Saturday, March 18, 2006

Halfway to 16

Today's Results
--(1) Duke 74, (8) George Washington 61. GW could never put together a serious run at Duke due mostly to bad shot selection and good ol' ice-cold shooting. Like 349 other teams this weekend, the Colonials shot 31%. They hoisted up TWENTY-FOUR more shots than the Dukies and made the same number of field goals, but never really threatened the top seed.
--(3) Florida 82, (11) UW-Milwaukee 60. The Gators look to have some serious bite in the postseason. They have their mojo back and their fine front line was solid once again. Corey Brewer flamed on for 5-8 threes en route to 23 total points. Adrian Tigert had a monster game in the loss (27 and 8).
--(7) Wichita State 80, (2) Tennessee 73. The Vols nearly pulled off the upset, but WSU played heady ball down the stretch and P.J. Couisnard made 6-7 shots to lead the Shockers to victory. Chris Lofton made some big shots for UT, but he finished 6-18 from 3-land overall. As I said in the preview, the upset would have been if the Vols managed to win. The better team won.
--(5) Washington 67, (4) Illinois 64. In a game of runs, UW had the last one as they rallied from an 8-point deficit in the second half to take the game. The big story was that the Huskies outscored the Illini 29-8 at at the free throw line. A last-second three attempt by Dee Brown drew the front iron thus ending a brilliant career.
--(4) Boston College 69, (12) Montana 56. The Grizzlies were crushed on the glass (43-24, 15-2 o-rebs) and Craig Smith went loco for 22 and 16 (8 o-rebs). Montana actually hung around for more than a half before BC cruised home.
--(4) LSU 58, (12) Texas A&M 57. The Tigers' Darrel Mitchell buried a long three with 3.9 seconds remaining to give LSU the win. This game was nip-and-tuck throughout and A&M played with tremendous intensity the entire way. Both clubs made multiple huge shots down the stretch, but A&M failed to get a final shot off after Mitchell's three. LSU will face Duke next weekend.
--(2) UCLA 62, (10) Alabama 59. The Tide managed just 2-11 from longe range, and one of those misses was a Ron Steele three with less than a second left that would have tied it. As expected, the Tide held their own down low, but UCLA's perimeter play was too much as Jordan Farmar and Aaron Afflalo combined for eight triples and a couple of huge buckets down the stretch.
--(3) Gonzaga 90, (6) Indiana 80. If you would have told me that Adam Morrison would only score 14 points (5-17 shooting) in this game, I would have taken IU by double digits. But, Sean Mallon (15 and 9) and JP Batista (20 and 9) picked up the slack and the Zags are back in the Sweet 16 after a considerable drought. The Mike Davis era at IU is officially over.

Today's Matchups (all times CT)
--12:10: (1) Duke vs (8) George Washington. The Colonials have the athleticism and spurtability to cause Duke some trouble if the Devils do not bring their "A" game. If they can neutralize Shelden Williams a bit, they definitely have enough athletes to defend Redick.
--2:20: (3) Florida vs (11) UW-Milwaukee. The Gators seem to have regained their early season form. UWM is tourney-tested, but will probably have a hard time with the numerous Gator bigs. Any team is going to have trouble with Florida's stable of big 'uns.
--2:40: (2) Tennessee vs (7) Wichita State. Make no mistake, the upset will be if UT manages to beat the Shockers.
--4:30: (4) Illinois vs (5) Washington. This is the most intriguing matchup of the day for my money. Brandon Roy and Dee Brown are two of the top gurads in the country and it will be UW's offense (#9 Adj Off Eff) vs the Illini defense (#14 Adj Def Eff).
--4:40: (4) Boston College vs (12) Montana. Montana was the one with the easy win on Thursday. I like BC in this game, but Montana was most impressive against Nevada.
--4:50: (4) LSU vs (12) Texas A&M. There is real upset potential here, mainly because LSU has a history of underachievement. But, this Tiger team is incredibly talented. A&M is playing their best ball right now, so this should be a good one.
--7:00: (2) UCLA vs (10) Alabama. As good as Bama's bigs are, they are going to need another 8-11 Threeland performance (or something similar) from Jean Felix to hang with the Bruins. That's not likely, and neither is a Tide win.
--7:10: (3) Gonzaga vs (6) Indiana. Morrison U. vs Team Enigma. It's going to be interesting. I took the Hoosiers in this one in my bracket.