Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Will Upsets Rule the Day??

     Think the Madness is done?  Think again.  In this 75th anniversary edition of the Tournament; when the top ranked team in the land goes down in it's second game, you  get a  9 seed versus a 13 seed for a berth in the Elite Eight, and you get your very first 15 seed into the Sweet Sixteen...don't bet your rent money on it.
Here's a glimpse of what to expect:

     Marquette and the UMiami will get us started tomorrow night....and should set the tone early. The Warriors barely hung on in wins over Davidson and Butler by a total of three points.  'Win and Advance' is the theme here and Marquette is seriously tough enough and resilent enough to get the job done.  Reggie Johnson is out for Miami...the pressure cooker is turning up for the Hurricanes as the ACC champs move into the Regional Semis...unchartered territory.  Result:  Remember the name, Vander Blue.  Another narrow Warrior win.

     Arizona's overrated Wildcats have some new found confidence after dispatching Belmont and Harvard in the first two rounds.  Ohio State's 'goat turned hero' point guard, Aaron Craft, who scored the Buckeye's last seven points in a buzzer beating triumph over sharpshooting Iowa State; is the difference here.  Expect Craft to find his teammates open shots and for OSU to convert on them.  Says here it is a double-digit romp for the Buckeyes in a game that will be over by halftime.  

     The Indiana-Syracuse matchup is probably the most anticipated game Thursday night.  Syracuse played up to the level of their competition in a victory over Cal where neither team deserved to win.  Expect the Orange to again, play up to the level of their competition here. Indiana will be forced to hit some open jump shots against the famous matchup zone.  Expect the Hooisers to be up to the challenge...but not before some very nervous moments...maybe even an overtime.  Indiana prevails behind their effort from behind the arc; next up:  Marquette..

    Wichita State and LaSalle are both really glad to be here.  Coach Gregg Marshall's Shockers are coming off a well-earned upset of the West Region's top seed, Gonzaga.  They are 'junkyard dog' rebounders.  The Explorer's guard play has been fabulous, real matchup problems.  This is LaSalle's fourth game...they were in the 'First Four'.  It's also their last.  Wichita State makes a living from the free throw line and wins ugly to set up a shot at the Final Four on Saturday against Ohio State.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Where is 'Dunk City'??

   A look ahead @ 'The Sweet Sixteen- including a special insiders glimpse at America's Cinderella Team, the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles!!  Enjoy the Madness....Women's tourney continues tonight!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

'Survive and Advance' to the Sweet Sixteen!


WEST Regional:              

Ohio State 78, Iowa State 75
The Buckeyes forced 16 Cyclone turnovers, none more important than the last one.   Aaron Craft, who missed crucial free throws during Iowa State's rally; hit the big shot for the Shining Moment!        

LaSalle 76, Ole Miss 74
The Explorers used a rare game tying five point possession in a game that saw eleven lead changes to derail the SEC Tournament champions and earn a bid in the Sweet Sixteen as the only A-10 squad left.   

EAST Regional:        

Indiana 58, Temple 52.
Victor Oladipo's three pointer with 14 seconds left sealed the Hoosiers second half rally and a spot in the Sweet Sixteen.                     

Miami 63, Illinois 59
The ACC champion Hurricanes used a Shane Larkin three and a late questionable call by the refs to edge the Illini.  Senior Rion Brown had 21 points and five baskets from beyond the arc in the victory.

SOUTH Regional:  
Kansas 70, North Carolina 58.
Travis Releford had 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals to help rally the Jayhawks from a 30-21 halftime deficit to a win over former coach Roy Williams.

Florida 78, Minnesota 64.
Mike Rosario was 6/9 from three point range with 25 points as the Gators shot 80% in the 1st half to build a nice cushion and held on late to drill the Golden Gophers.

FGCU 81, San Diego State 71.
The Cinderella Eagles built a 19-point second half bulge by shooting 56% from the field; including a variety of alley-oop slams and three pointers in dispatching the MWC's final hope in tourney.  FGCU is the first 15 seed to make the Sweet Sixteen in the history of the tournament.

MIDWEST Regional:  
Duke 66, Creighton 50.
The Blue Devils return to the regional semi-finals for the 27th time behind Rasheed Sulaimon's team leading 21 points.  Duke battled foul trouble and less than stellar shooting, relying on defense for the win.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sweet Sixteen Invitations on the Line!


