Sweet Sixteen Open Thread - Day 2

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.

Final scores:

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.

Final Scores:

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.

Posted by Scrappled at 7:16 PM


Butler is not messing around -- not even a little bit. They're 5-10 from three point range and doing their best to keep up on defense. They're severely undersized compared to Florida's frontcourt.

Mar 23, 2007, 7:38:00 PM  

Also, Len Elmore is awfully fond of the phrase "penetrate and kick", which sounds like the dream date for Pacman Jones.

Mar 23, 2007, 7:53:00 PM  

Florida is getting quite adept at this whole "Let's start the game from behind" thing.

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 7:57:00 PM  

By the way, I think about the possibility of Gus Johnson calling this game, and I cry on the inside.

JB already tried to say that Butler's Eric Green was Sidney Green's kid (that's Florida's Taurean).

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 8:00:00 PM  

They certainly are, but they can get away with that nonsense as long as they can eventually pound it inside to Harford and Noah.

I don't know that they can pull the same routine against a team with a legitimate inside presence like, say, Kansas.

Mar 23, 2007, 8:02:00 PM  

Then again, one of these games they have to start out hot, don't they?


Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 8:08:00 PM  

I wouldn't be surprised if Butler beats them, but I don't think they'll have the legs. Mental fatigue will set in for the second half.

Here in NY I'm getting G-town/Villanova so I'm watching MMOD because.

Yes, I'll continue beating the dead horse---he makes me turn the TV off.

Rod said...
Mar 23, 2007, 8:10:00 PM  

Wow... I could have sworn this Vandy-Georgetown first half was going to end just like the UF-Butler first half.

By the way, I still love how Patrick Ewing Sr. still has the tiniest widow's peak ever. It's like an apostrophe.

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 8:15:00 PM  

I personally love how Ewing sat there motionless as his daughter kept poking him, reminding him that he was on the jumbotron (I can't believe that's an actual word that everyone recognizees), and he kept nodding as if to say, "I know, sweetie, I've been on television for the past 20 years, I'm used to it." But that wasn't enough for CBS, who kept the camera on him until he finally gave the double thumbs-up.

I could look at the reactions of people realizing they're on the big screen all day. That's some underrated comedy, right there.

Mar 23, 2007, 8:20:00 PM  

If someone could explain the logic of that Jeep Patriot commercial where the girl puts the wolf in the canoe with those two guys, I'd appreciate it. Why is taking the canoe a big deal? They're your friends and you have a Jeep! How did she get the canoe back without suffering catastrophic injuries? Can those animals swim? I WANT ANSWERS.

Game on, let's see if Butler has regrouped. I'm expecting a Florida blowout in the second half unless Graves can contribute some offense.

Mar 23, 2007, 8:26:00 PM  

I've just realized that Graves looks just like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly just as he's starting to morph.

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 8:30:00 PM  

Graves does look funny. It's like someone plucked him off my crappy Penn State intramural team in 1997, slapped a Butler uniform on him, and said "okay, go out there and guard Taurian Green."

Mar 23, 2007, 8:35:00 PM  

Nice, Len Elmore just glued "back door" and "penetrate and kick" together in the same sentence. I believe he gets a Triple Double Entendre Score for that.

Mar 23, 2007, 8:38:00 PM  

Man, the referees are calling some shitty (technical basketball term) fouls on Butler.

Also, Lee Humphrey might be related to Cletus from the Simpsons. Uncanny.

Mar 23, 2007, 8:42:00 PM  

Off-topic... how the hell can you "break the seal" after only having one beer? That's bullshit.

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 8:46:00 PM  

Butler is going to the Greg Paulus school of flopping

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 8:53:00 PM  

Flopping is their only chance once Florida gets the ball within 8 feet of the basket.

Where's Vlade Divac when we need him?

Mar 23, 2007, 8:56:00 PM  

Hibbert just got abused on that alley oop...

G:TB said...
Mar 23, 2007, 8:58:00 PM  

I've only seen bits and pieces of Georgetown tonight, but man...for how many people talk about the dominance of Roy Hibbert, I've never really seen it.

I believe Brandon Crone is trying to set the NCAA record for most layups missed in a game.

Somehow, we're down to only 3:30 left in Butler / Florida. This has snuck up on me.

Mar 23, 2007, 9:05:00 PM  

Roy just picked up his fourth foul, and Vandy will not go away...JT3's boys are in serious trouble.

G:TB said...
Mar 23, 2007, 9:13:00 PM  

An addendum... I think Gus Johnson is perfect for calling games that you don't have a rooting interest in. If Gus was calling this game, I might be dead in the next ten minutes.

