Live Blog: 2010 Sweet Sixteen, Day Two

7:04:  Not sure that it can get better than last night, but a man can hope, can’t he?

7:05:  Looks like the first game is between the team I dubbed the “new favorite” after the first two rounds against a coach whom I may add to the Izzo and Krzyzewski level of college coaches after this season.  You have to like Ohio St., but then again, I liked San Diego St. to beat Tennessee in “not an upset.”  I’m starting to think that Bruce Pearl can do anything, so who knows what is going to happen.  They key, obviously, for Tennessee is to control Evan Turner.  I actually think they can do that, so the key for OSU is to get someone else to step up.  Either Diebler or Lighty or Buford will have to play a strong second fiddle tonight.  I think at least one of them will (I’m guessing Buford), and I think Ohio St. moves on.

7:09:  Interesting to hear Sports Guy’s podcast the other day with Chris Titus (the 12th man on Ohio St., who is flat-out hysterical) that Evan Turner was a complete hot-head his freshman year.  I would never have guessed it because he seems relatively calm for a superstar of his caliber.  Just thought it was interesting.

7:11:  Exactly what I was saying last night…when there is a bad shot–out of the rhythm of the offense–you generally struggle in transition defense.  That just happened to OSU after a bad shot by Buford.  It happens way more than I ever realized.

7:14:  Steven Pearl is another Saul Smith, isn’t he?  He’s not very good, but he’s the coach’s son, so nobody says anything.

7:31:  Well, we have the other game underway (boy, can LaceDarius Dunn shoot, huh?).  I like Baylor a lot in this game because I think that, unlike Richmond or Villanova, they have a lot of size that they can run at Omar Samhan.  You know my love for the little guy, so I’ll be rooting for St. Mary’s, but I think that if both teams play their A-games, Baylor wins.  But, the talent differential is not that large.  If both teams play the way they played the first two rounds, St. Mary’s should win big.  St. Mary’s was one of the more impressive teams through two rounds, and Baylor struggled in two games that they should have won easily.  I think the key for St. Mary’s does not (surprisingly) have anything to do with Samhan.  It’s about guys like Mickey McConnell and Matthew Delovadova hitting shots.  If they hit outside shots, then Baylor will have to come out and then, in the second half, Samhan can make them pay.

7:42:  If Baylor shoots like they are right now, playing in Houston, they are a legit contender for the whole thing.  What a job by Scott Drew.  That program was absolutely done after the whole murder-coverup fiasco.  Now, they are on the doorstep of the Final Four.

7:52:  This does not look like the same St. Mary’s team that looked so incredible in the first two rounds.  They are in serious jeopardy of getting blown out of the gym right now.

7:53:  Meanwhile, how good does Tennessee look?  Ya, Doogan, Turner has been rather turnover-prone all year.  There is no way he plays the point at the next level, so I’m not sure it’s a huge issue, but still something that could hold him back.  Then again, Wall is a bit turnover-prone, as well, and they’re the consensus top two picks.

7:58:  Just saw a graphic that there have been 11 wins by double-digits seeds this year, after 9 last year.  Doesn’t it seem like there have been a TON more upsets this year?  I mean I guess I get it, in that last year, we got the “Cinderella” of Arizona to win twice, and this year’s biggest upset (UNI over Kansas) wouldn’t be counted in that stat, but still.  It surprises me that there have only been two more wins by double-digit seeds this year than last.

8:02:  Can you say “the moment is too big?”  That is what is happening in Houston right now.  I guess this is why CBS still refuses to break up the Sweet Sixteen.  They don’t want to chance having this as the only game on a Friday night.

8:21:  I know there are still 17 minutes left and the OSU lead is only 6, but this might be a big spot in the game for Tennessee.  They have to stay within striking distance to keep themselves from having to expend so much energy just to get back in the game at the end.

8:41:  Is it really 50-17 Baylor?

8:43:  I remember a time when Wayne Chism was just an athlete.  He has really become a skilled, complete basketball player.

8:44:  Just as I say that, he hits another long J.

8:51:  J.P. Prince is a big-money player.  I remember his freshman year when he just took over the tournament, after sitting out most of the season with a crazy tooth infection.  I love guys who step up in big spots, but where does he go at other times?  How does this guy average less than 8 points per game?

9:03:  You nailed it, Doogan, these are two great coaches engaged in a great chess match right now.

9:07:  Another HUGE shot by Turner, but a couple more JUST-AS-HUGE turnovers.  Wow…another great game.  What a tournament.

9:10:  That may have been the worst last possession I’ve seen since, well, Murray St. last week.

9:11:  So, let’s think about this for a minute now.  The Region that some “experts” called the most stacked region in tournament history will be represented in the Final Four by either the champion of the Missouri Valley, the 3rd place team in the Big Ten minus its best player, or the 3rd place team in the SEC Eastern Division minus its best player.

9:14:  As good as Turner is/was tonight, I think he may have tried to do too much in this game.

9:32:  I love how Seth Davis says “if they call it tight, it will be to Duke’s advantage.”  Doesn’t that just kind of sum up the last 15 years of “officiating” Duke games?

