Boom Goes The Dynamite: Second Round 03.20.10 EditionPosted by jstevrtc on March 20th, 2010
Now it’s a party. The first round is done. The next 48 hours of games will define which big-time teams can handle the pressure cooker that is the Big Dance, and it will identify the Cinderellas we’ll be talking about for years. If you’re a double-digit seed, winning one game is nice, but you don’t receive your wicked stepsisters, pumpkin coach, and glass slipper until you at least reach the Sweet 16. Oh, you’re a big-conference bigwig? Then the next round is still probably less than what was expected of you. People don’t remember Second Rounders. They remember teams that make the Sweet 16 and beyond. The first round was fun. But it’s over. Here are the teams vying for the Sweet 16 on Saturday:
- #2 Villanova vs #10 St. Mary’s
- #5 Butler vs #13 Murray State
- #6 Tennessee vs #14 Ohio
- #1 Kansas vs #9 Northern Iowa
- #3 Baylor vs #11 Old Dominion
- #3 New Mexico vs #11 Washington
- #2 Kansas State vs #7 Brigham Young
- #1 Kentucky vs #9 Wake Forest
We’ll be here all day, watching the games with you. We hope you’ll join us, and we definitely look forward to seeing you in the comments section as we all climb in to ride this rollercoaster for the third time. See you right here about fifteen minutes before the first tip!
12:55: Here we go! For the Sweet 16, gentlemen…let’s play! Some interesting matchups throughout the day. Looking especially forward to Baylor vs ODU and KSU vs BYU. To me those look like the more intriguing games.
1:05: St. Mary’s off to a quick start! The inside battle between Omar Samhan and Mouphtaou Yarou and/or Maurice Sutton is gonna be fun to watch. God, Samhan looks bigger every time I see him.
1:15: I guess Jay Wright’s “minor teaching point” is over. Samhan could not have asked for a better start to this game. Eight points on 4-6 shooting. SMU does not look intimidated early. I fact, Villanova still looks like they’re getting over whatever hangover they were nursing that caused them to almost get beaten by Bob Morris.
1:26: Samhan just rooked with that second foul. I agree with Raftery. That should have been a no-call.
1:35: This is great. This is one of the things I love about the tournament. For the first 12 minutes of this game, SMC has played as well as they have all year. You get into the second round and the Sweet 16 and teams rise to the occasion. I know that sounds cliche’, but it’s true — teams you’ve watched that have been fair-to-good all year suddenly find new gears in the NCAA Tournament that they never knew they had.
1:42: So Scottie Reynolds’ first field goal comes with 6:00 left in the first half. I agree with Raftery. Villanova has to be more guard-oriented. For goodness’ sake, keep the ball in the hands of the people that got you here. By the way, WHAT is going on with this down-low referee on the SMC end? Yarou got jobbed by a TERRIBLE call! That was a clean block and that’s the second call that guy’s missed.
1:48: Yeah, Coke Zero? Might want to wait a few weeks before making those promos. That one featured North Carolina in the tournament…
1:51: Perfect fastbreak after the turnover. Corey Fisher to Pena for the slam. But Samhan answers with the and-one! I’m amazed at the amount of chirping I’m seeing on Twitter…lots of folks ALREADY have SMC penciled in to move on the the ELITE EIGHT, just because they’ve started well against Villanova in this second round game. And now Samhan gets a warning for taunting with the “shhhh” signal to the ‘Nova bench. Calm down, people. The real Villanova hasn’t arrived. I don’t actually now if they’re on the way, but if they are…well, let’s just calm down with the Elite Eight talk and the taunting.
1:58: And there’s the half. 38-31 in favor of the Gaels. Definitely better than a lot of SMC supporters were hoping, but I get the feeling Villanova has an awakening coming. Maybe Jay Wright can wake up his side. But credit to SMC for really stepping up and putting pressure on Villanova. Upsets don’t usually happen because an underdog team comes from behind. They usually get an early lead and do everything they can to hold it. Except for Ohio vs Georgetown, where OU just extended it.
2:03: OK, I’m a fan of the Axe products commercial. And during the times that I’ve watched the games this year with my family or friends, I think I’m one of the only people who enjoys just about every Old Spice commercial. “Ladies, look at your man. Now me. Him again, NOW BACK to me…” all the way to the ending of “I’m on a horse.” It’s fantastic. And they’ve got the new ones we’re seeing during the tournament. I don’t know who created that ad campaign, but I dig it.
