Blog Entry from the NCAA tournament

Posted on: March 19, 2009 11:46 am
Edited on: March 23, 2009 1:22 pm

Tournament blogs

Our senior writers and correspondents were scattered across the country, covering every game of the first two rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. In addition to writing columns, they blogged daily from each site:

Gary Parrish in Greensboro, N.C. : Parrish: The Thoughts
Dennis Dodd in Kansas City, Mo.: Dodds and Ends
Gregg Doyel in Dayton: Doyel's Dribbles
Mike Freeman in Philadelphia: Freestyle
Pete Prisco in Minneapolis: Prisco's Points
Jamey Eisenberg in Miami: Eisenblog

Dantheman4250: Tournament Take

Sunday, March 22


And your Sweet 16 Cinderella is ... Arizona?
The big boys have taken over March, leaving the little guy out in the cold. Where does the tournament go from here? Gary Parrish has all the numbers on the Sweet 16, and sticks with his picks.


Louisville lives to play another day thanks to Williams
Siena could smell the upset. Time for Louisville to panic? No, time to call on Terrence Williams. Now the Cardinals are off to the Sweet 16 after a 79-72 win and it's all because of the super senior, Gregg Doyel says.

Proper prodding propels Panthers to appropriate heights
Oklahoma State was nearly perfect in the first half, and still found itself tied with Pittsburgh at the break. As good as the Cowboys were, that's how well the Panthers responded, an effort validating their No. 1 seed, Gregg Doyel says.


Izzo's track record in March puts Spartans in good spot
Michigan State is Sweet 16-bound after a 74-69 win over USC. Despite a lack of star power, the Spartans shouldn't be taken lightly -- not with Tom Izzo coaching in March, Pete Prisco says.

Aldrich adds to KU's rich tradition, defending champs not done yet
The defending champs are in the Midwest semis after a 60-43 win over Dayton. Cole Aldrich grabs 20 boards, blocks 10 shots and scores 13 as 'rebuilding' Kansas continues to surprise, Pete Prisco says.


Wildcats need just one Wise man to reach Sweet 16
This Wise man says: 'We knew we could be here all along.' Nic Wise leads Arizona to a 71-57 win over Cleveland State. It's Wise's time and he's taking advantage, Jamey Eisenberg says.

Add Arizona State to list of Devendorf's haters
Syracuse guard Eric Devendorf is hated by a lot of fans for questionable behavior both on and off the court. Jamey Eisenberg says Devendorf is working on cleaning up his personal life, but he's still irritating opponents -- and that was bad news for Arizona State on Sunday.


Freshman 'Microwave' English boosts Mizzou into regional semis
Kim English fills in for J.T. Tiller at the free-throw line with 5.5 seconds left and nails both to help Missouri fend off Marquette 83-79. The Tigers freshman knows something about efficiency, Jerry Palm says.

In battle of wills, Xavier's defense imposes its own
Wisconsin is no stranger to defense, so what Xavier did to the Badgers on Sunday might have looked familiar. Trailing in the second half, the Musketeers clamped down and showed their stinginess, Jerry Palm says.

Saturday, March 21


Feel-good Blue Devils get it done when it counts
A couple rebounds, some timely whistles, a few free throws. The result? Duke beats Texas 74-69 to reach the Sweet 16. Gary Parrish says it's the Blue Devils making plays at the right time.

Heels step in right direction when toe doesn't slow Lawson
Score tied, eight minutes left. And LSU doesn't stand a chance. North Carolina wins 84-70 on a surge fueled by Ty Lawson -- a good sign for a team that can't win the title without its star point guard, Gary Parrish says.


Eight, nine, futility time: Cowboys, Saints will learn Sunday
Thanks for nothing. Gregg Doyel says that would be an appropriate response from Siena, generously seeded ninth, and Oklahoma State, an insulting eighth, because top-seeded foes loom for both.


Two routs for UConn mean only one conclusion: Huskies are No. 1
It's another blowout for UConn, this time a 92-66 thrashing of a solid Texas A&M team. Still doubting the Huskies? After two rounds, the verdict is clear, Mike Freeman says: UConn is the best team in the tournament.

Villanova gives UCLA a dose of Philly justice
It's a game Rocky Balboa would appreciate. Early and often, at every opportunity, Villanova brutally beats on up UCLA, Mike Freeman says, scoring a knockout that sends the Wildcats to the Sweet 16.


Blake bringin' flexing back as OU regains its groove
Blake Griffin flexes with 33 points and 14 rebounds as Oklahoma beats Michigan 73-63 and moves to the Sweet 16. After a month of frustration, the Sooners finally have their mojo back, Dennis Dodd says.

Memphis pulls out all the stops in dumping Maryland
Consider this a lesson, Greivis Vasquez. Don't denigrate a team on a 26-game winning streak. And now it's 27 after Memphis rolls over Maryland, leaving Vasquez and the Terps wondering what happened, Dennis Dodd says.


