by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, March 24, 2005
The best game of the sweet 16 is Louisville vs. Washington. This is going to be real basketball - presses, fast breaks, dunks, long range snipers. There are other games that will be great over the next two days, but they won't have all of those elements.
Louisville and Washington will score points, and that's not say there won't be defense. Francisco Garcia's influence on the defensive end might end up being the difference.
For those of you unfamiliar with one or both of the participants, here's a breakdown in various categories with national rank:
Louisville Washington OE 117.4(7) 119.6(4) DE 88.3(12) 94.9(64) Tempo 68.7(122) 73.2(17) 3FG% 40.0(7) 38.9(23) 3FGA/FGA 41.9(16) 29.3(246) Opp 3FG% 31.3(19) 33.3(92) OR% 38.4(39) 42.0(3) DR% 68.1(64) 64.6(243) B-ball Shrink Villanova Wake Forest
Louisville and UW are two of the most skilled offenses in the nation. Part of this is because they…
by Ken Pomeroy on Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Eight more games are coming at us Thursday and Friday. Only two are mismatches, with the other six being close to toss-ups, so there are bound to be a couple of classics that fall out of these.
Here's the list of games, in order of appeal, with rankings of tempo/offensive efficiency/defensive efficiency among the 16 remaining teams.
1. Louisville (8/6/6) vs. Washington (2/3/15), Thursday 7:10 pm: This is the first sweet 16 game to tip and I'll have more on this one Thursday morning. Appallingly, this game will be seen a minority of the country, giving way to game #8 below.
2. Arizona (5/7/10) vs. Oklahoma State (11/2/12), Thursday 10:00 pm: A very close second. It's the last college game for either the nation's best floor general (John Lucas) or best shooter (Salim Stoudamire). Nobody runs the fast break better than Lucas. Ivan McFarlin's composite line for the…
by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, March 21, 2005
Cleaning up some first-round issues...collectively, this year's 1 vs. 16 and 2 vs. 15 games were the closest ever with an average margin of victory of 13.1 points. And by "ever," I mean since the tournament went to the 64 team format in 1985. The previous low (14.3) occurred during the magical 1989 tourney when two 16 seeds fell one point short in the opening round.
This has relevance for the one seeds in this way: Since 1985, only 7 of 30 (23%) one-seeds that failed to win the first round game by at least 20 points made the Final Four. Teams winning by 20 or more fared much better, with over half (27 of 50) advancing to the Final Four. The only one-seed with such a victory this year was North Carolina.
by Ken Pomeroy on Saturday, March 19, 2005
So the madness got put pack in March tonight. A fun night unless you had a rematch of the 2003 final in your Final Four.
It just so happened that the Vermont/Syracuse contest was the first game that I tried to take notes on using the Oliver possession scoring method. I really struggled with it, but the end result was a fairly detailed play-by-play on what happened. The game was a defensive slugfest until Syracuse's Terrence Roberts was hit with an absolutely atrocious technical for hanging on the rim with 8:58 left. Honestly, there will be about 50 dunks in the tournament where a guy is on the rim longer than Roberts.
After the two free throws, Vermont was up 36-31. At his point, Jim Boeheim decided to throw on a full-court press after a made basket or backcourt dead ball. Here were the results of the five…
by Ken Pomeroy on Friday, March 18, 2005
For the second consecutive year, the basketball committee showed that it puts more emphasis on conference tournaments that any other games during the season. It also puts the ACC tourney above any others. Last season, Maryland earned a four seed based on three ACC tournament games. This season, Georgia Tech earned a five seed based on three games in the ACC tournament.
Georgia Tech elevated its play at the MCI Center. Georgia Tech also happened to be without an injured Isma'il Muhammad for those three games. Coincidence?
Off. Player Rtg. %Poss %Shots %Min PPG TO% FTA/M FTA/FGA OR% Jack, J........113 22.2 20.2 84.7 15.5 26.3 .132 .447 1.0 Elder, BJ......103 24.0 31.0 45.4 13.0 15.1 .073 .161 4.7 Bynum, W.......104 24.2 25.3 67.0 12.5 20.0 .154 .417 2.5 Schenscher, L..108 20.4 20.3 65.0 10.2 20.6 .108 .365 11.5 Muhammad, I.... 94 23.2 20.5 54.5 9.0 23.4 .162 .540…
by Ken Pomeroy on Thursday, March 17, 2005
I'm going to keep tabs on this game in almost real-time. Hopefully this one will break the game diary trend and be competitive into the second half. But by doing a 3/14 game, obviously I am taking my chances.
14:01 - Arizona 10, USU 7 - Turnovers are the story so far with USU point guard David Pak giving it away on three consecutive possessions before getting lifted in favor of backup Chris Huber. Salim Stoudamire and Jaycee Carroll have each connected on one three in two attempts in the matchup of two of the best long-range shooters in the country.
11:31 - USU 12, Arizona 10 - Stoudamire has forced a couple of shots. While USU stays hunkered down in a zone, they do make sure to keep pressure on the ball, regardless of how far Salim drifts away from the arc. Nate Harris, #2 nationally in FG%, has…
The second set of games provided the only late-game drama of the day session, with Utah beating UTEP 60-54. The game was tied in the last minute when Utah guard Mark Jackson knocked down an 18 footer for the game winner. Bogut finished with 24 and 11, but his occasional matador defense and poor free throw shooting kept this one interesting.
Elsewhere, Washington didn't do much to shed its reputation as a weak one seed. The beat Montana by 11, but saw the Griz and their triangle offense shoot 49%.
Iowa scored 5 points in their first 19 possesions and lost to Cincinnati by 12.
BC had the most dominating performace of the day session, taking a 20 point halftime lead on Penn, and cruising for the win.
The first set of games are done, and the two SEC entries involved did not play well. Alabama could not dig itself out of a huge first half hole and fell to the 12 seed Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Kentucky struggled with the 15 seed Eastern Kentucky.
In the wacky world of college hoops, this one game vaults UWM's Bruce Pearl to near the top of the list of hot coaching prospects this offseason.
Oklahoma pulled away from a dog-tired Niagara team, but Juan Mendez has the best individual performace so far, finishing with 22 and 16, though he did shoot 6 of 21 from the floor and 9 of 10 on FTs, for a lousy .86 in the almighty PPWS.
A double-double in the first half for Niagara's Juan Mendez. 14 points, 10 boards, 2 blocks, 5-9 FGs, 3-4 FTs. The 14 seed Niagara trails Oklahoma 37-34 at the half. The biggest surprise is that Oklahoma is shooting less than 50% despite getting a number of layups/bunnies against Niagara's porous defense.
If you're thinking about purchasing the CSTV March Madness on Demand, where you can get live streaming video of every game in the first three rounds, you can get a $5 discount off the $19.95 retail price by following this link. From what I saw on Wednesday, when they showed various press conferences, it'll be worth your money, especially if you have to be at work for the next couple of days.
As action progresses today, I'll try to post something intelligent here.