside (1-8 now).  Maybe after missing seven threes, it might be a good idea to go into the lane and get your touch back a little bit?  I’m no coach, but it seems reasonable.

7:31: K-State is arguably playing for a #1 seed today, but y’know, I’m still uncomfortable with this team as a #1 seed.  They have a great resume, but they sniff test doesn’t pass my nostrils for the Wildcats as a #1.  And I’m not just saying that because they’re playing like garbage so far today either.  They just ‘feel’ like a #2 seed to me.  A dangerous team that nobody wants to play, but not a juggernaut like what you typically see from a #1.  Any thoughts on this?

7:36: It’s tough to beat the same team three times, goes the saying, and ETSU is validating that principle right now.  Mercer, who beat the Bucs twice during the regular season, is still hanging onto the lead in Macon.  This has the makings of a fantastic finish, though.  Everything is on the line here — neither of these teams will even get a whiff of postseason play (NIT, CBI, etc.) otherwise.

7:40: We were tracking the MAAC quarters for a while as Siena was down at the half to Manhattan, but a 42-21 second half from the Saints put a quick end to that nonsense.  Tennessee is still comfortably ahead of Mississippi State so we’re going to keep that one on the back burner.  K-State can’t get stops againt ISU right now — the Cyclones are pretty much getting whatever they want in the halfcourt and break.

7:48: Craig Brackins is having a nice game with 19/12, but nobody has hurt his draft stock as much as the big man this year.  He was sky-high on most draft boards based on a nasty sophomore campaign where he averaged 20/10 and shot 47% from the floor.  The thought was that he could improve his team this year to the point where maybe he could move into the top five of the draft.  Hasn’t worked out that way.  Instead, his numbers are markedly down this year (17/9 on 41% shooting), and the team is just as disappointing.  Probably one of those decisons where leaving early was the better choice.

7:53: ETSU with a huge bucket to re-build a three-point lead with about 3:30 to go there.  Mercer’s James Florence is going to try to take this game over down the stretch.  He’s had a tough 2-9 shooting game, but has at least put the work in on the assists and steals (5 each).  K-State is back within two points in Manhattan, but I’m going to keep a closer eye on the A-Sun b/c they’re heading down to the last two minutes in Macon.

7:58: You’d hope that a home team would shoot better than 12-21 from the line when they’re the BEST IN THE CONFERENCE, but that’s where Mercer stands after missing one of two.  Tie game, though.  This has every hallmark of a classic championship week finish.

8:00: As soon as I say that, ETSU’s Justin Tubbs nails a big three to push the ETSU lead back up to four.  The FT misses are absolutely killing the Bears.  Meanwhile in Kansas (State), ISU went on a 4-0 run immediately after Craig Brackins picked up his fourth foul.  Go figure.

8:03: Panicked possession from Mercer there, taking a long three and then charging into the lane to turn it over.  And the fouling game begins…  Mercer needs points quickly.

8:05: Big shot by EJ Kusnyer with his fifth three of the game tonight to give Mercer life.  Quick update from the CAA – Hofstra and Northeastern are in overtime in the quarterfinals down in Richmond.  We’ll check back on that one.  Even more life for Mercer as ETSU fouled them on a missed FT.  Down to two with 34.3 remaining.

8:10: Tennessee and California both got nice road wins in their respective games, but two great ones coming down to the wire here.  As Mercer takes a timeout, I’m looking back at ISU-KSU and Craig Brackins just fouled out of the game.  K-State only down two now with about three minutes left.  This is usually the point where the inferior team caves in.

8:12: GIANT steal by ETSU off the inbounds to really put Mercer behind the 8-ball here.  Down five and needing points, another TURNOVER! That’s going to to do it with six seconds remaining, ETSU will return to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year!  Murray Bartow’s team will go to their third NCAA Tourney under his tenure.

8:15: One minute left in regulation in Manhattan, and K-State can get the lead here, but they don’t!  Iowa State has a chance to regain the lead and really put the pressure on…  but now it’ll come down to the last shot for Frank Martin’s team.  Last shot… who will get it?

