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Virginia Tech vs. Southern Illinois Live Blog: 2007 NCAA Tournament 2nd Round

Posted by Mike on March 18, 2007

Today #5 seed Virginia Tech plays #4 seed Southern Illinois in the NCAA Tournament second round. Virginia Tech hopes to speed up the game and attack the rim with Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon. while the Salukis need to slow the game to a halt with their suffocating defense. Dowdell vs. Jamaal Tatum should be the matchup that decides the game.

UPDATE: Purdue leads Florida, 31-29 at halftime.

3:10 pm: 2-0, VT. Every time I hear someone say Randal Falker’s name, I temporarily stop whatever I’m doing. Maybe it’s because his name sounds like something else.

3:13 pm: 3-2, SIU. The Salukis have done a good job of slowing the pace down early but only now have they been able to take advantage of it, as Tony Young hits the three to give SIU the lead three minutes into the game.

3:15 pm: As we hit our first TV timeout, only 5 points have been scored in four minutes. This is definitely Southern Illinois’ kind of game thus far.

3:18 pm: 5-2, SIU. Tatum gets on the board.

Tim Brando just made an excellent point. Bruce Weber was the head coach of the Salukis before being hired by Illinois, and the Illini play almost the exact same style as Southern Illinois, so Friday was essentially game film of exactly how Virginia Tech will play today, and what they should do to stop the Hokies.

3:20 pm: 7-6, SIU. Jamon Gordon gets the basket and the foul, and Falker gets his first basket, back in after he was hit in the eye early in the game.

3:24 pm: 10-8, SIU. Crap. I spaced out just as Zabian Dowdell hits a layup to tie the game.

The Salukis take the lead back at the free throw line before the official timeout.

3:27 pm: 13-8, SIU. Southern Illinois gets more second chance points, as Tony Young hits another three.

3:28 pm: 13-10, SIU. That’s the kind of pace Virginia Tech wants to dictate in this game. The Hokies, great defenders in their own right, force two straight steals, and both lead to fast breaks for the Hokies. Dowdell gets a layup, but Jamon Gordon misses both of his free throws. That’s Virginia Tech’s big weakness.

3:31 pm: 13-13. Deron Washington hits a huge three in transition, and the game is tied 11 minutes into the game. Will the Salukis tire out if Virginia Tech is able to impose a fast pace?

3:32 pm: Ooooooohhh. Falker just took a shoulder to the balls from Zabian Dowdell. And he gets called for the foul!

3:33 pm: 15-13, VT. Gordon hits a midrange shot, and Virginia Tech takes the lead going into the official timeout.

3:37 pm: 15-15. Diakite of the Hokies comes into the paint and makes a great tip in. Problem is Diakite tipped it in for Southern Illinois.

3:40 pm: 18-17, VT. Oh, what a play by Jamon Gordon! He loses control of the ball, but he regains it, continues dribbling, and drains the three.

Falker gets a quick basket on the other end.

3:41 pm: The refs are wiping the ball a lot. I see players for both teams losing control of the ball frequently.

3:43 pm: 19-18, SIU. Shockingly, the Salukis run a fast break of their own, and get an easy basket to take the lead.

Jamaal Tatum hits a long three to put SIU up four. They’ve scored the last 7 points.

3:51 pm: 22-20, SIU. Deron Washington makes a great block inside, and Gordon gets a three from the left wing on the other end. I know they called it a two, but it should have been a three.

3:52 pm: 28-20, SIU. Tatum hits two straight threes to bring the Salukis up 8, which is like being up 15 for most other teams. Tatum is having a great game.

3:56 pm: The game heads to halftime with Southern Illinois leading 28-20. For Virginia Tech to get back in this game, they need to impose a faster pace into the game. This means running a press, forcing turnovers, and getting rebounds to reduce SIU’s time of possession. Even if they don;t hit all of their shots, if they force mistakes from the Salukis and impose a faster pace, they can win this game.

4:17 pm: The second half starts, as Gordon turns the ball over, Southern Illinois goes out of their way to stop their own fast greak, and Jamaal Tatum hits a three from the top of the key. 31-20, SIU.

4:21 pm: 31-22, SIU. Coleman Collins picks up two quick foul, and he now has to go to the bench with four.

4:22 pm: 33-23, SIU. Falker is taking full advantage of Coleman Collins’ absence, taking over the paint.

4:24 pm: The Hokies seem to be self destructing right now. SIU’s defense has really gotten to them mentally. Even Vassallo, Tech’s sharpshooter, is missing good looks.

