RTC Live: WAC Championship – Utah State vs. New Mexico State

Posted by rtmsf on March 13th, 2010

It comes down to this in the WAC tournament, a battle of Aggies to see who represents the conference in the NCAA Tournament. The Utah State Aggies have done their best impression of a steamroller, winning their two games in Reno by a combined 54 points, and have been able to empty the bench late in games to give the starters plenty of rest. The New Mexico State Aggies haven’t had things so easy. They rolled through San Jose State in the opening round, but just squeaked by the home  Wolfpack last night 80-79 on a Jahmar Young runner in the lane with three ticks left on the clock. These two teams split the regular season matchups, NMSU won 55-52 in Las Cruces to start conference play and Utah State won their game 81-63 just last week to end regular season conference play. Utah State is probably in the NCAA tournament win or lose tonight, but would sure feel better on Sunday with the auto-bid in hand. New Mexico State could burst someone’s bubble by stealing the bid. Which Aggies will rush the court here in Reno for the WAC title? Come check in with us at RTC Live to see who walks away with the hardware.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC Live: Pac-10 Championship – California vs. Washington

Posted by rtmsf on March 13th, 2010

Welcome back to the Staples Center for what should be the best matchup of the weekend in the 2010 Pac-10 Tournament this afternoon.  Both California and Washington have looked relaxed and confident in their two games leading up to this point, and why wouldn’t they be — they have the two best teams in the league and the two best players as well in Jerome Randle and Quincy Pondexter.  The two teams played twice this year, each winning comfortably on their home floor, so it stands to reason that a neutral environment such as this would produce an evenly matched contest.  At least that’s the hope.  As for NCAA Tournament implications, Washington might be feeling a little squeezed especially in light of Houston’s upset victory in Conference USA earlier this afternoon.  The Huskies have 23 wins including a solid victory over Texas A&M in the nonconference slate, but both Zach Hayes and Joe Lunardi have the Huskies on the edge.  A blowout loss today could be enough justification in the Committee’s minds to keep them out.  Cal, on the other hand, is safe, but the Bears would certainly like to move into top-8 seed territory if they can.  A win today might get them there.  It should be a great afternoon here in downtown Los Angeles this afternoon — feel free to stop by.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC Live: Big East Championship – Georgetown vs. West Virginia

Posted by rtmsf on March 13th, 2010

Four days, 14 games, and what seems like 100 hours at the Garden has gotten us to this point, but we have finally reached the Big East tournament’s title game. Its an intriguing matchup to say the least, as Georgetown owns a record seven Big East titles while its been 26 since West Virginia won a tournament title of any kind, and that came when they were still in the A10. Georgetown may be the best 8th seed in the history of conference tournaments. They may have lost eight Big East games, but they are playing as well as anyone in the country. West Virginia has a knack for taking you out of what you want to do, and they proved that in February when they beat Georgetown by 13. The Mountaineers rely on toughness and physicality, both defensively and on the glass. Georgetown is good enough to execute their offense in the halfcourt against WVU, but where they are going to have problems is on the glass. No one goes to the backboards as hard as West Virginia, and few teams have the size and athleticism that WVU does. I think the key is going to be Chris Wright and Jason Clark and their ability to get out and run the floor. Both of these guys are talented scorers and penetrators, and I don’t think WVU has anyone that can guard them on the perimeter or in the open floor. Whatever the case, it should be a fun one to watch.  Join us this evening at the Garden! Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC Live: Mountain West Championship – UNLV vs. San Diego State

Posted by rtmsf on March 13th, 2010

Friday night in Vegas was as good as could have been expected. Or at least it was for the roughly 18,000 of us who were lucky enough to see as four teams battled it out to the bitter end, watching great players make great plays in March. With the MWC’s automatic NCAA bid up for grabs, Saturday afternoon could be an encore performance. These teams have split the season series thus far, each winning by ten on their home court, and while the Aztec fans will be greatly outnumbered, they’ve got plenty of reasons to be excited about their Aztecs who are playing the best basketball of their season. Both teams are a little beat up at this point (San Diego State’s point guard D.J. Gay came up a little gimpy at the tail end of their game and UNLV’s Tre’Von Willis turned an ankle just under three minutes before coming back to score six of the Rebels’ last seven) and they won’t have a lot of time to patch their bones, but the energy from the electric Thomas & Mack crowd should get everyone’s adrenaline pumping early and often. We hope you’ll join us on RTC Live for what should be a hard-fought and entertaining game between two teams that seem destined for NCAA Tournament berths.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC Live: Big 12 Championship – #1 Kansas vs #9 Kansas State