8:17: Really poor shot selection by K-State there.  Jacob Pullen from 25 feet off a single handoff and a couple of dribbles?  That’s the best you could come up with in the huddle?  Why are guys so hesitant to drive into the lane on these situations?

8:20: Hofstra-NE going into their second overtime in Richmond now.  ISU-KSU going into their first.  Nah, these games don’t matter.

8:22: Easy to see that KSU has the advantage here.  No Craig Brackins for the Cyclones, and the home crowd supporting them.  I’ve seen almost no reason to give K-State a #1 seed in this game — win or lose — but the problem is that nobody gets the Big 12 network and can see this game.

8:29: Another terrible shot selection from K-State as Jamar Samuels chucks up a three and misses it.  That’s 3-21 for the night from deep for the Wildcats.  Now down three with two minutes to go.  At this point, with the poor play I’m seeing from them on the floor, I’m rooting for the L here.  We can’t have this team getting a #1 seed!

8:36: We’re down to the fouling game in Manhattan now as Dominique Sutton dunked to cut the ISU lead to one.  Just under 36 seconds remaining.  ESPN just cut over and Iowa State is in great position to pull of a huge upset here.  Up three with 10.7 remaining and the ball.

8:41: I can’t think of how many times I’ve seen guys try to intentionally miss a FT only to either not hit rim at all or to make the shot.  It’s amazing, really.  Game over.  I call this one a KU hangover game.  K-State as a program puts so much emotional investment in trying to move up to the Kansas level that they simply weren’t ready to bring their best game today against Iowa State.  That’ll end their #1 seed talk, and I think it is a just result.

8:50: I lost track of the CAA quarter, and turns out that Northeastern survived the second OT to advance to the semis.  Right now things are a little quiet, except for Hubert Davis slurping Brian Zoubek at the moment.  The OVC title game is on ESPN2, and it’s close.  I’m definitely keeping an eye on that one because both of those teams are capable of giving teams trouble in the first round of the NCAAs.

8:55: Catching up on some other scores here.  Cornell finished off their Ivy season with another easy win over Yale.  In the Horizon semis, Butler is down six in the first half to Milwaukee.  Definitely going to track that one.  Seton Hall is about to go to 9-9 in the Big East with a win over Providence, and Washington is trying to enter the bubble picture, up eight at the half at Oregon State.

8:58: Of course, the final Gameday game is UNC-Duke tonight, and virtually nobody is giving the Heels much of a chance.  They come in a fifteen-point dog in Vegas, which is probably the biggest one since the Doherty days.  Pomeroy gives Carolina a 5% chance of winning tonight.  So obviously this game has lost a lot of its sheen this tie around.

9:00: Morehead State’s Terrance Hill hit a three at the halftime buzzer to tie the game at 24-all heading into the half of a low-scoring affair in Nashville.  We’ll be keeping this one on our screen for sure during the Duke-Carolina battle.  One other interesting game I’m going to be looking in on is the UTEP-UAB affair in CUSA.

9:08: Duke has already hit three threes to take a quick 9-1 lead on UNC.  If this one gets out of hand, I’m not sticking around.  Too many other interesting games going on right now elsewhere.  The CAA has W&M-JMU and WCC has USF-LMU going on also.  Lots of capitalized letters there.

9:12: Milwaukee up one on Butler at the half in Hinkle.  Did Dick Vitale just question the work ethic of the Carolina players on the air?  I’m completely shocked by this development.  What will Roy Williams say?

9:20: So far the Duke defense has totally stymied the UNC offense.  It’s been said a zillion times, but it’s still hard to believe that a Roy Williams team with this much paper-talent would be so ineffective on putting the ball in the hoop.  They don’t shoot it well from anywhere, they turn it over way too much, and they aren’t getting it back with their defense.  Meanwhile, Duke is nailing threes with reckless abandon.

9:23: Butler has come out firing here in the second half, and they’re already up six and surging.  It’s interesting that Butler is #11 in the polls, but their seed is looking like it’s more in the #5-#7 range, depending on what happens in this HL Tournament.