4:29 pm: 33-25, SIU. Deron Washington makes a great crossover dribble, and takes advantage of what little space he’s given, hitting a midrange.

4:33 pm: 36-28, SIU. Bryan Mullins hits a three, but Washington is starting to give the Salukis some trouble.

4:34 pm: 38-28, SIU. Mullins hits a floater off the backboard, and the Salukis again have a double digit lead.

UPDATE: Florida hangs on to beat Purdue, 74-67.

4:36 pm: 41-30, SIU. The Salukis are now 8 of 15 shooting from three.

Time is running out for Virginia Tech; they need to run the full court press to force turnovers.

UPDATE: UNLV beats Wisconsin, 74-68, and helps to wreck many a bracket with the Tournament’s first true upset.

4:43 pm: 44-32, SIU. Young hits another three, and they are still dictating the pace of the game.

Jamon Gordon has not scored in the second half. The Hokies have only 12 points in the second half, and at least 5 of them have been from the line.

4:49 pm: 47-34, SIU, 8:00 left. Coleman Collins comes back in, and he immediately commits his fifth foul.

UPDATE: Oregon beats Winthrop, 75-61, and my bracket is safe.

4:54 pm: 48-36, SIU, 7:00 left. Deron Washington gets another basket, but Southern Illinois remains in complete control of this game.

4:58 pm: 53-40, SIU, 4:30 left. Young hits another three, SIU is 10 of 18 from beyond the arc, and this game is pretty much out of reach.

4:59 pm: Has anyone else noticed that Jamon Gordon is going to go bald?

5:00 pm: 56-41, SIU, 3:30 left. Tatum hits another three at the shot clock buzzer, and Mike Gminski mentions the movie “Groundhog Day” as a reference to Virginia Tech seeing two consecutive teams the play exactly the same style. Frankly I could have done without the reference. That movie sucked.

5:07 pm: 58-44, SIU, 2:52 left. The Salukis are going to win this game, and that’s another game I got wrong. Right now, I’m just glad my final four is going to survive the weekend, barring Kentucky upsetting the Jayhawks.

5:13 pm: The game ends, and Southern Illinois wins 63-48. The Salukis completely shut down the Virginia Tech offense, rendering Zabian Dowdell almost useless. They will make a very tough opponent for the Kansas/Kentucky winner.

Posted in ACC, Bracket, College Basketball, Digital Headbutt, Hokies, Live Blog, Mid Majors, MVC, NCAA Tournament, Salukis, Southern Illinois, Virginia Tech, VT, Zabian Dowdell | 1 Comment »

Virginia Tech vs. Illinois Live Blog: 2007 NCAA Tournament

Posted by Mike on March 16, 2007

Tonight Virginia Tech plays Illinois in Game set 3 of the NCAA Tournament Day 2. The Hokies are led by senior guards Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon, and they will be needed today for Tech to win. Illinois’ strength lies in their frontcourt, and they’ll need to defend the perimeter well to force the Hokie guards inside. Actually that strategy may backfire, as few can penetrate the paint better than Dowdell.

UPDATE: Oregon 58-Miami(OH) 56, Final. Hezbollah took a good, long look at my bracket, thought about pulling the trigger, but decided against it.

7:12 pm: 4-0, Ill. Warren Carter hits two straight baskets, giving the Illini an early lead.

Virginia Tech is struggling early with their shots.

7:14 pm: 6-2, Ill. Gordon puts the Hokies on the board, but Shaun Pruitt gets a basket on the next possession.

Illinois is really slowing the game down. Their strategy is much like Miami in the ACC Tournament, but they have bigger inside players who execute it better.

7:16 pm: 9-5, Ill. Rich McBride hits a three, but Coleman Collins gets a tough basket inside.

7:17 pm: 11-7, Ill. Deron Washington is rejected on one end, and on the other end Brian Randle hits another Illini jumpshot.

Dowdell drives down the lane and gets the basket and the foul.

Our first TV timeout. Pruitt has 2 fouls.
7:21 pm: 11-8, Ill. Both teams take turns throwing the ball away after Dowdell completes getting three the hard way.

Illinois is very uncomfortable playing at Virginia Tech’s pace. If the Hokies dictate a transition game, the Illini stand little chance of competing.

7:23 pm: 14-11, VT. Dowdell and Vassallo each hit three pointers,m the latter of which give Virginia Tech its first lead.

7:24 pm: 14-13, VT. McBride drives inside and gets a layup on the next possession.

7:26 pm: As we near midway through the first half, both teams are struggling to get good shots.

