You are using an old web browser. Such browsers do not support modern web technologies and do not offer proper security. Please update your browser or download one of the others suggested for free.
Mozilla Firefox |
Google Chrome |
Internet Explorer |
Close to sweeping the board yesterday and a nice day. Lets make it happen once again today. Riding with North Carolina State as my sleeper pick of the tournament so hopefully they get it started also.
Stop by and like our facebook page at www.facebook.com/spookyexpress
IOWAS STATE +1
NORTH CAROLINA STATE -3
KANSAS STATE -5
Strong leans to CREIGHTON, NORTH CAROLINA and MIAMI as well.
Notes from each of Thursday's NCAA tournament games
-- Michigan State 65, Valparaiso 54-- Spartans grabbed 20 of their own 35 missed shots; their subs almost blew the 9.5-point spread in last minute. This game was nowhere near as close as the final score says.
-- Memphis 54, St Mary's 52-- Tigers blocked 12 shots, led by 15 late in the first half, then held on for dear life in last minute, as St Mary's got a shot to tie game. Congrats to Josh Pastner on his first NCAA tournament win; its a long way from sitting on a cafeteria table at Poinciana HS in Florida with me, watching an AAU game when he was an assistant coach at Arizona.
-- Louisville 79, North Carolina A&T 48-- Jesse Jackson was in stands at this game; kind of doubt he was rooting for Pitino. Hope he didn't take A&T and 26.5 points. If you added the first 10:00 of each half in this game, it was 43-13 Louisville.
-- Colorado State 84, Missouri 72-- You start five seniors, you're a live dog in this tournament. Dorian Green is a tough guy; he scored 26 points in 34:00 on a gimpy ankle. Only win in four games for MWC so far.
-- Syracuse 81, Montana 34-- This is all Weber State's fault; Wildcats were better than Montana this year, but couldn't finish the deal in Big Sky title tilt, so banged-up Griz got fed to an angry Syracuse squad here. This was ugly.
-- California 64, UNLV 61-- Dave Rice is going to have a rough summer in America's favorite city; Rebels have now lost last four first round games, and they were favored in all four (Rice only coached last two). He absolutely has to have at least one quality PG on his roster next year.
-- Marquette 59, Davidson 58-- Wildcats led 54-48 with 1:10 left; when the players and coaches on Davidson are in their 80's, they'll think of this game and be sad. Marquette hit last three 3's after being 1-12 from arc. Just one of those losses that will linger for weeks, months....
-- Butler 68, Bucknell 56-- Bison led 37-31 with 10:17 left, but then Butler put it in another gear, blew by them, outscoring Bucknell 25-5 on foul line.
-- VCU 88, Akron 42-- I'm not kidding; Saturday's game with Michigan might be most interesting matchup of the whole tournament. Not sure last night's walkover helped VCU very much, other than the win. This was ugly.
-- Michigan 71, South Dakota State 56-- Four Jackrabbits played the whole 40:00, and the fifth played 32. Predictably, they faded late.
-- Wichita State 73, Pitt 55-- Shockers were 33-41 from foul line and were the more physical team. Jamie Dixon is 11-9 in NCAAs at Pitt, despite being 3-seed or better in five of his nine NCAA appearances. Not really sure why USC would want to shell out big bucks for his services.
-- Gonzaga 64, Southern 58-- Survive. Advance. This game was 56-56 with 3:46 left. Southern was 10-23 outside arc, 8-23 inside it. Zags hit two huge 3's to pull ahead- they'll need to play better against Wichita State.
-- Arizona 81, Belmont 64-- Bruins are good example of how gap between the haves and have-nots has widened. Belmont wins its league most years, but only once have they come close to winning a NCAA tourney game, the gap in talent is just too wide.
-- Harvard 68, New Mexico 62-- Call me paranoid, but not thrilled about a coach signing a lucrative contract before a tournament; your lower-income kids start looking around, asking, "Where's mine?" and they play lousy and lose to an Ivy League team. Go figure.
-- Oregon 68, Oklahoma State 55-- Dana Altman was about the 7th choice to become Oregon's coach, but he's damn good. I'm thinking Ducks might be the best 12-seed in tournament history.
-- Saint Louis 64, New Mexico State 44-- Billikens are very good, plus they have players named Jordair Jett and Grandy Glaze-- tremendous names!!!!! SLU is very good defensively, took Aggies out of their game.
