Archive for March 23rd, 2009


Well, the second round of the NCAA Tourney is officially in the books after yesterday’s action.  Here were some highlights.

While some people jumped on the Syracuse bandwagon after their electric performance in the Big East tournament, many thought that they’d run out of steam after that 6-OT victory over UCONN.  Teams that play their heart out trying to secure a good spot in the tournament, often flame out when it counts because they’ve just got too many miles on them.  However, all that action has helped Syracuse fuse even more as a team.  These guys look great, and were all over #6 Arizona State yesterday.  ASU’s star, James Harden, was essentially quiet, scoring onlly 10 points, but Syracuse point guard, Eric Devendorf, was on fire.  He had 21 on the day, including some clutch three-pointers at the end to seal the victory.  They march into the Sweet Sixteen to take on Blake Griffin and #2 Oklahoma.  Syracuse 78, Arizona State 67.

The Arizona Wildcats were the team everyone was talking about on Tournament Selection Sunday.  Why?  Because nobody thought they deserved to be there.  Their record wasn’t that good, and they petered out in the Pac-10 tournament.  They were definitely the last team in, and the worst of the Pac-10 teams there.  Well, guess what, they’re the only Pac-10 team left in the tourney, as they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen yesterday behind Nic Wise’s 21 points.  What people don’t understand about Arizona is they always have NBA caliber players.  Sure, they might not jell as well as they should, but wouldn’t you put your money on a team with at least a few NBA players.  Fortunately for Wildcat fans, this team is finally coming together.  Arizona 71, Cleveland State 57.

And there was a thriller between #3 Missouri and #6 Marquette.  Plus, in a surprise, Marquette got Dominic James back, their star player.  He thought his senior season was done, but there he was playing for his squad.   Missouri was clobbering Marquette, up by as many as 16 points.  But, Marquette came roaring back mid-way through the second half, and the lead just kept changing.  In the end, Missouri was up 81-79, and it was Marquette’s ball with 5.5 seconds to play.  In an unfortunate, Chris Webber bonehead type move, Marquette’s Lazar Heyward stepped on the line when trying to inbound, and folks… that’s a violation.  Missouri ball, and that’s all they would need to advance to the sweet sixteen.  Up next for Mizzou, #2 Memphis.  Missouri 83, Marquette 79.

Finally, there was a thriller in the last game of the day between #1 Louisville, and a sleeper candidate in #9 Sienna.  Louisville had control of the game, but then Sienna battled back and even led by 4 points with under 4 minutes to play. Wow!  However, there was no way Louisville was letting this game slide.  They buckled down, hit some clutch shots, and put up a marvelous defensive performance against Sienna in the closing minutes to hold on for the victory.  Now, Louisville will have their hands full with the surging Arizona Wildcats.  Louisville 79, Sienna 72.

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