RTC Live: CAA Tournament

Posted by rtmsf on March 6th, 2009

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Hello CAA fans, and welcome to RTC Live’s ongoing coverage of the CAA Tournament from Richmond, Virginia.  Our correspondent, Ryan Kish from George Mason Basketball, will be live-blogging and reporting from the Richmond Coliseum throughout the weekend.  If there’s any news that the fans need to be apprised of from Richmond, Kish will be all over it.  The Tournament begins Friday afternoon with four first round games, so he has already published his CAA Tourney Preview for your viewing pleasure.

We’ll also be live-blogging select games throughout the weekend, starting Saturday afternoon with the quarterfinal matchup between Hofstra and Old Dominion.   If you’re new to the site, the live-blog box will show immediately below this paragraph, and Ryan will be taking comments and questions throughout the game.  Particularly insightful questions will be chosen for him to take into the media press conference and/or locker rooms afterwards.  So if you really want to know how Eric Maynor still feels about  his game-winner against Duke two seasons ago, here’s your opportunity.  Afterwards, we’ll post takes from the day’s other games in the CAA Tourney and give you, the fans, a chance to select Sunday’s semifinal game that we liveblog.

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RTC Live: WCC Tournament

Posted by rtmsf on March 5th, 2009

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Update (3/9): There’s no question which games RTC Live will be covering tonight, because the Championship game will feature the matchup everyone was hoping for – Gonzaga vs. St. Mary’s.  Check back with us at 6pm PDT for Michael Vernetti’s liveblog from the sidelines at the Orleans Arena for this blockbuster matchup.

Update (3/8): Tonight’s RTC Live will be Gonzaga vs. Santa Clara.  Let’s cross our fingers that the connectivity issues won’t be a problem again tonight.  See you then!

Update (3/7): San Diego held on against LMU, so tonight’s RTC Live event for the WCC will be Santa Clara against San Diego.

Hello WCC fans, and welcome to RTC Live’s ongoing coverage of the WCC Tournament from Las Vegas, Nevada.  Our correspondent so long as we can keep him out of the casinos, Mike Vernetti, will be live-blogging and reporting from Sin City throughout the weekend.  If there’s a major incident at the Orleans Arena that involves a round sphere entering a hoop twice its size (bad analogy), Vernetti will be there.  Plus he might send us some photos of some of his personal ‘extracurriculars’ on the RTC expense account, which is worth the price of admission by itself.   The Tournament begins Friday night with two opening round games, so Mike has already published his WCC Tourney Preview for your viewing pleasure.

We’ll also be live-blogging select games throughout the weekend, starting Friday night with the #5/#8 matchup between San Diego and Loyola Marymount at 6pm PST.   If you’re new to the site, the live-blog box will show immediately below this paragraph, and Mike will be taking comments and questions throughout the game.  Particularly insightful questions will be chosen for him to take into the media press conference and/or locker rooms afterwards.  So if you really want to know how USD’s Rob Jones feels about all those questions about his family, here’s your opportunity.  Afterwards, we’ll post takes from the day’s other games in the WCC Tourney and give you, the fans, a chance to select Saturday’s game that we liveblog.

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RTC Live: Arch Madness (MVC Tournament)

Posted by rtmsf on March 5th, 2009

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Update (3/7).  Oops.  Our MVC correspondent will be unavailable on Sunday, so we regret to inform you that RTC Live will not be covering the MVC Championship Game.  Thank you for those of you who checked in with us the last two days, and we hope to see you again soon.

Update (3/6).  RTC Live will be back Saturday with one of the two semifinal matchups.  Come back this evening to vote on which game you’d like to see us liveblog.  We already know the first matchup is N. Iowa vs. Bradley.  Who will be the other two semifinalists?

Update (3/7).  The next RTC live game will be Creighton vs. Illinois St. at 4pm CST.  Join us for what will undoubtedly be a tremendous battle.

