Friday, March 16, 2012

SBz March Madness Live Blog: Round of 64, Day 2

With John Woods, Adam Maher

Updates scrolling from top to bottom!

During yesterday's SportzBroz live-blogging of all the Madness, we saw close games, blowouts, upsets, and we-thought-that-would-happens. After following along Selection Sunday what else could we expect? It's March Madness!

Yesterday afternoon and into the evening, Colorado State got smashed by Murray State to kick off the tournament, Kansas State followed suit to send Southern Miss packing, Louisville almost lost it, but ended up winning by seven over Davidson, Wisconsin played their part by beating Montana handily, Marquette trounced the Mormons 88 - 68, Syracuse almost made history by becoming the first ever 1 seed to get knocked out in the first round, Long Beach wore less sun tan lotion than New Mexico, Harvard forgot to do their homework the night before losing to their southern equivalents, Vanderbilt.

Kentucky dominated Western Kentucky, VCU is braking brackets for the second year in a row with a win over a very talented Wichita State team, West Virginia got embarrassed by Gonzaga, Baylor's neon yellows tucked South Dakota State to bed, UCONN was ousted by Iowa State (first time a returning champion was knocked out in the Round of 64 since 1996 when Princeton beat UCLA), Ohio State laughed in Loyola Maryland's grill with a 19-point win, New Mexico State got Zellered, and UNLV ended the day with an upset loss to Colorado.

Day 1 SBZ MVP definitely went to Rodney McGruder from Kansas State, who dropped 30 points coming off the bench. Royce White gets honorable mention for the insane dunk he threw down on UCONN in their first minute of action.

Today will be no different. In fact, it will be better. The tournament is in full swing. Proven by the fact that it turned Mario Williams signing a deal potentially worth up to $100M with the Buffalo Bills into secondary news - well, he did chose money over playoffs, ipso facto headlines.

On today's plate we have some compelling match ups: Cincinnati v. Texas, N.C. State v. San Diego State, Alabama v. Creighton, UVA v. Florida, Saint Bonaventure v. FSU, Belmont v. Georgetown, Vermont (the only team from New England still in March Madness) v. UNC, Norfolk v. Missouri, the list goes on. Duke and Kansas highlight the primetime games later on.

John and I (Adam) will be here all day live-blogging the games that are being played during business hours up-to-the-minute, so you'll know exactly what's been going on as soon as you get to the bar.

Action starts at 12:15 with Cincinnati v. Texas. See you then.

PS - Shout out to Chris Kruk, who's in first place of my bracket pool.

Feel free to skip to the 2-minute mark.

12:05: Cincy (6) v. Texas (11) starts in ten minutes. This should be a good one. Both teams won 20 games this season, both are coming off losses in their conference tourneys. Cincy's big man, Yancy Gates, 6'9" - 260lbs, is an absolute monster down low. Texas runs five true freshman in their top seven, and they're short. Myck Kabongo for Texas from Toronto is one of the best freshman guards in the country. If this game goes to the guards, Cincy could see an early exit.

12:15: Round of 64, Day 2 officially underway. Yancy Gates wins the tip for Cincy, who turn the ball over in the first 30 seconds.

Hoping for a @KDTrey5 tweet at some point during this game.

Kabongo sits early, McClellan enters the game for the freshman, but turns the ball over. Cincy turns his mistake into points. 5 -2 Cincy, still very early. Texas looks like it's got the shakes (1 of 4 from the field, two turnovers).

12:23: Kabongo checks back in, commits Texas' third turnover in as many minutes. Commercial break ensues. Which month would you give up to get more March?

"The rim is the size of a golf ball right now for Texas," says Ian Eagle. Cincy's up 11 - 2 after a Yancy Gates jumper.

Texas is 1 - 13 from the field with 12 minutes to go in the first half. 4 TOs a well.

12:35: Back after the second commercial break on CBS. That Honda "What's This" commercial is hilarious. Cincy, coming off a loss in the Big East Chip to Lville, is showing its superior experience over Texas' youthful side early on as Texas's McClellan misses yet another jumper from the baseline.

N.C. State (11) v. San Diego State (6) starts in five minutes on truTV. Broadcasted from Columbus.

Cincy nails another three to go up 16 - 2. It's been 8 minutes since Texas scored.

12:45: N.C. and San Diego exchange a few missed threes before NC hits the first bucket, a short two from the camera-side baseline. 2 - 1 N.C. State two minutes in.

Jamaal Franklin (N.C. State) was second in D1 scoring improvement this season (stats compared to last season).

12:53: We have a tight game in Columbus, SDSU is down by 1 to N.C. State with 13:21 to go in the first half. In Nashville, Cincy leads Texas 26 - 11 with four minutes left in the first half.

Halftime Cincy v. Texas score is 31 - 17. This one's all Cincy. Don't expect a comeback.

Meanwhile, it's 22 - 22 with seven minutes left in the N.C. State v. San Diego State game. This one's looking like a nail biter!

