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Friday, March 16, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Derek's Day Off: Evening
After a lackluster 8 afternoon games, hoping for better in the night session. Since Duke is Duke, their game against VCU is being carried nationally to any market without an interest in any of the other games.
DK vs. VC- New Edition's Bobby Brown is coaching VCU, I avoided this tempting upset, now I'm regretting it. 5-5
DK vs. VC- Duke is handling VCU's press when VCU is even able to set up a press by scoring. Early on I'm feeling smart 16-7 DK
DK vs. VC- Game is following a pattern VC is coming back but never getting closer than 3. Impressive whiteboy dunk by Martyus Pocius (pronounced pro-SHEE-us, not POKE-US, unfortunately)
DK vs. VC- This is our best chance yet for a classic game. After VC pulls even Greg Paulus (who I would hate no matter where he was from) draws a 3-point shooting foul despite moving his pivot foot just before. Hits two out of 3, 40-38 DK 2.4 seconds left
Duke 40, Virginia Commonwealth 38- Halftime
MQ vs. MS- Golf ball pick Marquette is in trouble. Having trouble scoring against Tom Izzo's defense. 28-18 MS
OS vs. CC- Ohio State vs. Central Connecticut. One thing both schools have in common is that Daren has competed on both campuses. At Central Connecticut in the New England Regionals when he was 12.
DK vs. VC- Who knew Virginia Commonwealth would have the best looking set of cheerleaders/dance team so far in the field??
DK vs. VC- Duke goes on 9-0 run to go up 59-50 could this be the first entire day of NCAA Tournament without any good games??
UCLA 60, Weber St. 33; Michigan State 47, Marquette 29; Duke 66, VCU 58 That is why the blog updates aren't coming so fast. Theyre's simply nothing interesting going on.
DK vs. VC- Now we're talking! VCU's press has caused turnovers and pulled them even with 3:30 to go 70-70
DK vs. VC- Paulus rebound off a missed 2nd free throw. Turns the ball over. VCU hits to pull ahead 1. Timeout Duke 1:53 left 72-71 VCU
DK vs. VC- McRoberts shorts a three then tries to pretend he got fouled (worked at the end of the 1st half) Jumpball Poss Arrow: Duke 72-71 VCU
DK vs. VC- Wil Fameni fouls out McRoberts makes 1 of 2. 72-72 VCU answers 74-72 Duke's foul shooting is atrocious!
DK vs. VC- Paulus hits a layup to tie. ONE MINUTE LEFT! Finally a game!!!
DK vs. VC- Maynor puts VCU ahead 2. McRoberts draws a foul screams like a girl to get the call. This is why people hate Duke Josh. That and Christian Laettner
DK vs. VC- McRoberts misses the first makes the second. Duke needs to foul now as there is only 16 seconds left 76-75 VCU.
DK vs. VC- VCU makes one of 2, Duke answers with a layup. Tied!!! MAYNOR WITH A JUMPER 1.8 seconds left!! 79-77 VCU!!!
Christian Laettner is disgusted. Who takes Duke's last shot here? Not Josh McRoberts that's my call.
DK vs. VC- Paulus misses the three VCU WINS!!
Virgina Commonwealth 79, Duke 77-Final needless to say, the game of the day!
BY vs. XU- We're sent to Lexington for BYU-Xavier a home game for the 9 seed Xavier. Noticable crowd.
IU vs. GU- Indiana vs. Gonzaga. This isn't looking good for a repeat run in the golf ball pool. Marquette is out already losing by 12. Indiana is giving up 1.5 to Gonzaga. Every bracket I did picked Gonzaga and I've questioned Indiana's validity as a tournament team now I have to root for them.
IU vs. GU- A feeling out process. Announcers are still talking about Duke's early exit. First First Round loss since 1996 (Eastern Michigan). Len Elmore said that was a "Long, long time" 1996 was my freshman year. I know its been a long time but I never enjoy references like that. 20-12 Indiana
IU vs. GU- This game has actually been pretty fun. Back and forth, almost like a game of horse. Good shooting. This could make up for at least half the blowouts we've had to endure today 30-27 Indiana
Indiana 34, Gonzaga 29- Halftime
NC vs. EK- North Carolina is up 25 on Eastern Kentucky. Its going to be a long time until a 16 ever beats a 1, if it ever happens.