Posted by jstevrtc on March 13th, 2010

After last night’s win over Baylor, Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen was asked about how special it was to get a third shot at Kansas in Saturday’s Big 12 Tournament championship.  He responded with, “We just want to win the Big 12 Tournament,” conceding later that his team felt like they “lost the regular season title at Kansas,” but claimed that the Wildcats needed no added incentive to get pumped up for a Big 12 title game.  We admire Mr. Pullen’s diplomacy, but this is the game just about everybody wanted — the two best teams in the best conference.  Ridiculous rivals.  National title contenders.  Frank Martin predicted that this would be the best atmosphere of any college basketball game this season, and we think he’s right.  Kansas has started slow in its two Big 12 Tournament games, taking a half to get warmed up.  Kansas State has played Final Four-level basketball in their two games, and turned in one of the best performances by any team in any single game this year in their defeat of Baylor last night.  Who’s ready for Sunflower Showdown III?  We sure are, and we’re honored to be courtside for it with a championship edition of RTC Live.  The game’s on at 6 PM ET on ESPN, and we hope you’ll check us out while you’re watching.  See you there!

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC Live: ACC Semifinals – Duke vs. Miami & Georgia Tech vs. NC State

Posted by rtmsf on March 13th, 2010

What a wild ride the 2010 version of the ACC Tournament has been. 12th seeded Miami has sent home the 4th and 5th seeds. 7th seeded Georgia Tech has sent home fan-favorite North Carolina and 2nd seeded Maryland. 11th seed NC State took out 6th seeded Clemson and 3rd seeded FSU. The only two first-team all-ACC players left heading into semifinal Saturday are those from top seeded Duke, Kyle Singler and John Scheyer. The basketball hasn’t always been pretty, but the ACC is what it is this year, a group of mediocre teams without any great teams. That’s why I’m expecting more of the same today. Duke will certainly have an advantage over a Miami team that has played two consecutive days, but twice before (NC State both times, in 1997 and 2007) a team has won three straight games to make it to the championship game. Can Miami become the third to do it? Georgia Tech will meet NC State in the second game of the day with a spot in the championship game on the line. The Yellow Jackets became only the 4th #7 seed to win a pair of games in ACC Tournament history while NC State became the first 11th seeded team ever to win two games in a row. All this should make for a very interesting semifinal Saturday. Buckle up fans and join us for another exciting day of RTC Live from Greensboro.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC Live: Atlantic 10 Semifinals – Temple vs. Rhode Island & Richmond vs. Xavier

Posted by rtmsf on March 13th, 2010

The Atlantic 10 Conference has scheduled their conference tournament in Atlantic City, NJ, the East Coast’s mecca for gambling and entertainment. The quarterfinals are over, and the last four standing are the top-seeded Temple Owls, who will face the Running Rams from Rhode Island, and the second-seeded Xavier Musketeers, who will face the third-seeded Spiders of Richmond. Eight of the fifteen players named to the three All Conference and one of the All-Freshmen Team players will see action on Saturday, giving these matchups a heavy “all star” flavor.  The Temple Owls will be led by First Team All-A10 forward Lavoy Allen, Second Team All-A10 guard Ryan Brooks, All-A10 Sixth Man Ramone Moore and All-A10 Honorable Mention point guard Juan Fernandez, while Rhode Island will counter with Third Team All-A10 guard Keith Cothran and power forward Delroy James, and All-Rookie Team guard Akeem Richmond. Xavier will be led by First Team All-A10 guard Jordan Crawford and Third Team All-A10 forward Jason Love. Richmond will counter with A10 Player of Year Kevin Anderson and Second Team All-A10 David Gonzalvez. This has been Temple’s tournament for the past three postseasons, but today the Owls face a Rhode Island hungry for an NCAA bid. Xavier and Richmond, virtually assured of an NCAA bid, are playing for seed and the home-team whites should Temple stumble. Join RTC Live as we blog live from the A10 Tournament at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC Live: CUSA Championship – UTEP vs. Houston

Posted by rtmsf on March 13th, 2010

The UTEP Miners are rolling into the CUSA championship game with a 15-1 Conference USA record and a 17 game winning streak, so it’s only fitting that that they will have to face the last team to beat them.  Houston comes in as the #7 seed and the feel good story of the tournament, fresh off a one-point upset of #2 Memphis in the semifinals.  Aubrey Coleman, the nations leading scorer, has manhandled the Cougars’ opponents this tournament, averaging 25 points a game.  At #21 in the nation, UTEP has the best overall team, but Houston is the last team UTEP wants to deal with. They only won seven conference games, but the Cougars have beaten three of the top four teams in CUSA, including Memphis twice. If they manage to pull off this upset and punch their ticket to the dance, it will be one of the more remarkable underdog stories of the year. So join us here at RTC Live and make sure you don’t miss this great championship matchup!