Hello MVC fans, and welcome to RTC Live’s ongoing coverage of Arch Madness from St. Louis, Missouri.  Our correspondent and man-on-the-move, Patrick Marshall, will be live-blogging and reporting from the River City throughout the weekend.  If there’s a major incident at the Scottrade Center, he’ll be all over it like Rush Limbaugh on Michael Steele.  Or something like that.   The Tournament begins tonight with two opening round games, so Patrick has already published his MVC Season Wrap and Tournament Preview for your viewing pleasure.

We’ll also be live-blogging select games throughout the weekend, starting tomorrow with the #4/#5 matchup between Bradley and Southern Illinois at 2:30pm CDT.   If you’re new to the site, the live-blog box will show immediately below this paragraph, and Patrick will be taking comments and questions throughout the game.  Particularly insightful questions will be chosen for him to take into the media press conference and/or locker rooms afterwards.  So if you really want to know why SIU underachieved this year (as an example), here’s your opportunity to ask Coach Lowery.  Afterwards, we’ll post takes from the day’s other games in the MVC Tourney and give you, the fans, a chance to select Saturday’s game that we liveblog.

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RTC Aftermath: #2 UConn 72, Notre Dame 65

Posted by nvr1983 on March 1st, 2009

I’m assuming that most of you got a chance to see this game unlike the last RTC Live when Providence knocked off #1 Pittsburgh. As a result this RTC Aftermath will not be quite as extensive as our first edition, but what we lack in length we will make up for in quality.

This was my first trip to Storrs, Connecticut and I have to say that I was surprised at how small the town is. I’m not sure if I missed the town center coming off of I-84, but it’s easily the smallest town for any state school that I have visited. The campus itself is pretty nice even if it lacks the uniqueness of some other campuses I have visited on this year’s RTC Live tour. Gampel Pavilion is a relatively nondescript building much like the other places we have visited this year with the except of UNC with the Dean Smith Center. Interestingly, the Huskies split their home games between Gampel and the XL Center in Hartford. While the XL Center seats more fans (16,294 compared to 10,167 in Gampel), the students seemed almost unanimous in agreement that they prefer the atmosphere when the games are held at Gampel. The one complaint they did have about Gampel was the lack of student seating. From what we were told (and my eyes seemed to confirm it), students are confined to a small section behind one basket and in the upper level behind another basket. Most of the students would have preferred to have been situated along the sidelines to make the atmosphere more imposing for visiting teams similar to Cameron Indoor at Duke as much as the students hated to say it. I’m not sure how the boosters seated along the sidelines would react to the proposition, but it is an interesting idea.

Pre-game
Pre-game
My view from underneath the basket
My view from underneath the basket
Clark Kellogg and Jim Nantz
Clark Kellogg and Jim Nantz

Pre-Game: For the second game in a row, we were there for a team’s Senior Night. Or was it Senior Day this time since the opening tip was at 2 PM? While the Huskies did not have as many seniors as Providence did, the scene was no less emotional as the fans were particularly excited for two players: A.J. Price, who has battled personal problems (he was the other guy in the Marcus Williams computer theft case) as well as medical problems (radiosurgery for an arteriovenous malformation and ACL surgery), and Jeff Adrien, the team’s physical inside presence and fan favorite for his interaction with the student section before and after games. As an added bonus, Jim Calhoun was honored for winning his 800th game (on Wednesday at Marquette). The student section was given cardboard Calhoun faces (think PTI’s Role Play) and they unveiled a banner celebrating the fact his 800th win although there were some technical difficulties when they tried to unveil the banner.

Adrien and Calhoun
Adrien and Calhoun

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More shots from Providence’s “Rush the Court”

Posted by nvr1983 on February 26th, 2009

These photos are courtesy of Aimee at Providence following the Friars big win over #1 Pittsburgh. If you were at the game and have any more pictures, send them into rushthecourt@gmail.com and we will post them here. These shots are interesting because they offer a point-of-view perspective of a fan who is actually rushing the court after a huge win. I’m going to leave out any captions because the sequence is essentially a time lapse gallery of the scene.

