Saturday, March 20, 2010

ALL YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW...

Missouri 86, CLEMSON 78

Gonzaga 67, FLORIDA STATE 60

GEORGIA TECH 64, Oklahoma State 59

DUKE 73, Arkansas - Pine Bluff 44


For details, click here.

(Editor's Note: The editor is in NYC for an Allman Brothers show at the United Palace. Coverage of ACC endeavors will be limited until Monday. Have a nice weekend, hope your bracket looks better than said editor's.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

WAKE FOREST SLIPS PAST FALTERING LONGHORNS

If you turned off the T.V. in overtime with the Demon Deacons trailing Texas by eight points, be assured you weren’t the only one of little faith.

Wake Forest looked all but dead and headed straight back to Winston-Salem after blowing two double-digit leads and committing a dumb turnover to allow the Horns to stretch the game to the extra frame.

But Texas, who was once ranked No. 1 but has floundered since, had one blown lead left of their own.

Ishmael Smith's pull-up jumper from about 17 feet out with 1.3 seconds remaining in overtime gave ninth-seeded Wake Forest an 81-80 win over the eighth-seeded Longhorns in the first round of the NCAA tournament Thursday night.

Smith finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and eight turnovers.

Al-Farouq Aminu finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds for Wake Forest.

The Demon Deacons advanced to play top-seeded Kentucky in the second round of the East Regional on Saturday. .

To read more, click here (Winston-Salem Journal) or click here (Raleigh News & Observer).

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

BRACKET BUSTER. The first big upset of the 2010 NCAA tournament belongs to the Ohio Bobcats. Here, Armon Bassett #0 drives to the basket as Chris Wright #4 of the Georgetown Hoyas defends.



Here, DeVaughn Washington #1 celebrates his dunk in the second half of the first round game on March 18, 2010 at the Dunkin Donuts Arena in Providence, Rhode Island. Ohio defeated Georgetown 97-83.



(Photos by Elsa/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

NO NET INJURIES. Murray State upset Vanderbilt and nobody got hurt! Yesterday, we reported that Races Guard B.J. Jenkins cut his finger while cutting down the nets last weekend. The injury didn’t slow Smith or his teammates as they upset the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at HP Pavilion on March 18, 2010 in San Jose, California.

Jenkins had 14 points and five assists.

(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

INJURY OF THE WEEK

Well it was bound to happen sooner or later…

Evidently, Murray State starting guard B.J. Jenkins (#1) cut his finger while cutting down the net following the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.

"I hope he's all right," Vanderbilt star Jermaine Beal said, shaking his head and unable to avoid a chuckle.

Jenkins required staples to close the scissors wound on his non-shooting left hand but is now 100 percent.

"I think he was embarrassed. He hid it," head coach Billy Kennedy said. "I didn't know about it until the next day, but it was a pretty good gash. I wasn't aware it was as bad as it was in the hype of winning the tournament."

BELATED HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY

Irish Blackberry.

LET THE MADNESS BEGIN


Speaking of getting beer...

Texas vs. WAKE FOREST, New Orleans, La. (NCAA Tournament), 9:35 PM - TV: CBS

HOKIES ADVANCE IN N.I.T.

Malcolm Delaney scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the first half to lead Virginia Tech past Quinnipiac 81-61 in a first-round NIT game Wednesday night at Cassell Coliseum.

With the win, the Hokies moved to 24-8 overall on the season and advanced to the second round, where they will meet Connecticut at Cassell on Monday night at 7 p.m. Tech also improved to 12-2 in NIT games played at Cassell and 22-8 overall in the NIT.

The Hokies shook off the disappointment of not making the NCAA Tournament by holding the Bobcats to 38.1 percent shooting from the floor (24-for-63) and out-rebounding one of the nation's best rebounding teams (42-30). Quinnipiac came into this one ranked No. 1 nationally in rebounding margin (+9.2).

The Hokies will host the University of Connecticut Huskies on Monday, March 22 at 7:00pm.
To read more click here or click here.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

STILL SHOOTING. Steve Blake #2 of the Los Angeles Clippers shoots against Brandon Jennings #3 of the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center on March 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

Blake was the point guard the last time the Maryland Terps won the NCAA championship in 2002.