1:16: 5 minutes to go in the half, and NC State is up 27 - 26.

John: With only two games going on, it's easier to keep track of other events. Such as Andy Pettitte unretiring or Sachin TendulkarOr gloat over both Manchester City and (especially) Manchester United losing in the Europa League yesterday while Chelsea advanced in the Champions League.

1:26: 31 - 26 NC State as Texas and Cincinnati resume. This game appears to be over already thanks to Cincy doubling the Longhorns 34 - 17. Then Gates gets an and-1 on a dunk, though he misses the free throw.

Texas is 4 of 26 from the field. They just need time. Like, say, Rutgers, they're a freshman-laden team, and lost Tristan Thompson and Jordan Hamilton to the NBA last year.

1:31: 33 - 29 NC State at the half. Alabama and Creighton tip off in a few minutes.

1:32: Kilpatrick blocks a Texas layup into the stands for emphasis. 38 - 21 Bearcats.

1:39: Injury timeout, though it's for finding a contact lens. And right afterwards a real injury, to JaQuon Parker's left ankle. Texas has kept the deficit at 13.

Adam: To tack onto John's points earlier of sports news outside of the NCAAs - Deron Williams will become a free agent this offseason. See what you did, Dwight? Loyalty is not contagious, I guess.

John: Hello, Dallas. As for loyalty, why should he be loyal?  It's not like he's announcing this on live TV or anything.

Adam: I guess we'll have to take down all the mid-town billboards that have made Deron out to be the face of the franchise. I hope we still have those Jay-Z concert flyers somewhere safe. (Barf).

John: The franchise that's celebrating 35 years of being a New Jersey team all this season, yet will be going to Brooklyn next year? If anything he's a true Net for leaving quickly.  And by the way, was't the new CBA supposed to end this? It's like David Stern and the player's union pulled a South Park and just punted the hard stuff to the next commish.

Adam: At least he set the franchise record for most points in a game and helped bring to an end that ridiculous Lin saga.

1:50: Alabama and Creighton tied at 7 with 13:46 to play. NC State and SD State are starting up again.

1:56: Cincy and Texas game is getting tight. Cincy is up 49 - 44 after a monster alley oop from Brown to Chapman that leads to a Cincy timeout with 7:35 left in the game. Texas on a 25 - 11 run.

John: Every time I see a cheerleader in the tournament I'm reminded of the Southern Illinois girl that broke her neck on national TV.  It's wrong, I know.

1:59: And Texas is within a possession with 6 minutes to go.

Adam: We finally found out (paid attention long enough to find out) what the Peter Frampton commercial is for: Buick. Guess he's their biggest asset since firing Tiger Woods?

2:04: The Jesuits are up 19 - 15 on the Crimson Tide, while NC State starts to pull away from SD State 47 - 40. Meanwhile, McClellan misses a dunk. Had it not been Friday he'd be in the Not Top 10. But Clint Chapman makes two free throws to bring Texas to within 1.

Adam: Finally, we have a top five PPGer on the court at March Madness: Doug McDermott of Creighton with 23.2 (trailing only Oakland's Reggie Hamilton and Weber State's Damian Lillard). Lehigh's C.J. McCollum, fifth in scoring this year (21.9 PPG) plays tonight against Duke.

2:12: Virginia and Florida starting up for game #4 right now. Texas and Cincinnati are now tied at 52 with 3:21 left.

2:15: Yancy Gates puts Cincy back up by 2. McClellan's 3 misses, and Wright gets an easy layup to make it 4.

2:19: 38.3 left, Texas timeout. 60 - 56 Cincy. SD State has pulled to within 3 of NC State, Alabama leads Creighton by 2 as the half draws to a close, and Virginia has an early 8 - 2 lead over Florida.

2:22: Gates misses the 1-and-1, but Texas can't capitalize. Chapman fouls out.

2:24: First final: Cincinnati 65, Texas 59. Yancy Gates gets the MVP with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

2:32: Alabama 30 - 23 Creighton at the half, Virginia 16 - 13 Florida halfway through the first half. NC State has again pulled away from SD State, leading 68 - 58 with 5 to go.

Adam: I can't wait for this UVM / UNC game coming up at 4:10. I sat next to Luke Apfield (#10) in philosophy my last semester at UVM. He's incredibly smart both on an off the court! Matt Glass too - great kid.

John: I was in a business class at SPC with two basketball players who shall remain nameless. Let's just say I didn't have the same impressions as Adam.

2:48: NC State wins 79 - 65 over San Diego State. MVP goes to sophomore Lorenzo Brown, who had 17 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists.

2:54: Alabama and Creighton have started up again (Bama by 11) while Florida leads Virginia 30 - 22 as its half draws to a close.

John: Adam's going for a beer break. Great timing. As for Vermont, John Henson is out.

3:01: Florida State and St. Bonaventure's have begun. Creighton, meanwhile, continues to come back, and has now tied Bama.