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RTC Live: Notre Dame at #2 UConn – Saturday 2 PM ET

Posted by nvr1983 on February 26th, 2009

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We’re following up Tuesday Night’s RTC Live where Providence knocked off #1 Pittsburgh leading  to the first RTC Aftermath with a trip to Storrs, Connecticut, where Notre Dame will attempt to knock off UConn. While the game is significant for the Huskies (a win would mean they would go back to #1), it is enormous for the Fighting Irish. Mike Brey‘s squad remains on the bubble despite winning 4 of their last 5 games (including a 33-point annihilation of a very good Louisville team that played very poorly) after going a month without a win (7 consecutive losses), but a win over Jim Calhoun‘s Huskies would be huge for their NCAA tournament resume and would put them in position to finish 10-8 in the Big East with their remaining games against Villanova and St. John’s in South Bend.

The last time these teams met was on January 24th when UConn came into the Joyce Center and beat the Fighting Irish, 69-61, to end Notre Dame’s home winning streak at 45, which was the longest in the nation at that time. In that game, UConn held Notre Dame to 33% FG and used a 13-1 run in the 2nd half (along with a huge edge at the line–30 attempts compared to 4 for the Irish) to put the game away. Jerome Dyson, who won’t be playing on Saturday as he is out for the year with a meniscal tear, led the Huskies in scoring with 15 points to go with 9 rebounds. Jeff Adrien also had a big game with 12 points and 19 rebounds. Luke Harangody led the Irish with 24 points and 15 rebounds despite playing against Hasheem Thabeet, the likely national defensive player of the year. Notre Dame’s other big scoring threat, Kyle McAlarney, started off hot hitting his first three shots from beyond the arc before going pulling a John Starks-in-Game 7 performance by missing his last 12 shots from the field. Senior guard Ryan Ayers also struggled with his shooting going 1-for-10 from the field in the game.Since that game, which was featured on ESPN GameDay, the teams have gone in opposite directions. The Huskies went on a roll with the exception of their hiccup last Monday against Pittsburgh while the Irish, who were ranked 19th in the nation at the time, lost their next 5 games as part of their month-long 7-game losing streak.

The big match-up in this game will be in the middle where Harangody will be battling Thabeet, who called out Harangody on an ESPN cover in the pre-season (Thabeet later apologized). These two will likely end up on the first team All-Big East squad and on an All-American team. While Harangody dominated Thabeet statistically in the first match-up, Thabeet’s defense disrupted Notre Dame’s attack enough to help the Huskies escape with the win. [Please don't leave a Chamberlain-Russell comparison in the comment section. This also applies for Michael Lewis-style Shane Battier arguments.] One of the interesting aspects of this match-up outside of the obvious offense/defense contrast is whether Harangody’s outside game can draw Thabeet away from the basket opening up space for Notre Dame to clean up underneath. Unfortunately for the Irish, they don’t have another interior presence on the offensive end. Thus, barring an explosion from Harangody, which he is capable of, the interior match-up will probably end up being a draw with Stanley Robinson and Adrien making up for any statistical advantage that Harangody has over Thabeet because I’m not expecting much out of Zach Hillesland (5.4 PPG and 5.5 RPG) against the Huskies frontline.

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RTC Aftermath: Providence 81, Pittsburgh 73

Posted by nvr1983 on February 25th, 2009

Normally, I would assume that most of you have seen the #1 team in the country getting knocked off, but thanks to some horrible TV scheduling only 2% (all numbers are estimates) of college basketball fans ended up seeing Providence beat Pittsburgh at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (DDC) on Senior Night. While the 11,187 in attendance and a few fortunate television viewers were able to witness what makes college basketball our favorite sport, we know that many of you were less fortunate. That’s where RTC Aftermath comes in. As part of our RTC Live coverage we answer questions from fans and also bring those questions to the players and coaches to answer. Last night, we were at the DDC for the fourth installment of RTC Live. Our first three games (Wake Forest at Boston College, Miami at UNC, and Clemson at Boston College) were all solid games, but I don’t think any of them would qualify as memorable games from a pure basketball standpoint. Being in the Dean Smith Center for an ESPN GameDay was a fun experience, but nothing like last night.