(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

WEDNESDAY NIGHT BASKETBALL

Quinnipiac (Bobcats, 7,758 students, Hamden, CT) @ VIRGINIA TECH, Blacksburg, Va. (National Invitation Tournament), 7:00 PM*

*TheACC.com does not show any television (or radio) coverage for this game.

N.I.T. OPENING ROUND GAMES

N.C. STATE 58, South Florida 57 – Dennis Horner scored 25 points and Richard Howell's go-ahead layup with eight seconds left barely beat the shot clock as the Wolfpack squeaked by South Florida in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday night.

The officials reviewed Howell's basket to see if it beat the shot clock and the call stood.

USF star Dominiques Jones had a look for a last shot, but passed it to Chris Howard, who then passed it to Augustus Gilchrist, who put up an airball.

The Wolfpack (20-15) trailed for the first 25 minutes of the game as Horner had 14 of NC State's 22 points in the first.

South Florida, (20-13), in its first postseason appearance in more than eight years, had no answer for Horner, who was 10 for 16 from the floor.

To read more, click here.

NORTH CAROLINA 80, William and Mary 72 – The Tribe 62 shots and 43 of them were from behind the arc. Although it seemed like they hit every other one, they really only made 16 of 43 – that’s 48 of 72 points. The Heels held them scoreless the last five minutes to secure the win in historic Carmichael Arena.

Technically speaking, Dexter Strickland hit the go-ahead free throws with 2:34 left and Deon Thompson scored 20 points to lead the Tar Heels (17-16), the reigning national champions who found themselves in the NIT for the first time in seven years after a disappointing season. But they weathered a flurry of 3-pointers from the Tribe to ensure they would finish at least .500.

Tyler Zeller added 13 points and made three key defensive plays for the fourth-seeded Tar Heels, who advanced to the second round to face Mississippi State.

David Schneider scored 21 points on seven 3-pointers for the fifth-seeded Tribe (22-11), who
shot 16 for 43 from behind the arc.

To read more, click here.

DUKE SNAGS FIRST JUCO TRANSFER FOR COACH K

Duke has a commitment from the first junior college transfer in coach Mike Krzyzewski's 30 years in Durham.

The barrier-breaker is Carrick Felix, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound small forward at the College of Southern Idaho.

The Blue Devils offered Felix a scholarship after failing to land their top two choices at the position. Harrison Barnes, the top-rated recruit in the nation according to scout.com, signed with North Carolina. Roscoe Smith then committed to Connecticut.

Felix gives Duke a small forward who has some college experience, which could be especially valuable if current junior Kyle Singler leaves after this season for the NBA.

Felix redshirted his first season at the College of Southern Idaho because of a hand injury. He averaged 14.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this season.

As a senior at Millenium High in Phoenix, Ariz., Felix was most valuable player of the state championship after averaging 19.7 points and 13.2 rebounds per game over the course of the season.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS. Terrence Calvin #14 of the Arkansas Pine-Bluff Golden Lions celebrates with teammates after a second half basket while playing the Winthrop Eagles during the opening round of the Mens NCAA Tournament on March 16, 2010 at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio. UAPB won the game 61-44.

Now they face #1 seed Duke on Friday.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

TUESDAY NIGHT HOOPS

N.C. STATE @ South Florida (Bulls, 34,447 students, Tampa, FL), (National Invitation Tournament), 8:00 PM - TV: ESPNU

William & Mary (Tribe, 5,850 students, Williamsburg, VA) @ NORTH CAROLINA, (National Invitation Tournament), 9:30 PM - TV: ESPN

ACC BASKETBALL POST SEASON TOURNAMENT LINKS

*Maryland seniors keep Terps focused on tournament...

* There’s another sports guy out there with the last name Cowherd and he thinks this is Maryland’s chance to make up for past sins…

*Deacons headed to New Orleans to face another inconsistent team – the Texas Longhorns…

*Florida State opens up with everybody’s Cinderella dark horse (year-in and year-out, whether deserved or not) Gonzaga…

*Dukes faces winner of play-in game even though the NCAA doesn’t call it a “play-in” game…

*The AJC’s Mark Bradley doesn’t think the Yellow Jackets are going very far

*The Boston Herald has a tale of two Tigers…

*Clemson lands on their feet a notch or two higher than expected by bracketologists…

*Clemson’s Booker ready to make most of last NCAA dance

UNC TO CUT TICKET PRICES AND SHRINK ARENA FOR N.I.T. OPENER

North Carolina, which will play William & Mary in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday night, has cut ticket prices from $40 to $20 for the game and moved it to Carmichael Arena (the arena formerly known as Carmichael Auditorium).

