Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blogging away the Saturday with BIAH

- A couple more games to get you caught up on:

  • Dayton 70, Temple 65: Dayton bounces back from a loss to Rhode Island at the buzzer to stay within a game of Xavier while Temple loses their second in a row to fall two games off the pace in the A-10. Chris Wright led the Flyers with 20.
  • Purdue 75, Ohio State 50: Purdue got 17 from Robbie Hummel and shot 64% in the second half as they dropped the Buckeyes to 8-8 in the Big Ten. OSU is talented this year, but they have now lost four of five and is in danger of missing the tournament again.
  • VCU 69, Georgia State 41: VCU go 14 from Larry Sanders as they stayed a game up on George Mason and Northeastern in the CAA.
- LSU is for real. After a 33-12 Kentucky run put the Wildcats up 54-44 with ten minutes to go, the Tigers came back on the strength of 15 points from Marcus Thornton (he finished with 23 points, 9 boards, and 4 assists). Tasmin Mitchell also added 21 and 8 for the Tigers. Patrick Patterson had 28 and for the Wildcats while Jodie Meeks had 24. Meeks struggled, however, going just 1-9 from deep.

This game also had the best finish of the day. With UK down 70-67, Darius Miller knocked down a three to tie it up with 27 seconds left, but Tasmin Mitchell responded at the other end with a three of his own with ten seconds to go. UK called a timeout and Jodie Meeks got a decent look from the top of the key, but he airballed it and LSU escaped with the win.

The big reason people gave for questioning LSU this year was their lack of impressive wins on the road. Does coming back from 10 down in Rupp quantify as impressive?

- Oklahoma got 22 and 18 from Blake Griffin as the Sooners were able to hang on against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders cut the lead to 50-49 with about eight minutes left, but the Sooners would outscore Tech 28-14 the rest of the way.

After going for 17 in the first half, Gerald Henderson was held to just four points in the second half, but Kyle Singler had 19 points in the second half as the Devils held off a furious rally from Tech to win 72-65. AD Vassallo finished with 26 points, scoring 21 in the second half. Tech tied the game up twice, but could never get the lead.

- Washington has clinched a tie for the Pac-10 title by beating Arizona at home 83-78. Jon Brockman had 19 points and 11 boards, and Isaiah Thomas added 19 for the Huskies. Jordan Hill turned an ankle, but managed to finish with 27 and 10. The biggest difference in this one was offensive rebounding. Jon Brockman had 7 of U-Dub's 19 offensive boards. Even with the loss, Arizona has the look of a tourney team, but only if Hill is ok (which it looks like he is).

- AD Vassallo has scored 10 straight points as the Blue Devils have had their lead cut to 56-53. Vassallo has 19 and 8.

- Halftime scores:
  • Purdue 32, Ohio State 26: JaJuan Johnson leads to Boilermakers with 10 points.
  • Dayton 36, Temple 26: Christ Wright has 8 points as the Flyers lead the battle for second in the A-10.
  • LSU 36, Kentucky 28: Tasmin Mitchell has 14 and 5 to lead the Tigers. Patrick Patterson has 14 and 7 and Jodie Meeks has 9 for the Cats.
- Hill is back in the game with a fresh tape job. Hill is clearly in pain as he is wincing going up and down the court. But the guy has some heart - he just took a charge. Washington has come back to take the lead 71-70. Chase Budinger and Nic Wise both have four fouls. UPDATE: Budinger is gone with 2:38 left. He had 20 and 8 boards.

- Jordan Hill just injured his left ankle. He took a turn around jumper over Matthew Bryan-Amaning and landed on the defender's foot, rolling his ankle over. Not sure how bad the injury is, but the side of his foot hit the ground and Hill immediately went down screaming. This is a huge loss of the Wildcats, because Hill is one of their big three and has been one on the best big men in the country this season. If he doesn't return and Arizona loses this game, the Cats are going to have a tough time reaching the tournament.