For Dayton to continue flying, it must be Wright
Wondering why 11th-seeded Dayton is still playing? It's because of 'Top Flight.' Yes, that's Wright ... as in Chris Wright. Pete Prisco says maybe the kid can do for the Flyers what Larry Bird did for Indiana State.


Goodson's winning shot brings up the question: Where was WKU?
Gonzaga takes Western Kentucky's best shot, then delivers the K.O. After a 3 ties it with seconds left, Demetri Goodson goes coast-to-coast to win it 83-81. Clark Judge wonders, where was the defense?

J.J. doubles up on defense to save Boilermakers
Washington had the crowd and the momentum. But not JaJuan Johnson, Clark Judge says. Purdue's star blocks two shots late, securing a 76-74 win and propelling the Boilermakers back to the Sweet 16.


Vikings won't pull surprise attack on Arizona
A 13-4 upset will definitely get you one thing: attention. With Cedric Jackson leading Cleveland State's stunning win over Wake, Jamey Eisenberg says the Vikings will not catch their next opponent -- Arizona -- unprepared.

Syracuse poses sizeable challenge to Arizona State
Syracuse and Arizona State will battle for a spot in the Sweet 16. And battle is an appropriate word. With size and toughness in abundance, the Orange pose a tall obstacle to the Sun Devils, Jamey Eisenberg says.


Missouri will allow no rest for weary Marquette
As if winning without Dominic James isn't tough enough, now Marquette must contend with Missouri's pressure defense. So while the short-handed Eagles battle the Tigers, they'll also be battling fatigue, Jerry Palm says.

Friday, March 20


Without great point guard, Duke, Texas won't compete for national title
Texas is a good team. Duke could make it to the Final Four. But without great point guards, neither team will be competing for a national championship anytime soon, Gary Parrish says.


Dear Tennessee: Wish you had been here
Oklahoma State played a team referred to as Tennessee on Friday in the NCAA tournament in Dayton. But Gregg Doyel knows what Tennessee basketball once was under Bruce Pearl, and after watching these satisfied, indifferent 'Vols' lose, he wonders: Who were those guys?

Make your peace now, because Pitt just doomed you
This is the Big East's best? A No. 1 seed? Gregg Doyel is in trouble, and so are you, because bracket-favorite Pitt has the look of an also-ran after barely squeaking by No. 16 East Tennessee State 82-72.

Siena's unlikely hero Moore sinks Buckeyes in double-OT upset
Bye-bye Buckeyes. Ronald Moore hits two big 3s, one at the end of the first OT to tie and the game winner in the second overtime as Siena drops Ohio State 74-72. Moore is the unlikeliest of heroes, Gregg Doyel says.


Point guard showdown the show as Jayhawks outlast Bison
Sherron Collins and Ben Woodside are exhausted, but Pete Prisco isn't tired of raving about them. This point guard duel in Kansas' victory over North Dakota State is what the NCAA tournament is all about.

With opening win, Dayton proves to be bigger than imagined
Dayton who? Not many know of the A-10 program, but with a 68-60 win over sixth-seeded West Virginia, Pete Prisco says the No. 11 seed Flyers are going to be noticed. Next up for UD, Kansas on Sunday.

USC tough enough to take down Boston College
Aren't East Coast programs supposed to be the hard-nosed schools? Someone needs to remind USC of that. The Trojans rough up Boston College in their 72-55 win, leaving Pete Prisco very impressed.


Nobody believing in Bruins -- which is hard to believe
It's not that Mike Freeman doesn't think Villanova might indeed dispatch UCLA from the NCAA tournament Saturday. What he can't believe is how little respect the Bruins have received, starting with being named a sixth seed.


Oklahoma's Griffin perseveres despite cheap shots
He's one of the best players in the college game, but should OU's Blake Griffin have to endure cheap-shot artists? Dennis Dodd says the strategy is just wrong and might force elite players to go pro earlier.


Huskies no longer two-man show
Hey, Purdue. You're probably geared up for Washington's Jon Brockman and Isaiah Thomas on Saturday. But Clark Judge wants to remind the Boilermakers about Quincy Pondexter, who lately has been living up to expectations.


During Harden times, Sun Devils pick up slack
ASU is more than James Harden. With the sophomore struggling, teammates Jeff Pendergraph and Derek Glasser lead the Sun Devils past Temple 66-57. With Syracuse looming, balance is the key, Jamey Eisenberg says.

'Cats enjoy underdog role but 'came here to win the whole thing'
Ah, the dreaded 12-5 upset -- and from Arizona. After hearing the complaints about their presence in the tourney, the 'Cats advance with an 84-71 win over Utah. Hoops fans are now behind 'Zona, Jamey Eisenberg says.

Victory! Vikings surprise everyone but themselves
How about Cleveland State? After upsetting Indiana 23 years ago in the tournament, the Vikings pull out an 84-69 upset of Wake Forest. Meet March Madness' new underdog, Jamey Eisenberg says.


