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Tag: NCAA Bracket

NCAA Tournament – A quick look into the East 3rd round

by on Mar.22, 2011, under Basketball, Sports News

The NCAA East is corner of your bracket is probably looking fairly nice by this point of the season. At least it sure enough looks a lot prettier then the top right corner since the Southwest has been nothing short of a bracket buster. But things here have rolled as planned. Perhaps with the early exception of Marquette, the talented team the pulled off the 66-55 upset against Xavier, and then kept up their spectacular pace by breaking down the No.3 seed the Syracuse Orange. Other then that, Ohio State and Kentucky have won its respective legs and the North Carolina Tar Heels have done their part as well. Stick Around as we take you thru all the NCAA Basketball Action of this weekend.

Kentucky dances its way into the sweet 16

Well considering that on his last game he only scored one point, scoring 30 on his second NCAA Tournament game is quite a way to for Brandon Knight to make his statement: I’m good. Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a shocking news if you considered that Knight’s only basket in the earlier game was the winning point, that decisive shot that pushed Kentucky past Princeton in a heart stopping 59-57 win.

Kentucky was facing the West Virginia Mountaineers in the round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. Just 48-hours after he pushed Kentucky past the Ivy League team, Knight began an 11-0 run at the beginning of the second half to lift off the Wildcats into the next round. As if that was not enough, Knight was also in charge of completing 6 free throws in the last 5 minutes of the game, just as West Virginia was closing down the gap to only 2-point with 5:23 to play. But that was as close as the Mountaineers would get for the rest of the game. At the end, Kentucky pushed its pieces and managed to bring in a 71-63 win over WVU.

It has been a year of serious rebuilding for both Kentucky and West Virginia. Da’Sean Butler was the star of West Virginia’s Final Four team last season and Kentucky is getting back in shape after having five players -four freshmen- picked in in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft. That is including the No. 1 overall pick John Wall.

But they have sure enough made a heck of a job rebuilding. But they certainly don’t have an easy game ahead of them. Kentucky will face for the third time in the program history a number one seed in the Sweet 16. The two previous times the Wildcats played on this scenario, they lost by double-digits. As if that wasn’t enough of a bleak omen Kentucky is 0-5 all-time vs Ohio State in the Men’s Basketball Championship.

The trio of talented freshman  kept on giving Kentucky good results despite a couple drawbacks. Knight scored 14 of his the Wildcats’ first 21 points, and seemed to be in decent shape at the halftime break despite not getting much help from it’s other two freshmen starters Terrance Jones, Doron Lamb, and the Junior, Darius Miller. Despite his slow start, Jones finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Marquette stuns Syracuse and strolls into the Sweet 16

The Marquette Golden Eagles are proving that what they did to Xavier was nothing out of the ordinary. Guided by the spirited head coach Brent Williams, who’s post-game celebrations are quite a show, the Eagles keep on proving to be a menace to the big schools.

With a flawless performance on Sunday by Darius Johnson-Odom who recorded 17 points, 4 assists and 3 steals, the Marquette Golden Eagles are moving into the round of 16 for the first time since 2003. That time they had Dwayne Wade to guide them into the Final Four. This time around it seems that if someone is going to do this, it would be Johnson-Odom who could guide the Golden Eagles past the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The last time Marquette played North Carolina in the NCAA was back in 1977. But it was a very different scenario as they were playing for the 1977 championship game. Marquette won the national title. And we can assure you that every Golden Eagle knows the 77’ team.

Once again the Syracuse Orange had trouble advancing to the Sweet 16 for the third straight season.  Four different times has the Orange set itself in place to earn a 4th consecutive ticket into the Sweet 16 dance, and they have failed to do so in each of them.

Odom hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to play that pushed Marquette to a 66-62 win over the Syracuse Orange. It was a typical Big East game, and had all the ingredients that make these games such an amazing show. Now they’ll have a very rough time facing No.2 North Carolina on March 25th, but there are plenty of arguments to believe that they could pull off yet another upset.

The North Carolina Tar Heels survive the Washington Huskies

It was a fast paced, energetic and close game. The Washington Huskies were fighting for a chance to play in the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in their past five tournament appearances. But the North Carolina Tar Heels proved exactly why they are always a menace once the madness of March begins.