PT vs. WS- CBS catches Wright State on a 10-0 run to cut Pittsburgh's lead to 3. Check that no more lead. 22-22
IU vs. GU- Indiana's opened up an 8 point lead. And I found out Len Elmore is a Harvard educated lawyer. Who knew? Xavier is on a ridiculous run to pull ahead of BYU. Looks like maybe both these games could be good. Pitt got back to a 13 point lead at halftime of their game 45-35 Indiana.
NC vs. EK- Just noticed, Eastern Kentucky has pulled within 4 of North Carolina. Its only the first TV timeout of the 2nd Half but they must be stunned in Winston Salem right now.
NC vs. EK- Almost on cue, after the Live Look-In, EKU craps their shorts and UNC goes on a 7-0 run. Tar Heel fans are going apeshit. More apeshit than you should be allowed to when you're only up 11 on Eastern Kentucky. Can we move to BYU-Xavier please??
BY vs. XU- Thank you! 71-71
BY vs. XU- Have to like BYU down the stretch although age could be a factor. Average age of BYU's players 28 1/2 73-73
BY vs. XU- Beautiful putback by BYU Xavier answers with a Josh Duncan 2 Xavier's cheerleaders are not hot! 75-73 Xavier
BY vs. XU- BYU gets three good shots none go in Xavier rebound. Xavier fouls...
Drew Lavender makes both free throws 79-75 Xavier 12.3 seconds left
BY vs. XU- BYU doesn't get a shot off until the buzzer. Game over.
Xavier 79, Brigham Young 77-Final
I'm exhausted, luckily it looks like I might be able to end this with the Indiana-Gonzaga game (UNC is back up 15 on EKU)
IU vs. GU- This game has gotten away from Gonzaga. Indiana up 11. The Golf Ball Survives! Big Ten is 3-0 today. 68-55 Indiana.
Indiana 70, Gonzaga 57-Final
North Carolina is up 21 on Eastern Kentucky the day will end like it began with a blowout.
Hope this helped to make the day a little exciting. Xavier and VCU with the two good games of the day. Hope for better tomorrow!
Labels: March Madness
Derek's Day Off: Afternoon
Hello and welcome to Derek's Day Off One firm figured out America loses 1.2 billion dollars of lost productivity during the NCAA Tournament. One firm lost 60 dollars worth of productivity figuring that out.
So to make the most out of the approximately 150 bucks Bertucci's is losing out of me today, I will be blogging my experience watching today's NCAA Tournament games.
In three days after Selection Sunday ESPN has found time to declare every team (besides Jackson State) dangerous, a title contender, primed for an upset. It made my head spin so I tuned up watching CBS about an hour before the games tip off.
-On the Price is Right, Bridget the cute sorority girl from Arizona State was a 12 seed in Hole in One (or TWO!!!!)
Brief newscast and then we're set. I'm in-market for Boston College-Texas Tech so expect a heavy dose of that matchup
-Only 77,963 people ahead of me in the waiting room for March Madness On-Demand, I can see the door!
-That poor Chris Daughtry needs some exposure...
-Five seconds into the telecast Clark Kellogg gives our first "survive and advance"!
-First set of games are (my bracket picks in bold) Boston College vs. Texas Tech, Maryland vs. Davidson, and Louisville vs. Stanford
-In case anyone's wondering in the golf ball pool I came in 2nd in last year my balls this year are Indiana and Marquette the spread (although they're both two points in the first round) could get me North Carolina and UCLA again in the later rounds.
MD vs. DV- Five minutes of this before CBS switches me to BC vs. TT
MD vs. DV- Davidson has five European players, which may mean nothing other than they have the worst teeth of any team in the tournament 2-2
MD vs. DV- Sloppy game to start, both teams are tight 5-2 DV, off to Winston-Salem...
BC vs. TT- How does Jay Bilas get to do CBS and ESPN games? And does this mean CBS chooses to have nothing to do with Dick Vitale?