The change was made, team spokesman Steve Kirschner said, because of the lateness (9:30 p.m. tip) of the game...

...or maybe because the Chapel Hill powers-that-be weren't anxious to show a national TV audience on ESPN a bunch of empty seats in the Dean Dome?

The Tar Heels 17-3 all-time against the Tribe. This is the first meeting between the two schools since January 2, 2005, a 105-66 win for the Tar Heels. William and Mary's head coach is Tony Shaver, who played for Coach Dean Smith's Tar Heels from 1972-75. Jonathan Holmes, a UNC guard from 1999-2003, also is an assistant coach for the Tribe.

This will be Carolina's first official game in Carmichael since January 4, 1986, a 90-79 win over N.C. State. Coincidentally, William and Mary was UNC's opponent in the first-ever game played in Carmichael on December 4, 1965.

MORE SELECTION SUNDAY FALLOUT

There is still plenty of complaining in Blacksburg and a fair amount of complaining in general about this year’s field in the Big Dance. The Hokies and Mississippi State now go down with last year’s Florida team as one of those very rare major-conference teams to win 23 games and not make the NCAA bracket.

On one hand, Tech became the first team to win 10 in the ACC and get passed over partially because of the overall weakness of the conference. On the other hand, the Hokies nonnference opponents were even worse, placing VT 339th out of 347 D1 basketball schools.

To read the latest analysis of the entire field complete with the typical defense of the selection committee’s decisions by chairman Dan Guerrero (A.D. at UCLA), click here.

HEADLINE OF THE DAY

“THE NCAA SELECTION COMMITTEE CAN GOPHERK THEMSELVES”

– Gee, we didn’t know you could do that…

Seems as some folks out in the Big Ten with connection to the University of Illinois are a wee bit piqued with the selection committee for choosing the Golden Gophers over the Fighting Illini (19-14 record and a 75 RPI) for entry into a certain basketball tournament.

Get in line, fellas.
To read more about how to gopherk yourself or somebody else, click here.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

DODGE BALL. Winthrop guard Reggie Middleton (4) dodges a ball while shooting a layup during practice for the NCAA opening round college basketball game, Monday, March 15, 2010, in Dayton, Ohio. Winthrop plays Arkansas Pine Bluff tonight.

So what's the scoop?

The Winthrop Eagles are making their fifth trip to the Big Dance in six seasons and their ninth since 1999. In 2007, they knocked off Notre Dame and the year prior it took a last-second shot for No. 2 seeded Tennessee to beat them.

The Golden Lions from Ark-PB are making their NCAA tourney debut. They lost their first 11 games, but then won 11 of their final 12 including an upset victory in the SWAC championship game. While they start five seniors, they have no victories outside their conference.

PICK: Winthrop.

(AP Photo)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

MORE OLYMPICS. Tomas del Villar of Chile competes in the Men's Sitting Slalom during Day 3 of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympics at Whistler Creekside on March 14, 2010 in Whistler, Canada.

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images North America)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

EARLY RIDE. An early morning gallop at Cheltenham racecourse on March 15, 2010 in Cheltenham, England. The most famous steeplechase race in England, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, will be run on Friday, March 19 as the concluding event of the Cheltenham Festival.

(Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

NICE SHOT, DAD! Ernie Els of South Africa hits his tee shot as his son Ben watches during the Els for Autism Pro-Am on the Champions Course at the PGA National Golf Club on March 15, 2010 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

(Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images North America)

Monday, March 15, 2010

PETER GRAVES 1926-2010

Golden Globe winner Peter Aurness, known professionally as Peter Graves, died yesterday just four days short of his 84th birthday.

He was known for his starring role in the Mission Impossible television series, but it was his role as Captain Clarence Oveur in Airplane! and in Airplane II : The Sequel that forever changed the way we look at gladiator movies (not to mention airplanes, airports, Kareem Abdul -Jabbar, jive talking, inflatable dolls and assorted other subects).

For his complete filmography, click here.