2:21: Second half. The only person who’s come out with any early second-half increased energy for ‘Nova is Reynolds. Jeez, Yarou cannot defend Samhan in the post. Too big and more agile than I think Jay Wright and Yarou anticipated.
2:28: Here’s a thought…SMC is playing so much better than ‘Nova, but yet it’s only a 5-point lead, 45-40. I know that includes a three that resulted from a ball that came off a ref’s foot, but hey, whaddaya gonna do. In the last two possessions, we’ve seen great examples of how ‘Nova can take control of this game if they use their athleticism to go after offensive boards, increase the pace, play close defense, drive and crash, etc. If they keep it slow and staid, and (as Raftery said) “play too pretty,” they’ll have a tough time.
2:36: Looks like the message has gotten through to Villanova. Two fast breaks yield two buckets including an and-one to tie it for Antonio Pena. If SMC wants to stay in it, SMC has to touch it every time, and the only threes they should take are when it’s kicked out by Samhan. The other Gaels will get baskets through him.
2:45: St. Mary’s threes this half? Zilch.
2:47: Man, the kid has got 30!!! He had two Wildcats in his face and still put it off glass. Again, Scottie Reynolds gets his first bucket of the half with 14 minutes already played. Two straight three attempts for SMC. Can anyone tell me why?
2:51: That’s amazing — I checked the stat sheet and Verne Lundquist is exactly right. Only FIVE turnovers for Villanova today. Again, these guys are losing their minds for SMC, and they’ve played REALLY well, especially Samhan. But this is a one-point game, still.
3:00: I don’t know, folks…Samhan hasn’t touched it in a while. He can be more aggressive now, since he’s not in foul trouble. Only has two.
3:05: Sorry. Looked to me like there was contact there with the body before that Samhan block. But after that banked three by Mickey McConnell, everything’s going their way.
3:10: Matt: good question. I thought they’d use him more, but Pena started out having a good game and it’s like Yarou was forgotten.
3:11: These FTs by Matthew Dellavedova seal it. The Sweet 16….Enter Samhan. Is St. Mary’s the new Gonzaga?
3:18: Paula: Good question — his reputation took a MAJOR hit from this one game. He’s been known for being clutch all year (career) long, and today it looked like he was just fine with letting his career move on to the next phase.
3:25: Matt: I saw that Thamel tweet and look like he’s right. I know Samhan’s good, but can they slow down Baylor and Ekpe Udoh? Assuming Baylor gets by Old Dominion — and I’m not saying that’ll necessarily happen — that would be a GREAT inside battle.
3:27: Meanwhile, on to the next game. I have a feeling about Murray State, here. Wondering how Butler will handle being the hunted and not the hunter.
3:32: So which is it? Has the Big East been overrated all year, or is their poor tournament performance (4-5 playing nobody better than an 8-seed) due to the long, hard Big East schedule and the cannibalistic post-season conference tournament?
3:33: Murray State is going to have to get over the nerves, here. Butler is totally capable of jumping out to a big lead and then turning to stone on them.
3:38: Refs are certainly letting them play! Lots of contact inside, no calls. That’s OK, as long as it’s consistent. After a 7-0 Racers run, it looks like the nerves are gone. 12-10 Bulldogs. Man, the Twitt-o-spehere is still buzzing with that SMC win. It IS a #2 seed going down…
3:48: Butler’s Shelvin Mack is a Kentucky kid playing against Murray State. And he’s playing well. We’ve got some creative kids in this game, like Mack, and definitely Murray’s Isaiah Canaan and B.J. Jenkins.
3:57: Peeking in on the other game, Ohio U. and Tennessee are tied at 10 early. I don’t know how OU is going to be able to keep up with the UT athletes. Tennessee should be going inside almost exclusively. I don’t know who OU has to guard those UT bigs.
4:06: Ohio’s D.J. Cooper is a fantastic backcourt defender. He’s already got one five-second call on his man and almost drew another. Not bad on offense, either! They just put up a graphic of Chicago-native point guards in the NCAA Tournament, and one that I think they missed…Evan Turner?
4:12: Donte Poole with a three at the buzzer to end the half!! Man, St. Mary’s might not be the only school waiting on their Official Cinderella Handbook to arrive in the mail…
4:16: WOW, that was a right-handed DISCARD of Tommy Freeman by J.P. Prince. UT is starting use their athleticism to put some space between them and the Bobcats. 10-0 run.