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 9:14:00 PM  

Uh oh...adios Hibbert...

G:TB said...
Mar 23, 2007, 9:16:00 PM  

Thanks for the G'Town updates...looks like Florida is going to hold on. They 'sacked up at the right time, and Butler just couldn't get an open look at a three in the last minute. Great switching at the top of the defense by Florida.

In the end, Florida's athleticism carried the day.

Mar 23, 2007, 9:19:00 PM  

Man, Billy Packer was quick to not call that a palm...

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 9:23:00 PM  

It's true, he was quick to defend that. I think it was a good no-call, though. Just a high dribble.

Mar 23, 2007, 9:29:00 PM  

Packer's also right about G'Town's stunning refusal to get Green the ball in the low post. He's clearly the best player left on the floor, but they're ignoring him.

Vandy by 1, last chance for the Hoyas...

Mar 23, 2007, 9:32:00 PM  

Also, my girlfriend's bracket is crushed if Georgetown loses. She's not going to be happy about that...

Mar 23, 2007, 9:33:00 PM  


Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 9:34:00 PM  

By the way, I have a Final Four of Florida, Pittsburgh, Ohio State and Georgetown. If I was worried about winning my pool as much as I worry about Florida repeating, I would constantly be throwing up in my mouth a little.

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 9:37:00 PM  

Tough shot, but you see what happens when we actually listen to Billy Packer!

Speaking of throwing up in my mouth a little...

Mar 23, 2007, 9:37:00 PM  

I came in on the end of the Gtown game, so maybe someone can help me out here:

Is Patrick Ewing on the Charles Barkley diet, or is he just wearing a really big shirt?

extrapolater said...
Mar 23, 2007, 9:45:00 PM  

Is it even worth discussing the BLATANT Green travel?

G:TB said...
Mar 23, 2007, 9:49:00 PM  

Well, you know it's a really big shirt. I can't imagine it's easy to keep weight off a 7'0" frame after basketball. He probably still weighs less than Barkley.

If I had AA's technical capabilities, I'd post a YouTube clip of Ewing. I tried to rewind my DVR, but couldn't go back far enough.

Mar 23, 2007, 9:53:00 PM  

Is it even worth discussing the CBS studio crew's BLATANT patriotism?

Matching American flag pins? Really?

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 9:54:00 PM  

By the way, what's better than grad school in Vegas?

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 9:59:00 PM  


Luke said...
Mar 23, 2007, 9:59:00 PM  

It's not patriotism..it's patriotism WITH UPS.

G:TB said...
Mar 23, 2007, 10:00:00 PM  

Hey, some people just love America more than others. What's your excuse, Osama bin Grimey?

I fully expect Oregon to throttle UNLV. The Rebs have had a nice run, but beating Georgia Tech and Wisconsin isn't enough to make me believe in them against Oregon.

I have a moneyline bet on USC...hopefully they can dispatch of North Carolina and make me some cash.

Mar 23, 2007, 10:00:00 PM  


Agreed, but it's at least redeeming itself a little over the last six games.

It's not patriotism..it's patriotism WITH UPS.

Hate those commercials. My girlfriend especially hates them, because that music is by one of her favorite bands (The Postal Service).

By the way, what's better than grad school in Vegas?

Grad school in Vegas when your dad is making a fat Division 1 head coach's salary, of course!

Mar 23, 2007, 10:03:00 PM  

It's official - my bracket with the wife is kaput.

This was the absolute worst year to attempt this. Why? She picked nothing but favorites in the first two rounds.

I think I hate her.

Mar 23, 2007, 10:05:00 PM  

WHY WHY WHY does CBS do this to me. I want to watch Oregon! AHHHHHHH!

USc looks ready to give UNC a game. They play such a great suffocating D.

Pocono said...
Mar 23, 2007, 10:11:00 PM  

After watching Tennessee blow a 20-point lead, it's almost disheartening to see USC go up early on North Carolina.

And it's always nice when your patriotism is provided by your wardrobe department.

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 10:12:00 PM  

It seems that UNC / USC is "my game" for tonight, so if anyone has UNLV / Oregon, feel free to provide us with updates.

Time to concoct some Jager Bombs in the kitchen.

How many times will we have to hear about Tyler H. not wearing the mask tonight? We all know there's only one masked man who matters.

Mar 23, 2007, 10:12:00 PM  

I can't believe you guys aren't talking about Blog Show. Awful Announcing ruled!

Jamie Mottram said...
Mar 23, 2007, 10:14:00 PM  

Grimey -- Agreed on both counts. If they didn't wear those lapels, some maniacs would start a letter writing campaign asking why James Brown hates America.