Site of the game of the night
Site of the game of the night

Pre-Game: The Friar fans (at least the ones in the student section) got there pretty early. The Friar fans were a lot more intense than I expected, but looking back on it I seem to remember some PC grads telling me that their student section was pretty crazy. I think they were even more amped up than usual though because they were facing the #1 team in the country (even if the SportsTicker fax at the game still had them at #4) and it was Senior Night (something I wasn’t aware of until they started the ceremony). After the ceremony, which went on for quite a long time (8 seniors), the Friars and their fans made it clear pretty early that they weren’t going to go quietly on Senior Night.

McDermott introduction
McDermott introduction

First Half: As I mentioned in last night’s After the Buzzer, the Friars got out to a quick start jumping out to a 15-4 lead after the first 5 minutes. The primary reason that they were able to do this was  a strong opening 5 minutes by Jonathan Kale, who scored 6 points on 3/3 FG to open the game, and their ability to force Pitt into 5 turnovers that they converted into 9 points during that stretch. The Panthers were able to cut the lead to 6 with 5:01 left in the first half thanks to Ashton Gibbs who hit two 3-pointers, but the Friars then proceeded to blow the game open with 13-1 run to close the first half. At that point, the crowd and Rush the Court (who had thought that it might have been a mistake to travel over an hour down to Providence as opposed to 15 minutes down Commonwealth Avenue to the FSU-Boston College game) began to sense that something special might be happening at the “Dunk”.

GameCast
GameCast

Second Half: Pitt was able to cut into the Providence lead (up to 20 just 17 seconds into the 2nd half) getting it down to a 10-point game with 13:50 left in the game. The Panthers were able recover from the awful ball-handing (at the 15:26 mark of the 2nd half they have 5 assists and 12 turnovers compared to Providence with 14 assists and 3 turnovers) and seemed to have the momentum, but that quickly changed with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the game when DeJuan Blair picked up his 3rd and 4th fouls in a 17-second span that sent the Friar fans into a frenzy. With the low-post player that they couldn’t match-up with out of the game, Providence was able to get the lead back to 17 with 6:30 remaining. The Panthers were able to mount a furious comeback that nearly silenced the rabid Friar fans after Blair tipped in an Ashton Gibbs miss to make it a 5-point game with 50 seconds remaining. The Friars managed to hold them off despite not making a field goal in the last 4:21 of the game thanks to a lot of trips to the free throw line (18-of-25 in the 2nd half).

Blair heads to the bench after picking up his 4th foul
Blair heads to the bench after picking up his 4th foul

Rushing the Court
When you name your blog “Rush the Court”, you are expected to stay there (and possibly join in) when the fans rush the court. We managed to do just that (the only media entity to not run in fear, much less join in). Some of the better pictures are below (try rushing the court with a laptop in your hands sometime). If you have some pics, send them into rushthecourt@gmail.com.

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RTC Live: #1 Pittsburgh @ Providence – Tuesday Night 7pm EDT

Posted by rtmsf on February 23rd, 2009

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Newly-minted #1 Pittsburgh, fresh off their huge win over Connecticut on last week’s Big Monday, will return to the Northeast Tuesday night to take on the bubbling Providence Friars.   Keno Davis’ team, sitting at 16-10 and 8-7 in the Big East, probably need to win their last three games to secure an NCAA Tournament bid – anything less and they’re sitting right on the fence come Selection Sunday.  Getting a big fish like the Panthers on their “quality win” resume would be a great first step toward that goal.   Pitt, on the other hand, looks like a surefire #1 seed in next month’s Dance, and they don’t want to drop a game to a middling Big East team with Marquette and UConn coming up soon.

Blair & Co. Are Happy to be #1 Again

Blair & Co. Are Happy to be #1 Again

Be sure to check in with us Tuesday night at 7pm EDT live from the Dunk in Providence.  Dejuan Blair will be there.  Sam Young will be there.  Sharaud Curry will be there.  Heck, we might even run into Katz again.

