Watching hoops all Saturday long. Here's the recap:
11:00 - Games for the first time block are Villanova at Syracuse on ESPN and Notre Dame at Georgetown on ESPN Plus (WMLW - Channel 41 in Milwaukee). For some reason the audio is extremely low on the Plus feed. Probably a good thing with Bob Wenzel doing the game.
11:03 - Just got Wenzeled. Probably the first of many today. Wenzel, doing the ESPN Plus game of Notre Dame at Georgetown, in the pregame analysis, that he had all week to prepare for, describes Roy Hibbert in the following manner: "He of the multi-skilled guy."
11:11 - Georgetown up 12-7 at the first break, Syracuse trails Villanova 10-3. Syracuse, for all their whining last year when they missed the NCAAs, still refuses to go on the road during the non-conference slate. This year was a huge revelation when they (gasp!) went to Virginia to play a game. This year the injury bug has hit (Eric Devendorf and Andy Rautins out for the year), but they are playing pretty well, owning the 32nd-best RPI in the country.
11:14 - Syracuse now down 10-9 and on the line. Solid bounceback there. Getting back to the last post, Pun City's got warrennolan.com pulled up for today, that site is the best place for RPI statistics. It's free and has a ton of analysis. Highly recommended.
11:17 - Syracuse-Villanova has remained compelling enough that this blog hasn't switched back to the Georgetown-Notre Dame game yet. It's weird how you can tell a game's in HD even when you don't have HD on your television. It's like they clean off the lenses for HD and they don't make the effort for non-HD cameras. Not sure if anyone else ever noticed this.
11:20 - Commercials on both channels. Thinking about lunch. Could either make a frozen pizza, head to Little Caesar's for a pizza and breadsticks, or make some macaroni and cheese. There's a good chance friend-of-blog Wells will show up, might want to run this past him before Pun City makes a decision.
11:23 - Vicious airball by Luke Zeller of Notre Dame. If you recall last year's post about the Butler cheerleaders, one of them went to high school with Zeller. Pun City recalls him getting major playing time last year, but when this blog saw Notre Dame at Marquette this year, Zeller didn't seem to get on the floor too much.
11:25 - Notre Dame now up 17-16. They're playing pretty respectably on the road here after their first road trip was a debacle at Marquette, after which ND coach Mike Brey said he had to do a double-take to make sure it didn't count for two losses.
11:27 - Roy Hibbert has 13 of the 22 points for GU, they're up 22-17 after a sweet hook. This blog recalls a game 2 years ago where Hibbert dominated Marquette in the first half, then disappeared in the 2nd half because Georgetown went away from him. Have to keep an eye on him to see if he stays involved today.
11:30 - Villanova has different colors for the trim on their shoulders and collar. Powder blue on the left shoulder and collar, white on the right. A unique and somewhat bizarre look.
11:32 - Another thing about Syracuse's propensity to stay home. For schools that don't have football, Pun City understands the reasoning for scheduling a ton of home games (to a point). But Syracuse does have football. They aren't funding an entire athletic department with basketball. Now granted, they do earn a lot more money from home basketball games than normal schools would (as they play in the 20,000+ seat Carrier Dome), but they are compromising their possible NCAA earnings by getting a lower seed. If they would have gone on the road another couple times this year, they'd be in the top 15 for RPI, which really gives them a good shot at a high seed and all of its advantages.
11:36 - Georgetown now up 29-17. So much for Notre Dame looking respectable on the road.
11:37 - Just noticed an advertisement under the scorer's table at Syracuse. Something to the effect of "Not Just Good - Heluva Good". No idea what the product is, but that sounds like a natural ad campaign for the product. Nice work there.
11:38 - On the subject of scorer's table ads, Marquette had one for "O'Reilly Auto Parts" last weekend. Granted, the game was on national TV, but where is the nearest O'Reilly?
11:40 - Rockford, Illinois. This blog doesn't imagine it will be driving to Rockford to purchase auto parts, but if it did, it might need a lot more.
11:41 - Heluva Good is apparently a purveyor of cheeses and dips that caters to the tailgating crowd. Sho nuff.
11:43 - Roy Hibbert and Luke Harangody start jawing with each other. That would be a cool fight. Notre Dame now trails 31-19.
12:47 - Lunch hour in there. Georgetown-ND got out of control (Georgetown running away 62-42 now), Syracuse and Villanova got compelling, and Wells came over and we grabbed some Little Caesar's.
12:49 - Wells rockin' the paddle ball right now. Travelling Mercies Pastor got Pun City the Spiderman-brand paddle ball as a gift, and it's provided a good deal of amusement. Wells repeatedly getting denied in his quest for 20 consecutive paddles. Compares to last year's "totrejection.com" diversion while the tournament games were being played.
12:51 - Nova leads 66-63 with 4:36 left. Big 3 for Corey Fisher puts them up 69-63 with 4:00 remaining.
12:52 - Scottie Reynolds goes to the line with 3:21 left, hoping to end the game by "the rule's" definition. Just needs 1 of 3 free throws to do so. Wells succeeds in his quest for 20 paddles, ending with 22.
12:56 - Game over, Reynolds puts the Wildcats up 72-63 with 3:21 left. Syracuse would need a miracle.
12:59 - Wells notched a 44-hit effort on the paddle ball, "like getting to level 3 in Tot Rejection" says the triumphant paddler.
1:00 - Next on the slate will be Illinois at Purdue on ESPN, plus UTEP at Houston on CSTV. Could do a lot worse with those. At 2:30 there will be Maryland at North Carolina on ABC and Ohio State at Tennessee on CBS.
1:08 - Villanova, with a fast break dunk opportunity with 10 seconds remaining, makes the move to dunk, presumably gets yelled at by head coach Jay Wright, thinks better of the dunk, and in the process double dribbles. A Jay Wright coached team does not dunk in a blowout. It double dribbles.
1:11 - Illinois at Purdue on now. Doris Burke is the color analyst. Pun City isn't the hugest fan of her in this role. She was a great sideline reporter but this blog isn't convinced she adds a lot of analysis/knowledge to the men's game. We'll see though. Illinois up 6-0 early.
1:17 - CSTV's announcer, sounding very A/V club (just from an audio standpoint), says "I don't know if he knows they aren't worth 4 from there". Hoo-hah! Comic gold.
1:19 - Going to break in Houston, they show a fan with a 10-gallon hat, red sportcoat, cowboy boots and an unlit cigar in the front row. No, this is not a student. It's a booster, and the look is not intended to be humorous. Wow. Looked like a real life Rich Texan.
1:21 - Doris Burke kinda growing on me, she does have some reasonable insight despite having never played men's basketball.
2:05 - "If you leave him open from 2 feet out, he'll probably make that shot 9 times out of 10." - CSTV announcer.
2:13 - UTEP has a guy named Watts from Compton. That guy belongs at Long Beach State or something.
2:37 - Turned on the North Carolina-Maryland game on the small TV. Houston just clinched the win by way of "the rule," up 7 with 6:50 left. It was discovered that this blog broke the volume and the UHF stations on the small TV when trying to remove a stuck VHS tape last week. Closed captioning on VHF it is!
4:05 - UNC gets big-screen billing as Maryland was up by 10 and the gap has been closed. Sun is setting and haven't really even noticed the time slip past. UNC now trails 63-59.
4:06 - Oh yeah, Ohio State at Tennessee and Texas A&M at Kansas State are the other two games in progress. Neither is terribly exciting. So, the ACC wins out even though the network-to-local-back-to-satellite feed does look extremely washed out on screen.
4:08 - UNC ties it up at 64, Maryland seems to be running out of gas in the Dean Dome. Brent Musberger just told everyone they were an 18-point underdog.
4:12 - While flipping back to ESPN, the bottom scroll indicates an "Upset Alert" that says Maryland is tied with UNC with 7:18 remaining. Is that the ultimate jinx or what? Plus, what are viewers supposed to do here? Pun City believes they were expecting the "WHOA, SWITCH OVER TO ABC!!!" reaction, but that's a little unrealistic seeing as Maryland wasn't even winning at the time. Very bizarre scroll.
4:25 - To Maryland's credit, they've stayed in this game even after the jinx. Down 78-76 now with 1:59 left. UNC is getting to most of these loose balls now though.
4:26 - Greivis Vasquez on the line to shoot 2 with 1:19 left. This could make things interesting if he ties it up.
4:27 - And he does.
4:28- On a rebound of a missed UNC shot, they foul Maryland with 1:06 left.
4:29 - Maryland up 2 until Tyler Hansbrough hits a layup. Gary Williams gets a timeout with 43.4 seconds remaining. 28 seconds on the shot clock. Could be huge if Maryland can get a bucket this possession.
4:30 - With 21.6 left, Maryland goes up 2 on an Osby layup. 82-80 with 10.7 seconds left after UNC misses their first attempt and gets the ball out of bounds under the hoop even though they hit it out.
4:33 - 1.7 seconds left, a jump ball goes to the Heels. They're getting a lot of breaks here. This is exciting though.
4:35 - Maryland wins! Upset Alert!
4:36 - Questionable play as Tyler Hansbrough had a 3-pointer to win that. Pun City supposes beggars can't be choosers with 1.7 seconds left though.
4:38 - Apparently UNC allows fans to walk on the court on their way out. About 7 consecutive fans take the opportunity to wave to the camera while the postgame interviews are going on. Pretty amusing.
4:41 - Whoa, ESPN scrolls another "Upset Alert," this time showing the final in Chapel Hill plus USC beating UCLA. The USC-UCLA outcome is unexpected. That could end up being the signature win USC needs to make it into the NCAAs.
4:43 - Watching the tail end of KSU-Texas A&M. Kansas State up 9 with 8:02 remaining, so this is over by the rule. If KSU coach Frank Martin ever had a movie written about him, John Tuturro would definitely star.
4:45 - Wells is out. Plan is to head out to Maxwell's later in the evening. That should provide a bunch of screens to view games on simultaneously. This was intended to be our "warmup" for March Madness, but this is a little more intense than March Madness. When the tournament is going on, there's usually a break right now until 6:00. During the regular season, there's no such break and a ton more games, not to mention more stations to keep track of.
4:51 - Speaking of which, Pun City just signed up for March Madness On Demand. Highly recommended for anyone that might want to watch one out-of-market game during the tournament. There's no sense in having a lag time on these games when they're showing. If you're interested, cbs.sportsline.com with a login allows you to reserve your spot. Don't say Pun City didn't remind you.
5:10 - Probably a good stopping point here, Pun City's going to watch Clemson at Duke. Pretty awexome scene they just showed: The UNC-Maryland game was being displayed on the scoreboard at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and when Hansbrough missed the last-second shot to lose the game for UNC, the entire gym erupted. Clemson fans were high-fiving Duke fans, everyone was happy. Pun City would have to imagine that Maryland is a lot of these fans' 2nd-favorite team. Enjoy the games! (Pun City knows it does).
Labels: College Basketball