Archive for March 21st, 2009


The Madness continued on Friday.  Here were the choice highlights:

The day started out with a big scare to #1 Pitt.  Pitt struggled with East Tennessee State right out of the gate.  This does tend to happen sometimes, but typically the #1 seeds pull away after the 10-minute mark.  But that didn’t happen here, ET-State kept it close up until the half, heading into the locker room down by only 3.  Well, many thought that Pitt would gather themselves, and dominate the second half.  Nope.  East Tennessee was right there with them until the closing minutes.  Only then, finally, did Pitt look like PITT and got the job done.  DeJuan Blair led the way with 27 points, and the Pitt Panthers roll to second round.  Now, they take on a very dangerous Oklahoma State team.  Pitt 72, East Tennessee State 62.

In another early day surprise, it was #6 Marquette vs. #11 Utah State.  Marquette had a tremendous season in the Big East, and were one time neck and neck with both UCONN and Louisville (Two #1 seeds), but they during the home stretch of the season, they lost their star player Dominic James.  Without him, Marquette just hasn’t been the same (a sentiment also expressed by President Obama during his pick session on ESPN).  So many were picking them as an early out in the tourney.  But, Marquette held strong against the Utah State Aggies to win by one point.  Now Marquette will take on a pesky #3 Missouri team, who also looked quite good yesterday.  Marquette 58, Utah State 57.

In the night games, there were two thrillers going on simultaneously, both of which went into overtime.  The first match featured #5 Florida State v. #12 Wisconsin.  The game was tight for a while, but then Florida State pulled away, and took a 31-19 Halftime lead.  Even the CBS announcers thought they would hold on for the win.  But, the Wisconsin Badgers battled back towards the end of the second half.  Toney Douglas did everything he could to give the Seminoles the win, putting up a game high 26 points, but good luck rested with Wisconsin.  In OT, with just 2 seconds left, Wisconsin’s Trevon Hughes drove through the lane, did some fancy moves, through up a lay-up, and… GOOD — AND THE FOUL.  Wisconsin took a 2 point lead, and Florida State couldn’t do anything about it.  Wisconsin advances to play #4 Xavier.  Should be a great game.  Wisconsin 61, Florida State 59.

Finally, the last game of the night was #8 Ohio State vs. #9 Siena (the little guy from upstate New York).  This was one of those games where Sienna just wouldn’t go away, and their tenacity paid off, forcing not just 1, but two overtimes.  And in the second OT, down by one point in the closing seconds, Siena’s guard, Ronald Moore, took a brave 3-point shot to put them up by 2.  Ohio State pushed the ball down the court with just a few seconds, and got a good look at a 3-pointer.  But, it was in and out, and Sienna held on for the win.  Now, they advance to take on the mighty #1 Louisville Cardinals.  Sienna 74, Ohio State 72.

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