The Huskies are a strong team. They are really making a good impression in the last few years. But it is hard to play against a team with the legacy and the talent of the North Carolina Tar Heels. Just to really give you an impression of how these two teams compare with 18 wins in the NCAA Tournament, Washington is just now matching the number of appearances the Tar Heels have made in the Final Four.

Still, you have to give it up for the Huskies. As one of their players put it, what they lack in tournament experience and legacy, they make up with heart. Terrence Ross scored 19 points and Matthew Bryan-Amaning added 14 for the seventh-seeded Huskies. They sure enough had a chance. North Carolina’s star guard Isaiah Thomas wasn’t having his best game ever and the hostile crowd was certainly on their favor. It was a good try, but it wasn’t good enough.

Tyler Zeller scored 23 points, Harrison Barnes added 22 for North Carolina who survived the last 60 seconds of an impressive game that were filled with questionable calls and have now earned its record-breaking 22nd chance to play the round of 16 in the NCAA.

Ohio State is still the team to beat

The Buckeyes were facing the George Mason Patriots in the round of 32, and they didn’t really seem to have much trouble proving that they have exactly what it takes to win their first national championship since 1960. George Mason took on an early lead of 11-2 enjoying that sort of cold late start suffered by most every player in Ohio State. The Patriots bench even went on to mock freshman Jared Sullinger, who was clearly frustrated with the Buckeyes subpar first 5 minutes.

But Sullinger had no need to get so upset. In a matter of minutes the Buckeyes got ahead in the scoreboard and with impeccable shooting from outside the perimeter left absolutely no chances for George Mason to pull off an upset. At the end, the Ohio State Buckeyes pulled a very fine 98-66 whooping of the George Mason Patriots.

Truth is, the Ohio State Buckeyes were flawless. Yes they weren’t playing a top-ranked team but they just made it all look too easy. Just take a look at these stats: David Lighty made all seven of his 3-pointers and scored 25 points. Sullinger got pass his initial anger and with William Buford added 18 points apiece. Ohio State had no mercy makings 16 baskets from outside the 3-point line while again showing that they are the No.1 favorite to win the NCAA Tourney.

The Ohio State Buckeyes’ next game is sure going to be something. They will meet the Kentucky Wildcats in what promises to be an epic battle on Friday night. Ohio State is 5-0 against the Wildcats in NCAA Tournament matchups, but they shouldn’t take too much risks, as Kentucky has proved to be a solid all-around team. 

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NCAA Tournament – A quick look into the Southwest 3rd Round

by on Mar.22, 2011, under Basketball, Sports News

Take a quick look at your NCAA Bracket. Check out the teams you filled in for the top right corner. It’s probably starting to look bleak. At least ours is. Perhaps it all started with Richmond upsetting Vanderbilt in the 2nd round. It was a close match but at the end 12th seeded Richmond pulled off the upset against No. 5 Vanderbilt by 69-66. Or perhaps it was Morehead State going over the No.4 seeded Louisville Cardinals with a heart stopping 61-62 win. Yeah, there was something quite magical about playing in the Mile-High City of Denver, as it was a great boost for the performance of the underdogs.

But perhaps the biggest surprise in this corner of the bracket had to be no other then VCU. Even we have to accept that at fist we had a strong belief that VCU’s chances of surviving in the Tourney were very slim. Ok, now let’s be clear on this: we were fairly sure that Virginia Commonwealth had no reason to be in the NCAA Tournament – but probably you did too.

VCU defeats Purdue and proves its many detractors wrong

And yet, surprise-surprise, VCU is still going strong and has left behind, USC, Georgetown and Perdue on its way into the NCAA Basketball’s Sweet 16. And to put it all into the right perspective, Virginia Commonwealth’s game against the Purdue Boilermakers was their 3rd game in 5 days. But they didn’t even seen to break a sweat.

VCU outplayed the Boilermakers by 94 to 76 to earn their first ticket ever into the round of 16. The Rams are the 4th team coming from CAA to make it into the Sweet 16. The Rams must now travel to San Antonio, Texas to meet the 11th Florida State on Friday in the first NCAA tournament game matching a No. 10 seed against a No. 11 seed.

