Boom Goes The Dynamite: Second Round 03.21.10 EditionPosted by jstevrtc on March 21st, 2010
How’s your bracket? Probably looking pretty sweet if you went to undergrad at St. Mary’s and then took a master’s at Northern Iowa. Have they stopped partying at UNI yet? Or campaniling? Or whatever they do there? And if not, who could blame them?
That was yesterday, though. The Panthers and Gaels will be receiving their Official Cinderella starter handbooks in the mail in a couple of days, so the matter now turns to the Sunday games, and any possible candidates that could join them. Your lineup:
- #1 Syracuse vs #8 Gonzaga
- #2 Ohio State vs #10 Georgia Tech
- #4 Maryland vs #5 Michigan State
- #2 West Virginia vs #10 Missouri
- #4 Wisconsin vs #12 Cornell
- #3 Pittsburgh vs #6 Xavier
- #4 Purdue vs #5 Texas A&M
- #1 Duke vs #8 California
Will Northern Iowa’s dismissal of Kansas inspire other underdogs to greater heights? Or will it cause the higher seeds to sharpen their focus and be even warier of the upstarts? Keep in mind, things always start and end a tad earlier on Second Round Sunday, and there’s that glut of four games that all start within 30 minutes of each other in the early afternoon. But no worry, if you can’t see them all — we’ll be here all day, talking about them, updating this post every few minutes, and looking for your comments. Hard to believe we’ll have whittled the field of 64 down to 16 by Sunday night, and the events of Saturday should drive the point home that we need to enjoy this while it’s here. We’re here to help. We’ll start updating the post a few minutes before the first tipoff, and we hope to see you here.
12:00: Here we go, folks! Day 2, second round. The day starts with ‘Cuse/’Zags and you see the rest of the lineup above. Syracuse, Duke, Ohio State…you’ve been put on notice by Northern Iowa. Let’s see what happens.
12:10: One thing that’s got to make you happy if you’re a Syracuse fan is that Wesley Johnson is being VERY aggressive with the basketball. Hit his first two.
12:18: See, I don’t think Matt Boldin needs to fire from three for the Zags to put their best foot forward, today. I think they’ll be better off if he does more creating and dishing, and we know he picks up points that way.
12:27: Goodness, right now it’s Wesley Johnson versus Elias Harris. Johnson has Syracuse’s first ten and Harris has just made the baseline his second home.
12:33: Third foul on Rick Jackson. Robert Sacre is smiling. That’s one of the worst things that could happen for the Orange.
12:38: Is it just me or can you tell that Gus Johnson is ready to bust over something…anything? Scoop Jardine has shown that he has no problem knifing through a 2-3 zone. That’s the second time he’s penetrated with almost no problem or contact.
12:45: That’s a big three by Steven Gray. Syracuse looked like they were calmly going to stretch this out to a ten or twelve point lead by halftime. GREAT tweet by John Gasaway — Gonzaga almost always scores when the ball touches the paint.
12:53: Well, that’s a 9-0 run by Syracuse, and that 10-12 run I was talking about before halftime is now 13. Oddly, Wesley Johnson has been left open twice on the perimeter. Might want to consider doing something about that.
1:00: Is this over? Syracuse put their foot on the Gonzagan throat to close that half. 15-2 to go into the locker room. We all know that upsets are not borne from comebacks. They happen when an upstart team gets an early lead, starts to believe, and withstands the “big team’s” run at the end. Gonzaga would really have to buck tradition to make this comeback. The first 4-5 minutes will tell the tale.
1:20: Syracuse still has their foot on the gas. Syracuse is 9-18 from three. The Zags are 2-12. And there’s your ballgame.
1:32: Matt — I honestly don’t know. This is as one-sided as the Kentucky vs Wake game last night. I don’t know how the Bulldogs are going to defend this bunch. I don’t know how ANYbody could defend them when they’re playing like this. They’ve held Boldin to two field goals and the first one came, what, three minutes ago?
1:36: I thought one part of the Zags’ game plan would be to really crash the offensive glass. When playing a zone, because there’s no man-to-man assignment, when you’re on defense and a shot goes up, there’s that split-second where you have to turn and find a man to box out, and sometimes offensive players are left unchecked or can attack the glass in that split-second. No signs of that from the Zags.
1:46: Keep in mind, this is all without Arinze Onuaku. Yeesh.
1:51: For some perspective…enjoy these shooting percentages. Syracuse: 25-43 (58.1%) from the field, 12-23 (52.2%) from three. Gonzaga: 21-51 (41.2%) from the field…but 3-20 (15%) from three.