DUKE WINS ACC TOURNEY, LANDS #1 SEED IN SOUTH REGIONAL

Jon “Crazy Face” Scheyer finished with 16 points along with that critical 3 with 18 seconds left to help Duke hold off Georgia Tech in Sunday's final, giving the Blue Devils a record 18th ACC championship and propelling them the No. 1 seed in the South Regional of the NCAA tournament.

Kyle Singler scored 20 points and earned MVP honors for the top-seeded Blue Devils (29-5), who blew most of an 11-point lead with 6 minutes left before Scheyer's big shot. Nolan Smithalso had 16 points to help Duke break a tie with rival North Carolina for the most ACC tournament titles, while giving Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski his 12th title to move within one of Dean Smith for the most in league history.

In a tournament filled with upsets, it took a gritty effort from Duke's high-scoring "Big Three" to hold off a determined comeback from the seventh-seeded Yellow Jackets (22-12), who were trying to become the first team in tournament history to win four games in four days. Duke ran out to an 8-0 lead in the opening minutes and led the entire day, but in the end, Scheyer's composure took over when the game hung in the balance.


It was fitting that Duke punctuated the game at the free throw line. The Blue Devils made 24 of 28 free throws, including 21 of 23 in the second half to offset a 6-of-22 (27 percent) shooting performance after the break and keep the Yellow Jackets in catch-up mode almost all game.

Derrick Favors had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Yellow Jackets, who at least probably took care of their shaky NCAA tournament prospects after losing five of seven to close the regular season. They received the No. 10 seed in the Midwest Regional.
To read more, click here.
To see the photo gallery, click here.

SIX ACC TEAMS HEADED TO DANCE

ACC teams earned six bids to the 2010 NCAA Tournament, including a No. 1 seed for the ACC Champion Duke Blue Devils. In addition to Duke’s automatic bid, five more league teams earned at-large slots: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Wake Forest.

This is the ninth time since 1991 that the ACC has sent six or more teams to the NCAA Tournament. During that same span, league teams have won seven of their 11 NCAA Titles.

ACC Teams' First-Round Matchups in 2010 NCAA Tournament:

South Region #1 Duke vs. #16 Ark-PB/Winthrop Winner (Friday, March 19)

Midwest Region #4 Maryland vs. #13 Houston (Friday, March 19)#10 Georgia Tech vs. #7 Oklahoma State (Friday, March 19)

East Region #7 Clemson vs. #10 Missouri (Friday, March 19)#9 Wake Forest vs. #8 Texas (Thursday, March 18)

West Region #9 Florida State vs. #8 Gonzaga (Friday, March 19)

NCAA interactive bracket with a summary of each team, click here.

Printable NCAA Bracket, click here.

HOKIES LAND TOP SEED IN N.I.T., UNC AND UCONN ADD STAR POWER

Virginia Tech, snubbed by the NCAA yet again, is a #1 seed in the N.I.T. They open play against Quinnipiac (Bobcats, 7,758 students, Hamden, CT) Wednesday night at Cassell Coliseum.

Particularly galling to the Hokies must me the inclusion of teams with worse conference and non-conference records. Virginia Tech finished fourth in the ACC, but were upset on Friday by Miami. None the less, the Hokies (10-6, 23-8) ended the season with better records than Wake Forest (9-7, 19-10), Clemson (9-7,21-10) and Georgia Tech (7-9, 22-12), all headed to the Big Dance. To add further insult to injury, Seth Greenberg & Co. defeated all three teams during the regular season.

Blame the RPI, whatever that is…

In the “luck to be invited anywhere” category, Both North Carolina and Connecticut went to the Final Four a year ago, and both were No. 4 seeds in the bracket for also-rans released Sunday. In the case of North Carolina, it's the second time in the past three years that the defending national champion missed the NCAA tournament, joining Florida in 2008.

North Carolina (16-16) hadn't missed the NCAA tournament since 2003, before Roy Williams arrived in Chapel Hill. And Williams hadn't missed the big party since 1989, his first season at Kansas, when the school was ineligible due to NCAA violations.

Jim Calhoun can commiserate, after a trying season included the Connecticut coach missing several games with an undisclosed medical condition.

The Huskies (17-15) made an impressive run in February to renew their NCAA tournament hopes, but head into their NIT opener against Northeastern coming off four straight losses, including a 73-51 rout by St. John's in the Big East tournament.

The NIT begins Tuesday on campuses with the championship April 1 at Madison Square Garden.

