Quickie Recap 1/15: Purdue prevails, X edges Rams, Tubby remains atop the Big 10

January 16, 2009
A game that should not have resulted in this picture

A game that should not have resulted in this picture

How about a round of Boilermakers? some applause for the Boilermakers?  Down by eleven with just under eight minutes to go, Purdue rallied to prevent a potential upset by Big 10 dormat Northwestern.  JaJuan Johnson was the hero by hitting two free throws with two ticks left on the clock, but he got it twisted.  He meant to miss the second of the two to force a long distance heave, the result: an intentionally unintentional bank in, which gave the Wildcats a decent shot at a desperation three ball.  Rick Gano of the Indianapolis Star believes the defense of the Boilermakers is what helped them overcome their 22 turnovers. Purdue will now be tested on the road, facing Wisconsin and Minnesota in upcoming games.  Mike Greenberg’s school drops to 0-4 in the conference.

Moving over to the A-10, the X was able to squeak by Rhody the Ram 67-65.  This game was ugly on both ends, with multiple series of turnover…fast-break…turnover…fast-break.  A vicious cycle. Dante Jackson gave X the lead for good with 1:30 left , moving them to 14-2 on the year.  Paul Kenyon of the Providence Journal says the Rams are living a real life version of the movie “Groundhog Day.” Xavier should walk all over La Salle and St. Bonaventure before making their trip to the Bayou to take on LSU, who is undefeated at home this year.

Over in Madison, it took extra time for the Tubby Smith’s Golden Gophers to put away Da Badgers of Wisconsin.  After forcing OT with a long range bomb with two seconds left, Lawrence Westbrook reeled off 9 of the Gophers 16 points in OT to secure the win.  Mark Stewart of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quotes Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan saying “the Badgers wilted under the pressure.” Yep, Bo knows wilting. The Golden Gophers are quietly making some noise at 16-1 and walking into The Barn is no easy task.

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Quickie Recap 12.24: Eggnog weighing some teams down

December 24, 2008
Santa Disguised

Santa Disguised

A #16 seed has never beaten a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, so there’s some perspective here on Portland State’s win last night over Gonzaga. The Vikings are only 10 months removed from their first NCAA tournament, they were at 16 seed. On the Eve of Christmas Eve, not even a blizzard could stop the Viking’s conquest of Spokane to down the #7 Bulldogs– only the their 3rd loss at home since 2004.

These Vikings were not led by a burly, bearded 6 foot 8 dude. They were led by 5’6″ 150 lb. Jeremiah Dominguez and his seven trey bombs. Dominguez was the Big Sky Conference POY last year and teams might want to put him and his team on their radar in order to prevent a bracket buster loss. The Zags can’t blame this loss on “being drained from the UCONN game,” and all the snow in the world won’t cover up this monumental loss. Have fun shoveling.

Another team that will be lacking some holiday cheer is Xavier. After getting trounced by the Dukies on Saturday, the Butler Bulldogs came in and slapped the Muskies around on their own floor, 74 – 65. Butler was lead by a couple of underclassmen, Matt Howard and Gordon Hayward, contributing 19 a piece. After a 9-0 start Xavier has dropped their last two, bringing them back to reality after a deceiving national ranking of seven.

Kansas vs. Arizona. Normally this game would be some “must see TV,” but when these two teams got together in Tuscon late Tuesday night it got lost in between the Boise State-TCU game and “A Christmas Story.” Both teams came in unranked but with very respectful records, Arizona 7-3 and Kansas 8-2. ‘Zona looked good, well at least in the second half. Down 44-35 ‘Zona came out of the tunnel in the second half and delivered a flurry of knockout punches, in the form of a 29-6 run. Kansas never could claw back, exiting with a 84 – 67 loss.


Duke is a top 10 team, Xavier is not

December 20, 2008

 

A no-doubter for Henderson & Co.

A no-doubter for Henderson & Co.

It was a chance to grab some national attention, silence the haters, and force Dick Vitale to see beyond the BCS schools.  But that wishful thinking never materialized, as Xavier was pummled from start to finish by the Dukies in East Rutherford, 

It was a made-for-tv match-up–with Duke making one of their regular trips to the Tri-state in order to appease their area alumni–but ended up being one of the most disapointing top 10 games in recent memory.  Duke flawlessly capitalized on the Musketeers initial timid and clueless play, jumping out to an 18-1 lead. 

John Scheyer got his, in the form of 23 points on 5-7 from deep, and Gerald Henderson added 19.  Conversly, Xavier’s most noteworthy stat:  nine first-half field goals coupled with 10 turnovers.  Yikes.

The Meadowlands is clearly a comfortable place for Coach K and his players.  Let’s not forget his last December game here, in 2005 when an upbeat Texas left bruised and battered by the Blue Devils.

There will be speculation, however, that Xavier suffered from a post-finals week hangover, but that’s more of a lame excuse. Frankly, Duke is Duke and Xavier is still just an elite Atlantic 10 team still adjusting their eyes to the bright lights of network television.


A nice little Saturday for the Atlantic 10

December 13, 2008

Dionte Christmas was DOIN!!! the Vols today

Dionte Christmas started off a nice day for the A-10

The A-10 is certainly a conference stuck with an identity crisis. It’s a mid-major conference that’s not a mid-major conference that hates being called a mid-major conference despite repeatedly being called a mid-major conference.