Mar 23, 2007, 10:14:00 PM  

Is it weird that after reading Jamie's comment, I feel like I should apologize for not watching/discussing the show?

Mar 23, 2007, 10:22:00 PM  

Hey Jamie, here's an idea... steal the theme from that Vince Vaughn SNL sketch "Dog Show." It's catchy (I still remember it nine years later).

Oh, and I'm down in Florida, so we don't quite get WaPoLive. HOWEVUH! We do get Unreliable Sources. And we prank call. Frequently.

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 10:23:00 PM  

Jamie -- Very good to hear. I wish the Philly bloggers would get some love from the media in that area. The newspapers are collapsing and the Comcast Philly personalities are a very inbred/exclusive bunch, so it's the same stuff over and over again. You'd never see any of the best Philly blogs (such as The 700 Level or Beerleaguer) be recognized by Comcast, the Inquirer, or the Daily News.

Congratulations to you and Dan for making a serious dent, not to mention furthering AA's global empire.

Mar 23, 2007, 10:24:00 PM  

Note to Billy Packer -- the toughest kid in college basketball just flopped like a dying fish. If you stopped slurping him for 30 seconds, maybe you would've seen it.

Mar 23, 2007, 10:32:00 PM  

According to Billy Packer, the toughest kid in basketball bled like a geyser after an unintentional foul.

Grimey said...
Mar 23, 2007, 10:36:00 PM  

This UNC / USC game is f'ing bananas.

Mar 23, 2007, 10:40:00 PM  

At what point does UNC start playing defense?

And if you hold the ball for the final shot, shouldn't you make sure you actually end up taking the shot?

Mar 23, 2007, 10:50:00 PM  

Damn, they actually got a really good look out of that last play.

Mar 23, 2007, 10:54:00 PM  

We actually did kinda sorta steal the SNL Dog Show theme song for Blog Show.

And we fully intend to expand into other markets. And by we I mean me.

Anyway, thanks for the kindness. And thank god the Sweet 16 games have been nailbiters pretty much across the board.

Jamie Mottram said...
Mar 23, 2007, 11:04:00 PM  

Its looking like USC may be that underdog everyone routes for this year. They're hardly a lock to beat UNC yet (OSU-Tenn will teach me that.)

I just wish it could have been a school I didn't hate that made this kinda run. Assuming OJ Mayo doesn't alienate his entire team with his attitude this team could contend for the title next year.

BD said...
Mar 23, 2007, 11:09:00 PM  

Jamie, I look forward to seeing you guys up this way (New England), when and if such expansion happens.

And remember - if you're ever looking for someone with minimal writing talent who can barely carry a normal, everyday conversation, let alone one on television, I am SO your guy.

Mar 23, 2007, 11:12:00 PM  

See, Jamie, we in the Channel Four News Team don't really have to watch/listen to our fearless leader any more. We are him and he is us. We're getting an apartment together - all of us. There's just a few logistical details to work out.

extrapolater said...
Mar 23, 2007, 11:17:00 PM  

It's really early in each of the second halves, but these games are rapidly approaching skull-f*cking territory.

Packer just said that Roy Williams is waiting for the TV timeout. Problem is, there was 18:00 left in the second half when Packer said it, which means Roy would have to wait until the first whistle after 16:00 remaining.

Mar 23, 2007, 11:18:00 PM  

Uh, I'll buy an air mattress, thanks.

Mar 23, 2007, 11:19:00 PM  

e - you might want to sit the next couple of plays out, champ.

Mar 23, 2007, 11:26:00 PM  

Not to poke fun at a kid getting hit by a car, and I hope he's okay, but man...Nantz and Packer treated that like the president had been shot.

Mini-run by UNC, but Southern Cal survived it. Four fouls on Taj Gibson, who had been pwning the lane for USC. Still a ten point lead.

Mar 23, 2007, 11:29:00 PM  

Okay, Billy Packer just said that UNC's Wright grabbed the rebound in mid-air and hit a "second gear" to keep elevating as he scored.

Now, I'm no physicist, but the only two plausible options are that Wright has mini jet packs on his shoes or he unleased the most explosive fart in the history March Madness.

Mar 23, 2007, 11:31:00 PM  

RUTS - you're right about the kid getting hit.

Also, isn't it about time we changed up the wording of the official response in these cases? It's like all the owners and university presidents have a template..."We are deeply saddened at this terrible loss..." Is it too much to ask to get some actual feeling in the press release?

Mar 23, 2007, 11:32:00 PM  

Whatever happened, it exhausted him so much that he had to leave the game.