1:59: The refs have evidently stopped calling some things. Gonzaga could have been called for a charge, a push, and a goal tend in the last three minutes, and the refs let them all go. Jim Boeheim’s slowly removing his starters to thunderous applause. Which brings up the point…is this fair? Syracuse is 2.5 hours away from Buffalo. The other number one seeds had to do at least a LITTLE traveling to their first/second round sites. Kansas had to go to Oklahoma City, Duke had to go to Jacksonville, and Kentucky had to go all the way to New Orleans. And Syracuse was considered the last #1 seed by the committee’s own words. Would anything have changed if Syracuse had to travel a little bit?
2:07: Wes Johnson’s double-double is not just a double-double. 31-13 is a THICK one. Gotta wonder why he’s still in the game, though. The announcers went to filler material ten minutes ago. This is a 20-point game, and it’s not THAT close.
2:14: OK, finally…another game. And this one looks dangerous. I’ve got a feeling about this Georgia Tech team today. Maybe it’s just the Midwest Mayhem.
2:25: Already, Ohio State’s shown GT a 2-3 and a 1-3-1 zone in an attempt to clamp down on the GT bigs and keep the guards guessing. Interesting move by Thad Matta, but understandable. Now, that three from D’Andre Bell is something I thought we’d see just a LITTLE more from GT…they actually shoot it pretty well. I know you don’t want to stray too far from the inside game when you have big guys like Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors. Now it looks like they gave Bell a two. Oh well, still applies.
2:35: The game just changed. Favors with his second foul with only about 6 minutes gone. Trouble for Tech.
2:37: GOOD GRAVY, GANI LAWAL. Two HUGE dunks by the Georgia Tech big man! Products of great dishes from the guards. But WOW, both in traffic.
2:46: Now we’ve tipped off at Mizzou-WVU. Gus sounds primed. At OSU-GT, Evan Turner’s hit a couple of shots to close the lead but he’s 2-7 right now.
2:49: Maryland and Michigan State have been underway for about five minutes now. This is going to be hard to follow. I’ll be keeping an eye on the scores and watching for close games, but anyone have a preference on which game I monitor, i.e. one you’re not getting?
2:51: Michigan State looks like a different team. Definitely more focused and it doesn’t help Maryland that Jordan Williams is on the pine with two fouls. You don’t want those MSU bigs going against the second and third string. Lawal just took his second foul against the Buckeyes. GT in early foul trouble.
2:56: Cornell-Wisconsin have tipped. I hate this four-games-at-once format on Second Round Sunday. Back when there was no DirecTV, it didn’t matter. But now it does.
3:01: Cornell looks fierce early! Jon Jaques and Ryan Wittman have each hit a three and Wisconsin’s Jon Leuer is the only Badger to have taken a shot so far. The Big Red have an early 11-2 lead.
3:05: Rungun: OSU-GT it is, then. OSU up 26-22 after a 7-0 run. GT looks vulnerable and a little shaken because of the foul trouble right now. Turner’s now 6-14 and is starting to assert himself.
3:11: Look at this! Brad Sheehan comes into the game for Tech because of the Jackets’ foul troubles, and gets an and-one, drawing the second foul on David Lighty. Strange play to end the half — Iman Shumpert put an elbow in Evan Turner’s face and called an offensive foul right at the buzzer, and GT didn’t get a shot off. 0.7 seconds got put back onto the clock, and we’ll see if OSU can get a shot off.
3:15: Jon Diebler got a good look at a three — but missed it. OSU leads 28-26 at the half. I’m going over to Michigan State-Maryland while the OSU-GT game is at the half. MSU-Maryland is a pretty high-scoring affair and it’s the next game to go to halftime.
3:21: Missouri’s pressure is getting to West Virginia a little. Mizzou has managed to come back and tie that one at 25 about three minutes before the half. Back to MSU-Maryland…Korie Lucious grabs an offensive board and hits a long two just before the half to make it 48-39 Spartans at the half. Raymar Morgan has had a great game for MSU so far, with 13 points on 5-8 shooting. Those teams are a combined 8-15 from three, and that’s with Greivis Vasquez on the pine for a while because of foul trouble.
3:31: WVU and Mizzou go to the half at 30-25 in favor of the Mountaineers behind Da’Sean Butler’s 19, though it’s on 4-10 from the field. Missouri is hanging on because of their pressing defense having generated some turnovers in the middle of the first half.
3:36: Amazed by Cornell again. Not only are they hitting threes (as usual), they’re also getting inside on the Badgers and getting easy layins. They’re actually up by ten, 41-31, and they’ll get the last shot of the half…
3:39: …and Ryan Wittman hits a long two to make it a twelve point lead! Isn’t 43-31 a full-game score for Wisconsin? I don’t know if they can make up a ten-point lead in a half, with Cornell playing like this and the molasses-like offense for which they’re famous.
