Friday, March 23, 2007
Run Up The Score here. Hopefully, those of you in the D.C. / Baltimore area caught AA on WaPo Live tonight. He's probably stuck in traffic, or celebrating his appearance over drinks with Jamie and Dan. In his absence, I bequeath to you the gift of Open Thread.
Your early games are Florida vs. Butler (currently a 14-6 lead for the little guys!) and Georgetown vs. Vanderbilt, followed by North Carolina vs. Southern Cal and Oregon vs. UNLV. Your running commentary, predictions, bracket eulogies, and critiques of The Blog Show are humbly requested after the jump.
It's not a real live-blog...just some periodic updates. Head down to the comments for real-time commentary.
Halftime couldn't come fast enough for Butler, who finished the half on the short end of a 13-0 Florida run. That's Florida for you -- alternatively sleepwalking and dominating. I'm not so sure they get away with this routine against any of the remaining elite teams, but who knows, maybe they don't come out half-assed against a team like Ohio State, Kansas, or North Carolina.
Meanwhile, over in beautiful East Rutherford, Georgetown has apparently awakened after falling behind Vandy by 13. Vandy looks to be taking some pretty bad shots at this point, while Georgetown looks energized, yet methodical. Yet, just as I type that sentence, Vandy hits a wide open three after two extra passes. They follow that with a beautiful back door cut (not as painful as it sounds, I'm sure) for a layup and an eight point lead. Georgetown turns it over after Lil' Ewing slips underneath the basket, and Vandy has the ball with 6.4 seconds left in the half. Nice run by Georgetown to make up for fifteen minutes of garage basketball, but they threw it away in the last minute, and are down 32-24 at half.
While this doesn't come close to making up for the lack of upsets in the first two rounds, I don't remember a Sweet Sixteen ever being quite this good. Two one-point games and a three-point game last night (even the UCLA / Pitt game was relatively close) and two very close games tonight. Florida leads by 3 with 5:00 left, and Georgetown leads by 2 with 10:00 remaining. Good stuff.
Florida 65, Butler 57 (Recap Box Score)
Georgetown 66, Vanderbilt 65 (Box Score)
Two more tremendous games, as this NCAA tournament continues the rare trend of getting better as it progresses. Can we keep the trend going with USC vs. UNC and Oregon vs. UNLV?
Sure looks like it. Oregon has a four point lead on UNLV (37-33, halftime) and the North Carolina / USC game is an end-to-end clusterfrick filled with tremendous athletes and some scorching USC shooting (53%) -- they lead 42-33 with 0.8 seconds left in the half. Everyone on the court looks really, really fast except for Tyler Hansbrough, who will probably receive a lovely bouquet of roses at halftime from an obviously smitten Billy Packer.
Rut-roh, it's another double-digit comeback by a #1 seed. North Carolina has practically erased an early second half 16 point USC lead. It's a one point game with 7:18 remaining. USC looks disjointed and discouraged, and to be honest, they've given it away just as much as UNC has taken it away. Two quick fast break buckets, and the Tar Heels now lead by 3.
Oregon 76, UNLV 72 (Box Score)
North Carolina 74, Southern California 64 (Box Score)
Total choke job by Tim Floyd and USC, as they completely fell apart once UNC started showing signs of life midway through the second half. Nice fight by UNLV in the other game, but Oregon holds on for the victory.
Thanks to everybody who stopped by tonight. I'm sure this thread will be a pleasant surprise to
Hollywood Awful Announcing tomorrow morning.