9:27: 23-9 Duke already.  This Duke team is an interesting case.  I just cannot be convinced that such a guard-oriented team with a huge home court advantage is a serious national title threat, much less the Final Four.  I know the computers love this team, but they’ve shown their weaknesses in some of the road games they’ve not only lost but been handled.  This is not at all anti-Duke rhetoric, but they remind me somewhat of the 2006 team in terms of their ceiling vs. their personnel.  I never believed that Redick/Williams team was a serious threat, and they ultimately weren’t despite being a #1 seed.  Guess we’ll see.

9:35: Morehead and Murray are still scoring about a point per minute and are tied at 31-all in the OVC title game.  Meanwhile, Milwaukee is still hanging around Butler, but so far not threatening.

9:45: In the OVC championship, a three that drops feels like an 8-0 run the way these two teams are playing right now.  Morehead is facing serious foul trouble right now.  It’ll be up to Kenneth Faried to try to keep his team alive while they burn some clock before his cohorts can return.  In the Horizon, Milwaukee is still hanging around, only down four now.  Ten minutes roughly to go in both games.

9:47: Very HARD fall by Kenneth Faried on an undercut by Isacc Miles, but it looks like he’s up and back on his feet.  Quick check-in on UNC-Duke shows that the Devils are doubling up the Heels 42-21.  Yeah, you guys have fun with that one.  I’m sticking on these other two meaningful games.  Murray just went up seven with a dunk, and Morehead is really struggling to get anything going right now.

9:54: Uh-oh bubble teams… you guys better have your sets tuned to the U because Butler is only up one on Milwaukee right now.

9:57: PHENOMENAL block in the MSU-MSU game by Isiah Cannan at rim level.  When a six-foot guard can get a foot above the rim on a break to meet a player and ball with a clean stuff, that’s awesome.  Just a great, great play there.  Murray is starting to put this together now.  With four minutes remaining, they’re up ten and looking like the NCAA is in their future.

10:00: Butler has responded with a mini-run to open back up to a four-point lead with five minutes to go.  Still way too much time for the Bulldogs to feel comfortable, though.  Matt Howard just picked up his fourth (SHOCKER!) on a simple grab of a player coming through the lane.  He averages 3.6 per contest this year, and has fouled out nine times this season (and had four eight other times).

10:07: The last Milwaukee three attempt found nothing but floor, as Butler has opened up a seven-point lead down the stretch.  Murray is about to finish off Morehead, up 11 with the clock ticking down.  Four schools are in, folks, with yet another familiar name among the mids.  Murray will march on for the eighth time in the last sixteen years.  What a great mid-major program they have down there in western Kentucky.

10:13: Murray will be a rough matchup for someone in the first round, as always.  The last time the Racers went to the Dance, they gave UNC all they wanted before losing by four points.  Back to Butler, and the Bulldogs will advance, as they’re currently up ten with a few seconds left.  Duke is now up 57-29 on Carolina.  What an EPIC meltdown this Carolina team has been.  I really wonder if Roy won’t run some of these kids off in the offseason.  Because this is clearly more than a talent problem.

10:20: Checking back in on the CAA now, and cinderella James Madison is up six on #3 seed William & Mary with twelve minutes to go.  UAB is also up on one-loss UTEP (in CUSA) with about the same amount of time remaining there.

10:23: Wow, Ernie Kent is already fired at Oregon?  That didn’t take very long at all.  And he won today!  Will they go ahead with an interim coach in next week’s Pac-10 Tourney?

10:27: In case you were wondering, here’s your Big East pairings for the tournament next week at MSG.  Keep in mind that RTC will be there all week with our correspondent on the ground there.

10:31: The second Horizon semifinal is on now, with Wright State leading Detroit early.  The final CAA quarterfinal is a barnburner with JMU, the #11 seed, up three on W&M with around eight minutes left.  Out in the WCC, we’ve got another tight one, with Loyola Marymount up two on USF with ten to go.  RTC will also have correspondents at both of those tourneys tomorrow.  Gotta love March!

