Boom Goes the Dynamite: First Round 03.19.10 EditionPosted by rtmsf on March 19th, 2010
Alright, we’re through with three-fourths of the first round, and it’s time for the Friday night session. This round of games always has some interesting television matchups as CBS tries to maximize interest in the after-work crowd. We’re going to be tracking all of the games but we’ll move around to the most interesting ones as appropriate. Here’s the lineup:
- #8 Gonzaga vs. #9 Florida State
- #7 Oklahoma State vs. #10 Georgia Tech
- #1 Duke vs. #16 Arkansas-Pine Bluff
- #5 Michigan State vs. #12 New Mexico State
- #1 Syracuse vs. #16 Vermont
- #2 Ohio State vs. #15 UC Santa Barbara
- #8 Louisville vs. #9 California
- #4 Maryland vs. #13 Houston
Let’s tip it off and see where it takes us…
7:15: FSU-Gonzaga has already started and Gus Johnson is just waiting to explode over something. I think that he senses this game might be his best chance tonight, with Vermont-Syracuse at his venue next. One piece of news is that Norm Roberts has been fired at St. John’s, making him the second NYC-area Big East coach to be let go within the past few days.
7:21: So far, Gonzaga offense >> FSU defense. A 9-0 run by the Zags has given them a nice early margin. Georgia Tech is pitching a shutout over on the other channel, 6-0 so far. With both of those ACC teams, you’re never really sure what you’re going to get. So far it looks like “good” GT and “bad FSU.”
7:31: Goodness, the Seminole offense is ugly. If they get themselves down too far here, they’re never going to be able to come back. Quick aside, I was just thinking about this and they confirmed it. The Big 12 is 5-1 right now, with the lone loss coming with Texas in overtime against Wake Forest. The others: Big East (3-3), SEC (2-2), Big Ten (3-1), A10 (1-2), MWC (2-2), ACC (1-1).
7:37: The Zag offense is smokin’ hot right now – well over 50% from the field. This one isn’t looking very good for FSU whatsoever. Focusing over on Ga Tech-Oklahoma State for a while, which is at 15-15 at the moment. Our sense on this game was that it would be a close game with OSU pulling it out at the end. We’ll see whether that rings true.
7:43: Matt Pilgrim with a monster rebound underneath in the GT-OSU game. We’ve seen him play several times this year and come away impressed pretty much after every viewing. Gonzaga already up fifteen points in their game and Duke is up ten over Ark-Pine Bluff. Here’s hoping we see not one second of that one tonight.
7:48: Speaking of viewings, OSU’s James Anderson is must-see viewing for anybody who hasn’t seen him much this year. He’s got to be the best player that most people have never heard of. He reminds us a lot of Arizona State’s James Harden last year. Just a phenomenal athlete and player.
7:59: Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech are staying very tight, and are likely to be so until late in this game. All we have to say is… Sidorikus!
8:02: It’s still the first half, but if Gonzaga wins this game, how about the WCC? 2-0 with both teams having to travel 3,000 miles to get their wins. We just turned it over to Michigan State vs. NMSU, and is it bad that we have absolutely zero interest in this game? There’s only so much IzzoBall you can tolerate in one season, and we figure we have a few more games left so it’s time to ration.
8:07: Good half from the Cowboys. Pretty much as we expected. Georgia Tech is just too all over the place for us to put any faith in them. We supposee they could make a run in the second half, but they’re just as likely to completely shut everything down. There’s just no telling with this bunch.
8:16: Ok, so we’re forced to watch a little bit of Michigan State, and we’re still surprised that they weren’t getting more attention as a team capable of making a deep run. Sure, Kansas is in their half of the region, but you know, they did beat the Jayhawks last year with much the same cast of characters.
8:26: NMSU has made a nice little run to keep themselves within a reasonable distance despite Jahmar Young’s three first half fouls and the technical foul from Marvin Menzies. Wendell McKines has shown some decent interior moves and finishing ability. Ok, after what seemed an eternal halftime, we’re back with OSU-Ga Tech.
8:31: Can’t imagine that the NBA scouts liked seeing Derrick Favors get packed like he was about 6’2 on that interior shot a few plays ago. Sometimes he drifts. Reminds us a little bit of Randolph Morris, another Atlanta-area player from a few years ago.
