Saturday, March 6, 2010

10 Thoughts on a Fantastic Saturday Afternoon

1. Even when you lead by 28, the referees still get booed. A referee blew the whistle and stopped the game to tie his shoe in the Georgetown – Cincinnati game and the crowd gave it to him.

2. Indiana freshman Jordan Hulls was supposed to be a top recruit and future star, but until now, I haven’t seen it. But today Hulls hit 8 three pointers as Indiana beat Northwestern.

3. Miami had the ball down 1 with about 15 seconds left in the game, but they couldn’t even get a clean look at the basket. It was an absolutely fabulous defense stand by a Florida St. team with the number one adjusted defensive efficiency in the land, according to

4. Sometimes star guards come up short, sometimes they shine:

Coming up short: Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds missed a wide-open three pointer to win the game against West Virginia.

Time to shine: Tied at 69 with Vanderbilt, South Carolina’s Devan Downey hit a three pointer that was the deciding moment in his game. Downey’s team held on at the free throw line for the win. Stat of Day: FT% of Devan Downey on the season – 85%, rest of team - 49%.

5. Tulsa doesn’t like playing in Memphis. Last year they scored 37 in the regular season at Memphis. Last year in the CUSA championship game they scored 39 at Memphis. And today they had only 15 points in the first half at Memphis. Luckily a late run got them to 53 in today’s game, but let’s just say Tulsa wouldn’t mind if the Big Ten expanded and the chain reaction caused Memphis to move to another league.

6. With Virginia trailing Maryland by 1 in the final minute, a close block/charge call went against a Virginia defender, Tony Bennett threw his jacket and was called for a technical. The technical sealed the game for Maryland and you could tell from Tony Bennett’s expression he knew it. Virginia just suspended Sylven Landesberg for academic reasons, but it is hard to preach discipline when your coach can’t contain himself at the end of the game.

7. Alex Oriakhi’s dunk to get to 2 in the final minute was not enough for UConn to catch South Florida.

8. Notre Dame forward Carleton Scott has been the man in the right place at the right time this season. He was next in line in the depth chart when Luke Harangody went down. He was in position for all the critical offensive rebounds against Georgetown. And trailing Marquette by three, he was in position in the final seconds. After a Notre Dame miss, the ball just found Scott in the chaos and he was able to knock down a buzzer beating three that sent the game to overtime. Notre Dame went on to win.

9. This truly was a fantastic early afternoon of basketball, but for all this excitement, probably the game of the day came in the neglected Pac-10 where USC’s Kevin O’Neil returned to Arizona to coach against the team he recently coached for. Arizona also featured three players that were going to attend USC prior to the coaching changes in Solomon Hill, Lamont “Mo Mo” Jones, and super-frosh Derrick Williams.

Arizona seemed to have the game in control at the end of overtime number one, but they couldn’t finish it, getting called for multiple travel calls, and failing to grab defensive rebounds. From the color-commentator whose name I missed, “Arizona hasn’t just left door open in this one, the door is off the hinges.”

But in the second overtime, strategy seemed to fail USC. After the third USC player fouled out, I said they had to go for the winning three pointer and not the tie. But they went for the tie, earned the tie at the free-throw line, and gave Arizona a chance for the game winner. Senior Nick Wise hit the shot as time expired to go out a hero on Senior Day.

10. My wife and I are now tentatively planning to head down to Richmond to see the semifinals of the CAA tournament tomorrow.