The Tournament That Wasn't

Re: The Tournament That Wasn't

Postby PointGuard » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:21 pm

West Region--Round 1 (Part 4 of 4)

#7 seed Illinois Fighting Illini (21-10) vs #10 seed Saint Louis Billikens (23-8)

Illinois took the ball inside twice for dunks by PF Alvin Beerbohm in the first 45 seconds of play and followed that up with a 3 pointer by SF Marcus Holmes on their 3rd possession to make it 7-0. Houston got on the board on the following possession on a 3 of their own and tied the game at 7-all with 17 minutes to go in the half. Following those two 7-0 runs, Illinois scored another 7 unanswered points to lead 14-7 with 14-1/2 left before the break. The Illini opened a 21-11 lead with 11-1/2 minutes remaining in the half. The Billikens struggled to narrow the gap and with 1:32 on the clock tied the game at 35-35. The half ended with the Hoosiers holding a slim 41-40 lead. SF Marcus Holmes dropped in 11 points for Illinois but St. Louis’ SG Diego Moore peppered the net for 17 points.

St. Louis held Illinois scoreless for the first 3-1/2 minutes of the 2nd half but only led the Illini by a score of 44-41 at that point. The Hoosiers Marcus Holmes sunk a 3 with 11:42 remaining to give Illinois their first lead of the 2nd half at 54-51. PG Joshua Willis returned the favor with a 3 to put the Billikens back on top 56-54 with just under 10 minutes left in the game. Illinois regained the lead at 61-60 when SG Colin Stone drove down the lane and scored on a finger roll with 6-1/2 minutes to go. A minute later SG Damien Moore stole a pass, upcourted the ball to a streaking Ronald Crudup who slammed it in to put St. Louis back on top 62-61. On the next possession, Holmes hit 2 free throws and Illinois jumped back on top 63-62. C Pat Riggs dropped in 2 foul shots to tie the game at 68-68 with 2:46 left. PF Alvin Beerbohm got free out front and hit a 3 to make it 71-68 in favor of the Illini a minute later. The Hoosier held a 75-72 advantage with just 24 seconds on the clock. St. Louis brought the ball up court and got the ball over to SG Diego Moore who drilled a 3 to tie the game with 15 seconds remaining. Illinois missed a 3P attempt but SG Michael Gallagher grabbed an offensive rebound and put it right back up and in with 5 seconds left. St. Louis got the ball over the mid court line and lofted a desperation 3 that just barely rimmed out to preserve Illinois’ victory in one of the most exciting games of the tournament. The Billikens hit 44% of their shots compared to the Hoosiers 41% but Illinois got to the line 13 more times where they scored 5 more points than St. Louis.

Illinois-77 (SF Marcus Holmes-20 pts, 11 reb; PF Beerbohm-13 pts, 6 reb; C Adam Houston-10 pts, 8 reb)
St. Louis-75 (SG Diego Moore-28 pts, 5 reb; C Pat Riggs-9 pts, 12 reb)

“There were just too damned few opportunities for us at the foul line in the 2nd half. That’s all I’m gonna say about this game,” said disgruntled St. Louis coach Travis Ford.

Brad Underwood, the coach for Illinois, said, “My heart’s still racing. The entire 2nd half was so damned close. Michael Gallagher’s effort to get inside, grab that final rebound and hit a great put-back was pure determination on his part! And that final half-court heave by the Billikens looked right on the mark and seemed to hang in the air forever. My knees were so weak when it finally rimmed out that I could barely stand.”

#8 seed Richmond Spiders (24-7) vs #9 seed Southern California Trojans (22-9)

The Spiders never led or were tied with the Trojans early in the game, but finally gained their first lead at 19-17 lead with 9-1/2 minutes left in the half. USC the scored the next 6 points and held a small lead the rest of the half finishing it with a 40-34 advantage. The Trojans also held a small advantage in all team stats. SF Erick McMahon led USC’s scoring with 9 points but PG Rasual Crowley scored 5 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 5 assists. C Chris Kelly had 8 points for Richmond.

