College Hoops 101 (3/16/11)

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There is doing work and then there is what I did during Conference Tournament week.  I was to watching college basketball what Bob Knight is to pump fakes; obsessed.  I did not reach my goal of watching all 15 Big East Tournament games but I did set a single week record for games watched. Plus, my final bracketology also held its own against Joe Lunardi’s which I consider a great success.  Now, let the madness begin!

If you are unfamiliar with College Hoops 101, it is a weekly feature here at The Sports Bank that breaks down everything you need to know going on in the world of college basketball.  I will look back at the conference tourneys and break down what to expect in the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

By: David Kay

The Drive
Games watched in 2008-2009: 275
Games watched in 2009-2010: 327
Games watched in 2010-2011: 263
Games watched last week: 27

Teams I saw play in 2009-2010: 125
Teams I have seen play this season: 115
(Home teams in CAPS)

Morehead State 80, Tennessee Tech 73
Kenneth Faried of Morehead State recorded his 84th career double-double which ties him on the all time list with Ralph Sampson, three behind the leader Tim Duncan.

UConn 97, DePaul 71
My 187-13 final score prediction was a tad bit off.  The Blue Demons actually cut the lead under ten several times in the second half, but than remembered they were DePaul and allowed UConn to run away with this one.

Marquette 87, Providence 66
Getting off to a 17-0 really helps put me at ease while I watch Marquette play.  They should just do that every game.  K?  Thanks.

UConn 79, Georgetown 62
I just cannot see Chris Wright returning in a week for the NCAA Tournament and being fully effective which makes Georgetown a fairly favorable opening weekend draw for a lower seed.

St. John’s 65, Rutgers 63
Enough have been said and written about the officiating at the end of this game.  My immediate reaction: embarrassing.

Marquette 67, West Virginia 61
Marquette is in the dance!  Enough said.

Kansas 63, Oklahoma State 62
Maybe this will be a bit of a wake-up call for the Jayhawks who did not play well.  Perform like that in the NCAA Tournament, and there could be another early exit.

UConn 76, Pitt 74
Quick reactions: Kemba Walker; WOW!  Is Pitt still a one seed?  Glad I didn’t pick Pitt in my Big East bracket.

Syracuse 79, St. John’s 73
I can’t believe I am saying this but Fab Melo came up HUGE for Syracuse.  If he plays like that during the NCAA Tournament, Cuse will be a tough, tough out.

Arizona 78, Oregon State 67
I think Derrick Williams is a small forward at the next level.  The way he’s expanded his range on the perimeter is impressive and he will be an extremely tough match-up at the next level.

Notre Dame 89, Cincinnati 51
Is Notre Dame that good or is Cincy that bad?  Discuss.

Louisville 81, Marquette 56
Least emotional I’ve been all season during a Marquette game.  We were gassed on our third game in three days against a pressure defense with too many good shooters.  See you in the NCAA Tournament.

Washington 89, Washington State 87
Klay Thompson came back from his oh so strict one game suspension for getting busted with weed to score a Pac-10 Tournament record 43 points.  However, it came in a losing cause as the Huskies solidified their berth in the NCAA Tournament.  UW could be a dangerous team at tourney time.

Ohio State 67, Northwestern 61 OT
In regards to an earlier season match-up between the school in which the Buckeyes won by 1 point, ESPN put up a graphic “Smallest Wing Margin of Season.”  You mean they didn’t win a game by ½, ¼, or 1/8 of a point?  Thanks for the clarification.

North Carolina 61, Miami 59
UNC ended the game on a 27-6 over the final 9:44 thanks to some hot three-point shooting and Tyler Zeller scoring the last eight points including the game-winner at the buzzer.

Michigan 60, Illinois 55
Where is Doug Gottlieb now?  Gottlieb picked Illinois to win the Big Ten at the start of the season.  I like Gottlieb’s analysis but someone needs to put him in his place.  He’s way too arrogant.

UConn 76, Syracuse 71 OT
Huskies.  Orange.  Big East Tournament.  Overtime.  Sounds about right.  Kemba’s stat line: 33 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 steals.  He’s good.

Penn State 36, Wisconsin 33
Nope, I did not accidentally write down the halftime score.  This was actually the final score.  Yes, they did have a shot clock and a three-point line.  And this is why the Big Ten gets stereotyped as a low-scoring, slow-paced, boring conference.

Arizona 67, USC 62
Jordin Mayes and Jamelle Horne hit some huge shots for Zona who knocks off a Kevin O’Neill-less Trojan team after O’Neill had an altercation with a Wildcat booster the night before.  Nice timing, coach.

Memphis 67, UTEP 66
A friend made an interesting comparison saying that he thought Memphis was the Baylor of C-USA; extremely talented, but a bit of a mess.  Instead, the Tigers earned an automatic bid to the tourney.

Kansas 85, Texas 73
Tristan Thompson commits four fouls and only plays 11 minutes as he has trouble matching up with the Morris twins.  Ball game.

San Diego State 72, BYU 54
Third time’s the charm.  The Aztecs got it done on the defensive end, forcing turnovers, and getting out in transition.  BYU looks like a potential second round exit with Brandon Davies.

Washington 77, Arizona 75 OT
Easily one of the top five most entertaining game I have watched this season.  Appropriate that Gus Johnson was on the call.

UConn 69, Louisville 66
You really cannot say enough about how impressive this UConn run was.  Five wins in five days against the likes of Georgetown, Pitt, Syracuse, and Louisville.  Kemba Walker goes down as a BET legend.  Does UConn have enough gas in their tanks to make a run in the tourney though?

Duke 75, North Carolina 58
I think it is a joke if Notre Dame gets a 1 seed instead of Duke.

Kentucky 70, Florida 54
The Wildcats pick up a convincing 16-point win in the SEC Championship, beating the Gators for the second time in 15 days.  Kentucky earns a four seed, Florida gets a two.  Yup, that makes sense… (eye roll)

Clemson 70, UAB 52
The Blazers have “UAB” above the numbers on the back of the jerseys where the name usually goes… LAME.  Hey Blazers, thanks for coming!  Now Clemson has an insanely quick turnaround playing 36 hours later against West Virginia.  Good luck with that.

Fast Forward
The greatest tournament in the history of the world: THE NIT!!!

Just kidding… be sure to check out my in-depth regional bracket breakdowns for the NCAA Tournament.  And for your viewing pleasure, here is the tourney TV schedule.

East Regional Bracket Breakdown

West Regional Bracket Breakdown

Southwest Regional Bracket Breakdown

Southeast Regional Bracket Breakdown

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and former contributor for The Washington Times Communities.  You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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