Every year when the tournament starts I say to myself, self you are not to bet on Pittsburgh since Jamie Dixon cannot coach in the tournament, dont bet on New Mexico cause Coach Alford is horrible when it comes to March and dont bet on Georgetown cause they are a fake. And this year I had all 3 advancing on a couple of my brackets. Im an idiot. Gl today
Georgetown Hoyas' recent history in NCAA tournament.......
2006-- Beat Northern Iowa/Ohio State as #7 seed, lost 57-53 to Florida in Sweet 16 (+2.5). Gators were the #1 seed.
2008-- Beat UMBC in first round as 2-seed, lost 74-70 to Davidson (-4.5) and Steph Curry in second round. Wildcats were a 10-seed.
2010-- Lost 97-83 as 3-seed to 14-seed Ohio 97-83; they were last #3 seed to lose in first round before New Mexico lost Thursday.
2011-- Lost 74-56 (-5.5) as 6-seed to VCU, the 11-seed.
2012-- Beat Belmont by 15 in first round, then lost 66-60 (-4) to NC State in second round. Wolfpack was an 11-seed.
2013-- #2 seed, lost 78-68 (-13) to Florida Gulf Coast, the 15-seed.
-- Duke 73, Albany 61-- Great Danes made 9-15 from arc, won majority of loose balls, still lost by 12. Mike Krzyzewski actually did a TV interview at halftime -- can't remember the last time I saw him do that.
-- Creighton 67, Cincinnati 63-- Bluejays outscored Cincy 22-4 from foul line, made 7-15 from arc. Big East teams were 3-5 in first round of tourney. Creighton becomes a Big East team next year. Sometimes I watch Cincinnati play and I wonder if they use a basketball when they practice.
-- Ole Miss 57, Wisconsin 46-- Badgers shot 25.4% from field; Marshall Henderson went nuts in second half, then again on Twitter after. Henderson is wacky, but where would the Rebels be without him?
-- LaSalle 63, Kansas State 61-- Explorers led 44-26 at half, survived great comeback to win what was basically a road game in Kansas City. K-State was 9-17 from foul line, not good in a 2-point game.
-- Miami 78, Pacific 49-- Big divide in the 15-seeds; Iona has athletic guys who are nuisance if they play well; Albany was really a 16-seed but they had too many of those. Pacific overachieved to win conference tourney in a fading Big West. FGCU should've been seeded higher, a lot higher.
-- Illinois 57, Colorado 49-- Game of tremendous runs by both sides; Illini advanced on a day when they led by 16 at half, then trailed by 5 with 8:58 left. Former Illini coach Bruce Weber got upset in first round at K-State, so I'm guessing Illini fans happier with the coach they have now.
-- Temple 76, NC State 72-- Wolfpack lost despite making 64.1% of shots inside arc; they trailed by 16 at half, fought back, but a disappointing year ends in a fitting way. Wyatt was 7-8 inside arc, 12-14 on line, 1-7 outside arc as he scored 31 points to lead the Owls.
-- Indiana 83, James Madison 62-- Hoosiers crushed JMU, who loosened up in last 10:00, played better to cover spread- they scored half their 62 points in last quarter of the game. Glorified workout for the Hoosiers.
-- Florida Gulf Coast 78, Georgetown 68-- When players in this game were born, FGCU didn't exist yet. Hoyas get beat by a double digit seed for fifth year in row. Eagles only have two seniors in their rotation, too.
-- San Diego State 70, Oklahoma 55-- Steve Fisher is now 9-1 in his last ten games with Lon Kruger. Suddenly, Aztecs find a 15-seed in between them and a trip to the Sweet 16. MWC teams are 2-3 in tournament.
-- Ohio State 95, Iona 70-- Iona is fun to watch, but they got dismantled by a methodical Buckeye team that is as athletic as the Gaels. This kid Craft is a great college player, does all little, unglamorous things teams need to win.
-- Iowa State 76, Notre Dame 58-- Irish have slowish big men who look like they've never seen a pick-and-roll before, at least not run by great athletes. Cyclones were up 12 at half, pulled away from there. Second year in row Fred Hoiberg beat a Big East team in first round.
-- Florida 79, Northwestern State 47-- Deep Gators were bad draw for the Demons, who play 10 guys and try to wear you down. Game was 42-34 at the half, degenerated late. I'm still a believer in Florida going to Final Four.