BC vs. TT- Predictably poor shooting and sloppy play before the first TV timeout in both games...This MasterCard commercial with the Elephant and the Zookeeper tugs my heartstrings. 3-2 BC
BC vs. TT- Tyler Roche is from Hooksett, NH? No, that's not enough for me to root for BC here and I'm picking them 7-2 BC
I'm in March Madness OnDemand!!
BC vs. TT- Jared Dudley has 2 fouls before the halfway point of the first half, trouble for BC 16-14 BC
I don't think my connection's strong enough to receive MMOD, oh well might've just distracted me. Here are your scores at 12:51
MD 27, DV 28; BC 24, TT 18; UL 19 ST 8
UL vs. ST- After the break we're sent to Lexington. Louisville and their press are dominating the game.
MD vs. DV- Davidson keeping up with Maryland, actually up 32-27. Smallest school in the tournament.
BC vs. TT- Back to Winston-Salem (both would be creative names for cigarettes, don't you think?) 27-20 BC
BC vs. TT- Dick Enberg is just a little too excited over Tyrese Rice 34-31 BC, approx 3min left in the First Half
BC vs. TT- 3rd foul on Dudley! This could play a factor late in the second half but I don't think it could make Dudley any worse a defender. 39-39
BC vs. TT- Halftime, 41-39 BC
UL vs. ST- Louisville's up 41-16, if Stanford didn't want to play in this tournament they probably should've told somebody on the Committee
MD vs. DV- Halftime, 44-43 MD
UL vs. ST- Live Look-In. Stanfords high RPI and wins over the top 4 Pac Ten teams aren't doing it much good in the First Half against Louisville. I'd give anything to be watching this game with Jim Boeheim right now...
BC vs. TT- Dudley's back in playing tentatively. Time for Texas Tech to make their move 50-49 Tex Tech
BC vs. TT- Tech Guard Alan Voskuil no relation to former UConn Forward/Center and Charlotte Bobcats player Jake Voskul
BC vs. TT- 10:20 left and BC is up 2, Texas Tech has managed to not go on any kind of run despite Jared Dudley forced to take defense off with three fouls. I'm putting a check next to my pick here. BC 61-59
BC vs. TT- BC up 6 now, Maryland/Davidson looks like it might end memorably. Hopefully we'll get a cut away from this snoozer. Hope its not as boring to read as it is to write about.
UL vs. ST- Stanford on a 4-0 run, only down 27!
MD vs. DV- Maryland has opened up a six point lead, I still think this one is going to the final possession
BC vs. TT- In crunch time, BC has a seven point lead. Uninspired performance from Texas Tech. Almost no defense played at all. They deserve to go home.
They better put Maryland-Davidson on before I'm compelled to take a nap...
BC vs. TT- 84-75 BC Final Thank God that one's over!
MD vs. DV- Just as we join this game Maryland has its largest lead at 7 with 1:12 left. So much for Upset Special #1 or so it seems... 75-68 MD
Things I want to do while CBS is showing the end of Stanford-Louisville:
2. Download a Stormy Daniels Bit Torrent
3. Watch Stanford-Louisville 74-46 UL
MD vs. DV- 82-70 Maryland, Much better than the score implies.
Instead of showing us the mercilous end of Louisville-Stanford, CBS is showing us the beginning of Washington State vs. Oral Roberts from Sacramento. Thank you.
WS vs. OR- Blowjob Bobs' Caleb Green is the best player on the court in this game. CBS cuts away to show Louisville dribbling the ball to end a blowout. That makes no sense. Anyway
UL vs. ST- 78-58 Louisville. Thanks for playing Stanford...or not playing. Trent Johnson now knows that Louisville likes to press.
In case I thought I was going to see a game between a Washington State team and an Oklahoma team tip to buzzer up here in Massachusetts, we switch to Georgetown vs. Belmont.