- Oklahoma has taken a 35-28 lead into halftime. Two weeks after putting up 40 and 23 on the Red Raiders, Blake Griffin had 14 and 10 in his first game back from a concussion.

Duke has gotten 17 points from Gerald Henderson and 11 from Jon Scheyer as they have opened up a 36-25 halftime lead against Va Tech.

- Two o'clock games have ended:
  • UConn 72, Notre Dame 65: Jeff Adrien had 25 and 9 boards and Hasheem Thabeet added 16, 11, and 8 blocks as UConn dominated the Irish inside. Harangody finished with 14 and 5 on 7-18 shooting.
  • Wake Forest 70, Virginia 60: Aminu, Teague, and McFarland all had 12 in the Wake win.
  • Florida State 73, Clemson 66: Toney Douglas had 23 points as the Seminoles moved into a tie with Wake Forest for third in the ACC.
  • Creighton 74, Illinois State 70: P'Allen Stinnett and Booker Woodfox both went for 20 as the Bluejays stayed in first in the MVC.
  • Davidson 99, Georgia Southern 56: Curry had 34 and 6 dimes.
  • Arizona is up 47-41 on Washington right now on the strength of 19 and 7 from Jordan Hill. If Washington wins out, they will be the outright Pac-10 champs.
- Good god. This is the first time I have seen LSU play when Chris Johnson isn't wearing a T-shirt under his jersey, and he is unbelievably skinny. He can't weigh more than 200 lb.

- Clemson is on a 27-12 run and has cut the FSU lead to 63-60.

- Texas A&M is making a serious push to be invited to the NCAA tournament. Today, they got 29 points out of Josh Carter as they beat Iowa State 87-69 at home. They are now 21-8, 7-7 in the Big XII. They are 35 in the RPI (before today's game) with a 4-5 record against the top 50 and wins over LSU, Arizona and Texas. Their SOS is 33, but they are just 3-6 on the road. I think the Aggies are in.

- Blake Griffin will be playing today. Nolan Smith won't.

- The biggest thing Thabeet needs to improve before he is a legitimate NBA prospect is keeping the ball high. The reason he didn't get an and-1 on that play was that he brought the ball down to his waste. He also has a terrible tendency to dribble the ball before he goes up to the rim.

- Of note - Tyler Hansbrough broke the career free throw record today in the Tar Heel's win against Georgia Tech.

- Some scores to get you updated on:
  • Memphis 58, Southern Miss 42: Robert Dozier had 18 points to lead the Tigers.
  • UConn 32, Notre Dame 30: Thabeet and Adrien have beeen tough to stop inside, but Notre Dame has been on fire from deep (6-15) to keep the game close.
  • Florida State 39, Clemson 27: The Seminoles got 10 points from Toney Douglas as they used a 31-12 run to open up the double digit lead.
  • Creighton 45, Illinois State 38: P'Allen Stinnett has 13 to lead the Bluejays.
  • Wake Forest 30, Virginia 24: Al-Farouq Aminu leads the Demon Deacons with 7 points.
  • Davidson 50, Georgia Southern 22: Curry has 20 as the Wildcats are putting it on GSU with less than a minute left in the half.
- Clemson scored the first six points, but FSU has gone on a 21-12 run since then to take a 29-18 lead. Toney Douglas leads the 'Noles with 8 points.

- UConn is up 27-20 on Notre Dame, and it is because of the great play of Hasheem Thabeet and Jeff Adrien. Combined, they have 20 points, 11 boards, 7 blocks, and are 9-9 from the floor. I really hope that some NBA scouts are watching this game, because Thabeet's offensive arsenal is really on display. Three shots inparticular stand out: he knocked down a 16 foot jumper; he was posting up Luke Harangody, and from about eight feet out on the wing, he quickly faced the rim and hit a little jumper; and then he got the ball about 12 feet from the basket on the right side of the floor, waited while he let the defense clear, then took two dribbles backing down Luke Zeller before faking a drop-step (over his right shoulder, towards the baseline) and went to the middle with a right-handed hook. I know that ND is a small team inside, but that was an NBA move.

