Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Not just the Big East, the Big 12 is underway

Last year it seemed like every time you turned around Curtis Jerrells was hitting an off-balance 3 as his team pulled off a big victory. This year his numbers are only slightly worse than last year, but the big game player has definitely been missing. Jerrells was back on fire today against Nebraska shooting 8 of 10 and 3 of 4 on threes, but will he have his magic against Kansas tommorrow?

Nice halftime feature during the Nebraska vs Baylor game showing how Nebraska denies the post-feed despite having no tall players on the roster. But with Jerrells so hot, that strategy eventually failed. And by the second half, even Baylor's center Josh Lomers was dunking to complete a 5-5 night and Baylor advances.

I've really been a big fan of Nebraska this year with its streaky 3 point shooting and steals, but when a guard-led team can't make open threes against a zone defense, it is over.

Finally a TRUE bubble team in action

Providence did little to prove they deserved an NCAA tournament spot, struggling against DePaul, but that's not really fair. This game was all about 3 DePaul players playing well above their ability. First, as I mentioned yesterday, Will Walker remains on fire, scoring over 30 points. And Dar Tucker pitched in with 30 himself. Plus, a seldom used reserve was 3 of 3 from downtown, despite hitting only a hanful of threes all year. But the rest of DePaul's players didn't show up and these three wonderful performances were only enough to make Providence sweat.

With about 5 minutes left in the game, Providence finally took the lead, and as soon as they went up by 2, it was like a wrapper had been removed from the top of the basket. The lead was immediately extended to 8 points, and Providence was finally able to coast after a very stressful afternoon.