3:50: Back in action in Milwaukee with Ohio State going on a 7-0 run coming out of the break. As we talked about in our analysis for today’s games, OSU has to be looking a little bit ahead with Kansas and Georgetown already torpedoed. Is anyone else unsurprised by the Michigan State – Maryland score? If this holds, we’re probably looking at a Big Ten rematch between the two best teams in the league for a trip to the Final Four. Still a lot of time left in both games though.
3:59: WVU is still up four points on Missouri but they haven’t had a FG in the last TEN minutes of action. Nobody seemed to be giving Mizzou much of a chance to win this game for some reason, but the Tigers appear poised to stay in this one till the end. Over at OSU-GT, the Yellow Jackets just went on a 7-0 run themselves to cut it back to seven points, and Michigan State is still holding off Maryland.
4:06: Ohio State on another run here. They just look way too dialed in versus a team that’s young and inconsistent to give it up at this point. Mizzou can’t hit much of anything, but their defense is solid enough to make a run if things start clicking a little better. Meanwhile, every time I look over at Michigan State, they’re hitting a three as a result of the Maryland press.
4:12: Wisconsin is still down fourteen to Cornell, but Ohio State and Michigan State appear to be pulling away. Strong day for the Big Ten regardless if this holds. Da’Sean Butler is doing his thing for WVU, now with 19 of the Mountaineers’ 42 total points. We get the feeling that Missouri is just one 6-0 run fueled by a couple of turnovers from making this into a completely different game.
4:21: So it looks like we’re going to have a #9, #10, #11 and #12 into the Sweet Sixteen this year. And suddenly Georgia Tech has made a run to put pressure on the Buckeyes. An 11-0 run has brought GT to only down four with 1:47 remaining.
4:27: David Lighty gets hammered by Brian Oliver on a breakaway, but he popped back up. Honestly, we don’t believe that Oliver was trying to intentionally hurt Lighty there, he just got into the air himself and the angle was bad. Totally understand why it has to be called, though. OSU should put this one away from the line and move on to face Tennessee.
4:45: Amazing comeback by Maryland to take the lead over Michigan State, followed by a Vasquez floater, and then Korie Lucious with the big-time three to win it at the buzzer! The pass from Draymond Green over to Lucious very nearly hit another MSU player in the head (he had to duck!), but Michigan State will move on after nearly blowing a late lead.
4:52: Is there another amazing comeback in Buffalo here? Probably not after the beautiful offense rebound off a FT miss by Da’Sean Butler. WVU up seven with a minute to go. Mizzou needs some threes.
5:25: Didn’t happen. WVU outlasted Missouri and will advance, saving a little face for the Big East in the process. Cornell finished off Wisconsin easily, which is making Jay Bilas look smarter by the minute. Meanwhile, we’ve got three games starting up here, with Xavier-Pitt, A&M-Purdue and Duke-Cal on the three tv/computer setup.
5:33: Interesting start to the Duke-Cal game. Patrick Christopher has to go out immediately with blood somewhere on his body, while Duke goes on a 6-0 run which is immediately followed by a Cal 6-0 run. A&M and Purdue are tight early, while Xavier-Pitt are in their expected slugfest already.
5:40: Good lord, what does Christopher have over there, a razor cut on his head? Get some leeches over there and stitch him up.
5:46: Cal’s Sanders-Frison laying waste to the interior to create driving lanes for the Bear guards on the last couple of possessions. We’re already seeing the size advantage that Duke has making a difference, though. A&M is still having trouble scoring on their game and XU has run up on Pitt by seven.
5:54: Cal’s defense isn’t going to hold up here if they keep allowing Duke to get great looks like the last few possessions. This is starting to get a little ugly so I’m switching focus over to A&M-Purdue for a little while.
5:58: Amazing stat that Cornell has hit 59% in its two games so far. Against the Wisconsin and Temple defenses??? They are playing at an extremely high level right now. Kentucky would do well to not overlook this team next week.
6:06: A&M and Purdue can’t hit very much from the field, but they’re both battling hard and the Boilers can’t win this game with JaJuan Johnson putting up an oh-fer like he is so far. With a couple of threes in the last minute-plus, though, A&M is going to take a lead into the half.
6:11: That last play by Jerome Randle on the Cal-Duke game illustrates the problem the Bears have here. Their only shot to win is if they make outside shots, and they are finding that the defense Duke plays on the perimeter is significantly better than that of Louisville. Back at A&M-Purdue, Dash Harris was just fouled on a three attempt with 0.9 on the clock, sending him to the line for three freebies going into the half. Make that two freebies, as the middle shot drew nothing but floor.
6:26: Xavier is back on against Pittsburgh, and this provides me an opportunity to again talk about just how amazing the XU program is on a yearly basis. Lose your coach to Arizona? No problem. Lose three star players? No problem. They are one of the most consistent programs in America, regardless of conference affiliation.