3:09: The Bonnies have taken an early 7 - 2 lead on the Seminoles, though Bernard James' block shows the Noles aren't going to back down. Bama's back up by 4 on Creighton.

3:18: Bonaventure up 15 - 10, but Andrew Nicholson going to the bench could spell trouble.

John: Nicholson's majoring in physics after switching from chemistry. I have enough trouble with the latter right now, and I'm not a Division 1 player. Nice to see some players not taking exercise science or communications.

Adam: I wonder if he's a Geddy Lee fan...after all, they're both Canadian. Those types like to stick together, don't they?

Adam: Speaking of Canadians, who saw Sid the Kid and the Pens clean the ice with the Rangers' faces last night? First night of skating 15+ minutes in over three months for Andy Samberg's doppelganger.

John: King Henrik had the flu. Remember that.

Adam: Three goals worth of sickness.

3:25: Creighton up by 4 with 3 1/2 minutes to go. Florida's pulled away from UVA and leads by 11.

3:37: Doug McDermott puts Creighton up by 3 with around 40 seconds left. Timeout Alabama. Georgetown leads Belmont in the latest game 18 - 12.

3:40: We finally have a potential OT game, and the announcers are excited for the first time all week.

3:42: Bama ready to take the last shot.

3:45: Creighton 58, Alabama 57. MVP goes to, yep, you guessed it, Doug McDermott (#3), coming off the bench with 16 points and 9 rebounds.

Adam: Though they lost, that was impressive stuff from Alabama. Gotta give it to Anthony Grant, great leadership from the 46-year-old head coach down the stretch for 'Bama even though they literally came up short. Creighton moves on as expected.

3:49: FSU losing to Saint Bonaventure 34 - 28 at the half. Georgetown leading Belmont 26 - 15, Florida up by 22. Low-octane stuff happening right now.

4:10: Florida wins over University of Virginia, 71 - 45. Gtown up 36 - 27 over Belmont at the half. And Vermont and UNC is about to start.

Adam: I'm cracking into my second pint of Becks in preparation for this UVM / UNC game. John's struggling to tap into his second sip. Bias?

John: I did the same thing as Adam last year for St. Peter's - Purdue. Didn't help at all.

OKAY, last game of the day for the Live Blog: UVM v. UNC. Let's get it.

4:22: Centers Apfield and Zeller exchange fouls early on. This should be an interesting match up. Zeller is the reigning ACC POY. All tied up, 2 - 2, as we approach the first commercial break.

Adam: Great finish from Bergmann. I used to hit the links with him and his older brother on the reg. VT National, stand up! (Designed by Jack Nicklaus, mind you.)

4:28: St. Bonaventure leads by 6 in the second half. Both Adam and I have FSU going to the Final Four. This may not end well.

John: Vermont has a whitewash going on. How am I not surprised.

Adam: You should see their freshman dorms.

John: I see that, and raise you Queen's Court.

4:32: UNC up 11 - 9 after UVM's sophomore F, Clancy Rugg, knocks down a three as the shot clock expires. 10 minutes to go in the first half.

4:38: Norfolk State and Missouri have started, and St. Bonaventure continues to lead FSU by 4.

4:41: And James' dunk ties FSU up. Georgetown still up by 8 on Belmont.

4:44: FSU's Ian Miller with the three pointer for the lead, high-top fade. UVM down by two with 7 and a half to go in the first.

4:54: FSU on a 12 - 2 run. After an entire game of looking like a bracket buster, St. Bonny's and their fans are starting to pack their bags.

John: The hardest part of an upset is being able to keep it up through 40 minutes. The Bonnies probably couldn't do it today.

5:05: FSU hangs on 66 - 63.

John: Why do teams have no idea how to run a final-shot offense?

5:07: UNC up 37 - 25 at the half. At least the Catamounts have a W already,

Adam: FSU was cold blooded the way they stuck out that win. #RickJames

5:19: The next upset alert is drawing to the close of a half, as Norfolk State and Mizzou are tied at 38. Georgetown is less than a minute away from advancing.

5:22: Georgetown 74, Belmont 59.

John: Signing off. Time to get some grub.

5:33: Bergmann misses a pair of crucial free throws that would've cut UNC's lead down to single digits. UNC takes advantage to go up 41 - 29 at first commercial break of the second half.

5:46:  UNC up 46 - 33 with 11 minutes left in the game. McDonald's just aired the worst commercial of all time.

5:54: James Michael McAdoo is killing VT with the 3-point plays. UNC up 20 with 9:30 left for the 16 seed to try and make history. (Not happening.)

6:13: Norfolk v. Mizzou is going crazy right now. Anyone who's watching the UNC v. UVM game needs to switch it up. We gotta classic going down over on TNT. 6'10" senior Kyle O'Quin is putting on a clinic offensively.

And with that, UNC closes it out over UVM, 77 - 58.

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