Big East Tourney Daily Diary: Quarterfinals

Posted by nvr1983 on March 12th, 2010

Rob Dauster of Ballin is a Habit is spending the week as the RTC correspondent at the Big East Tournament.  In addition to live-blogging select games throughout the tournament, he will post a nightly diary with his thoughts on each day’s action. Here is his submission for the late quarterfinal games.

Georgetown 91, Syracuse 84

  • This performance from Georgetown shouldn’t surprise you. Remember, when healthy early in the season, this team was in the top ten nationally, and for good reason. Austin Freeman‘s health situation affected this team more than people realize  – Thompson said that was long as the Hoyas “keep Freeman’s levels fine he will be able to perform” – and they are just now hitting their stride again.
  • You know about Georgetown’s big three, but don’t underestimate Jason Clark. Jeff Goodman called him the “ultimate glue guy” earlier today, and while I agree with him to a point – Clark is a great defender, he can go and get you an offensive rebound, and he racks up some assists – I think by definition a glue guy isn’t a scorer. Clark can be. He hasn’t put up the numbers simply because he doesn’t get a ton of shots, but he is a nightmare to stay in front of and a lights out shooter. Jason Clark isn’t a glue guy, he is a very good basketball player.
  • The only way Syracuse doesn’t deserve a one seed is if both Duke and Ohio State win their conference tournaments. Otherwise, Syracuse is ok, although they may be headed out west.
  • JTIII on the Orange: “That team is still one of the best, if not the best team in the country in spite of today’s outcome. Do I expect them to be a dangerous team in the tournament? Absolutely?” Very true, but today may have exposed a flaw in this team –  a stopper. Not on the defensive end, but a guy that can get you a basket when things aren’t going well. Can Wes Johnson be that guy? Right now, he is a jump shooter and an athlete.

Marquette 80, Villanova 76

  • The Golden Eagles shot 65% in the second half. The were 6/6 from three in the second half and 11/18 overall. They had 17 assists and just 8 turnovers. I think it is safe to say Villanova hasn’t solved their defensive issues.
  • There may not be two more underrated players in the Big East than Corey Fisher and Darius Johnson-Odom. Both were on full display this afternoon. Fisher was impossible to keep out of the lane, finishing with 16 points and 6 assists, while DJO had 24 points, 5 assists, and hit five threes.
  • Marquette is going to make it out of the first weekend. Put that on the record. This team is so difficult to defend. Hayward and Butler are match-up nightmares for opposing bigs. Their guards can all shoot it, they can all get into the lane, and they all can kick the ball out to an open shooter. Most importantly, everyone on the team understands that they are at their best when they move the ball offensively.
  • Buzz Williams on Jay Wright: “I think he will be in the Hall of Fame long before his career is over”

Notre Dame 50, Pittsburgh 45

  • I am now a firm believer in Notre Dame’s defensive ability. The second half of this game was as physical of a defensive battle as you are going to come across at this level. Did you ever think we would a) be talking about Notre Dame being involved in that kind of game and b) Notre Dame coming out with a win? I sure didn’t.
  • The Big East has done a lot of things right for this tournament. One thing they did wrong? With two exciting, emotional games in the afternoon today, they decided to serve turkey and stuffing for dinner between sessions. Tryptophan fail. It was only made worse by a couple of semi-exciting slugfests to close out the day. The coffee jug was emptied pretty quickly.
  • Pitt had two chances to tie this thing at the end. Twice they drove to the rim. Twice Notre Dame’s defense held.

West Virginia 54, Cincinnati 51

  • All Da’Sean Butler does is hit big shots. Tonight was the 5th game-winner he has hit this year.
  • What is overshadowed by Butler’s shot is the performance Lance Stephenson had down the stretch to bring his team back. Stephenson was phenomenal, aggressively attacking the basket and hitting the floor for loose balls. His three with 42 seconds left tied the game.
  • Does Devin Ebanks understand clock management? For the second straight game, he utterly botched a game-ending situation.
  • According to Lance Stephenson, who was guarding him, Da’Sean Butler called bank after he took the shot.
nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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