6:35: Back to Cal-Duke, and the Devils are just too big for the Bears inside. Getting offensive rebounds and challenging shots inside. I’ll keep an eye on this one to see if Cal starts hitting some threes, but mainly I’ll be checking the other two games. A&M up seven and Xavier up eight.
6:46: Pitt is almost all the way back after a 12-0 run here to get it within one. Texas A&M is pushing Purdue around and starting to pull away from Purdue. Amazing stat is that Purdue just went to the line for its first FT of the game!
6:52: Game of runs. As soon as I typed that last sentence, Purdue went on an 14-2 run of its own to get back into it and take the lead. The threes finally started dropping for Purdue and we’ve got a game there. Cal got it back within seven of Duke, but they can’t handle the Blue Devil size so they’re back down fifteen with no signs of life.
7:00: Thanks to a ridiculous shot by Terrell Holloway falling to the floor on the release, Xavier has re-taken control in their game against Pitt. Still some time in that one, though — around six minutes left.
7:01: Purdue is hitting everything right now. Another three and it’s now a 17-2 run for the Boilers. You have to love the heart of Matt Painter’s team to keep battling despite the loss of Hummel at the end of this season.
7:08: Xavier with a breakaway dunk by Jordan Crawford is followed by a Gilbert Brown three. XU still up four with 1:22 remaining though. Speaking of everyone’s favorite Lebron-dunker, is Jordan Crawford becoming what his older brother, Joe, was supposed to be?
7:12: The Purdue defense is winning this game for the Boilermakers right now. By my count, they’re on a 26-8 run and A&M is getting nothing easy. Quick check-in on Duke-Cal finds the Devils up 19 and the game effectively in the books. Two other relatively close ones right now, though.
7:16: Gilbert Brown for Pitt nails a giant three to keep his team’s hopes alive. If this holds, only two of the eight Big East teams will make it to the second weekend of action. Ouch. Over in Purdue-A&M, we’re still at a two-point Purdue lead with two minutes to go. Anybody’s game there, but Chris Kramer has been awesome with his defensive play to help his team get back into it this half.
7:20: Wow. Gilbert Brown hit another huge three to cut it back to three, and then initially on the inbounds it appeared to be a Xavier turnover. But the refs changed the call and they still need some help from XU to win this game. Meanwhile, A&M is back tied and Purdue is inbounding with 59.5 seconds and a 55-all tie.
7:24: Dante Jackson missed BOTH and Pitt had a chance to tie in the air. It looked on-line but it was a little long and was knocked out of bounds on the carom. Pitt will have one more shot at it with 0.4 left on the clock. What will Jamie Dixon come up with here?
7:25: Meanwhile, Purdue dribbled the clock down but A&M got a hand in and ended up calling timeout with 1.1 seconds left. They’ll have a shot to win themselves in their game. Couple of wild endings here (what else is new?).
7:29: Apparently Xavier held on even though my CBS feed never went back to check on that game, preferring to stay with Purdue-A&M. The Aggies will have 1.1 to pass, catch and shoot. Finish this weekend with another miracle? Why not?
7:30: Pitt actually got a really nice look to tie there with 0.4 on the clock. He rushed it a little with good reason so it came up short, and Xavier will move back into the Sweet Sixteen. Great win for the Muskies, who just continue to impress year after year after year.
7:32: We started the weekend in OT and we’ll end in OT. BJ Holmes had a little trouble collecting a pass at his feet, but he was still able to turn and give it a pretty good look from about 25 feet. This one is going to come down to toughness and desire in this overtime session. It’s a cliche, but it’s true here because of the way these two teams play — who wants it more?
7:36: Really nice start for both teams offensively, with Bryan Davis dunking twice and Chris Kramer going strong to the hole for a bucket and two FTs. Halfway through the OT and nothing is settled yet.
7:42: Can’t believe that Bryan Davis blew that layup. Normally that’s automatic for him. Purdue will have a chance to win here and move the third Big Ten team into the Sweets.
7:44: That layup will haunt Davis forever. Chris Kramer takes it down the lane and finished with a layup and the ensuing A&M rush upcourt resulted in a three that was short to win at the buzzer. Wow. Major props to the Boilermakers for gutting this one out — their season appeared over when Hummel went down a few weeks ago, but even if their ride stops next weekend, they’ve managed to salvage a really nice season out of this.
7:48: Whew. 48 games in a little under 80 hours this weekend, and we were with you every step of the way here. It’s time to get out the ice, bring over the masseuse and get ready for when things get serious next weekend. If you were going to redo your brackets, and I seriously need to do that myself, who would you have advancing now? Ohio State, Syracuse, Kentucky and Duke? That would be one hell of a Final Four, wouldn’t it? Ok, take care everyone. We’ll definitely be back throughout the week leading up to the Sweet Sixteen beginning at around 7pm ET on Thursday night. What a weekend!