In the 2nd half, Southern Cal continued to lead until Richmond’s Ross Love hit 2 free throws to put the Spiders on top 51-50 with 14 minutes left in the game. Richmond then moved out to a 66-56 lead with 9-1/2 minutes remaining. USC cut into the lead slowly and with 4 minutes to go trailed 73-70. But the Spiders were able to hold off the Trojans to a narrow victory. Richmond’s scored 30 points in the paint compared to just 14 by USC.

Richmond-81 (C Chris Kelly-18 pts, 8 reb; PF Brett Perkins-14 pts, 8 reb, 1 steal, 3 blocks; PG Ross Love-13 pts, 5 assists; SG Jason Paige-10 pts, 8 reb, 5 assists)
Southern California-73 (PG Manny Walker-14 pts; SG Ben Carr-12 pts, 6 reb; SF Erick McMahon-11 pts, PG Rasual-8 pts, 6 reb, 8 assists)

“Su-weet! Both teams were in charge at various points of the game, but we took over in the latter stages and gamely held on to carve out an exciting victory,” said Chris Mooney, head coach for Richmond.
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Re: The Tournament That Wasn't

Postby PointGuard » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:31 pm

Gonzaga, the #1 seed in the West, was unimpressive in their first game in the tournament. #12 seed Wright State upset #5 seed West Virginia. Six of the 8 games were very competitive with one game going to overtime and another going down to the final shot.

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Re: The Tournament That Wasn't

Postby PointGuard » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:38 pm

Round 1 is COMPLETE!

11 of the 32 teams advancing to the round of 32 are from non-power conferences. Now the challenge for them is to continue moving forward as the competition stiffens.

Only 2 teams that were lower seeds won in the 32 games in round 1. One of those wins was a #9 beating a #8 and the only real upset was by #12 Wright State.

So the tournament committee’s seedings were pretty much spot-on...at least for the first round.

Top Individual Performances in Round 1:

Tyler Payne, PF, Oregon—29 points
Diego Moore, SG, St. Louis—28 points
Zack Hayes, SG, Maryland—27 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks
Lee Hahn, PF, Colorado—23 points, 7 rebounds
Mike Hollins, PF, Kentucky—21 points, 12 rebounds
Marcus Holmes, SF, Illlinois—20 points, 11 rebounds
Andre Sampson, PF, Arizona—19 points, 11 rebounds, 9 blocks
Kendric Pugh, SG, Wright State—17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 5 blocks
Joe Bush, SF, Baylor—16 points, 13 rebounds
Mike Grant, PF, Michigan State—16 points, 13 rebounds
Alvin Griffin, C, Colorado—18 points, 8 rebounds in 18 minutes
Copley Robertson, C, UC Irvine—18 points, 5 rebounds in 19 minutes
Renaldo Miller, PF, Duke—17 points, 5 rebounds in 18 minutes
Travis Murray, SG, Oregon—11 points, 9 assists, 3 blocks
Trenton Sarchet, SG, Colorado—7 points, 10 assists
Jeffrey Gardiner, PG, Duke—11 points, 8 assists
Rasual Crowley, PG, Southern California—8 points, 8 assists
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Re: The Tournament That Wasn't

Postby PointGuard » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:46 pm

Midwest—Round 2 (Part 1 of 2)

#1 seed Kansas Jayhawks (29-3) vs #8 seed Colorado Buffaloes (22-11)

Kansas held a 5-10 point lead throughout most of the first half. But in the final 5 minutes Colorado steadily cut into that lead to trail by just a single point before the Jayhawks hit some late shots to give them a 41-35 halftime advantage. Kansas outshot the Buffaloes 43% to 37% but Colorado held a 20-16 rebounding advantage. C Richard Williams hit for 12 points for Kansas plus had 4 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. The Buffaloes PF Lee Hahn scored 9 points.