To see the bracket, click here.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

18 TIMES. The Duke Blue Devils celebrate their win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the championship game of the 2010 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 14, 2010 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
It was Duke’s 18th tournament championship.

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

PILING ON. A Duke fan lets her feelings be known.

(Photo by Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

CRASH. Duke forward Kyle Singler went after a loose ball and landed on top of ESPN announcer Dan Shulman. Dick Vitale escaped injury, but he’s talked about it ever since.

(Photo by Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

ACC FINAL

NO. 4 DUKE vs. GEORGIA TECH, Greensboro, N.C., 1:00 PM – FOX

DUKE, GEORGIA TECH TO CLASH IN ACC FINAL

NO. 4 DUKE 77, MIAMI 74 – Kyle “Twilight” Singler scored 27 points to help fourth-ranked Duke push ahead in the second half to beat Miami in Saturday's ACC tournament semifinals.

Jon “Crazy Face” Scheyer added 16 points, including eight in the go-ahead 15-0 run early in the second half that restored some sense of order in an upset-filled tournament. The top-seeded Blue Devils (28-5) trailed by three at halftime against the league's last-place team before rallying to reach the championship game, where they will defend their title against Georgia Tech.

Freshman Durand Scott had 21 points for the 12th-seeded Hurricanes (20-13), who put up plenty of fight but couldn't follow their upsets of Wake Forest and Virginia Tech with a much bigger one. Miami was in the ACC semifinals for the first time.

Duke, the only one of the top six seeds to reach the semifinals, has won eight of the past 11 tournaments and is chasing a league-record 18th title.

To read more story, press conference coverage, box score and photos, click here.

GEORGIA TECH 57, N.C. STATE 54 – Somewhere Roy Williams must be telling his team “See, you can win games while committing lots of turnovers.” Just look at Georgia Tech who fumbled away 16 of them in yesterday’s victory.

Overcoming another near second-half meltdown, the Yellow Jackets ended N.C. State's surprise run in this ACC tournament full of upsets with a 57-54 victory in Saturday’s semifinal.
With freshman Derrick Favors contributing 17 points and eight rebounds, fellow NBA prospect

Gani Lawal posting a double-double and highly touted guard Iman Shumpert making another key defensive play late, the seventh-seeded Yellow Jackets (22-11) advanced to Sunday's final against top-seeded and No. 4 Duke.

Despite his team coughing up a 10-point halftime lead and looking rattled against the press in the second half, Georgia Tech held on in all likelihood punched their ticket to the Big Dance.

To read more story, press conference coverage, box score and photos, click here.

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

WINNERS. Da'Sean Butler #1 of the West Virginia Mountaineers puts the net around his head after cutting it down after defeating the Georgetown Hoyas in the championship of the 2010 NCAA Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 13, 2010 in New York City.

Butler again made the winning shot this time with 4.2 secons remaining.

Here, Wellington Smith #35 celebrates with the trophy.

(Photos by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY 2

WINLESS. In spite of the presence of super prospect Stephen Strasburg, the Washington Nationals remain the only team in MLB without a preseason win.

Here, Second baseman Willie Harris(notes) #22 of the Washington Nationals tags out Felipe Lopez(notes) #8 of the St Louis Cardinals on an attempted steal at Roger Dean Stadium on March 10, 2010 in Jupiter, Florida.

(Photos by AP Photos and Doug Benc/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

DANCING WITH THE DEVILS? ESPN reporter Erin Andrews and her "Dancing With The Stars" partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy watch the Duke Blue Devils play the University of Miami Hurricanes in their semifinal game in the 2010 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament .

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

TEED UP. Mike Krzyzewski, head coach of the Duke Blue Devils is charged with a technical foul against the University of Miami Hurricanes in their semifinal game in the 2010 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on on March 13, 2010 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

OOOH, THAT SMELL...Can’t you smell that smell? The smell that surrounds you?

Duke head coach Mike Krzxvbr9ski seems to be channeling that famous Lynyrd Skynyrd song while he talks to his team during their semifinal game in the 2010 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on on March 13, 2010 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 6

REBOUND. Patrick Christopher #23 of the Cal Golden Bears, Venoy Overton #1 of the Washington Huskies, Scott Suggs #15 of the Huskies and Omondi Amoke #21 of the Golden Bears fight for a rebound during the championship game of the Pac-10 Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Washington defeated Cal 79-75.

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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