Sunday, March 21, 2010

Welcome to Bracketville, Population 9, Version 1.7

Dale’s 7-1 Sunday put him back in the lead…he was 14-2 on Friday…beware of Dale in the second day of the rounds.

Butler’s win over Murray State is all the more extraordinary if you consider these factoids: 1) Gordon Hayward missed nine of 13 shots, 2) Matt Howard missed four of his five attempts, and 3) Murray State had a rebounding margin of 39-22.

Didjaknow: Cornell freshman forward, Eitan Chemerinski can do the Rubik’s Cube in under two and a half minutes.

More Cornell: Cornell’s 7-foot center, Jeff Foote, played 31 minutes in game one without committing a foul. In the first two rounds, he played 64 minutes, scored 28 points, with just two fouls.

One of the great pleasures of watching the NCAA Tournament is discovering unheralded talent from unexpected places. Irrefutable evidence: St. Mary’s Omar Samhan.

When a women’s basketball school hosts the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, they have give the NCAA a gate guarantee. Last year, 11 out of the 16 schools did not reach their economic goals. Some schools lost between $30,000 and $40,000. That’s why Old Dominion was ecstatic to have UConn placed at their site.

Michigan State’s buzzer beater was a helluva game…four lead changes in the final 39 seconds. I could not be happier to see that hot-dog, Greivis Vasquez pack it in. Maryland’s yellow uniforms are truly ugly beyond words.

The sad news is
Kalin Lucas was in a walking boot with what Michigan State coach Tom Izzo says is likely a torn Achilles tendon.

Chris Kramer stepped it up a few notches, become an offensive force with 17 points and seven rebounds as Purdue won in overtime. Kramer is easily my favorite Big 10 player.

Even though I had Texas A&M in my bracket, I prefer Duke facing Purdue in the Sweet 16 rather than A&M in what would pretty much be a home game for them in Houston.

No team has shown more grit than Purdue without Robbie Hummel.

Known for their outside shooting proficiency, Cornell scored 32 points in the paint, out-rebounded Wisconsin 29-21, had 14-second chance points in a romp, and never trailed.

Xavier showed me they are tough as nails. If you can out-tough Pitt at the end of game, you’re no Forrest Gump. The matchup between Xavier and Kansas State will be a keeper.

With 1:32 remaining, Missouri still had a chance, as West Virginia only had a five-point lead. Turns out it was just the fastest 38 minutes and 28 seconds of basketball.

Once again, Duke’s defense carried the day. Cal was 39.6% from the field including 25% from the 3-point line. Good thing, as Duke offense was close to terrible. Nolan Smith scored from every angle known to man, and Brain Zoubek’s double-double made the difference. Jon Scheyer’s 1-11 shooting is troubling.

Evan Turner erupted when needed and led Ohio State over a Georgia Tech team that is playing its best basketball of the season. Tech’s ACC Tourney run and the two games at the dance were all solid. However, a couple of one and dones will mean another rebuilding year in 2010-2011. Tech coach Paul Hewitt sure can recruit, but they never remain long enough to develop into a cohesive unit.

Just another day at 2-3 zone office for “Cuse Control.” It wasn’t that they beat Gonzaga, it was how badly they beat them in every aspect…it was punishing.

Embrace the Madness.

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