Posts Tagged ‘Duke Blue Devils’

The 2010 NCAA March Madness Archive

In basketball blogging, march madness on February 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm

This blog represents my attempt to cover the 2010 NCAA March Madness. It was a great year, made exciting by the phenomenal play of several “Cinderellas” – the most prominent of these being the Butler Bulldogs, finalists in an epic coming out party in their hometown .

I hope you will peruse the entirety of Yesterday’s Hoops for a comprehensive flashback of the 2010 Tournament.

Thanks to all of the thousands of followers for a great experience.

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.