Bradford Burgees scored 23 point for the Rams while Jamie Skeen added 13 points and freshman Juvonte Reddic had 12. The Rams shot for 57 percent and were outstanding passing the ball. Point Guard Joey Rodriguez was a key-player recording 12 points and 11 assists helping VCU finish the game with 26 assists and just 4 turnovers.

Florida State outplays Notre Dame

The upsets keep on coming in the NCAA Tournament. Florida State University pulled out one of the best upsets in recent history beating down the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 71-57 while making it into the round of 16 for the first time since 1993 and the 4th time in school history.

We are certainly experiencing a bracket buster in the NCAA Southwest. Considering that 12-seed Richmond kept on going strong and defeated Vanderbilt, there are now three double-digit seeds in the same region playing their hearts out on the Sweet 16 for the first time since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

Notre Dame was yet another disappointment for the Big East which this year took in a record-breaking 11 teams into the NCAA tournament. Now the Fighting Irish hold a 1-4 record in round of 32 games under Mike Brey and are now 0-8 all-time against ACC teams in the NCAA tournament.

Florida State now faces upstart Virginia Commonwealth in the Southwest regional semifinals Friday in San Antonio. On the other hand, this was yet another embarrassing moment for Notre Dame. The fighting Irish came in strong as a No.2 ranked team. This is the best ranking Notre Dame has received since the 1981 season when guided by Digger Phelps the team was also the No.2 ranked team. And yet once again, like it has happened in the last two decades (with the exception of the 2003 season) Notre Dame was sent home after the first weekend.

The Richmond Spiders took over Morehead State

The Spiders were brilliant as underdogs, taking down Vanderbilt in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Seeded 12 in the Southwest, for Richmond pulling a 66-69 win over the 5th seeded Vanderbilt was one heck of a stunner. On the third round, the Spiders faced Morehead State which had earned a ticket defeating Louisville in the last play of the game. Richmond was a better seed and a 4-point favorite against the Morehead State Eagles and they again proved not only they are a splendid underdog but a voracious and cruel favorite.

The Richmond Spiders were expected to win it. They were expected to win it by 4 points, not by 17. They completely crushed Morehead State 65-48 and advanced into the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1988. Richmond’s head coach Chris Mooney was clear about this: it was a good win but there shouldn’t be too much celebration: the team needs to get ready for the next one. Justin Harper had 19 points for the Eagles while the big man from Morehead State, Kenneth Faried was basically outplayed by a very rough and persistent defense.

Head coach Rich Mooney was well aware of the fact that Faried was an essential part of Morehead State’s relative success in the NCAA Tournament, and he took extra measures to stop him down. Richmond focused its defense on slowing down Faried having two (and sometimes three) defenders guarding him on each and every play. Faried, nevertheless, managed to finish the game with 11 points and 13 rebounds, but that just wasn’t enough for Morehead State to pull yet another stunner.

Still, Faried managed to reach his 86th career double-double, finishing just one below Tim Duncan, for an all-time record. But the Eagles couldn’t solely relly on Faried to take a win over Richmond. The Eagles shot just 18 of 50 from the field and were awful from behind the three-point line, hitting only 2 of its 15 attempts. The Richmond Spiders will face the Kansas Jayhawks on the sweet 16 on March 25th.

The Kansas Jayhawks arrive perfectly to the Sweet 16

The Morris Twins are back for more. The Jayhawks manhandled the Illinois Fighting Illini and served them a 73-59 defeat at the Bank of Oklahoma Center in, Tulsa. On the brighter side of things to come, because of the way things have evolved in the Southeast, there are good chances that the Jayhawks might arrive to the Big Four without facing a team seeded higher than 9th.

One year ago it was an utter mess. Players were leaving the field with towels over their head as they couldn’t believe that Northern Iowa had beat them out of the Tourney. This time around, the Jayhawks really needed this win against Illinois to finally leave behind last seasons ghost. President Barack Obama and his presidential bracket would probably agree too.

It was looking a bit grim for Kansas before the game. Not that the team wasn’t strong or having any particular issues, but just because the 2011 NCAA Bracket is officially filled with upsets. And as things would evolve (that is considering that Pittsburgh was stun by Butler in the Southeast) the Jayhawks could very well be the last favorite team standing in the south. Sure, Ohio State and Duke are still there in the Bracket, but the Southwest was nothing but an utter mess for the favorites.