7:29 pm: Dowdell is taking a breather.

7:31 pm: A great block by Diakite on Pruitt. These two teams are really clamping down defensively, which for now favors Illinois’ pace.

7:32 pm: 17-16, VT. McBride hits a three in transition, but Washington matches him on the other end.

7:33 pm: 19-17, Ill. McBride is shooting lights out right now.

Another TV timeout.

7:39 pm: 21-17, Ill. Pruitt hits a nice inside turnaround shot to extend the lead to four, but he nearly picks up his third foul.

Five and a half minutes left.

7:40 pm: 23-19, Ill. Virginia Tech is vulnerable inside, and Illinois is taking advantage.

7:41 pm: 25-29, Ill. Randle gets a dunk inside. He jumped from about 10 feet away from the basket.

Since being up 11-7, Virginia Tech has only hit two shots in over ten minutes.

7:45 pm: Nothing like an awkward pop culture reference from an announcer to give you a good laugh. Tim Brando: “FIGHT THE POWAHH!”

7:49 pm: Nigel Munson is in for the Hokies, but their shooting struggles continue. Illinois’ perimeter defense is insane.

7:51 pm: 29-19, Ill. Carter hits a three AND gets the foul. The Illini are up double digits with less then 90 seconds to go in the first half.

I think the Hokies have forgotten what a made shot looks like.

7:53 pm: 29-21, Ill. And just as I say that, Coleman Collins misses a dunk. At least Dowdell hits an open shot.

7:55 pm: After a frantic exchange at the end of the first half, Gordon misses a three at the buzzer. Illinois leads 29-21 at halftime. They’re leading because they played great perimeter defense. The Illini will need to keep that up if they want to win. As for Virginia Tech, their guard must find a way to penetrate the perimeter and force the Illini out of their gameplan. They need to attack the inside, where three opposing player have two fouls each.

UPDATE: Purdue and New Mexico State each lead by 5 against Texas and Arizona, respectively.

8:17 pm: We’re back. The second half begins with Deron Washington getting a nice basket inside. 29-23, Ill.

8:18 pm: 29-25, Ill. now THAT’S a putback, Coleman Collins!

8:19 pm: 31-25, Ill. Pruitt scores inside for Illinois’ first basket of the second half.

Illinois is pressuring Virginia Tech’s guards much more than vice versa.

8:21 pm: 31-27, Ill. Pruitt picks up his third foul.

Seth Greenberg goes ballistic and picks up a technical foul. He was really mad that Washington didn’t draw a foul.

8:23 pm: 35-29, Ill. As we go to the first TV timeout of the second half, Virginia Tech still can’t buy an outside shot.

8:28 pm: The Hokies force a shot clock violation. Collins drives inside and draws Randle’s third foul, but he can’t make his free throws.

8:30 pm: 38-29, Ill. McBride hits another three.

It’s gotten bad enough that Virginia Tech is now missing open shots. They’ve only hit four field goals in twenty minutes. That’s certainly not for a lack of effort; the Illinois defense has been stifling.

8:33 pm: 39-32, Ill. Virginia Tech finally gets a wide open shot with good passing, as A.D. Vassallo stops the bleeding.

8:36 pm: McBride heads to the locker room for unexplained reasons. While the cat’s away, the mice MUST play.

8:41 pm: 44-34, Ill. Do NOT tell me that Virginia Tech is going to lose this game because of Calvin Brock!

8:43 pm: 46-34, Ill. Everything;s going Illinois’ way. Carter’s floater bounces on the rim about three times before falling in.

The Hokies still have gotten very few open looks. With less than nine minutes left, time is running out.

8:45 pm: Seth Greenberg looks like he’s about to kill the next guy who walks by. Where’s the senior backcourt leadership?

seth-greenberg.jpg

8:48 pm: God, I hate network TV sitcom laugh tracks. For the millionth time, your jokes just aren’t that funny!

8:49 pm: 47-37, Ill. If it means anything at this point, two Illini frontcourt players have four fouls.

8:55 pm: 48-40, Ill., 6:10 left. Virginia Tech is applying defensive pressure, and they’ve been forcing turnovers. Too bad the Hokies can’t shoot free throws.

8:57 pm: 50-40, Ill. How does Carter make that shot?!?

8:58 pm: 50-42, Ill., 5:00 left. Gordon gets a tough basket inside, and the Hokies force another turnover. However, Virginia Tech still can’t hit their shots.