SOUTH Regional: 
Michigan 78, VCU 53.  
Outrebounded Rams 36-21 with four players in double figures led by Mitch McGary's 21 pts, 14 rebs.                                              

MIDWEST Regional:
Michigan State 70, Memphis 48  .
Sloppy game where Spartans pushed around young Tigers on the glass, outrebounding Memphis, 41-25. 

Louisville 82, Colorado State 56.
Russ Davis scored 27 points and the Tournament's overall top seed forced the Rams into 20 T/O's.

Oregon 74, Saint Louis 57.
Ducks hit 8 of 11 from behind the arc, led by freshman Damyean Dotson's 23 points.

WEST Regional:  
Arizona 74, Harvard 51.
Wildcats jumped to 30-9 lead as the Crimson missed 20 of their first 22 shots.

Wichita State 76, Gonzaga 70.
Shockers closed game on 16-7 run and was 14/27 from three point range!

EAST Regional: 
Marquette 74, Butler 72.
Vander Blue's 29 points and 4 steals extracts revenge on Bulldogs for Maui buzzer-beater!

Syracuse 66, California 60.
Orange shoots 41 free throws, making only 27, (63.4%)...neither team deserved to win.

Eight more games, eight more survivors tomorrow beginning at 12:15pm.

FGCU Stuns Georgetown, ISU Drills Irish!

SOUTH Regional:
FGCU 78, Georgetown 68.                                          
Florida Gulf Coast, participating in it's first ever NCAA tournament; became the seventh 15 seed to dispatch a 2.  The Eagles used a 21-2 second half run before holding on in the last two minutes.

North Carolina 78, Villanova 71.
Tar Heels coach Roy Williams gets win  # 700!  UNC faces William's old team, (1) Kansas next.

Florida 79, Northwestern State (LA.) 47
Demons, nation's highest scoring team, held to season low output against Gators.

San Diego State 70, Oklahoma 55.
Aztecs join Colorado State as the only two of five MWC teams to survive Second Round of Tournament.

Kansas 64. Western Kentucky 57.
Kansas trailed the 16th seed 31-30 @ halftime.  Jayhawks shaky at end.

Minnesota 83, UCLA 63.
Golden Gophers roll to make it three upsets for the evening session!

WEST Regional:  
Ohio State 95, Iona 70.
Buckeye's Sam Thompson had career high's of 20 points/10 rebounds in rout of Gaels.

Iowa State 76, Notre Dame 58.
Cyclones led by as much as 27 in first meeting between schools since 1979.                    

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ole Miss Upends Wisconsin, LaSalle, Temple Hold On!

     Three lower seeds picked up where Harvard left off last SEC Tourney Champion Ole Miss rallied to upset Wisconsin,  while A-10 powers, Temple and LaSalle held on tight to post victories.

WEST Regional:
 LaSalle 63, Kansas State 61.
 *LaSalle led by 18 points @ halftime!  
MIDWEST Regional:
Creighton 67, Cincinnati 63.
 *Blue Jays nailed 22/25 from the charity stripe!                                  
Duke 73, Albany 61.
*Lehigh upset 15/2 upset in the cards for the Blue Devils!

WEST Regional:  Ole Miss 57, Wisconsin 46.
Rebs held Wisconsin to season low 25.4% shooting for victory!                                

EAST Regional:
UMiami 78, Pacific U. 49.
*Long time Pacific Coach Bob Thomason's swan song.
 Temple 76, N.C. State 72.
A-10 POY/leading scorer Khafil Wyatt hurt his thumb, helped Explorers hold on.
Indiana 83, James Madison 62.
Five players in double figures for the Hooisers!
Illinois 56, Colorado 49.
Colorado rallied from a 16 point halftime deficit; only to allow Illinois to close it out on an 18-5 run.

More later...enjoy the Madness!

Great Take on What It's All About!

     Here is a link to an article you don't want to miss:  Barnabas Piper's take on exactly why we can't get enough of the Madness! Enjoy the games!!

Harvard Puts Away New Mexico


Evening Session Results from Thursday:

EAST Regional:  
(12) California 64, (5) UNLV 61.
(4) Syracuse 81, (13) Montana 34. 