Within the 2-1/2 minutes of play in the 2nd half, Colorado pulled into their first lead of the game at 43-41 and then held Kansas scoreless for yet another minute. Kansas then went on a 10-0 run. With 12:12 left Kansas opened their biggest lead thus far at 58-45 and had all the momentum in their favor. Colorado had a tough time hitting their shots which allowed Kansas to go ahead by 21 at 79-58 with 3-1/2 minutes to go as C Richard Williams was running roughshod over the Buffaloes defense and the game was out of reach for Colorado. Kansas scored on 47% of their shots and held Colorado’s shooting to just 33%.

Kansas-89 (C Richard Williams-28 pts, 11 reb, 5 blocks; PF/C Scott Bullock-13 pts; SG Ron Lawson-12 pts; SF Leon Martin-11 pts)
Colorado-67 (PF Lee Hahn-17 pts; SG Trenton Sarchet-15 pts, 5 reb)

Tad Boyle, Colorado’s coach said, “I was feeling pretty good when we took a lead early in the 2nd half, but it was like sticking your hand in a hornet’s nest. Kansas came back stinging and never quit. That final 17 minutes was like getting your butt kicked over and over and over again and it was on both ends of the court.

#2 seed San Diego Aztecs (31-2) vs #7 seed Butler Bulldogs (23-9)

In a rough start with lots of fouls on both teams, San Diego State got out to a 10-2 lead after the first 3 minutes of play. With 12 minutes to play in the half, the Aztecs had bludgeoned their way to a 24-10 advantage with PF Steve Hordemann coming off the bench to score 11 quick points. By then a number of players on both teams were in foul trouble. Butler then began to narrow the gap and got within 6 points. But the Aztecs then ran off 9 straight quick points to take a 35-20 lead. Fouls continued to mount and San Diego State rode those to a 43-24 lead with 4 minutes remaining. With 2-1/2 minutes to go, Butler had 4 of their 5 players who were on the court sporting 2 fouls apiece and San Diego State had 2 players on the court with 2 personal fouls. The game was threatening to turn into a game of attrition. The half ended with the Aztecs leading 51-31. Butler had been called for 15 fouls sending San Diego State to the line for 21 foul shots. 5 Bulldogs players had 2 fouls apiece and one had 3 fouls. But the Aztecs had connected on 64% of their FG attempts and held a 12-4 turnover advantage. San Diego State was led by reserve PF Steve Hordemann with 13 points and 6 rebounds. PF Jake Ellis and SG Moses Williams both had 6 points for the Bulldogs.

San Diego State continued to roll early in the 2nd half and was on top 61-34 just 4 minutes into the final stanza. Led by C Tim Chappel, Butler then went on an 11-0 run but that still left them 16 points behind with 11 minutes to play. In the 2nd half the fouls were piling up against San Diego State. With 5:45 to go the Bulldogs had trimmed the lead to 71-59. But San Diego State didn’t let Butler get closer and came away with an impressive win. The Aztecs outshot the Bulldogs 51% to 41%, held a 34-28 rebounding advantage, and a 17-12 turnover advantage.

San Diego State-81 (SG Isaac Haston-15 pts, 5 assists; PF Steve Hordemann-13 pts, 9 reb; PG Jarvis Brown-11 pts)
Butler-68 (C Tim Chappel-14 pts, 10 reb, 1 steal, 3 blocks; PG Jake Ellis-11 pts, 5 assists; PF Vashon Adams-10 pts, 5 reb)

Aztecs coach Brian Dutcher said, “We had one player foul out, 2 players with 4 fouls each, and 2 other players with 3 fouls each and sent the Bulldogs to the line for 32 foul shots. But our team banded together to just keep banging away and hold onto the solid lead we built up in the first half. Butler has a really good team so I’m just happy to have gotten past them. I’ve got to get going though, because I want to watch the Duke-East Tennessee State game.”

“We would have loved to make another deep run in the tournament this year, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us tonight. Both teams slugged it out from beginning to end, but San Diego State was just too much of a force,” said Butler’s coach LaVall Jordan.
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