- The noon games are done:
  • Georgetown 56, Villanova 54: This game was terrible to watch. A DaJuan Summers free throw put Georgetown up 50-42 with 10 minutes left in the game. The Hoyas then proceeded to score just two points over the next nine minutes. The win means that G'Town is back in the conversation as a bubble team despite being just 6-10 in the league. Their next two are against St. John's and DePaul, and if the Hoyas can avoid losing one of them, they will be 17-12 on the season with a top 50 RPI (maybe top 40 after beating 'Nova) and the toughest schedule in the country. With wins against top 10 teams Memphis, UConn, and Villanova, the Hoyas are going to be a difficult team to leave out. Are they any different than Arizona last year? For the Wildcats, this loss is pretty devastating to their hopes of landing a top four seed in the Big East tournament. They are now two games back of Pitt and Marquette (although, Pitt plays Marquette and UConn, and Nova holds the tie breaker between the two).
  • North Carolina 104, Georgia Tech 74: Tyler Hansbrough ended up with 28 and 10, Danny Green had 23, and Ty Lawson added 11 dimes.
  • Butler 58, Cleveland State 56: Ronald Nored hit a layup with 53 second left as Butler hung on the beat Cleveland State. Willie Veasley led the Bulldogs with a career high 16 points.
- Does either team want to win this game? Villanova turns the ball over with under a minute left down three, but then Jason Clark gives it right back.

- This is some terrible basketball to watch. Corey Stokes just hit a free throw to make the score 52-51 with a minute left - the first point in four minutes. Dante Cunningham did have a sensational block, however.

- And as I wrote that, Georgetown committed two turnovers against the Villanova press. They now have 22 for the game.

- DaJuan Summers has finally woken up. He has 16 points, scoring the Hoya's last six points, as Georgetown has opened up a 50-44 lead. As good as Summers is playing right now, it is the Georgetown defense that has been the difference. 'Nova is shooting just 34% from the floor.

- How about this for a stat: Georgetown has 18 baskets and 16 turnovers; Villanova has 11 baskets and 12 turnovers.

- Georgetown had opened up an eight point lead early in the second half, but Scottie Reynolds has led the Wildcats back. He scored six quick points and had an assist for a Corey Fisher three, which cut the lead 42-39. Turnovers are killing Georgetown. They are shooting 59% from the field, but have 15 turnovers. Two back-to-back led to run out lay-ups for 'Nova, which also caused Austin Freeman to pick up two quick fouls - his third and fourth.

- Some scores for you: G'Town is up 32-27 on Villanova, UNC is beating Georgia Tech 46-33, and Butler is up 38-32 against Cleveland State.

- The Hoyas are starting to heat up. They have hit six straight shots and opened up a 30-27 lead. Now if they can just stop fouling and turning the ball over. 'Nova has hit 13 of 16 free throws and G'Town has 11 turnovers already.

- Just flipped over to the UNC-Georgia Tech game, and the Heels are in the midst of a 13-0 run that blew open a two point game. Tyler Hansbrough, who has been far from the Psycho T we have come to know, already has 18 points and 6 boards with four minutes left in the first half.

- This is not a pretty basketball game. 9 total turnovers. G'Town is shooting 27%, Villanova is shooting 23%. Both teams look like they have come out of the gates a bit tight.

- Thanks for joining us on this Saturday!! We're starting out the day watching Villanova-Georgetown. Big game for both teams, as Georgetown is trying to keep their slim NCAA tourney hopes alive. Villanova, on the other hand, is trying to get into the top four of the Big East, thus giving themselves a bye for the first two rounds of the Big East tournament.

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