RTC will be liveblogging the game from courtside and will be taking questions and comments from fans to ask players and coaches in the locker room afterwards.  You want to know how a Hollywood guy like Jamie Dixon gets such toughness out of his players?  Ask away.  You want to know if Jeff Xavier’s bro is still attending games at PC?  Feel free.  You want us to ask the Pitt coach whether he intends on giving any of his salary back to the state of Pennsylvania…?  Ok, maybe we won’t ask that one.

Pics from the first half below.

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RTC Live: Clemson at Boston College

Posted by nvr1983 on February 11th, 2009

We’re back for another edition of RTC Live where we live blog the game and offer you the fans the opportunity to submit questions for the coaches and players. We’ll post their answers early tomorrow morning. Right now we’re seated one seat closer to center court and are no longer at the very end of the media table. Apparently we have surprised the notable sports publication known as Boston Korea. Clemson has taken the court, but BC is still in the locker room. We’ll be doing the rest of RTC Live via the link below that allows for real-time interaction. We also may post a picture or two on this post if we can.

Click here for the RTC Live blog of Clemson at Boston College.

Check out some first half pics below.

The opening tip

The opening tip

First of two free throws

First of two free throws

And #2. . .

And #2. . .

Booker getting ready

Booker getting ready

Booker and Purnell were not happy at half

Booker and Oglesby were not happy at half

Neither was Oliver Purnell

Neither was Oliver Purnell

More pics to come after the game.

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RTC Live: Take II (Gameday: Miami @ UNC)

Posted by nvr1983 on January 16th, 2009

Ed. note – Check out our Boom Goes the Dynamite post covering all of today’s big games until 6pm EDT tonight, when our on-site coverage of ESPN GameDay will continue.

After my first attempt at trying to live blog earlier this week during the Boston College-Wake Forest game, I decided to head down to Chapel Hill to to cover tomorrow’s season-opening ESPN GameDay game (Miami at UNC). All the big names (Dick Vitale, Bobby Knight, Erin Andrews, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas, etc.) will be there so it should be a big night. RTC will be courtside to bring the action to you (if your big-screen HD wasn’t enough) along with answering whatever (appropriate) questions you may have for coaches, players, and TV personalities. I’ll have access to the media room, courtside reporters, post-game press conferences, and the locker rooms so if you have any questions, post them in the comment section throughout the day and I will try our best to get you the answers.

We'll be inside tomorrow night
We’ll be inside tomorrow night

One early (random) note: I ran into some of the ESPN GameDay crew a few hours ago. It looks like most of them were support staff, but I did notice that Howie Schwab was there, who technically is support staff too. I guess might be considered a F-list celebrity after his now defunct TV show “Stump the Schwab”. Apparently Howie wasn’t sure how to get to his hotel (out of respect for their privacy I’ll avoid posting it online). Being a good Samaritan, I decided to help them out since they knew the name of the hotel and I had an iPhone. I offered to look it up for them on my iPhone, but was completely ignored because apparently the Schwab is above talking to the common folk.  I guess Deadspin was right. (To be fair one of the other guys acknowledged my existence briefly then followed the Schwab.) Hopefully the other media members will be a little more receptive tomorrow night. Feel free to leave “Stump the Schwab” jokes in the comment section.

http://www.donchavez.com
Credit: http://www.donchavez.com

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RTC Live: Wake Forest @ Boston College

Posted by nvr1983 on January 14th, 2009

Thanks to the good folks at the BC athletic department we will be trying our first ever live game blog that actually occurs at the game.

- I’m sitting courtside right now (actually 2nd row) across from the Wake bench.
- Wake goes up 2-0 on a tough lay-up by James Johnson.
- Great play off the alley-oop from Al-Farouq Aminu. Going to the line for the old-fashion 3-point play.
- Should be a good match-up between Tyrese Rice and Jeff Teague tonight.