Defenses, speed the stories as Marquette holds off Utah State
When high-powered offenses from Marquette and Utah State meet Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament, you of course get -- a tight, low-scoring game. Jerry Palm says both teams have strong defensive stretches, but in the end, it's the Golden Eagles' speed that makes the difference.

Defense, 3-pointers key Wisconsin's thriller in OT
Wisconsin got its act together in the second half. After shooting 28 percent before halftime, the No. 12 Badgers hit their stride -- and 3s -- in their 61-59 win over fifth-seeded FSU. Jerry Palm says Wisconsin comes alive at the perfect time.

Thursday, March 19


Duke looks to return to accustomed spot in Sweet 16
Overrated? Fans just love to rip Duke. After defeating Binghamton 86-62, the Devils face a real test, Gary Parrish says. Will they continue their early exits or return to the Sweet 16? They're good enough, but let's wait and see.

LSU's Thornton shows he's best POY you've never heard of
Quick, name the SEC Player of the Year. Gary Parrish says in the time you took to figure it out, the culprit, LSU's Marcus Thornton, probably scored 10 of his 30 points in Thursday's opening NCAA tournament victory over Butler.


Maynor has ball in hand, but win isn't in cards
The upset was in Eric Maynor's hand with time running out. But his shot? Just short. Sorry, VCU, solid defense from No. 6 seed UCLA is why you are heading home with a 65-64 defeat, Mike Freeman says.

Lucky 'Cats better step it up or they're going home
Nice try, AU. Third-seeded 'Nova rallies from 14 down to avoid the first big upset with an 80-67 victory over the 14th-seeded Eagles. The Wildcats are lucky and they need to step it up or they're done, Mike Freeman says.

Calhoun conundrum casts shadow over Huskies' first win
What's wrong with coach Jim Calhoun, and when will he be back? It's a big issue for UConn after a 103-47 rout of Chattanooga. The Huskies aren't being forthright, bringing more questions from Mike Freeman.


Michigan's victory is 11 years in the making
Don't blame Michigan for savoring this one. In its first tourney game in 11 years, the 10th-seeded Wolverines hang on to oust seventh-seeded Clemson 62-59. After all the sanctions, this one feels good for Michigan, Dennis Dodd says.

Terps support under-fire Williams with opening-round win
Since winning the 2002 title, things have gone sour in College Park. But Maryland is moving on after an 81-74 win over Cal. The Terps continue to back their much-criticized coach, Gary Williams, Dennis Dodd says.


No celebrating: Business as usual for WKU following victory
Whew, take a breath Western Kentucky. The 12th-seeded Hilltoppers overpower No. 5 seed Illinois 76-72 but don't call it an upset -- WKU is that good, Clark Judge says.

Dear Purdue, be afraid of this Washington squad
In basically a home atmosphere, Washington dispatches SEC tourney champ Mississippi State 71-58. Clark Judge is impressed and says the Huskies' next opponent -- Purdue -- should be nervous for Saturday.




Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: March 21, 2009 6:47 pm from the NCAA tournament

Good call on MD.   Every year the best teams always have a sub par game against the lesser teams in the early rounds.   All that counts is advancing unless of course you bet against the spread.  Mizzo has no shot.  

Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: March 21, 2009 6:44 pm from the NCAA tournament

Good call on A&M.    

Since: Jul 9, 2008
Posted on: March 21, 2009 2:58 pm

Beware UConn

....Texas A&M no pushover......better be ready!!! Big 12 very good this year  Pitt also better be ready

Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: March 21, 2009 2:56 pm from the NCAA tournament

 I have watched just about every game and it really bothers me that so many charges are being called...especially so close to the basket. Many times players are either flopping or sliding under the ball-handler and I think the whole flow of the game would be better served to let more of these go uncalled. I don't like too much about the pro game, but at least you can't take a charge under the basket. Any thoughts out there?

Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: March 20, 2009 8:33 pm from the NCAA tournament

Worst coverage I have seen ever in March Madness. 3-4 minutes of every game in the tournament doesn't give a true feel of what is happening in the games I am most interested in seeing. You have cut away at critical times at least a half dozen times and then done a poor job of keeping viewers informed. Must be time for a movie.



Since: Sep 3, 2008
Posted on: March 19, 2009 10:55 pm blogs from the NCAA tournament

The portal works fine for me, on an HP running XP and an a Macintosh.  Maybe it's your equipment?

Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: March 19, 2009 8:13 pm blogs from the NCAA tournament

What? Did the bloggers go home for the day?

No updates in 3 hours! Someone's not earning their $$$... 

Since: Feb 17, 2009
Posted on: March 19, 2009 7:54 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 30, 2009
Posted on: March 19, 2009 7:02 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: March 19, 2009 6:57 pm blogs from the NCAA tournament

I have got Mizzou, Oklahoma, Duke, and Louisville, and I feel very strong about a Pitino last second shot game winner, to avenge Christian Laetner's shot.  No doubt in my head Ville 4 Real Babay!!!!

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