9:00 pm: 52-42, Ill., 4:30 left. Washington gets wrongly called for a technical, but Randle misses both of his free throws. On the ensuing possession, he gets to score from much closer.

9:01 pm: 52-45, Ill., 4:15 left. Washington finally hits a three.

9:03 pm: You just hate to see that. Gordon works so hard to force another Illinois turnover, and then he misses the point blank layup and Illinois rebounds. That Has been a microcosm of the game. The Hokies just can’t catch a break.

9:05 pm: Virgina Tech forces yet another turnover. Coleman Collins releases the ball six inches from the rim…and it falls short. At this point, you have to believe that Bruce Weber installed some sort of force field on the baskets while no one was looking. Illinois is very lucky their lead has yet to evaporate.

9:09 pm: 52-47, Ill. Collins hits his free throws, and the Hokies are within five.

Illinois commits another turnover.

Washington hits another three!!! The lead is cut to two. With 2:15 to play, it’s 52-50.

9:11 pm: Virginia Tech forces another empty trip for the Illini. With 90 seconds left, the Hokies now have a chance to tie.

9:12 pm: Gordon is fouled and sent to the line…but he misses the first one. 52-51, Ill, 70 seconds left.

9:14 pm: Washington hits a midrange jumper off the backboard! and VT takes the lead! 53-52, VT, 45 seconds left.

Since being down 47-34, the Hokies have outscored Illinois 19-5.

9:17 pm: Illinois misses two shots on their end, and A.D. Vassallo rebounds and gets fouled. Replay shows Washington may have fouled Carter on his attempt. Vassallo makes one of two free throws. 54-52, VT, 17 seconds left.

9:19 pm: Randle misses an open three, but Washington fouls him. He misses his first free throw, Washington rebounds, Virginia Tech wins a scrum for the ball, and Virginia Tech wins, 54-52! An unbelievable comeback by the Hokies. Seth Greenberg’s full court pressure in the second half caught Illinois off guard, and they collapsed in the final minutes. Virginia Tech made far too many mistakes, but they played good enough defense to stay in the game long enough until Deron Washington carried them to victory on offense. My bracket is saved!

This is about as much live-blogging as I can take for today. I’ll be back tomorrow for the second round.

Posted in ACC, Big Ten, College Basketball, Live Blog, NCAA Tournament, Virginia Tech, VT, Zabian Dowdell | 1 Comment »

NC State vs. Virginia Tech Live Blog, ACC Tournament 2007

Posted by Mike on March 10, 2007

Today NC State plays Virginia Tech for the right to play my beloved Tar Heels in the final. This game 10 of my attempt to have a live blog of every ACC Tournament game this week, although I’ve had help from the Extrapolater. For a preview of each team, see my ACC Tournament Preview. To see how these teams got her, see yesterday’s live blogs of NC State-Virginia and Virginia Tech-Wake Forest.

The Wolfpack will have a hard time against the Hokies’ experienced backcourt, while VT will have a hard time against freshman forward Brandon Costner and Sidney Lowe’s voodoo blazer. NC State was able to sweep the season series; add the jacket to the mix, and the Hokies could be doomed before this game begins.

3:58 pm: 2-2. Courtney Fells gets the first basket of the game, an easy layup, but Jamon Gordon quickly responds.

4:01 pm: 6-5, VT. A.D. Vassallo is playing well early in the game, hitting two straight shots to give the Hokies the lead.

Both teams seem to be struggling to catch a rhythm early.

4:06 pm: 7-6, NCSU. Gavin grant hits a midrange jumper to give NC State the lead.

4:08 pm: 13-6, NCSU. Every time I see the TV cut to Lowe’s sideline gestures, something good happens to the Wolfpack. Fells and Grant each hit a three after Raycom puts Senor Sid on camera.

His tie is polka dot today. Only he can pull that off.

4:12 pm: 13-10, NCSU. Deron Washington goes up for the emphatic dunk. Virginia Tech fares much better when he’s effective in the paint.

I haven’t heard much from Dowdell or Costner so far today.

4:14 pm: 16-10, NCSU. Atsur hits another three for the Wolfpack. I think they’re 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.

4:15 pm: 18-12, NCSU. Courtney Fells gets an easy basket inside from a great pass by Costner. NC State has shot 70% from the field so far.

4:20 pm: 21-12, NCSU. Dennis Horner drive down the lane, and gets three the hard way. Deron Washington picks up his second foul, and he’s now on the bench.

4:21 pm: It looks like Atsur twisted something, and he’s out of the game. Surprisingly, the Wolfpack offense continues without a hitch. Nieman gets a nice basket off a pass from Horner, and the NC State lead reaches double digits.