4:25: Whoooooa! Cameron Tatum with the LONG three at the end of the shot clock! The two worst things that could happen for Ohio is that UT (4-8) hits their threes and OU (3-9) misses theirs. The Armon Bassett/D.J. Cooper tandem is a combined 2-11 right now. That’s gotta change for this to be competitive. Right now Ohio looks very satisfied with their win over Georgetown.
4:33: About two minutes played in the second half over at Butler/Murray State, and Matt Howard has his third foul. And now his fourth. Seriously, he picked up his fourth in the short time that it took my to write that sentence, and I started it when he picked up his third. That kid is a fouling machine. Murray State just drilled a trey to go up seven, and if it gets bigger Brad Stevens may have to put them back in after just a short rest.
4:41: Ohio/Tennessee go to the half at 38-27 Vols. Butler/Murray St. is definitely the better game. But now we have the dreaded double-commercial.
4:45: Our man at the San Jose pod just posted his diary from the first half of today. Great stuff.
4:47: Look at this! Butler is forced to go small because of Howard’s four fouls, and what happens? The small lineup is a quick one, which can keep up wit Murray State better, and they’ve come back to tie this thing at 33. Ronald Nored has 12 points on 5-7 shooting, not to mention 5 assists. GREAT game for this unlikely source of production.
4:57: Butler is now WINNING this game because of the play of Shelvin Mack. That kid’s been everywhere but most importantly has turned up his defensive intensity. In fact, Butler’s done so as a team in the last five minutes, but most notably Mack. They’re now up by SIX. Murray looks shaken.
5:03: We’re back on at Ohio/Tennessee. Man, Ohio just cannot defend Tennesse inside. And the Ohio guards aren’t hitting. Armon Bassett hasn’t seen daylight all day. I mentioned in my writeup of this game that UT would win if their guards could play tough defense on the Ohio U. guards, and they’ve done just that. In the end, I went with Ohio on a whim because in the past UT has petered out of the tournament when they’re SUPPOSED to win. Looks like the current UT guys weren’t informed of that. Playing well right now.
5:08: Back at Murray State/Butler…I think it’s clever that this arena is called HP Pavilion, and one of Hewlett Packard’s desktop computers is called the HP Pavilion. And there are the words denoting the name of the arena in the right end zone that say, “HP Pavilion.” Somebody thought that through.
5:11: That was a GREAT call by the baseline ref to call the charge but still allow the basket. That’s exactly the way it should have been. Murray’s gone on a little run and have TAKEN THE LEAD with that three by Canaan!
5:15: And now we’ve got a game in the other one! Tommy Freeman has just gone nuts for and and-one and a three to reel off six straight and bring his team to within five with 12:30 left!
5:21: NOT a good shot by Murray State there. You don’t need a three. At the other end, Ronald Nored drives to the hoop and gets an and-one to make it a six-point turnaround and give Butler a three-point lead. GREAT game. You know Murray State’s going to be looking for a trey at the other end. B.J. Jenkins, Isacc Miles, or Canaan should take it…
5:26: Could you have positioned that trap better, if you’re Murray State? These are Howard’s first FTs of the day, right?
5:27: I think if Howard hits this second one, you have to let Canaan (4-4 from three) just dribble down and take it like he did a couple of minutes ago.
5:29: Oh, my. Canaan had it and tried to give it up, and threw it right into Gordon Hayward’s hand. Knocked it into the backcourt, time runs out, game over. You would have liked to have seen Murray State get a shot off, at least. Butler goes to the Sweets.
5:40: Back down to a 10-point lead and the Vols respond with an in-bounds over the press for an easy dunk. Another transition dunk and it is up to 14. Quick 3 by Ohio cuts it to 11, but Tennessee gets another easy lay-up. Is Ohio going to start playing a little defense here?
5:47: Northern Iowa is up 10-2 early against Kansas. I don’t think the lead will last, but if the Jayhawks don’t show up soon they could find themselves in the deep hole against an experienced team. Even for a team as talented and experienced as KU could have trouble coming back from double digits.
5:49: And Kansas has cut it back to 3. So much for that. This just in: Kansas is good.
6:10: Big 3 for Ali Farokhmanesh, but Tyrel Reed responds with a 3. Things are starting to pick up in Oklahoma City. I’m not sure that the Panthers can hang with the Jayhawks if the game is played at this pace.