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC Live: WAC Semis – Utah St vs. La Tech & Nevada vs. NMSU

Posted by rtmsf on March 12th, 2010

Day 1 of the WAC tournament eliminated all the pretenders and now we are left with just the top four teams in the league battling it out.  The first matchup will feature the number one seed Utah State Aggies taking on the number four seed Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.  The Aggies have played the part of the steamroller lately, and after dispatching Boise State yesterday 84-60 have now run their winning streak up to 16 straight games.  Despite the blowout score, Boise State tested the Aggies, forcing an uncharacteristically high 15 turnovers with a full court pressure defense.  Louisiana Tech will likely try to exploit this by pressuring the Aggies as well, probably using the same 1-3-1 zone we saw in a previous RTC Live that features 6’11 Magnum Rolle at the top of the key trapping Utah State’s much smaller guard line.  The key for the Bulldogs will be generating offense.  Kyle Gibson still does not look like his old self, scoring just seven points yesterday, but backcourt mate Jamel Guyton scored 31 to lead the Bulldogs over Fresno State 74-66.  If the Bulldogs can get that kind of offensive explosion again it should be a great game to decide who moves onto the championship game tomorrow.

In the night cap in the WAC tournament the homestanding Nevada Wolfpack will take on the New Mexico State Aggies.  Neither team had any trouble in the opening round here in Reno as Nevada blasted Idaho 87-71 and New Mexico State had no problems with San Jose State winning 90-69.  These two teams met just a week ago here in Reno and the Wolfpack won in a shootout 100-92, led by Brandon Fields ‘career high 32 points.  If Nevada is getting scoring in bunches from players besides Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson then it’s going to be a long night for New Mexico State.  The Aggies need to get some big numbers out of guards Jahmar Young and Jonathan Gibson, and find someone to slow down Luke Babbitt.  Expect another high scoring, and fast-paced matchup between these two, with the winner moving on to face Louisiana Tech/Utah State for the championship tomorrow night. The game is on ESPN2 so tune and follow along with us on RTC Live.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC Live: Pac-10 Semis – Cal vs. UCLA; Washington vs. Stanford

Posted by rtmsf on March 12th, 2010

We’re back at the Pac-10 Tournament for semifinal Friday night at the Staples Center.  Unlike most of the major conference tourneys that get to the semifinal stage, only one team — the Cal Bears — is safely into the NCAA Tournament.  The other three — UCLA, Washington and Stanford — are looking to steal an automatic bid from another team somewhere out there sweating in bubble-land.  For UCLA and Stanford in particular, it’s win or go home, as both teams come into tonight with losing records and will end their season with the next loss.  In the first semifinal, Cal will face UCLA in an interesting battle in that even though the Bears are the top seed, UCLA will undoubtedly have the home crowd advantage.  Ben Howland teams rarely miss the postseason and the two teams split the season series, so we should expect the Bruins to come hard at the Bears in this one tonight.  In the second game, Washington is one of Zach Hayes’ last four teams in at this point, but the Huskies don’t want to put the committee in a tough position with a cinderella like Stanford continuing on to the Pac-10 championship game.  For what it’s worth, Lorenzo Romar’s team found the matchups with Stanford very beneficial, beating the Cardinal by 17 in Palo Alto and 33 in Seattle.  Join us tonight for a couple of key games with respect to the bubble picture on RTC Live!

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC Live: Mountain West Semis – New Mexico vs. SDSU & BYU vs. UNLV

Posted by rtmsf on March 12th, 2010

No offense to the teams that got sent packing on Thursday, but these are the semis we really wanted anyway, clearly the four best teams in the conference advancing to square off with a date in the championship game awaiting. In the first session, top-seeded New Mexico got a huge performance by conference player of the year Darington Hobson but still had to hold off a pesky Air Force team, and they’ll advance to face a San Diego State team that had to get two late free throws by junior point D.J. Gay to keep their at-large NCAA tournament hopes alive. In the late session, BYU’s junior guard Jimmer Fredette scored a MWC Tournament record 45 points, including 30 in the second half to pull away from a game TCU squad and they’ll square off with a UNLV team that pulled away from Utah late playing in front of what is ostensibly a home crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center. Both of these matchups were a wash in the regular season, with the home team winning each game, but three of those four games were down-to-the-wire contests, with both Aztec/Lobo matchups very even games. We hope you’ll join us for what could be two classic, intense examples of the best March has to offer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

RTC Live: Big 12 Semis – Kansas vs Texas A&M and Baylor vs Kansas State

Posted by jstevrtc on March 12th, 2010

We’ll try it again from Kansas City with a great doubleheader.  It’s the Big 12 semifinals with the Jayhawks taking on Texas A&M in the first one, and in the very same window about a half hour later, we’ve got Baylor against a K-State team that yesterday looked like the best team in the tournament.  Frank Martin joked yesterday about how he’s excited that he finally gets to use a second suit in the Big 12 Tournament, so we’ll see how it works for him.  More importantly, the quick turnaround is something each of these four teams is going to have to get used to in a few days.  No Cinderellas in the Big 12 Tournament this year — these are just four semifinal teams that are grinding it out for the championship of the best conference from this past season.  We hope you’ll join us, and by all means, give us a comment or two.  Let’s have some fun.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story