Thursday, March 08, 2007

Big East Tourney - Semifinal Round Preview

26-2. Twenty-Six to two.

Apparently spreading the scoring droughts throughout the game was boring, so Villanova decided to get them all out of the way up front. That's the only way I can explain a Division 1 basketball team scoring 2 points for the first 10 min and 55 seconds of a conference tournament game. Wow. I forgot to set my TiVo to tape this game, and now I'm really glad I did.

To their credit, the Cats fought back to make it almost a game; in fact, after the 9:06 point of the first half, they outscored Georgetown 55-36. But it was way too big a deficit to overcome. That, coupled with off shooting days for Reynolds and Sumpter, their porous interior and transition defense, and the absence of Mike Nardi due to a calf injury/ankle sprain sustained against Syracuse last Saturday, and we all pretty much saw this one coming.

Enough moping. It took Louisville guard Edgar Sosa divining Tyus Edney's famous length-of-the-court drive (to beat Missouri in the 1995 NCAA tourney second round) for West Virginia not to win their quarter final game. Without that, I'd be 8-0 predicting the winners. Oh, well. 7-1 is pretty good, too. WVU has a better record than Villanova (they won the head to head meeting), and a big win against #3 UCLA earlier in the year; I thought if they advanced further in this tourney than Nova that they could replace Nova in the NCAA. That could still happen; the Cats were lethargic for the first half against G-town, and WVU took Louisville to the limit in losing. But it also could not. We won't know for sure until Sunday.

On to tomorrow's prognostication:

Game 9: Notre Dame vs. Georgetown. Irish handled a game Syracuse team. G'Town embarassed Nova and then hung on during a furious Cat comeback. ND can shoot from outside; G'Town runs a modified version of the old Princeton offense and pounds the ball inside. Georgetown won their earlier meeting, demolishing the Irish by 18 in MD. Prediction: Don't like the Hoyas, but they are good this year. G'Town in a nail biter.

Game 10: Louisville vs. Pittsburgh. The slashers vs the big inside threat. Louisville pounded Pitt in their regular season matchup, winning by 13 at Pittsburgh. That should provide more motivation for the Panthers. Prediction: Pittsburgh advances. This would set up a conference final against the two best teams in the league during the regular year, which is what God and Chuck Norris intended. And that's good.

Chuck Norris doesn't sleep; he waits.

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