GT vs. BM- Belmont arrives with just about the same team as last year. Wonder how many blogs that guy wrote Belmont's Baptist affiliation? 3-2 Belmont
If you've been following along all day I apologized, the nap happened. I'm back here's what I missed
Washington State 70, Blowjob Bobs 54; Georgetown 64, Belmont 38; Butler 41, Old Dominion 32; Texas ATM 41, Penn 39
Besides about 52 "Blowjob Bobs" references that Bill Simmons can't make you didn't miss any great blogging. Been a pretty ho-hum first afternoon of the tournament Hopefully things will pick up tonight.
Georgetown 80, Belmont 55 Final
ATM vs. PN- K I'm still waking up and so is ATM. Vanderbilt vs. George Washington are tipping off in what might be the least interesting NCAA Tournament matchup ever! 55-45 ATM
ATM vs. PN- ATM in pull away mode. Good thing too. They are a Final Four pick. Would've been a shame if this was the ONLY upset this afternoon. I'm thinking Chicken Pot Pie for dinner.
Texas ATM 68, Pennsylvania 52 Final
That wraps up the afternoon and a blah one at that. Hopefully the action AND the blogging picks up tonight!
Labels: March Madness
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Derek's Day Off
Rather than pretending to be productive tomorrow or pressing the "Boss Button" on March Madness On-Demand every 10 seconds, I am taking a Personal Day tomorrow. Piggybacked Wi-Fi Connection willing, I will blog my entire day or at least the parts when I'm watching the NCAA Tournament.
Keep checking here for updates and my commentary...
Labels: March Madness
A Final Word on Syracuse...
Closing the books on the Syracuse NCAA snub before I'm officially "over it" and move on to enjoying what should be a fantastic tournament.
This was my least favorite Syracuse team since Todd Burgan's senior year. This senior class (one Sweet 16, two First Round losses and an NIT bid) grossly underachieved their entire time at Syracuse and in key games this season. They let teams back into games towards the end of the first half several times and they blew big leads late in games. All in all, they were a very frustrating team to watch.
That said, they were one of more than a handful of frustrating teams across the country. Some teams that were brought from "The Bubble" to the tournament had just a .500 conference record (Purdue), or fewer than 20 wins (Stanford), or a .500 record in their last 10 games and a losing record in road/neutral games (Indiana). Syracuse had a +.500 record in what is believed to be (by those outside the committee) a tougher conference than Purdue's, four more wins than Stanford, went 7-3 since they were put on "The Bubble" (meaning 7-3 in "must-win" games, like the tournament is) and at least managed to go .500 on the road and in neutral sites.
The committee contradicts itself in this tournament's field when it reveals the seeds as some teams with lower RPIs are seeded higher than teams with higher RPIs teams that won good conference tournaments are given the same seed as some of the "last teams in".
There are five one seeds in this tournament as the committee chose pretty much not to choose on UCLA giving them a 2 seed with 1 seed privileges. Gary Walters, chairman of the committee tipped his hand when he admitted that Niagara was put in the play-in game because they were sympathetic to what the perception would be if two predominantly black colleges were put in the play-in game. Seems the committee was sympathetic to other perceptions besides that.
Drexel and Syracuse were linked all year because of Drexel's win over Syracuse in the Carrier Dome in December. Old Dominion and Drexel were believed to be a decision the committee would have to make because they were in the same mid-major conference. Old Dominion, having beaten Drexel twice would be a controversial choice to be left out in Drexel's favor. In the mind of the committee leaving out Drexel and including Syracuse would've been a P.R. disaster, and they are probably right on that. There wasn't enough room for Old Dominion, Drexel, and Syracuse.
The appearance is the committee decided to circumvent the Old Dominion, Drexel, Syracuse controversy by only including the one team without a loss to the other two, Old Dominion and putting one of the other suspect bubble teams in.
Syracuse is an easy snub as they are the anti-Drexel, a big school who doesn't schedule tough road games early in the season, but whenever you leave out the 5th place team in the Big East, you are going to create controversy and Gary Walters and the members of the committee should not be as suprised as they seem to be that Syracuse was a controversial omission.
In closing, neither Syracuse or Drexel had an National Championship trophy snatched from their hands by this decision and I am grateful that the controversies in College Basketball are nowhere near the stakes of its older brother, Football.
I still can not wait for one of my favorite times of the year, the NCAA Tournament.