Seth Greenberg decides to play Nigel Munson at point guard in Atsur’s absence instead of Dowdell.

4:23 pm: 23-15, NCSU. Munson immediately makes an impact, hitting a three off the backboard. 8:00 left in the first half.

4:27 pm: Atsur heads to the locker room. They can;t afford to have him out long; he’s the most important player to this team. Specifically, he’s their only true point guard.

4:28 pm: 25-17, NCSU. Virginia Tech is so far unable to take advantage of their opponent’s best player being out. They only have two field goals in over six minutes, and they’re both from Vassallo.

4:30 pm: Atsur is back in the game. A good opportunity for the Hokies is laid to waste.

4:32 pm: 25-21, NCSU. The Wolfpack will need to do a better job of getting defensive rebounds and controlling the ball. They can’t allow Virginia Tech to get twice as many opportunities as them.

4:36 pm: 28-21, NCSU. With two minutes left, Gavin Grant gets an old-fashioned three, off another Atsur feed.

I have been simply shocked by Dowdell’s subpar performance. Is it that Atsur is the only point guard in the ACC capable of giving him such fits? If so, he’s even better than I thought. And I’ve watched him, like, forever!

4:39 pm: 31-21, NCSU. Horner hits another three for the Wolfpack, and they lead by 10.

I didn’t know snowboarder Shaun White played college basketball!

4:40 pm: Zabian Dowdell finally gets on the board as time expires in the first half. NC State leads, 31-25 at halftime. It’s painfully obvious that NC State is giving Virginia Tech fits, but I still can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s because their forwards are effective from anywhere on the court. Maybe it’s because Engin Atsur matches up well against Zabian Dowdell. Maybe it’s because the Wolfpack slow the game to a halt, while able to keep a high shooting percentage. Regardless of what it is, Dowdell needs to be more effective, especially on offense, for Virginia Tech to win in the second half.

4:51 pm: dcydell asks whether any ACC at-large teams in right now will be left out of the tourney. I say no, but Georgia Tech and Florida State are definitely rooting against them. But while I think Florida State should be in, their tournament bid was likely done for no matter what happens from this point on.

4:58 pm: The second half begins. Washington promptly picks up his third foul.

5:00 pm: 31-26, NCSU. The Hokies are only 3 of 8 on free throws. If they made them all, the game would be tied.

Neither team has shot well to start the game. Just as I type that, Gordon gets a nice layup, and Virginia Tech is within three.

5:04 pm: 33-28, NCSU. Costner gets an easy layup. I haven;t heard much from him in the first half. He’ll need to be a big factor for the Pack to win.

Apparently Atsur is still hurt. Other players will need to pick up the slack.

5:05 pm: 35-33, NCSU. Costner is starting to heat up, but Vasallo and Collins each get easy shots, Vassallo a three and Collins a dunk, and the Hokies are now within two.

5:07 pm: Things are not going well for NC State in the second half. Costner now has three fouls and seems to have pulled a muscle. The already thin lineup could be in serious trouble down the stretch.

5:11 pm: Deron Washington is now out with four fouls. The Hokies may have to dig deep into their own bench.

5:12 pm: 35-35. Washington’s replacement, Lewis Witcher, ties the game with a putback. The Wolfpack can’t afford to continue letting VT dominate the boards.

5:14 pm: 40-35, NCSU. Just as it looks like Va. Tech has the momentum, Neiman hits a three, and Grant goes coast to coast for a layup.

5:15 pm: 40-36, NCSU. Zabian Dowdell misses a free throw. That may not be a big deal to you, but I watched him in person in the Dean Dome making 17 of 19 free throws in our loss to the Hokies. After that miss, I’m ecstatic.

5:17 pm: 40-38, NCSU. Dowdell hits a tough shot inside to bring the deficit down to two.

Gordon joins Washington on the bench. NC State needs to take advantage of this.

5:21 pm: 42-38, NCSU. The game’s two most awkward moments, back-to-back:

  1. Tom Pyzsdjkafansamanski’s interview with Rodney Monroe. Out of place and very slightly gay.
  2. More of Sidney Lowe’s sideline gestures. I think he winked at a girl across the court in the front row.

Costner gets his fourth foul.

5:25 pm: 44-39, NCSU, 10:00 left. Ben McCauley gets a tough basket inside for his first points of the game.

5:26 pm: 46-39, NCSU. Horner’s free throws bring the lead back to 7.