8:35: There’s that guy Matt Pilgrim again! He’s got a DeJuan Blair body type, but obviously not quite the same game. Still, he could play for my team anytime. I love his aggressiveness and power inside.
8:41: FSU is slowly creeping back against Gonzaga. The Zags were up as much as eighteen at the end of the first half, but they’re pushing back into it with seven straight FGs.
8:51: Nix that, it’s now back up to thirteen, and like we said before, it doesn’t appear that FSU has enough offense to make this kind of a comeback against a good team. The best game right now continues to be Georgia Tech-Oklahoma State, a game that has every appearance of going down to the wire. Duke is laying waste to Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Michigan State is comfortably ahead at the half.
9:00: NVR here taking over here. It’s amazing how boring a regular day of basketball seems after the ridiculousness that was yesterday. Anyways we have one potentially great game in Milwaukee between Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State, a pair (New Mexico State vs. Michigan State and Florida State vs. Gonzaga) that have potential, and then there is Duke vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff. . .
9:15: Getting tight here. Looks like we might have 3 classic finishes coming up. The 2 big ones are Georgia Tech-Oklahoma and FSU-Gonzaga. For the YouTube fanatics out there Gus Johnson is calling the FSU-Gonzaga one.
9:18: And I jinxed it in Buffalo. FSU had a chance, but several key mental mistakes at the end might have robbed us of a Gus Johnson classic. In Milwaukee, Iman Shumpert almost made a huge play with a near “and 1” that drew the 4th foul on James Anderson. Could we possibly have a 2nd round this year without the Big 12 POY? He will need to use some of that magic we saw last year. And Keiton Page answers the bell with a huge 3 to pull the Cowboys within 1 with 1:40 left.
9:25: Almost everyone is going to be focusing on the Georgia Tech-Oklahoma State, but we would keep an eye on the New Mexico State-Michigan State game that is tied with 8 minutes left. That could end up being a huge upset.
9:30: That could do it for the Cowboys. Their superstar James Anderson comes up short and now the Yellow Jackets can basically ice it from the free throw line where they are 24/25 today (96%) compared to their season average of 64%.
9:45: Still tied with 3:17 left. The big question here is if New Mexico State can handle the pressure of the final minutes of a NCAA Tournament game. Michigan State has the experience to fall back on. What do the Aggies have?
9:55: Big offensive rebound for Michigan State should be enough to seal the win and avoid a big 5/12 upset. A lot of potential today that just didn’t quite reach its potential as all-time NCAA classics.
10:00: I guess I was wrong. It’s a 1-point game with 18.6 seconds left. Can the Spartans hit a FT? The answer is sort of. I think it was the correct call on the lane violation, but you know that is going to be heavily debated the rest of this weekend.
10:23: Sorry Vermont fans. T.J. Sorrentine is not walking through that door. Actually he might have even though I haven’t seen him yet, but I can’t imagine he is doing much else these days. Sorrentine and Coppenrath have to be in Buffalo for this tonight, right?
11:00: After an atrocious start by Louisville, they have cut the lead to 6 with 4 minutes to go in the first half. Meanwhile in Spokane, Maryland and Houston are playing an entertaining game even if neither team is really hitting from the outside.
11:20: None of these games look particularly promising as “all-time classics”, but Friday nights during the NCAA Tournament seem to have a tendency to have a way of producing some magic that makes you feel better about spending a Friday night in front of a television set.
11:22: Just as I typed that Adam Brown hit a half-court shot where it looked like he nearly tripped as he was taking the shot. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. . .
11:40: Ok it looks like we have one solid game with a couple that are on the verge of being blown open.
12:00: Has Aubrey Coleman boosted his stock tonight? I can’t imagine any legit NBA scout didn’t know about him before tonight, but if they don’t they certainly do now (and they should be fired for not knowing before).
12:12: I’m not feeling it tonight. A bunch of games that are close, but not that close. I think we might have used up our first round magic on Thursday. Hopefully tomorrow will be better with the teams coming back on the court from Thursday’s magic.
12:25: And Rick Pitino’s horrible season mercifully comes to an end in Jacksonville . . .
12:40: Well that was a rather disappointing finish to the first round. No upsets or even close games out of the last set of games. That wraps it up for tonight. We’ll be back tomorrow with more coverage and hopefully some more insight with closer games.