6:30: Kansas cannot guard Farokhmanesh. How is that possible? So many good athletes on that team. As a result the #1 overall seed is down by 8 going into the half. This would be HUUUGE upset. I know Northern Iowa is good, but this is Kansas we are talking about. In New Orleans, Baylor is up by 9 on Old Dominion with 21 seconds left. Finally one mid-major is in trouble today. Quick question about the New Mexico-Washington game: Who is the little guy? The mid-major or the #11 seed?
6:51: I am glad that the CBS crew read my post about how similar Farokhmanesh’s shot was to Maurice Newby’s from 1990. These first 5 minutes will be huge for Northern Iowa. If they can build on their lead, Kansas will be in big trouble. If Kansas makes a run, the Panthers will probably start getting a lot tighter.
6:55: The lead was up to 10, but Collins just made a driving lay-up in transition. He doesn’t seem to have the range from the outside today so I would expect the senior to recognize this and attack the basket on every possession. Speaking of higher seeds in trouble. New Mexico is down by 12 half to Washington.
7:05: Jake Koch just hit a 3 to put the Panthers up by 12 almost midway through the 2nd half. In other news, approximately 1/2 of all NCAA brackets are about to go down in flames.
7:10: Down to 8. Somebody needs to take over for Kansas. Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, or Xavier Henry need to step up.
7:20: It looks like the we might have a solid set of games here. This potential huge upset and ODU tying the game with Baylor. Big news right now for Kansas: Cole Aldrich sitting on the bench with less than 7 minutes to go after injuring his leg.
7:30: Down to 3. Kansas is going to win this game. Sorry folk. I just get the weird feeling that UNI will give this game away. . .and Johnny Moran hits a huge 3 as I typing this.
7:45: Down to 1 with less than 30 seconds left. Sorry for the delay in updating here, but so many things happening. KU decides to play pressure D then UNI almost falls apart then KU blows a bunch of simple plays then UNI implodes again. Wow.
7:50: And down goes Kansas!!! And there goes my bracket. . .
7:55: So who is the favorite now? Kentucky? Is there a definitive favorite right now? I’m going with wide open. Everyone loves Kentucky’s talent, but they are also afraid of their youth and immaturity.
7:58: And Baylor advances to play at home in Houston. Unfortunately nobody watched it because they were all transfixed on UNI shocking Kansas. The other game (Washington up by 20 on New Mexico is barely worth commenting on at this point, but maybe the Pac-10 bashing–even by Pac-10 fans–was a bit premature or maybe they have just had a favorable draw).
8:28: BYU out to 10-0 lead. CBS just cut away from the feed for the pre-game of Kentucky-Wake Forest. I’m not sure they didn’t call them game in BYU’s favor for the “mercy rule”.
8:47: I’m getting the sense that Kentucky is just about to blow this game wide open. Of course, I am also the guy who thought Kansas had the win locked up with 2 minutes left and they were DOWN by 5.
8:58: BYU and Kentucky are up by almost identical scores (25-19 and 24-19, respectively). And DeMarcus Cousins continues to struggle at the FT line. Will this be an issue tonight?
9:07: Wow. Kansas State has come back to take the lead with 4:02 to go in the first half. Wake can’t stop Kentucky right now. I’m not sure they can hang with Kentucky for much longer at this pace. If the game is in the 80s, the Demon Deacons are in a lot of trouble.
9:25: Kentucky up by 16 (like I said big run coming even if it was more like they are just consistently better than Wake) and Kansas State has flipped the margin on BYU and is now up by 10 at halftime. Things are not looking good for the underdog in the night session. On the plus side, we had Saint Mary’s and Northern Iowa today.
9:52: Kentucky is up by 27 with 15:08 left. As Billy Packer might say, “This one is over” except this time it really is. BYU trails KSU by 8 with 16:45 left. Jimmer Fredette has been relatively quiet. Will he come alive in the 2nd half?
10:14: Cheap move by Chas McFarland trying to get a rise out of Cousins. I hope Dino Gaudio doesn’t let him back in the game any more. Bad way to end your career, but this should be a “teaching moment” for life.
10:23: BYU hasn’t found a way to chip away at this lead, but Jacob Pullen is out and he has been ridiculous tonight with 25 points and solid defense on Fredette so let’s see if they can make a run here.
10:35: Kansas State has this one wrapped up unless they have a massive collapse. This kills any potential whining we might have next week about how BYU gets an unfair home-court advantage.
10:50: Ok. A boring finish to an otherwise remarkable day. We will be back tomorrow with more action and we can only hope it matches what we saw today.