-- Minnesota 83, UCLA 63-- There are rumors that Floyd Mayweather bet $7M on UCLA in this game; not sure if he knew Jordan Adams was out or not, but Mayweather could've played better himself than the Bruins did.
-- North Carolina 78, Villanova 71-- Tar Heels made 11-21 from arc as they handed the Big East yet another loss. Now UNC plays Kansas, where their smaller lineup is going to get a severe test. Over last four years, #1 seeds are 10-5-1 vs spread in this second round.
-- Kansas 64, Western Kentucky 57-- Jayhawks looked lifeless, so whatever ailed them in TCU loss is still inside them, somewhere. Next up is an old pal, Coach Roy Williams. If Kansas plays like they did Friday, Tar Heels will be glad to take their place in the Sweet 16.
I am absolutely so torn with today's games. Emotionally I have a huge rooting interest but my logic says different. So will only post a couple plays for now and see if logic or emotion pan out. Buy the point as always.
Many more leans but want to see how the early game plays out.
Sunday's List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday.......
13) Wichita State 76, Gonzaga 70-- Naysayers are going to kill Gonzaga for losing, but this was an excellent game; Shockers made 14-28 from arc, seven in row at one point. When a good team hits 14-28 from the arc, they're going to win. Kind of wish Zags' 7-footer Kelly Olynyk would take less 3's.
12) Marquette 74, Butler 72-- Buzz Williams 2013, meet Jim Valvano 1983, as Marquette has survived two near-death experiences to advance to Sweet 16- they were down six with 1:10 left Thursday, were down 8 at half in this game Saturday. Tough minded group of kids.
11) Louisville 82, Colorado State 56-- Cardinals were so aggressive in this game on defense, it seemed like they had 8-10 guys on court at times. This is a very good Colorado State team that started five seniors- they had no shot.
10) Michigan 78, VCU 53-- Someone posted a stat on Twitter that VCU is 1-7 this year against teams that turn the ball over less than 18% of time, and Wolverines are #1 in country protecting the ball, so this makes sense. Guess the ease in which Michigan won is surprising.
9) Michigan State 70, Memphis 48-- Tom Izzo has a great record in these quick turnaround games; Spartans held Memphis to 29.7% from floor. Pod system the NCAA put in is to get bigger crowds, but it has made it so much harder to post a second round upset. These two games were true road games; seems like its too big an advantage for the bigger schools.
8) Izzo, by the way, has an amazing 30-4 tournament record when his team is the better seed.
7) Syracuse 66, California 60-- Orange made 26-41 on foul line playing in enemy territory in San Jose. Not sure what the deal is with Cal's best scorer, Allen Crabbe; seems like he's near a meltdown every time a call goes against him. Teammates are always talking to him, putting an arm around him. For record, Cal was 12-19 from the line in this game, Crabbe 3-9 from floor.
6) Oregon 74, Saint Louis 57-- Billikens picked bad time to play their worst game of the season. How did Arselan Kazemi get eligible right away after he bolted from Rice? He's from Iran, so he doesn't have any sick relatives on the west coast. Kazemi has played very well the last few weeks.
5) Arizona 74, Harvard 51-- Terrible game, but not as bad as four Harvard Quiz Bowl titles being vacated because they cheated. Thats the thing about people who always tell you they're elite; they don't believe it themselves, so they have to cheat to make sure they seem that way. Nitwits.
4) UCLA is going to fire Ben Howland today; Bruins were 25-10 this year, are 233-107 under Howland, with couple Final Fours, but they haven't been seeded higher than 6th in any of the last five tournaments, because he can't keep players in his program, either they're disgruntled and transfer, or they do well and bolt for the NBA. Same problem Texas is having.
3) Meanwhile, Howland disciple Jamie Dixon turned down USC, signed an extension with Pitt until 2023; if the Trojans would hire Dixon, why not try and see if Howland would stay in LA and coach at USC? I'm sure the brass at USC would be pretty happy if the Trojans went 25-10.
2) In five of its last seven games, Louisville has forced turnovers on 30.9% or more of opponents' possessions; this is postseason ball, impressive.
1) It dawned on me that Butler and Denver will both be playing in their third different basketball league in a three-year span next year. Butler and Denver, not Louisville-Missouri-Syracuse. College sports are crazy.