Washington (4 fouls) is back in the game.

5:28 pm: 46-43, NCSU. The Wolfpack forwards need to box out. They’re keeping the Hokies in this game because they’re getting all of the rebounds.

5:29 pm: 46-45, NCSU. Dowdell hits a mid-range jumper to reduce the difference to one. They still haven’t had the lead since early in the first half.

5:30 pm: 48-45, NCSU. Just as the Hokies have momentum, Fells hits a jumpshot and Costner steals the ball in the paint.

Gavin Grant, what the hell kind of a shot was that? George Gervin is rolling in his grave.

Wait…George Gervin’s alive? I knew that, you dips—! Now shut up and get me some coffee!

5:32 pm: 48-48, 7:00 left. Vassallo takes advantage of Grant’s huge gaffe and hits a three to tie.

NC State’s FG percentage is way down from the first half.

5:36 pm: 52-48, NCSU, 6:00 left. McCauley give the Wolfpack the lead back, and Fells hits a jumper to bring the lead to four.

If this game is going to come down to free throws, NC State is going to win. Everyone on their team is a good shooter. Grant shoots two more to make it 54-48, NCSU.

5:39 pm: Virginia Tech has blown two one-and-ones. That’s going to haunt them in the end.

I’m able to get the feeds of both ESPN and Raycom. I’m actually going to choose Raycom; their analyst have more in-depth knowledge of the ACC.

5:41 pm: 56-50, NCSU. The Hokies score, but McCauley is finally getting some touches inside in the second half. Three and a half minutes to go. Virginia Tech will need to make a move now if they want to win this game.

5:47 pm: Less than three minutes left, and Virginia Tech misses all three of their one-and-one trips to the free throw line.

5:48 pm: Gavin Grant however, does not miss his free throws, and NC State leads 58-50.

5:49 pm: 58-52, NCSU. Coleman Collins gets the putback for the Hokies, and Grant turns the ball over. However, Virginia Tech can’t take advantage on their next possession. With less than two minutes left, time is running out.

5:50 pm: 61-52, NCSU, 1:30 left. Fells hits another three at the perfect time, and NC State may have put the game away, up nine with less than 90 seconds to go.

5:52 pm: 61-56, NCSU, 1:10 left. Virginia Tech, why won’t you die?!? Washington goes in the lane and hits an inside shot, and then steals the ball on the inbound pass, where he’s fouled and hits his free throws.

5:54 pm: 63-59, NCSU, :58 left. McCauley hits two free throws, but Washington hits another shot, this time a three.

If Virginia Tech loses this game, it will be because of their failures at the free throw line. They were 3 for 8 in the first half and were 0-for their 1+1 bonus fouls.

5:57 pm: NC State can’t get the ball inbounds, and are forced to use the game’s last timeout.

5:58 pm: NC State goes to the free throw line again. More importantly, Washington fouls out. Fells is one of two. 64-59, NCSU.

5:59 pm: 64-61, NCSU, :43 left. Dowdell makes a great pass to Witcher, who dunks it in and cuts the lead to three.

6:00 pm: 66-63, NCSU, :34 left. Grant hits his free throws, but Dowdell gets a quick basket to bring the lead back to three.

A.D. Vassallo fouls out. That’s huge.

6:02 pm: 68-63, NCSU, :26 left. NC State hits their free throws, the Hokies miss, Costner rebounds, and Dowdell fouls out. It looks like NC State is going to win, now up 70-63 with :20 left and three VT starters disqualified.

6:07 pm: It’s official: Sidney Lowe has the voodoo jacket. NC State wins 72-64, and they will go n=on to play my beloved Tar Heels tomorrow in the ACC championship game. Frankly, I’m not looking forward to playing the Wolfpack, and at-large teams are definitely rooting for the Tar Heels on Sunday. The Wolfpack have played three straight days with a thin bench, so they may not have enough in the tank to beat the Tar Heels. Still, with that jacket, all bets are off. All I can say is, Roy had better neutralize him by breaking out a Carolina blue jacket.

I ‘ll be back tomorrow to live blog the final on Tar Heel Mania.

Posted in ACC, ACC Tournament, Championship, College Basketball, NC State, NCAA, Sidney Lowe, Tar Heel posts, Virginia Tech, VT | 5 Comments »

Virginia Tech vs. Wake Forest Live Blog: ACC Tournament, 2007

Posted by Mike on March 9, 2007

Tonight Virginia Tech finally begins play in the ACC Tournament, as they play Wake Forest in Game #8 of my attempt to live-blog the entire ACC Tournament, a clear sign to you the I have too much time on my hands. Luckily, I live in ACC country, and the universities coincide spring break with the tourney. I’ve also gotten some help from the Extrapolater. So there.

