Thursday, March 13, 2008

College Basketball 3/12

Now that March Madness has officially begun with the Big East Tournament kicking off in Madison Square Garden, I'm going to give a daily review of the tourney games.

Dayton 63, St. Louis 62 OT
Marcus Johnson scored 8 of his 16 points in overtime, including the game winning basket with 32 seconds left, as Dayton, the #8 seed, held off St. Louis, the #9 seed. St. Louis came back from a 49-38 deficit with 6:29 left in regulation, tying the game on a three-pointer with 51 seconds left. In overtime, Danny Brown, who led the Billikens with 24 points, had a three-point play with 50 seconds left in overtime to give St. Louis a one point lead, and setting the stage for Johnson's shot. Brian Roberts, Dayton's leading scorer and 1st team A-10 player, was held to five. Dayton advances to play Xavier.

Charlotte 75, Rhode Island 73
Rhode Island, who took a five point lead into halftime, led for the entire second half until Charlie Coley, a 53% free throw shooter, hit two to tie the game at 73 with 37.7 seconds left. After a moving screen call against Kaheim Seawright with 8.2 seconds left, Charlotte's Michael Gerrity was fouled by Keith Cothran on a questionable call with .3 seconds on the clock. Gerrity hit both, and the #6 49ers knocked off the #11 Rams. Charlotte advances to take on UMass.

Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati
Cincinnati lost to Pitt, 70-64, but the game never would have been that close without the phenomenal performance of Vaughn. He went for 30 points and 6 assists, including 23 in the second half. At one point, he scored 20 consecutive points for the Bearcats, keeping them in it down the stretch with a combination of three-pointers and acrobatic shots in the lane. All told, he scored 22 of Cinci's last 24 points.

With all due respect to Colorado State's women's team (they were 4-27, 0-16 heading in the quarters of the MWC tourney where they knocked off #1 seed Utah, who was 27-4, 16-0 on the year), Villanova gets the nod for team of the day after they blew out Syracuse in what was essentially a NCAA Tournament elimination game. It looked as if Syracuse would run away with it early, leading 28-19 with just over a minute left in the first half, but Villanova scored the last 8 points of the half, and then proceeded to catch fire in the second half hitting 8 of 10 three's. Scottie Reynolds led the Wildcats with 22 points and 6 assists, and Corey Stokes had a career high 18 on 4-8 shooting from deep, including two from well beyond NBA range. The loss burst the Syracuse bubble, while Villanova looks to avenge a loss to Georgetown on a very questionable call. The Wildcats can take themselves off the bubble with a victory today.

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