Saturday, March 17, 2007

NCAAs in Brief

Virginia routs Albany in a game dubbed by Pomeroy as the first ever first round matchup between a 7-seed and a 15-seed. While it's trendy to pick on the Cavs as a shining example of strange seeding decisions made by the committee (I've gone as far as to call them the worst 4-seed ever, only to be corrected that Dayton in 2003 was probably a poorer choice), Virginia did pick a great game to trot out their best offensive performance on the season - 84 points in just 58 possessions, for an O Rating of 145. JR Reynolds broke out of a six game shooting slump and went 4-6 from two and 5-7 from three on his way to 28 points. UVA plays Tennessee, diligent and efficient scorers of 121 points against Long Beach.

Dateline, Columbus, Ohio: Reports confirm that the contest between Illinois and Virginia Tech was, in fact, a basketball game, despite all visual evidence to the contrary. The game featured 53 missed shots and was allowed by officials to degenerate into a non-called foul-fest. Despite shooting just a .429 EFG% and rebounding only 12.5% of their misses, the Hokies stormed back to win by forcing the Illini to turn it over on a full 32.75% of their possessions. I, for one, am thankful for the comeback if only because it spares the world from Illinois v. Southern Illinois, which could have been in the 20s.

Georgia Tech couldn't keep the Rebels off the offensive glass and couldn't execute well enough down the stretch. UNLV made free throws on a night their shots weren't falling (11 for 30 from two, 8 for 30 from 3). This game featured an astounding 45 combined offensive rebounds, as both teams were better gathering their own misses than their opponent's. Didn't see the game, but one couldn't help but wonder if the Jackets' rebounding may have been improved had Ra'Sean Dickey gotten more than 11 minutes.

In the NIT - NCSU defeats Marist. In a game for historical ACC fans everywhere, this game was played not in the RBC (Josh Groban concert) but in old Reynolds, where State certainly had a loud home court advantage. NCSU overcame a 29.12 TO% by hitting better than 70% of their twos and picking up a respectable (especially for State) 34.6% of their own misses.


Carolina takes on MSU. Apparently Tom Izzo has never lost in the second round. Could this be the return of Second-Round Roy? Or will Izzo's remarkable Sweet 16-or-nothing run continue?

BC takes on Georgetown. Reports are the the Hoyas are salivating at the thought of playing a team that simply takes possessions off on defense. If BC doesn't seriously man-up, they have no shot, no matter how well their offense plays. This could be a possessions-in-the-50s, score-in-the-high 60s/low 70s kind of game. Oh, and the Eagles still don't have a defensive answer for Jeff Green or Dajuan Summers, so look for lots of zone.

Maryland faces Butler. Much was made of Davidson's outside shooting, but while it was hot early, they finished hitting just 10 of 37 threes overall. Maryland has been excellent against the 3 all year, holding opponents under 30% (good for best in the ACC and 6th in the country). This doesn't bode well for Butler, which devotes a full 49.1% of its shots to three-pointers, sixth-most in the country.


Anonymous said...

It looks like maybe the ACC regular season was an anomoly and UNC is actually better than UVA.

Unknown said...

I'd say that's a pretty safe call.

Paul Rugani said...

Indeed, and I'm not sure it needed a second-round loss to prove the point. I think if there was one consistent refrain from my coverage of the ACC this year, it was that Virginia was not as good as its record.