"That nine point halftime lead is only eight." - JN

UNC has cut one point off the halftime lead in almost nine minutes. At this rate, they should pull even with USC just in time to start the regional final on Sunday.

Mar 23, 2007, 11:34:00 PM  

OMDQ -- All I'm saying is, when Nantz started that statement about the mascot accident, my first thought was "holy shit, Michael Jordan died!" It sounded that serious.

Mar 23, 2007, 11:37:00 PM  

USC seems determined to make me scream out "what the f*ck was that?" as many times as possible this half.

Tim Floyd better put Gibson back in the game. Immediately. If he fouls out, he fouls out.

Mar 23, 2007, 11:39:00 PM  

I hear ya, RUTS. Even after he said the name, I was sitting here racking my brain, trying to figure out if I should know who this person was.

Unfortunately, I've fallen behind in my ACC mascot studies, so I had never actually heard his name before.

Mar 23, 2007, 11:42:00 PM  

I assume those press releases are written by the lawyers so that they can't be used as fodder in a lawsuit.

"Did he say he was sorry? Well, that implies guilt. I say we sue his ass."

extrapolater said...
Mar 23, 2007, 11:45:00 PM  

Gut check time for the Trojans.

"Do you think we have a tired team in USC?" - BP

Wasn't it a North Carolina player who was begging out of the game five minutes ago?

"Look at his uniform - it's completely drenched." - BP

Yes, Billy, he is sweating. 35 minutes of basketball will do that to you.

It might be because I'm expecting it, but does Packer sound almost gleeful now that Carolina has taken the lead?

Mar 23, 2007, 11:49:00 PM  

While I admire North Carolina's determination in making this comeback, USC is utterly gagging right now.

Of the two announcers, who is the college basketball expert? Packer thinks that USC is simply tired. Nantz correctly noted that ever since Taj Gibson picked up his fourth foul, USC's been in the tank. I go with Nantz on this one.

I don't know what Tim Floyd's timeout strategy is, but holy crap, he should've been pulling his team over to the sideline much more often once they started taking awful, off-balance 19-footers with a 12 point lead. His team panicked, and he did nothing.

Mar 23, 2007, 11:53:00 PM  

Floyd couldn't call timeout - O.J. Mayo didn't give him the okay.

Mar 23, 2007, 11:55:00 PM  

Packer's just trying to drive his point into the ground. And he's wrong. Severely wrong.

When Gibson picked up his fourth foul with about 12:30 left, USC had a 12 point lead. Now they're down 7, and most of those UNC baskets came around the hoop with a variety of putbacks and layups. You tell me what changed the game.

Now this asshole is saying that Green from G'Town didn't walk just because none of the refs called it. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it...

Mar 23, 2007, 11:58:00 PM  

Re the Vanderbilt-Georgetown "non-call" on the travel...

Are. You. Kidding. Me.

They have to slow it down and show all sorts of reverse angles to point out the "travel"...there is no point to this other than creating controversy.

Aren't journalists supposed to report news, not create it?

Mar 23, 2007, 11:58:00 PM  

Don't tell anybody, but UNLV is only down four points with 0:41 left...

Mar 24, 2007, 12:00:00 AM  

Don't tell me...I have Oregon in the Final Four on more than one bracket.

Mar 24, 2007, 12:01:00 AM  

I don't think he's intentionally being "controversial" regarding the uncalled traveleing. I mean, to be controversial, there would have to be some sort of legitimate argument on both sides, right?

And Christ On A Bun, Tim Floyd! What are you doing? Fitting, I suppose, as he did nothing to stop the bleeding as UNC was making their comeback.

Mar 24, 2007, 12:05:00 AM  

Oregon covers by a point! I win $10.

Mar 24, 2007, 12:05:00 AM  

"Any thoughts, Billy?"

"I just think USC ran out of gas, that's all there was to it."

Mar 24, 2007, 12:07:00 AM  

Yeah, he just couldn't resist one more attempt. What an obtuse, arrogant prick...

Mar 24, 2007, 12:13:00 AM  

Packer was so giddy, giggling at Roy Williams after the game. What I learned from him tonight: USC players are sweaty.

A Belly Prick said...
Mar 24, 2007, 12:35:00 AM  

This collapse by USC has got me so angry, I've posted a rant on my blog.


mookie said...
Mar 24, 2007, 12:50:00 AM  

So excited for 3 hours on the road to the final four, considering I've been watching the whole tournament. I can't wait to watch what I've already watched, hear about Noah's parents and other sob stories.

McFad said...
Mar 24, 2007, 7:14:00 AM  

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Anonymous said...
Jul 22, 2007, 7:27:00 PM  

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