Except for the Jayhawks. Like head coach Bill Self said, its good to get that monkey off their back, but there are still bigger fish to fry. Marcus and Markieff Morris combined for 41 points and 24 rebounds to take the Jayhawks into a comfortable lead in the second half.  For Illinois, Mike Davis guided their cause with 17 points, D.J. Richardson scored 15 and Mike Tisdale chipped in 13 points and 11 rebounds. But it wasn’t enough to earn a ticket into the Sweet 16.

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NCAA Tournament – Richmond upsets Vanderbilt in the last second

by on Mar.18, 2011, under Basketball, Sports News

Richmond holds quite an impressive record in the NCAA Tournament, and truth be said, they just made this one better as the Spiders were able to pull-off a last second shot to take a 66-69 win. This was the second upset of the day as Morehead State was capable of stunning Louisville, but contrary to that other game, Richmond knew they had a chance all along.

Heck, even the US President, Barack Obama, saw it coming. He missed out on Louisville, though. Obama had Louisville reaching the regional semifinals when he filled in the presidential bracket just a couple of days ago. But he sure enough hit a good pick when he went for 12th seeded Richmond to win over the 5th seeded Vanderbilt.
President Barack Obama lost another valuable pick with Michigan State, which fell to UCLA later on that night. But let’s get back to the Richmond Spiders game against the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Ok, it is not that Richmond is one of the big teams in College Basketball. We are very far away from making that statement. On the other hand Richmond beat an Auburn team led by Charles Barkley during the 1984 NCAA tournament and defeated the second-seeded Syracuse Orange in 1991. So yes, this is not the first time they’ve done something like this. But its sure has been the first time in quite a while.

To be more precise this is actually the Richmond Spiders’ first NCAA tournament win since they knocked out South Carolina in 1998 as a No. 14 seed.

Looking for the man of the hour, well look no further, it was Kevin Anderson. He guided the spiders scoring 16 of his 25 points in the second half, including a beautiful floater with 18.7 seconds remaining that helped seal the game for Richmond.

The No. 12 seed, the Richmond Spider will now play the 13th seed, the Morehead State tomorrow, to earn a ticket to the Sweet 16 dance. Stick around for more coverage on all the madness of the NCAA Tournament.

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NCAA Tournament- UNC-Asheville defeats AR-Little Rock in overtime

by on Mar.16, 2011, under Basketball, Sports News

The first game of the First Four went to overtime and despite not having the thrill of a Final Four game it certainly had moments of sheer March Madness. UNC-Asheville’s top player, Matt Dickey had a tournament-worthy performance to guide the Bulldogs into an 81-77 win in overtime with 22 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

Dickey was in charge of putting in together one heck of a comeback late in the second quarter. The Bulldogs had been ahead in the scoreboard for only 52 seconds before Dickey put himself together and began to play like a pro. He was responsible for signing in 14 of the Bulldogs 18 points in regulation. Not only that but he was the guy who finished off the Bulldogs comeback hitting a flawless three-pointer with ten seconds to go to tie the game and push it into overtime.

 Matt Dickey wasn’t sharp during the whole game, that’s for sure. In the first half, he only shot twice, and had it not been for the rest of his teammates, things wouldn’t have gone as well as they did.

Alex Garcia-Mendoza matched his career high record with 21 points for Arkansas-Little Rock. The guys had a 19-17 season and somehow still managed to make it into the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans played overtime without Solomon Bozeman, the Sun Belt’s Conference player of the year. The talented youngster got into foul trouble late in the second half and had to watch the overtime from the bench. Still, Bozeman finished with 18 points for the game, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Arkansas-Little Rock team alive in the single elimination NCAA Tournament.

There wasn’t much time to celebrate for the UNC-Ashville to celebrate the victory, as the guys from the team had a charter flight straight to Washington DC where they’ll have one of the toughest challenges of the season. The Bulldogs are certainly going to need more then what they showed last night if they are hoping to survive the No.1 seed in the Southeast, Pittsburgh.

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