Teague Splits the BC Defense

Teague Splits the BC Defense

- Wake up 10-2 and BC calls a timeout. Crowd is pretty quiet right now. I guess that’s what happens after watching your team lose to Harvard and Miami back-to-back.
- Nice spin move by Corey Raji to get the crowd back into it and Rice follows with a 3. Rakim Sanders going to the line.
- Rice gets stripped again and Aminu leads the break before dishing off to Teague who finishes. I’ve been impressed by Aminu’s handle so far. Much better than I expected.
- Teague and Aminu head to the bench. Let’s see if BC can capitalize and cut into the lead here.
- Wake is really struggling to get into its offense without Teague and Aminu.
- Dino Gaudio appears to be reading my mind or my laptop and signals for both guys to head to the scorer’s table.
- Rice just got run over there leading to a steal and a Wake Forest fast break. The crowd is less than pleased with the officiating so far.
- Rice with a big 3 to get the crowd back into it.
- Aminu goes behind his back and dishes to Gary Clark for the easy layup. Aminu has been ridiculous so far.
- Wake with another alley-up. That has to at least be a half a dozen just 15 minutes into the game. Isn’t Al Skinner telling his guys to stay with their men?
- Teague and Rice both have 10, but Teague has been much more efficient in doing it. Teague is totally dominating Rice right now. Teague is making a case to be 1st team All-ACC and possibly All-American.
- Wow. The new BC head football coach has been sitting in front of me the entire time and I had no idea. I wonder what kind of contract he had to sign after the Jagodzinski fiasco.
- Wake gets bailed out after an ugly possession before the half. The Demon Deacons go into the break with a 47-24 lead.
- Just had a discussion with a BC official about how he doesn’t like the flex offense they run. I told him I don’t care what type of offense you run as long as it doesn’t look as bad as BC’s tonight. I wonder if I am going to get invited back. Maybe I should keep those thoughts to myself. . .
- Nice alley-oop by Rice to Reggie Jackson pulling the Eagles to within 19. The crowd goes wild. . .
- I wonder if anybody calls Reggie “Mr. October”. Great nickname for baseball not so much for college basketball. . .
- Another 3 by Rice pulls BC back to 16. They can’t possible make this a game. Can they?
- Teague almost threw down a nasty dunk. That might have gotten press row out of its chairs.
- Things getting physical now. An altercation between Rice and L.D. Williams. What’s Rice doing getting involved with L.D. Williams?
- Rice is out of the game for BC. I think this is the first time all night. I wonder how long Skinner will rest him.
- Rice is already standing up next to the BC assistant coach.
- Chas McFarland has been having a solid if quiet game and gets into double figures with that tip in.
- BC cuts it to 13 with 9 minutes left. How are they still in this game?
- Offensive foul on McFarland. BC ball now with a chance to cut it to 10.
- Huge 3 by Rice to cut it to single digits and the crowd erupts. Could we have a “Rush the Court” situation at RTC’s first game as a “media member”?
- Errant pass by Rice. He is a great scorer, but sometimes I question his decision-making. He’s thrown a couple awful alley-oops tonight.
- Strong finish by Teague bumps the lead back up to 14 and quiets the crowd.
- Rice needs to step up here.
- And he does with a nice driving lay-up.
- It looks like it is going to be Teague vs. Rice to finish the game off tonight.
- The crowd is heading to the exits with the Eagles down by 14 with 3:23 left.

The BC Student Section Didn't Have a Lot To Cheer About

The BC Student Section Didn't Have a Lot To Cheer About

- Teague just sealed it with a 10-foot runner in the lane to put Wake up by 15 with 1:30 left.
- “Let’s go defense!” chants from the crowd down by 15 with 50 seconds left.
- Teague with the exclamation point dunk and now Aminu with an alley-oop in the last 30 seconds. Not going to say it’s classless, but I don’t think BC appreciated it. Rice said something to Teague after his dunk.
- Well that’s a wrap for our first live blog at an actual game. Let me know what you think since I’ll be at the Miami-UNC game on Saturday night. Feedback, suggestions, and criticism are all welcome.

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