I will take this time to credit Syracuse.com's College Basketball Blog as an invaluable resource for many of my Syracuse posts over the past few weeks. It has become my new favorite way to follow the Orange from afar.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Not Exactly Kennedy-Kruschev but...
Monday, March 12, 2007
I Fear the Comments...
Pizza Parlor KeriAnn with her pick:
"I've decided Oral State is going all the way"
Labels: Pizza Parlor KeriAnn
If you have a bird try:
If you own an Indian, your chances are much less:
Labels: March Madness
Syracuse's First Round Opponent in the NIT
The Jaguars of South Alabama.
The game will likely be played in the Carrier Dome which will spare Syracuse from South Alabama's Bush-manipulated jingoistic fanbase chanting...
"USA! USA! USA!"
Syracuse will likely lose this game as snubbed NCAA teams always seem to do the first round of the NIT.
I would be shocked if Terrance Roberts plays.
I would be surprised if Demetris Nichols plays more than Paul Harris, since Nichols is a Senior playing for just about nothing and Harris could use as much game experience as he can get.
I would be stunned if more than 15,000 people go to this game.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
More Complaints and Headscratching...
Once you get past Syracuse and Drexel's snubs, The field itself has some real question marks. I'll go from the bottom up...
16's-Niagara in the Play-In Game even though the two teams with the lowest RPI's in the tournament were JACKSON STATE (32 spots lower than Niagara) and Florida A&M. Seems like someone was a little afraid of what Jesse Jackson would say if two predominantly black colleges had to play for the right to get into the field of 64.
15's-Texas A&M Corpus Christi not playing Texas A&M , we all could've told our receptionists that Corpus Christi was the big one with the 12th Man and the ROTC students and they may have believed us. Although it does give me two opportunities to make my "Texas ATM" joke.
14's-No problems here although Daren's fiancee's Redhawks are only dancing because of a clock malfunction.
13's-Albany in as a 13, when their team was much better last year, actually winning the America East regular season when they were the 16th seed. Almost as if the committee got lazy and pencilled them into Vermont's spot.
12's-Except for Odie, an uninspiring line of 12 seeds to pick over 5s. And Odie's playing Butler. Be much easier to pick them if they were playing USC or Virginia Tech.
11's-George Washington is better than Old Dominion or even Illinois, really?
10's-Creighton, they're the team that won the 5th rated conference in the country right? You say if they played Texas Tech on a neutral site, that one could go either way? And Southern Illinois the team they beat without much drama is 6 lines higher than them?
9's-Gary Walters must have had a REAL good time at Purdue and there must be pictures.
8's-I knew Syracuse was in trouble when their only marquee win before Feb. 26 got slotted an 8 seed.
7's-Reviewed my favorite RPI site to try to make decisions on my own and one thought jumped at me. What did Indiana do to make this tournament? Besides be close to Purdue?
6's-Notre Dame and their 309th ranked Non-Conference Strength of Schedule gets Winthrop, that one's almost too good to be true.
5's-USC was sent to Spokane to setup a matchup with Texas and about 300 camera shots of Vince Young in attendance.
4's-I know about their home record but who the hell is picking Virginia to be in the Sweet 16?
3's-I only saw Washington State once but I have a hard time buying them as a 3 seed. Another upset pick jumping at me.
2's-No problem with the 2's just the handjob everyone's giving Georgetown. You can't say things like "Georgetown is one of the best 2 seeds I've seen in a long time" then turnaround and say "Syracuse didn't beat anybody".
1's-Florida sent to the Midwest and Ohio State sent to the South???
Labels: March Madness
Syracuse will not be in the 2007 NCAA Tournament
I was all set to compare Syracuse to some of the suspect teams that got into this field, but Kim Baxter of the Post-Standard already did it for me.
A lot of weight was given to performance in the conference tournaments, SU wishes they had this committee the past two years.
If this were enough to convince Syracuse to schedule some marquis non-conference opponents in November and December, I would say this be a snub that would do SU some good. But I'm sure instead we'll get more 128 Team Tournament talk from Jim Boeheim.
Hard to see a 10 win team from the Big East get snubbed especially with all the mediocre teams in the Big Ten getting in.