WEST Regional:  
(6) Arizona 81, (11) Belmont 64.
*The six seeds are now 3-0.  UCLA will try to make it a perfect four against Minnesota tomorrow.
(14) Harvard 68, (3) New Mexico 62.

SOUTH Regional:
(4) Michigan 71, (13) South Dakota State 56.
(5) Va. Commonwealth 88, Akron 42.
*Akron was not only missing its suspended starting point guard, but had two other starters with a severe case of the flu.

MIDWEST Regional:  
(1) Louisville 79, North Carolina 48.
*Louisville had a NCAA record 20 steals as the tourney's number one overall seed.
(8) Colorado State 84 , (9) Missouri 72.

Action gets cranked up shortly after 12 noon EST today.  Watch for more Shining Moments!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Afternoon Session Produces a Few Surprises

Scores from the first full day's afternoon sessions at the NCAA Tournament:

Midwest Regional:  (4) Saint Louis 64, (13) New Mexico 44.
                              (6) Memphis 54, (11) St. Mary's 52
                     *St. Mary's missed a three at buzzer that was for the win.
                              (3) Michigan State 65, (14) Valparaiso 54
                              (12) Oregon 68, (5) Oklahoma State 55.
                    *Ducks upset, the final of the afternoon left only 5.5% of brackets on CBS still perfect after the first session of games. Crazy, hnh?!?

West Regional:       (1) Gonzaga 64, (16) Southern U. 58
                    *Bullodogs were holding on for their lives under one minute to go.
                              (9) Wichita State 73, (8) Pittsburgh 55.

East Regional:        (6) Butler 68, (11) Bucknell 56.
                             (3) Marquette 59, (14) Davidson 58.
                    *Davidson had a 4 point lead with less than 14 seconds left in the game.

     More big games on tap tonight as we continue down the 'Road to Atlanta'!  Enjoy the Madness!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Three Players that Could Rock Your World Thursday!

     Many of us know the 'big names' that we can expect to step up on center stage as March Madness get rolling early Thursday afternoon...Sports Illustrated's national Player-of-the-Year, Michigan's Trey Burke;  the Sports Illustrated cover boys this week: Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk, CBS's POY; Georgetown's remarkable Otto Porter, even the nation's second leading scorer...the coach's son Creighton's Doug McDermott to name a just a few...but here are three more to watch that you probably won't know as well...until Thursday.  

Sim Bhullar, 7'-5" Freshman Center, New Mexico State-  The WAC Tournament MVP averaged 10.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg. as the WAC Freshman of the Year; improving by leaps and bounds as the season progressed.  Bhullar propelled the 13th seeded Aggies to the WAC Tournament championship with a 16 point, 15 rebound, and 5 block shot effort, his second consecutive double-double.  Needless to say the young man from India via Toronto,Canada, alters shots as a rim protector.  New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies calls Bhullar a very cerebral player and an excellent passer with very good hands.  The Saint Louis Billikens will likely have to make some in game adjustments to account for him, many teams have gone to double teams when Bhullar gets the ball in the low post.

Steven Adams, 7'-0" Freshman Center, Pittsburgh-  A member of the Big East's All-Rookie team, Adams (7.1ppg, 6 rpg, 2 bpg) has been one of those big skill players that shines when he shows up, but spends entirely too much time bogged down in foul trouble on the bench.  The New Zealand native, the last of 18 children, has a older sister who is a two-time Olympic gold mealist in the shot put.  He is now recovered from an ankle injury suffered in practice in early March.  Adams came to campus as the most heralded recruit in the coach Jamie Dixon era.  If he stays on the court and gets some early touches and blocked shots, look out for his Panthers!

Nate Wolters, 6'-4" Senior Guard, South Dakota State-  The Summit League's POY scored 53 points against IPFW, tops for a single contest in DI this season.  Athletic with great anticipation and a great marksman that is good at creating his own shot, Wolters averaged 22.8 ppg and 5.7 apg for the Jackrabbits.  Wolters is a quiet midwestern kid who really doesn't like the spotlight; but the point guard is only the fifth player in DI history to amass 2000 points, 600 rebounds and 500 assists.  Teams will try to keep the ball out of the wizard's hands...good luck with that!!