10:37: Jeff Goodman just tweeted that the top targets for the Oregon job are Mark Few (unlikely), Tubby Smith and Mark Turgeon.  I’d have trouble believing any of those guys would leave their current situations, but Phil Knight has a lot of cash to throw around.

10:39: William & Mary just got its first lead in a long time during this game.  Keep in mind that the Tribe has big wins on the road over likely tournament teams Maryland and Wake Forest this year.  And they’re one of the select few original NCAA members to have never made the Tournament.  Forget Northwestern — this is the team you should be rooting for.

10:41: Wow!  David Schneider with a ridiculous Kobe-style three as the shot clock expired to give the Tribe a four-point lead there.  Followed by an and-1 opportunity for the Tribe to follow.  Now up six with 2:44 remaining.

10:47: What a finish here for W&M.  A tight game has quickly gotten out of hand for JMU, which I guess exhibits the difference between teams that have won vs. lost close games all year.  I’m also still keeping tabs on the WCC game between LMU and USF, with LMU hanging on to a three-point lead.  I accidentally clicked on the Duke-UNC game again, finding that Carolina is still down 30+.  Man, has Roy Williams ever seen his own blood before?  This is ridiculous.

10:53: In the CAA semis tomorrow, we’re looking at a great two games there in Richmond, with Old Dominion taking on VCU and W&M taking on Northeastern.  Three of the four schools call the Tidewater Virginia area home.  In the Horizon, Wright State is destroying Detroit, which means that it’ll be the top two seeds for all the marbles Tuesday in Hinkle.

10:56: Jon Scheyer just got a standing ovation by the Duke faithful, here in his final home game at CIS tonight.  He’s been a much-mocked player during his career there, but never hated with the same vitriol as some others similar to him (Paulus, Wojo, Hurley).  Nevertheless, he’s been a very good player in his four years, with this particular season obviously being at the level of ACC POY.  I still wouldn’t put him quite at the all-american level though, but that’s just me.  I’d listen to arguments from those who disagreed though.

11:01: Duke wins by 32 points.  Very rough night to be in Chapel Hill right now, but it’s hard to feel bad for a team with two titles in the last six years.  W&M also closed out JMU, so that Cinderella story ends in Richmond.  And Loyola Marymount is channelling Hank Gathers and looking to head into Sunday’s semis in the WCC Tourney by outlasting USF.  LMU, if the Lions hang on, will face the Zags, which is of course a team they beat just a few short weeks ago in Los Angeles.

11:10: Well, with those games in the books, and only the Portland-San Diego game still to come tonight, I’m going to shut it down here on BGTD.  It’s been another great day of college basketball and we were there through pretty much the whole thing both here and on Twitter. We’d like to be back later this week as the big conferences get geared up with their tournaments, but logistically, we’re still trying to work that out.  Stay tuned, though.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by today and we’ll see you, as always, in the comments.

rtmsf (3998 Posts)

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4 responses to “Boom Goes the Dynamite: 03.06.10 Edition”

  1. Brian says:

    Richmond @ Charlotte, Rhode Island @ UMass, Seton Hall @ Providence, Mississippi @ Arkansas, St. Louis @ Dayton and UAB @ UTEP are all very important games that you guys should be following as well.

  2. Stewart says:

    Looks like you’re being put to the test – Kansas up 16 at the break, lead now down to 4 halfway through the 2nd half.

  3. JR says:

    In terms of ND, I think this is really a case of something we see all the time NCAAB, which is teams play better when they lose star who is obviously playing for themselves and not the team. I could rattle off a handful of teams it affected this season. When teams with good talent around a star are able to play their offense and strong defense, they often end up playing better than when they stand around and watch someone play one on one.

  4. JR says:

    I think the bigger question is…say ND goes on a run in the BET tournament (championship game win or lose) and to the second round of the NCAA tournament without much help from Harangody…how will history/ND fans view his career? He is very close to be the all-time leading scorer at ND but has won one NCAA tournament game so far and 2 BET games. If ND somehow goes on a major run without him, the historical views on him will be interesting. A great scorer but someone who hurt his team more than helped it. Could be an interesting scenario.

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