Saturday, March 15, 2008

College Basketball 3/14

Today at noon Kentucky and Georgia play their SEC quarterfinal game that was delayed due to the storm in Atlanta last night with the winner advancing to play Mississippi State in the second semifinal tonight at 8:30. The remainder of the tournament will be played at Alexander Coliseum on the Georgia Tech campus due to the damage sustained to the Georgia Dome. The SEC was forced to make this decision in order to finish the tournament by 6pm Sunday so they can get their automatic qualifier in to the selection committee before the tournament field is announced. Another tough break for Kentucky in a season filled with them, but if the Wildcats can take care of Georgia, they would probably lock up that at-large bid, especially with how other bubble teams are fairing.

Minnesota 59, Indiana 58
This one was a no brainer. Minnesota, who had been up by as much as 16 in the first half, was up two with 3.4 seconds left when they fouled Eric Gordon. Gordon missed the first free throw, and as a result had to miss the second one. As the ball hung on the rim, DJ White worked his way around two Gophers for a tip-in while drawing a foul. He missed the free throw, but the rebound came back to him and he got fouled again with 1.5 seconds left. White missed the first, then hit the second, giving Indiana a one point lead and setting the stage for Blake Hoffarber's miraculous shot. Minnesota a 23 point, 13 rebound, 4 block performance from DJ White.

Mississippi Stat 69, Alabama 67 OT
Lost amidst all the drama with the storm in Atlanta was the fact that the game being played was exciting. Alabama sent the game into overtime when Mykal Riley hit a three that spun around the rim and off the backboard before finally dropping through. But with 2:11 left in OT the storm hit, delaying the game for an hour and three minutes. When play resume, Mississippi State pushed the lead to five, but it was only two after Ben Hansbrough missed two free throws. Mykal Riley got another look at a three to win it, but it was halfway down and came back out.

Roy Hibbert, Georgetown
After not scoring a point in Georgetown's win over Villanova in the Big East quarters, Hibbert exploded for 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks yesterday in the Big East semis against West Virginia. 10 of Hibbert's 13 rebounds were on the offensive end. Hibbert just overmatched the soft West Virginia front line. Georgetown has looked very impressive in their two Big East tourney wins, winning by an average of 18 points. They may be the most balanced team in the country right now (sorry Xavier) - they won by 19 against Villanova by hitting 17 three's without Hibbert scoring, then won by 17 against West Virginia with Hibbert going off while hitting just 7 three's. They are getting hot at the right time.

Brook Lopez, Stanford
The short-haired Lopez twin went for 30 points and 12 rebounds, along with 3 steals, in a 75-68 win over Washington State in the Pac-10 tournament. It wasn't only Brook Lopez's performance offensively, but defensively as well - he held Washington State's center Aron Baynes to 2 points and 4 rebounds on just 1-3 shooting in 30 minutes. The Cardinal advance on to the Pac-10 finals where Lopez will match-up against UCLA all-american Kevin Love.

Honorable Mention
Michael Beasley, Kansas State (25 pts, 9 rebs, 3 blks), Wayne Chism, Tennessee (23 pts, 7 rebs, 5 blks), Devon Downey, South Carolina (26 pts, 5 rebs, 5 asts, 5 stls), Demitri McCamey, Illinois (26 pts, 7 rebs, 6-6 3's), Drew Neitzal, Michigan State (28 pts, 5 rebs), Mark Tyndale, Temple (20 pts, 15 rebs), Kyle Weaver, Washington State (25 pts, 12 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls), DJ White, Indiana (23 pts, 13 rebs, 4 blks)

Texas A&M
Texas A&M held off Kansas State 63-60 to all but lock up a bid to the NCAA's. Dominique Kirk has 19 points including 5-6 shooting from deep, and Josh Carter knocked down two free throws with 7 seconds left to put A&M up three. The Wildcats missed two three pointers at the end of the game that would have tied it.

Temple, St. Joseph's
Temple knocked off Charlotte and St. Joe's beat Xavier as the two Philly schools advanced to face each other in the finals of the A-10 tourney. Temple was led by 20 points and 15 rebounds from Mark Tyndale as the second seeded Owls look to earn their first NCAA bid since 2001. Pat Calathes led St. Joe's with 24 points and 8 boards as the Hawks used a 15-0 run over the end of the first half and the start of the second half to push the lead to 35-20. Xavier didn't get closer than 5 the rest of the way.

The St. Joe's win probably puts them well into the NCAA's, but Temple probably should earn the automatic bid just to be safe. These teams split their regular season match-ups.

No comments: