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Posts Tagged ‘march madness’

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.

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Heartbreak! Butler Hits the Wall, Scheyer, Singler and Smith Deliver for Coach K

In march madness on April 5, 2010 at 8:26 pm

A great final.

Duke 61, Butler 59

Butler did everything they had to do to win this one – kept it close, got Duke’s big man Brian Zoubek in foul trouble, played ferocious D, forced Duke to turn to only their stars for points – and the Bulldogs even got the ball into their own star’s hands, the Horizon Conference POY’s hands, with 13 seconds left.

Gordon Heyward, after his signature behind the back dribble, was pushed outside. He tried then to go baseline and hit the game-winner, but his high-arcing shot rimmed out.

Heyward was going for it all the way, and it looks like even the Duke players knew it – Zoubek drifted to the baseline to double-team leaving Matt Howard open under the basket, with 3 seconds on the clock.

Had Heyward dumped it, would they have had the lead? We were screaming at him to pass it. (sigh).

Instead of course, Duke rebounds Heyward’s miss. Butler fouls. A made FT makes it a 2pt. game. And a missed one left Heyward with the chance only to make a desperation heave – a shot which tantalizingly hit the backboard square and then the front rim hard …

and with a CLANG! Butler’s storybook season came to an end.

YH does feel the zebras favored Duke, and particularly Scheyer, on exactly three calls: Scheyer got continuation at the 7 minute mark on a foul that’s clearly on the floor; the charge called on Hayward when Scheyer was definitely moving (noted by broadcaster Clark Kellog) took away a 3 point play and gave Duke the ball; and Scheyer got away with offensive goaltending on the putback they praised.

But the Blue Devils weren’t lucky in this one, they were good.

Brilliant tactical move by Coach K at the end of the game to switch D’s on the inbound pass, forcing Butler to burn their final timeout, unable to get the ball in bounds. Not only did it defuse Butler’s offense striving for the winning bucket, but without that timeout, Butler had no play after Duke’s made FT at the end of the game. That was a crucial switch up at a critical moment that paid off huge for Coach K – master of endgame and inbound. (By contrast, Scheyer and Singler punked the Butler D twice on inbounds plays for easy twos).

Butler couldn’t get Matt Howard started which was critical because he was getting open looks. The Bulldogs struggled to hold onto the ball in the second half, and too often got jammed up by the 7’1″ Zoubek and Singler in the paint.

The Devils – and particularly Singler – matched the defensive effort of the Bulldogs with blocks and steals aplenty, and they won this scrap by making shots that Butler missed. The Blue Devils kept their cool.

Congratulations to the Duke Blue Devils, NCAA March Madness 2010 Champions.

and to the runner-up Butler Bulldogs – for the last several weeks you were America’s team. We fell in love with you and admired every minute of tough team defense. Thank you so very much for an amazing, valiant, impressive effort to win it all against the odds.

Brad Stevens, YOU ARE THE MAN!

[By the way, Stevens’ substitutions down the stretch were stunning – repeatedly, on a play-by-play basis, bringing Jukes in on offense and Howard back for D resulted in a four point turnaround at one stage – tactically brilliant].

YH thanks all you college hoops fans for joining us –

hey stick around! We are covering the NBA Playoffs next!

so subscribe!

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.

Coach Krzyzewski Does It Again And Is Immediately Favored

In march madness on March 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Duke 78, Baylor 71

The Blue Devils needed help from the refs to close this one out, but Coach K remains a formidable March Master.

Duke’s much maligned big men have grown enormously in heart. They exhibit markedly increased effort in the tournament.

What’s scary is the Blue Devils are winning despite a tourney-long shooting slump by Jon Scheyer, who was 5 for 12 in this one, including a late 3 which Dookies are calling clutch, but which could also arguably be called “in garbage time” since it followed the advantage of the 2-shot personal tech …

and he was 5 of 5 from the line.

Just tuning his slumping shooting arm with those FTs, was Scheyer. Will he go off against the Mountaineers? All signs say yes.

Duke looks better than they have looked all year. Huggie Bear has his work cut out for him.

And finally, six weeks ago we wrote:

Butler is Better Than Duke

– Yesterday’s Hoops, February 21, 2010

YH published it and then floated it on comment pages and by chatting on numerous chatboards, starting back on February 21st -and everybody made fun of us.

Now that our bracket is totally shot, one bright spot for YH fans is that the two teams could meet in Indianapolis – on Butler’s home turf – to prove it!

March Madness 2010 has to be one of the Top Five in NCAA Tournament History, not for Fantastic Finishes, but for great fundamental basketball and excellent defense.

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.

Butler Busts Thru the ‘Cuse Frontline, K-State and Xavier Double OT Classic, Mountaineers Don’t Need the Truck

In march madness on March 26, 2010 at 9:19 am

Are you scared of Butler yet?

Butler 63, Syracuse 59

Head Coach Brad Stevens’ Butler Bulldogs were well prepared for Boeheim’s Orangemen. Butler cracked the 2-3 zone and held the ‘Cuse to under 60 points with suffocating defense.

Leading most of the way, Butler succumbed to a heavy push by Rautin, Johnson and the Orange in the 2nd in which ‘Cuse took over and held a four point edge. But in the closing minutes, the Bulldogs went on an 11-0 run to keep Syracuse at bay and head toward their first ever Elite Eight matchup.

Critical made 3’s – one an insane shooter’s roll that back-rimmed, front-rimmed and bounced high before caroming off the backboard and through, by Veansley – and another dead-swish by Nored were the keys to the end of the game. Horizon Conference Player of the Year Gordon Hayward did heavy damage in the second half, balancing sophomore guard Shelvin Mack’s 14 in the first.

Victory against their next opponent means the Bulldogs play in the Final Four Back HOME Again in Indiana – are you scared yet?

Kansas St. 101, Xavier 96 in Double OT

The Jordan Crawford Coming Out Party was finally brought to a halt by Frank Martin’s Kansas State squad led by Jacob “Fear the Beard” Pullen, who was deadly from long range and at the line.

Puerto Rican Sensation Denis Clemente also played a brilliant game.


The young point guard from Bayaramon’s poorest district was cool under pressure, scoring 21 of 25 in the second half and extra periods.

Clemente also nailed late free throws to seal it after an exhausting 45 minutes plus in which Xavier’s Jordan Crawford and Terrell Holloway refused to say die.

The 2010 NCAA Tournament will rightfully be remembered as Crawford’s coming out party for the amazing, hanging, scoop shot finger-roll – that he seems to have invented – which he used twice.

see it here

But no one will soon forget Crawford’s long range three to tie this game at the end of the first OT – it had to have been a 35-footer and nothing but net.

YH extends congrats in defeat to Xavier’s Jordan Crawford, Terrell Holloway and new head coach Chris Mack who called this double-OT classic, “As good a game as I’ve ever coached or been a part of.”

West Virginia University 69, Washington Huskies 56

Despite the loss of PG “Truck” Bryant, the Mountaineers manhandled the lowly Huskies, exposing at last the much predicted weakness of the Pac-10 this year.

Kentucky 62, Cornell 45

Nice run Big Red, now go back to your books and leave the running to the thoroughbreds from Kentucky!

Our Bracket: Reeling and Rocking, Sweet 16 Still Solid

In march madness on March 20, 2010 at 6:11 am

It must be considered one of the better opening weekends in the history of March Madness.

The Greatest? No. But California, Gonzaga, St. Mary’s and Washington tore through the first round, Purdue quashed Siena’s perennial upset bid, and Ohio and Murray State moved on, hurling pundits into the toilet. Drowning, they shout: “Greatest 1st Round Ever!” to cover their failure.

click here for Yesterdays Hoops Bracket

We were surprised Gonzaga came out so strong against Florida State as to put it out of reach.

Gonzaga 67, Florida State 60
This was a coaching failure exposed. A total lack of preparation on the part of FSU for the ferocity of a team like Gonzaga in the first round.

Not one of the Florida State’s 3 through 7 guys could hit a basket – going 1 for 18 in the first half. They were utterly stymied by a well-prepared, very disciplined Bulldog squad. And then their poor lil’ freshman got stuck holding the bag and clanked the critical FTs … tsk, tsk, tsk.

FSU got owned by Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few.

Ups to a Bulldog team that, again, was prepared perfectly, has way more weapons than we expected, but that looks really tired now. Matt Bouldin is clutch and Steven Gray and the big men showed their stuff after traveling more than 3,000 miles to play. Well done Zags.

Georgia Tech 64, Oklahoma State 59
Oklahoma State’s loss to Georgia Tech was a crusher, but again, all credit must be given to the GT coaching staff for an excellent approach to a tough, tough, tough game – one of our favorite contests to watch so far [btw, we watched concurrent with the FSU/Zags matchup via the Internet for the first time – from a writing standpoint, it’s perfect.]

GT defense was truly awesome – kept James Anderson out of the game, neutralized Kieter and kept it tied.The offense struggled but produced. Free throws made the difference. Then in the end, Anderson tried too hard to do too much.

This was Evan Turner’s problem at the end of the Big10 Conference Tournament that he eventually saved with a running 37-footer as time expired. On the four previous possessions before ETs epic shot, Turner was forced into a missed shot or turnover by a well-prepared Minnesota defense – forgot he had teammates.

The same happened to John Wall and Kentucky late in the season on national TV against Bruce Pearl’s well-prepared Vols.  Do you remember the 10-0 run and the two turnovers Wall was forced into?

Murray State 66, Vandy 65
We picked the Murray State upset and were thrilled by the jumper that won it and by fine performances by Butler, Xavier, Pittsburgh, Baylor, Texas A&M, Missouri, New Mexico, Maryland and Tennessee.

St. Mary’s 80, Richmond 71
St. Mary’s was so impressive in their victory over the Spiders, we favor them as underdogs over ‘Nova who are putting up their inexperienced center from Benin, West Africa – who first touched a basketball only a few years ago – against the Gaels’ remarkable Senior Omar Samhan from San Ramon, CA.

The first round included polish-offs by Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, West Virginia, Kansas State, Syracuse and Pittsburgh, but squeakers by Villanova and BYU leave us wondering. Siena and Richmond burned out early and scrambled our South Round – which all along was the hardest one for us to pick.

And the Big East took a swan dive from its position of false support – having been buoyed by the prejudiced New York/L.A. media for so long – burn, Hollywood, burn!

We love the era of parity – so let’s do expand the field.

Rivalry Weekend Upsets Reflect Parity in March

In march madness on February 16, 2010 at 9:25 am

That was a great weekend of basketball with huge games for Louisville, U Conn and Pitt. It’s obvious to everyone now that the Big East is a monster conference! Just stacked with talent and great coaching. And it’s also clear that this year’s Tourney is going to be tough to call.

The idea that the Huskies, last year’s runner-up to the National Championship, are a bubble team is hard to get over – presumably to be attributed to Calhoun’s illness. Thing is, if he is better it may not be a factor. And if they let the Huskies in? Calhoun with something to prove is a scary idea.

That said, they may not make the tournament and Louisville, despite their big win over ‘Cuse is most likely out.

What’s crazy is WVU is now likely in and they are totally suspect. Their triple overtime loss to Pitt was very telling: the Mountaineers FT% in that game and really all season long has been atrocious. I think teams like WVU and TX are overrated this year as Tourney entrants. I like both to get to the Sweet 16, at best, but certainly not further.

Kansas is rolling along and the defeat of A&M to keep them perfect in the Big 12 reveals a little about the conference and about some of the other teams that A&M has beaten. The coaches of the Big 12 are the most guilty of stacking their schedules against weaker opponents!

That may not be purposeful – who knew the SEC would be this bad? But Baylor, Tech and A&M couldn’t possibly hang with Purdue or Michigan State or Duke or West Virginia. I think the Big 12 teams who do get in are in for a rude shock. Kansas and K-state are legit, but the rest? How is it that up to last night’s loss against Kansas, A&M was ranked higher in conference play than this vaunted TX team? and that Baylor at 19-5 is just one win away from a tie with TX? Says something about over-rating the Big 12.

ACC teams are too small. Duke looks great because of Coach K’s system. But they can’t hang with the big beasts of the East. UNC is done.

Pac-10 this year is worse than last year which is the big shock. Surveying reasons, I like Moll’s discussion of why.

I like the Big Ten teams a lot. I am convinced Ohio State goes far and could beat say, Georgetown or WVU or TX.  Ohio State in the Final Four is something I can visualize now.

Michigan State is thrilled to have Lucas back and they will make a strong play because Tom Izzo is great – trouble is the post game. Purdue and Wisconsin both also look good and should not be dismissed easily. If Wisco’s trip through is anything like the Mock Draft (see previous entry), I feel they have a slim shot at the Final Four, a strong shot at the Elite Eight.

Still, Kansas is the team to beat and Bill Self and his boys are NOT going to lose the game for you. You have to beat them. I doubt Kentucky can do that at crunch time – too young. Cole is big. and strong. and ready.

Could Syracuse beat Kansas? That’s starting to look like my NC game. and Ohio State is creeping into that other FF matchup in my book:

‘Nova, Kansas, ‘Cuse and Ohio State. hmmmm.

Yesterday’s Hoops is ON!

In basketball blogging on February 10, 2010 at 4:01 am

Yesterday’s Hoops – a new site on men’s basketball – officially launches next Tuesday and we’re on the air February to June for the second half of the NBA, the NCAA Men’s Conference Tournaments, March Madness. In short, YH is all men’s hoops when it matters most.

We like Ice

and Elgin

cause we saw them play, live.

and we watched everybody from then through the ABA-NBA merger, the Spurs moving from east to west, Bird/McHale/Parish, Dr.J’s ring, the rookie Magic at center ftw, Showtime, Phi Slamma Jamma, Isaiah, Dumars and the Microwave, Ferry at the buzzer, Air Jordan, Hakeem the Dream, Fab Five Timeout at the Superdome, His Airness’ Return, Stockton to Malone, Tark’s Runnin Reb’s and on through Shaq, Timmy, the Black Mamba, Dwyane, CP3, Nowitzki, LeBron and on up to Brandon Jennings and Steph Curry today, because we love the game in its purest form.

We’ve listened to Jones, Riley, Daly, Jackson, Poppovitch, Sloan, Bickerstaff and Brown, to Wooden, Dean, Coach K, Knight, Calhoun, Boeheim, Massimino, Tarkanian, Thompson, Self and countless other tacticians.

so,

bookmark us and stay tuned for scintillating analysis of Yesterday’s Hoops.