Today, however, the conference went to Home Depot with Frank Ricard, picking up a pair of nice non-conference wins– Temple over Tennessee, UMASS over Kansas— with Xavier holding firm as a top 10 team in the night cap.

The Musketeers got the win in their signature rivalry game against Cincinnati, which featured six technical fouls. Sounds intense, but were not sure if that’s the case, as we tried to digest the madness while dodging hot-heads getting wild on a Saturday night.

For the record, offensive-minded Duquesne had a chance to get the conference their fourth win over a BCS team tonight, but came up short against West Virginia.

Not sure if this is the start of a positive trend, but certainly a good effort that will get some attention.



Quickie Recap 11.23: Good Mornin’!!!!

November 23, 2008
johnmadden

Turducken!!!

Happy Monday! We’re excited…three day week then it’s T-GIVING!!! For our readers that actually know us, which is probably much larger than those that don’t know us, the better half of this blog will be in Maine for the long weekend. Matt has decided to jet to Happy Valley, PA, probably to continue lamenting that loss to Iowa. Nick will see the rest of you at “Bull Feeney’s”.

**Also note that we have taken that extra step and bought the domain name and dropped the .wordpress. It sounds easy but it wasn’t, and we hope to never have to ‘domain map’ ever again.**

Anyways, we had a fairly quiet weekend in the world of college basketball. Xavier did pull out a victory over Memphis, who is nowhere near the 12th best team in the country. They still need to determine their backcourt rotation and Tyreke Evans needs to realize that he’s got a lot to work on before he goes pro.

As a XU alum (Nick) it’s tough not to give special attention to them, but it truly is a big win for the program. For the past few years their success has been in March, usually after slow starts and missed opportunities in early season tournaments. This win is significant for those close to the program and have watched the Musketeers take the steps to gain recognition over the years.

Another game we highlighted, but unfortunately missed out on was UCONN and Miami. While they will finish no better than 3rd in the ACC the Hurricanes are an intriguing team with Jack McClinton, a guard with ‘light it up’ potential. JM led all with 27, but the rest of his team shot a dismal 22 percent. UCONN was in control most of the game with 19 from Thabeet, and 36 combined points from that discusting backcourt (Price, Walker, Dyson).

Looking ahead, the Maui Invitiational and Old Spice Classic get underway this week. We’re can’t wait to get our first look at a pair of Big 10 teams, for very different reasons. The sure-to-be trainwreck that is the Indiana Hoosiers open up against Notre Dame in Hawaii…meanwhile, we’re guessing the rest of their coaching staff will be devising a way to beat Chaminade he 7th place game.

Also want to check out Michigan State, to see just how good Raymar Morgan can be as a leader this year. Drew Neitzel was the glue guy–he’s obviously gone–it will be interesting to see the early season chemistry on this team.


Let’s all touch each other…XAVIER just won at the buzzer

November 21, 2008

Note: Fast forward to the 6:30 mark

If a player hits a half court buzzer beater to advance to the finals of an early season tournament, but nearly nobody sees it, did it really happen?

Well thanks to things like Channelsurfing.net, and ESPN Gamecast, we saw it and it is real.

Xavier got lucky after trailing the Hokies for the majority of regulation but fortunately forced overtime From there they missed a few FT’s, which would of closed the game out and prevented them from relying on Dante Jackson’s half court heave. Luckily they got God on their side and he happened to be watching this game, even though only a few thousand mortals saw it happen.

So it’s on to Sunday night, with a match-up against Memphis–a game sure to test the Muskies mettle and potentially jump them up in to the top 15


Quickie 11.20 Recap: We’re gonna party like its 1992

November 21, 2008

Oh yes, the nostalgia is hitting us

Oh yes, the nostalgia is hitting us

Now the college basketball season is finally here. Our first huge upset of the season has taken place. On Thursday night in the Mecca of basketball arena’s, Madison Square Garden, an unranked Michigan Wolverines team took down Ben Howland’s #4 UCLA Bruin’s.


Michigan was able to hold off the stingy Bruin’s to get their first win against a Top 5 team in 11 years. The win was propelled by Deshawn Sims 18 points and Manny Harris’ 15 points.


Big Blue needed this victory in many ways. It ushered in new head coach John Beilein, by way of West Virginia…and no, it wasn’t a package deal with Rich Rodriguez. Also, this win should ease the pain of the Michigan faithful, since their football team is an abysmal 3-8. And finally, it is Ohio State weekend, so they will only have 36 hours to enjoy this massive victory before their football team is disassembled in C-Bus like a dog chewing on a nyla bone.


The win for Michigan sets up a final in the Garden with against Duke, who ironically so, was the last Top 5 team Michigan beat (1997 #1 Duke). The Blue Devils beat Southern Illinois on Thursday night, 83 – 58.

So maybe the Wolverines will get to celebrate once more, before the big football game.

Down in the 51st state, Xavier, Memphis, and Virginia Tech win as favorites, and Seton Hall comes up with a minor upset over USC. Those four winners move on to tomorrow’s semi-finals in the Puerto Rico Tip Off. Is it just us or can you almost guarantee nine Big East teams in the big dance? Wow. Anyways, it will be X-A-V, IER facing VA Tech and, by process of elimination, the Tigers against the Pirates.