For a quick preview of each team, see my ACC Tournament Preview. If you’re wondering why Georgia Tech isn’t playing tonight, see last night’s GT-Wake live blog.

9:41 pm: 2-0, Wake. Kyle Visser get the first basket on a putback. He’s a huge mismatch for the Hokies, who will have Coleman Collins defending him.

9:42 pm: 2-2. Tech steals the ball from the backcourt, and that dunk was WAY too easy for Jamon Gordon.

9:43 pm: 7-2, VT. The Hokies are shooting almost indiscriminately. You’re allowed to do that if your guards can pick the opponent’s pockets clean. Vasallo hits an open three, and Dowdell commits highway robbery on the inbound, which results in an easy layup.

9:45 pm: 9-2, VT. Carolina has a very deep bench, and they try to take advantage of this by playing at as fast a tempo as possible. Virginia Tech swept us because they’re one of the few teams that can keep up.

9:47 pm: 11-4, VT. Seriously, Raycom, stop it. It’s bad enough to see these coaches, but to show closeups of them in HD? HHUUUOOOAAGGHH!!!!

9:48 pm: 13-6, VT. L.D. Williams finally breaks the Wake drought. But the Hokies’ offense cannot be stopped right now.

9:49 pm: The NBA needs more players like Jamon Gordon. He absolutely disrupts your entire gameplan. Skip Prosser needs to find a way to neutralize his defense.

9:52 pm: The Wake Fores band has a really, really bad sense of timing. That’s the second time this tournament I’ve seen their fight song interrupted by game play.

9:53 pm: 18-8, VT. The Deacons have a deep bench with athletic players. So why do they always seem a step behind the Hokies tonight?

9:55 pm: 18-12, VT. Ishmael Smith is trying to bring Wake back into this game.

Mike Gminski: “[Skip Prosser]‘s gonna work up a good lather by halftime.” Wait…what??? I think he meant sweat, but that sentence doesn’t make any sense at all. And frankly, it sounds pretty creepy.

9:59 pm: There’s one thing Gordon can’t do: make free throws.

10:00 pm: 18-14, VT. Visser take s great pass from Smith and dunks it. It’s simply amazing that I’ve already lost count of how many steals the Hokies have, and yet the Deacons have the momentum and are still very much in this game.

10:02 pm: 20-17, VT. There’s this one guy named Anthony, he plays for Wake, and apparently he’s very, very Gurley. Ladies and Gentleman, the worst joke of all time! Thank you!

10:02 pm: 24-19, VT. The Hokies are really attacking the inside. You think that Visser would do more to stop their attacking, especially if he’s expected to be an NBA lottery pick.

10:07 pm: Okay, I’ve seen this Chrysler minivan ad about 50 times during the tournament, and that couple would not be caught dead in any combination of a Chrysler or a minivan.

10:09 pm: 25-21, VT. Wake is within four, now getting some help from Jamie AHHHH! SKEEN SKEEN SKEEN SKEEN SKEEN!

10:11 pm: 25-23, VT. Ah, crap. Every time a coach calls a timeout, the announcers show a quick Charles Schwab ad, and suddenly I’m thinking about stocks.

10:12 pm: 27-23, VT. A.D. Vasallo is a reliable go-to guy for the Hokies. Why aren’t there more Puerto Ricans in college basketball?

10:14 pm: 29-23, VT. Dan Rather has had some success with obscure analogies, so I think I’ll try one as we approach 3 minutes before halftime. Virginia Tech has owned the paint like the Yakuza own a Japanese Pachinko parlor.

10:18 pm: 31-25, VT. Dowdell just hit a nice midrange jumper from the free throw line. Offensively, I haven’t heard as much from Dowdell as I thought I would.

10:19 pm: 31-27, VT. Visser’s free throw shooting is keeping them within reach.

10:20 pm: 31-29, VT. With less than two minutes before halftime, Visser makes a tough basket inside, and Wake draws an offensive foul from Dowdell.

10:21 pm: 34-32, Wake. The Deacons take the lead thanks to a three by Ishmael Smith, but A.D. Vasallo immediately strikes back. One minute left.

