Posts Tagged ‘college basketball’

Butler versus Duke in the Final: We said it back in February, Butler’s Better Than Duke

In march madness on April 4, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Yesterday’s Hoops is so lucky that the first year we exist, the March Madness was filled with great play, upsets, drama and fun times – a great year, thanks for joining us.

And hey, do go back and look at our entries since February 10, when we launched, up to now. It has been a real ball and we’ve been right on point. We really hope you will subscribe based on our quality and join us for coverage of the NBA Playoffs.

That said, in terms of college ball, after a year of amazing play and upsets galore, it comes down to a Butler team that deserves it and a Duke team that doesn’t.

Butler 52, Michigan State 50

Butler continued to play team defense and score by moving the ball inside and out. Perimeter D was again awesome and focused defense on Durrell Summers, who was held to14 points.

“A lot of people want to shoot the last shot in the big game,” Butler G Ronald Nored said. “We want to guard the last shot.”

sick. And again, we believe Butler is better than Duke and said it weeks ago.

Yesterday’s Hoops, February 21, 2010

When YH said it, back on February 21st, everybody made fun of us – not laughing so much now, are ya?

Duke 78, WVU 57

A lot of people believe that half the Final was decided on  selection day.  And everybody who knows March Madness knows it. It’s funny to read and watch the rationalizers and TV hosts – yeah, like Krzyzewski needs sympathy – ha!

The haters leaned on Duke so hard today – primarily for the primrose path they had to get to the Final – that finally even Coach K had to acknowledge the din: “If we’re going to be despised or hated by anybody because we go to school and we want to win, you know what, that’s your problem.”

But then, in a typical move of cover-my-ass that is why so many hate Duke’s Head Man, Coach K also said today, “If Butler wins, it would be a huge exclamation point on parity.”

Hey, Coach K?

YH hopes Brad Stevens and the Butler Bulldogs beat you hollow.

And that the NCAA Tourney expands to 96 teams so we don’t have to keep seeing you at this time of year.

Izzo’ed! Bruce Pearl Finally Meets His Match – the refs?

In march madness on March 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Bruce Pearl became the latest NCAA head coach to be tactically deconstructed by Tom Izzo in the closing minutes.

But the ending of this one was marred by a questionable penalty – called on the Vols’ defensive star J.P. Prince – that decided the outcome of the game.

Michigan State 70, Tennessee 69

Tom Izzo led his Spartans against a well-coached Tennessee team that emphasized defense. Led by J.P. Prince against Ohio State in the S16, the Vols played enthusiastic, inspired ball to shut down the Buckeyes. Prince stuffed ET. It was awesome.

The Volunteers came out equally strong on D against the Spartans and looked good on offense late in the second half.  Tennessee was on their way to taking the lead using ball movement and round scoring – with five guys in double figures.

But right in the middle of their 11-2 run to briefly take the lead, five minutes from the end of the game, with the Vols up 1, Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo ran a full court play off a made jumper – spread court, designed to send F Draymond Green rumbling into the paint alone – where he took a hammering on the way up and managed to bank a hard layup off the glass.

And 1.

Stopped the bleeding. Killed the pace.

The game was trending toward Tennessee – this was between the right-handed banker by Hopson and the dribble penetration down the left by Prince for the layup that tied it at 66.

Forced to the bench for most of the half with 3 fouls, Izzo had just put Green in – at  the TV timeout two minutes before, the 7 minute mark – and, with the first controllable ball, he had cleared room to use Green’s size on offense and he scored 3 points the hard way and brought the pace to a screeching halt.

That’s Tom Izzo using a key player forced to the bench effectively. He immediately pulled Green out after the free throw.

With the game back and forth from there out, Izzo’s final three timeouts, at 2 minutes, 12 seconds and :01.8 – were all equally effective and precise.

The finish was a taut wire, back and forth, including, not ironically, Green’s 4th – that sent Scotty Hopson – 58.8% FTs, so preferred – to the line.

Down 69-68, Tennessee would be capable of tying the game at 69 with the first FT and of taking the lead with the second.

Note that Izzo called timeout only after the first – swish – that tied the game.

His timeout not only served to ice but allowed Izzo to design a play off the rebound based on Pearl’s substitutions. Izzo knew he had a size advantage from the outset. They had just used it effectively with  Green.

Hoping for the same on the break on the miss they went – fast into the spread court. Hopson misses and Korie Lucious grabs the board.

Turning, he sees the same spread floor, full court play, Green screaming for the ball,  but Morgan getting to the painted area in quick strides.

Had the team been in the backcourt for a trap d set and the Volunteers been able to foul immediately, the Spartans would have been at the line with something like seven seconds left, but they made fouling in the backcourt impossible – seconds dripped off the clock as two passes put the ball in Morgan’s hands in the box, ready to go up strong.

Tennessee’s defensive star J.P. Prince, who had anticipated the play from the weakside, leapt into the air to prevent Morgan from going up uncontested.

Morgan shudder-pumped before going up and, on the way down, Prince’s elbow caught the ball, freeing it, before both  players hands got to the ball – and Morgan was bumped by Brian Williams.

The refs whistled Prince.  Slow-mo shows a questionable call.

[update: reader’s complaining the foul is on Williams should note it was charged to Prince. The worst of it is, if you look at the last five minutes of this game, the refs were letting ’em play, until those two calls on Green and Prince].

So, with the score tied, J.P. Prince was called for a foul in the paint that sent Morgan to the line with 1.8 seconds left on the clock.

Morgan made the first and after Tennessee’s timeout, purposefully missed the second – forcing the Vols to rebound and call time –

leaving the Volunteers having to in-bound 90 feet away from the basket  after their final timeout with 1.6 on the clock.

That’s how Tom Izzo gets it done.

Durrell Summers again led all scorers with 21. Morgan and Green added 13 a piece, but this was a defensive battle all the way, with  matchups and tough calls making the difference.

Great game Spartans!

And congratulations to the Tennessee Volunteers in defeat for a well-fought effort to the Elite Eight in March Madness 2010.