9:44:  Just when I thought Ali Farokhmanesh was the greatest name to come from this tournament, we are introduced to his dad, Marsollah Farokhmanesh.

9:59:  Well, just crashed on me, so I’m stuck watching “America’s Team” on the television network.  Forget my bracket, let’s go Purdue!

10:07:  Big foul there on Johnson.  They weren’t that deep of a team with Hummel, but now they really need Johnson and Moore on the floor as often as possible.  But, two on Johnson could be real important.

10:09:  Singler is such a unique player.  Of all the basketball I’ve seen, I can’t think of anyone that I would compare him to.

10:38:  Chris Kramer is like “that guy” that we all played pickup with.  You never walk away saying “wow, that guy is good,” but when you show up to the court the next day, you really want him on your team, and you don’t totally know why.

10:41:  What an ugly, ugly half of basketball.  The defenses have been pretty good, but the offenses have been really bad.

10:51:  I just want to retract/correct something I said earlier on the blog.  I said that Egelseder was just kind of a big body.  And, I have seen a decent number of UNI games this year, so I’m not sure why I thought that.  He has shown a variety of skills in this tournament.  He’s definitely better than just a guy at 7’0″, 285.  He’s a legit big man, which, in a conference like The Valley, makes him incredibly valuable.

11:02:  As if we needed another reason to hate Duke, but the UNI-MSU game is just getting good and we have to watch a brutal game just because Duke is in it.

11:13:  How great of a coaching performance has this tournament been for Matt Painter?

11:20:  Two tight games in the second half, we could be heading for double MADNESS here.

11:40:  How about Korie Luscious coming up HUGE again?

11:41:  And, how ridiculous is it that CBS is still playing the Duke game?!?

11:44:  Pretty ironic that the Cinderella of the tournament might go down because of missed free throws.  That’s a shame.  Great run, UNI, great run.

11:48:  I’m sure that Mr. Izzo has enough motivation, but in case he needs more, I’m going to say that if Sparty wins on Sunday, I will officially consider Tom Izzo as the best coach in college basketball.  Currently, I begrudgingly give that title to Coach K, but if Izzo wins tomorrow (probably even if he loses), I will officially change that opinion.  What a performance!  And, I think if Bruce Pearl wins, I will officially put him into my top 3 with Izzo and K.

11:50:  I always thought Nolan Smith was just okay, but he has simply dominated this game.

11:52:  It’s a real shame that we didn’t get to see what this Purdue team could have accomplished with a healthy Hummel.  They probably would have been my pick to win the title, and whether or not I was right about that, it would have been great to see what they could do.  Fortunately, it looks like they’ll get the big three (Hummel, Moore, and Johnson) back next year, so they should be able to make another run.

11:55:  Well, it looks like our Elite Eight is set.  Half of them were expected to be there, by their seedings (#1s Duke and Kentucky, #2s W. Virginia and K-State) and another one is no surprise (#3 Baylor).  Then, you have the elite-coached surprises in the Midwest (#5 Michigan St. and #6 Tennessee), and the one “little guy” still carrying the torch (#5 Butler).  If it’s one-tenth as good as the first three rounds have been, then we are in for a hell of a weekend.  Have a good night, friends…

This entry was posted in College Hoops. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Live Blog: 2010 Sweet Sixteen, Day Two

  1. Doogan says:

    Yeah, this looks like the Baylor I picked to win this region. Evan Turner is really going to have to work on cutting down on turnovers at the next level. He’s looked like a turnover machine in this one, and he’s found about 4 different ways to turn it over. Sometimes just being careless.

  2. Doogan says:

    Any time OSU gets contributions from anyone other than Turner, Diebler, Lighty, and Buford, that makes them really tough to beat, and they’ve gotten 9 points in this first half from Jeremie Simmons. But Tennesee has been really efficient at the offensive end.

  3. Doogan says:

    Man, the OSU defense has fallen apart. Layups and dunks for Tennessee almost every time down.

  4. Doogan says:

    Gotta foul Ohio st here if your the Vols, right Bry?

  5. bry says:

    haha, ya definitely

  6. Doogan says:

    God, it’s been a frustrating tournament for me in my bracket. So many close losses where I could’ve gotten some nice points. Great game though

  7. bry says:

    as bad as my bracket looked for a while, i am in a pretty good position now. i’m pretty sure that, now with the baylor and tennessee wins tonight, i might only need west virginia over kentucky tomorrow to win my office pool. that might be enough to win your pool, as well, but i’m not sure. it’s like the CTC–i’m just sitting here relying on the mountaineers. i’m actually kicking myself for wussing out on my baylor final four pick, but we’ll see what they bring on sunday

  8. Doogan says:

    N. Iowa’s going all the way!

  9. Doogan says:

    Best comparison I can think of for Singler is Nowitzki, but obviously he’s about 4 inches shorter and not nearly as good a shooter. Kind of an old-school offensive game, I feel like. Takes what the defense gives him, and a lot of mid-range shots, which is one of those ‘lost arts’ you always here about.

  10. Doogan says:

    I think I put Izzo #1 right now. I need to see it from Pearl for a bit longer before I can put him that high.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *