Thursday, March 15, 2007
No one is giving Coach Sampson and the Hoosiers a chance. I actually hear him say this morning that this Indiana "isn't a good team" at the press conference. Can Gonzaga win without the Mushroom Lover?
OMDQ is your host for the late game. Join him after for some hot commenting action after the jump.
Indiana #7 West Region:
Conference Big Ten
Location Bloomington, IN
Coach Kelvin Sampson (since 2006)
Arena Assembly Hall
Record 20-10 (10-6)
NCAA Appearances 33
NCAA Record 59-28 (.678)
Last Bid 2006
Last Win 2006
Gonzaga #10 West Region:
Conference West Coast
Location Spokane, WA
Coach Mark Few (since 1999)
Arena McCarthy Athletic Center
Record 23-10 (11-3)
NCAA Appearances 9
NCAA Record 12-9 (.571)
Last Bid 2006
Last Win 2006
Friends, Romans, countrymen...how's it goin'?
Most of the regulars here at Awful Announcing know and tolerate me, but for those of you who are new to the area, allow me to briefly introduce myself: my name is Brian, I write a blog called One More Dying Quail, and my favorite baseball player of all time is Kevin Romine. I've worked a few live-blogs for AA in the past, but this is my first stab at college basketball. We'll see how it goes. The only thing I can guarantee is that I will not make a single Borat joke.
Actually, I think the goal tonight should be to get mentioned in Bill Simmons' running diary at ESPN.com. He's got House running the Google searches, so all I need to do is hit the right word combination. Help me out in the comments, if you like.
9:48 - Alright, let's get this party started. Indiana wins the tip.
9:49 - The Zags are on the board first. 2-0.
9:51 - Okay, Matt Bouldin...is there something in the Gonzaga University bylaws that states that the basketball team must have a goofy white guy with bad long hair on the floor at all times? The Adam Morrison Rule, perhaps?
9:53 - First TV timeout, Gonzaga is up 7-6. I am anxiously awaiting the first appearance of Zags junior guard Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes. You're gonna have to try awfully hard to convince me that he does not possess the greatest name in college basketball. And he's Canadian!
9:55 - James Brown and Len Elmore are your announcers. Sorry for not mentioning that earlier. I'm a bad person.
9:57 - I've seen them play for 4 minutes and 29 seconds and I already love this Gonzaga team. Pretty sure they've all partied with Josh Heytvelt at one time or another.
9:59 - "Another limb has spawned from the coaching tree of Billy Donovan." - Elmore
9:59 - 11-10, Indiana at the 14:10 mark. This is shaping up to be a decent game - hopefully they don't take it away from me and show a more regional matchup.
10:00 - Is there a stranger phrase in broadcasting than "finding the range"? What does it mean?
10:02 - Neither team shooting well at the start - Gonzaga 4-11, Indiana 4-13 thus far.
10:03 - Elmore just stole my Matt Bouldin-Adam Morrison hair joke, then made the leap to the obvious mustache joke before I got there. Grrr.
10:04 - Under 12 minutes to play, Indiana by five, 17-12.
10:06 - Come on, House. Come on, JackO. Come on, Bill. Google "awful announcing, bill simmons" already. Stop by and leave a comment if you like.
10:09 - Jesus, Indiana already has six threes in this game. They have twenty points overall. Insane.
10:10 - "Roderick Wilmont is a terrific three point shooter - 39%." - Elmore
That's not terrific, Len. That's kind of "Eh."
10:12 - Long pass from Pargo to Raivio, who makes a nice move for the layup, and Gonzaga is within three.
10:15 - Wow, that was exciting. Return from commercial, Indiana runs one offensive play, a jump ball is called, and we're gone again for the TV timeout. Can you tell how pumped I am about this?
10:19 - Early returns on UNC-Eastern Kentucky are no surprise: the Tar Heels lead by 16 after six minutes.
10:21 - Len Elmore talks about the history of Gonzaga as a Cinderella team, dating all the way back to 1995. If you're in your twelfth season in that role, can you really still be considered a Cinderella? Or are you just a decent team from a weaker conference that is consistently given a low seed in the tournament?
10:24 - Grimey said...By the way, I'm UNC, Pitt, Zags and Xavier away from being perfect for the day. And for some reason that's scary/
Even scarier? My wife had a perfect bracket until the Duke loss, and she watches less college basketball than I do.
10:29 - I know I said this was a decent game, but now I'm not so sure. It's close, at least: 30-29, Hoosiers.
10:33 - First half winding down and Indiana is holding true to the form it has established thus far. They build a five point lead, Gonzaga closes to one, Indiana stretches it back to five. Over and over and over again.
10:34 - Gonzaga gets the last shot of the half, down 34-29, but misses a wide open six footer as time expires.
10:37 - Kevin Harlan and Bob Wenzel are bringing us some bonus halftime coverage of Pittsburgh-Wright State. Thought you might enjoy a few thoughts. I'll put 'em in italics so nobody (translation: me) gets confused.
10:39 - And as soon as they switch to the game, Wright state ties it at 22. According to Harlan, they were down 13-0 at one point.
10:41 - I feel like spewing random profanity right now. The same exact play as the Gonzaga-Indiana game happened here - timeout, run one offensive play, then TV timeout. Completely annoying. Almost as bad as the timeouts before and after the kickoff in football games.
10:44 - Win or lose in the NCAA Tournament, Wright State will always have "the greatest flag-football team around":
10:45 - Hard intentional foul called on Wright State; Aaron Gray makes one of two free throws. Wright State followed up with two chances to tie or take the lead, but missed a long three and threw away a fast-break pass on two consecutive possessions.
10:48 - I'm confused as hell: Wenzel just referred to Gray as a "great player and a great academician." I think that's how you would spell that; I had to wing it because, you know, it's not really a word.
10:49 - Back to Greg Gumbel and back to work. Bonus coverage is all over (even though Pitt-Wright State might be the best game going on right now; the Raiders are absolutely swarming Gray whenever he gets near the ball) and we'll be back with Gonzaga-Indiana after the break.
10:55 - Back to Sacramento. The Hoosiers extend the lead to seven with the opening basket of the half. 37-29.
10:56 - It just occurred to me that I have written almost nothing about individual players for Indiana. Sorry about that. It's just that I am continually intrigued by the "stoned hippy" look being sported by half of Gonzaga's roster.
10:58 - Four straight points from Gonzaga cuts the lead to three. Indiana gets it back up to five on the next trip down the floor.
11:00 - Both teams are shooting 34% from the floor. Blech.
11:01 - Grimey says...if CBS can find Vitaly Potapenko in the Wright State/Pitt crowd, I will be happy.
You and me both, Grimey, you and me both.
11:02 - Roderick Wilmont hits another three to make it 41-35. David Pendergraft misses on two consecutive trips down the floor for the Zags, including a layup that touched th eentire rim and some of the backboard before rolling out.
11:03 - Indiana is trying to open this thing up a little bit. Good defense + improving offense = bigger lead.
This one's for Grimey
11:08 - Not only are the Zags fading in this one, Wright State is now trailing Pittsburgh by 13. Clearly, the Raiders play better when they know an audience is watching.
11:11 - I don't like CSI:Miami. David Caruso sucks and Emily Proctor talks way too quietly. Just wanted to get that off my chest.
11:12 - Great hustle play by Indiana to keep an errant rebound from going out of bounds and getting two points out of the deal. Lead momentarily to ten before Raivio hits for two.
11:13 - Pendergraft nails an open jumper; 45-39, Indiana.
11:19 - A little overdue, but Gonzaga cuts the lead to four.
AND THERE HE IS! Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes! Now I can die in peace.
11:21 - Gonzaga has an absolutely outstanding name team on the court right now, with P-MAC, Abdullai Kuso and Pendergraft in the game. Of course, as soon as I write that, Kuso turns the ball over, commits a foul, and gets pulled from the game.
11:23 - P-MAC is making the wrong kind of difference in this game. The Indiana lead is back up to ten with under ten minutes to play in the second half.
11:24 - Oops, they're taking me over to Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas for North Carolina-Eastern Kentucky. EKU (?) is within seven with about fifteen minutes to play. Gonzaga-Indiana is regular font, Wright State-Pittsburgh is italicized - let's make this one bold.
11:25 - UNC is trying to pull away again. Unlike Wright State, Eastern Kentucky is suddenly sucking with their move to the featured game. Tar Heels have stretched the lead from four to eleven in just a couple of minutes.
11:28 - Just a heads-up: if we get sent back to Wright State-Pittsburgh, I have a YouTube clip of Vitaly Potapenko ready to post. You've been warned.
11:30 - Shit, I'm running out of font styles. They're passing us over to Xavier-BYU; tied at 71 coming up on two minutes to play. Gus Johnson and some other guy are calling this one. I'm interested to hear Johnson's style - Bill Simmons and his posse are in love with the guy.
11:33 - BYU hits two free throws to take the lead, Xavier immediately ties it on the other end.
11:34 - Great plays on either end: a runner in the lane for Xavier and a putback for BYU. It's a two-point Xavier lead with under 30 seconds to play, and Gus Johnson is getting excited. I'm starting to understand his appeal.
11:37 - BYU with two shots in the lane, but neither fall. Drew Lavender hits two free throws and Xavier is up four with 11.2 remaining in the game.
11:38 - The other three games all feature double-digit leads. Pitt withstood the Wright State rally to build a fourteen point lead, UNC is up thirteen on Eastern Kentucky, and Indiana leads Gonzaga by eleven.
11:39 - BYU pushes the ball up the floor and scores as time expires, but unfortunately it's not a four-pointer. Xavier "upsets" BYU, 79-77 - they get the luxury of facing Ohio State in the second round on Saturday.
11:41 - They throw us back to James Brown and Len Elmore in Sacramento, where the Hoosiers lead 63-52 with three minutes to play.
11:44 - With so much live blogging going on around the internet today (WBRS,Deadspin and Bill Simmons had threads running all day), I started trying to figure out what my seeding might be if live-blogs were a tournament. Shanoff, The Mighty MJD and Simmons would be number ones, for sure...the guys at WBRS might be a four or five...I'm gonna go out on a limb and give myself a 14. Not likely to do much, but could surprise some people and pull off an upset. Anyway...we've pretty much entered blowout mode here: Indiana is avenging last season's second round loss to the Zags, building a 70-55 lead with under a minute to play.
11:50 - Final score: Indiana 70, Gonzaga 57. Think the Zags could have used Heytvelt's 15 points per game in this one?
11:52 - If Jim Nantz is gonna work at Circuit City, shouldn't he at least make an effort to wear the appropriate uniform?
11:55 - UNC started playing again after Eastern Kentucky's run and leads by 24 with under two minutes to play.
11:56 - File this one in the "Um, okay" department: as Carolina brings the ball up the court, Enberg's voice suddenly grew very somber as he mentioned that Roy Williams' sister died last night in an assisted living facility. No response from Bilas and Enberg almost immediately changed the topic to some mundane game detail. It was almost like he was fulfilling some obligation to say twenty words about the situation.
11:59 - Another one in the books: Tar Heels win, 86-65. They began flashing the credits and whatnot across the screen with about ten seconds to play.
12:01 - It's past midnight and I've done bits and pieces of the last four games; no way I'm leaving now, even if Wright State trails Pittsburgh by eighteen with three minutes to play. Me and Grimey, we're in this thing to the bitter end.
12:03 - There's 1:45 to play, Pittsburgh has an 18 point lead, and I made a promise earlier, so here's Vitaly getting dunked on by Smush Parker:
12:04 - Great exchange: Wright State player blows a dunk, Pitt gets the rebound, the player who missed the dunk steals the ball immediately and dishes it off to a teammate who puts it down.
12:07 - Pitt finishes off Wright State 79-58. They'll play Du...um, VCU in the second round on Saturday.
12:08 - I think that's it. I think it's done. It's amazing how two and a half hours can feel like six when you're getting bounced all over the place. All the same, it was nice to see a variety of different games and players.
The most refreshing thing about tonight's games, from my perspective? Eastern Kentucky and Wright State were losing badly by the end of their respective games, but they never stopped playing hard. Those kids were hustling and working hard right up to the final buzzer. I like that.
On the whole, this was a fairly uneventful day. As Greg Gumbel is saying right now, there were no big surprises. BYU-Xavier could be termed an upset, but it was really a 9 beating an 8 - the seedings could have easily been reversed - and Duke was only a 6 seed because they are Duke.
We'll be back here tomorrow (today, actually) with another full slate of games, but I'll leave that for AA to discuss. For now, this is Brian from One More Dying Quail - you stay classy, Internets.
And thanks for stopping by.
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