10:24 pm: Jamon Gordon hits his free throws, but L.D. Williams hits a jumpshot before the end of the half. Virginia Tech leads 36-34 at halftime. Early, I thought that the Hokies were going to run away with this game, as they dictated the pace of the game and seemed to steal from Wake’s guards with ease. The Deacs survived the initial flurry, however, and have played very well since. For them to win this game, they will likely need to endure another flurry in the second half, control the ball, and shut down the paint on defense.

10:31 pm: Is there any scientific proof that these ads for beer and soft drinks actually make people want to have said beer/soft drinks? Because it doesn’t matter what the ratio is of commercials of Bud Light to Miller Lite to Pepsi to Coke, I’m not drinking any on it.

10:38 pm: Seth Greenberg invariably says “ahright?” twice for every sentence he makes.

10:42 pm: The ACC Tournament knows their audience. Evey ad during the tourney pertains to either cars or ingesting calories. It’s actually quite refreshing now to go an entire day without being asked to take a pill by my TV.

10:44 pm: 38-35, VT. The second half has started out slow. So slow, in fact, that Raycom didn’t show the first 30 seconds. A.D. Vasallo scores first for the Hokies, but Dowdell is on the bench with four fouls.

10:46 pm: 40-37, VT. The Hokies still don’t have an answer for Kyle Visser.

10:47 pm: How does Ishmael Smith miss that layup? In a game this close you can;t afford to miss those opportunities.

10:48 pm: 41-37, VT. Deron Washington only has 3 so far in this game. No one can deny, However, that he has the best hairdo still active in this tournament now that Osby and Maryland have been eliminated.

10:50 pm: 43-37, VT. Normally Dowdell is the game changer for Virginia Tech, but if the Hokies are going to pull away for the win tonight it will be because of Jamon Gordon.

10:55 pm: 47-37, VT. Gordon steals again, and Deron Washington gets the dunk. Prosser, sensing the momentum change, calls a timeout.

10:57 pm: 47-40, VT. Visser is trying to keep the Deacons in this game, but the difference so far has been that Virginia Tech has 14 more points off turnovers than Wake.

11:01 pm: 49-42, VT. Virginia Tech seems to be winning the rebounding battle right now.

Wow. That rim is loud. I bet you can hear the balls clang off the rim in the St. Pete Times Forum from Orlando.

11:06 pm: 55-42, VT. Wake’s David Weaver is pretty useless. Virginia Tech’s Deron Washington is decidedly not.

11:10 pm: 59-42, VT. The Hokies are robbing Wake blind now that Dowdell, Gordon and Washington are all clicking at the same time.

I don’t Wake can come back from this one. The bad news is that we get our first truly uninteresting game. The good news is that I won’t have to stay up until a God-awful hour.

11:14 pm: 61-45, VT, 7:45 left. I haven’t heard from Harvey Hale at all tonight. God must think he’s a very gullible man.

11:19 pm: 63-47, VT, 6:00 left. Wake couldn’t keep the ball away from Virginia Tech right now if they trapped themselves in Hunter S. Thompson’s panic room. That’s how well the Hokies are taking the ball away.

11:24 pm: Another reason why holding the ACC Tournament in Tampa was a bad idea: in Greensboro, there’s no golf to preempt a basketball game. A.D. Vasallo hits another three to make it 68-47, VT.

11:28 pm: Visser just stepped off the court for the final time in a Wake uniform. Show your respect.

11:29 pm: Raycom just showed two fans to the Hokie Pokey. Now that I didn’t need to see.

11:30 pm: Just as I type that, WRAL Raleigh loses the feed to Tampa. I have the voodoo blog!

11:32 pm: The game mercifully ends, as Virginia Tech wins 71-52. Wake gave a valiant effort tonight, but the sly Virginia Tech backcourt picked the pockets of the inexperienced Deacons and put the game out of reach. Ironically, tomorrow in the Wolfpack they will face the only team that swept them in the regular season. I just hope the final three games will be as exciting as the first two days of action. Now that I’ve survived the first two days, it looks like I’ll be able to pull off having a live blog of the entire ACC Tournament. But I’ll be running on fumes by Sunday. Many thanks to the Extrapolater for helping me out. I might have jinxed the Cavaliers by having him live blog the game and.

Hey Extrapolater, how’s about you help me live blog Kansas in the Big Dance?

Posted in ACC, ACC Tournament, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, College Basketball, Digital Headbutt, Live Blog, Tar Heel posts, Virginia Tech, VT, Wake Forest, Zabian Dowdell | 1 Comment »

ACC Tournament Preview: Seriously, Tampa? Was Wilkesboro, NC Not Available?

Posted by Mike on March 8, 2007

I’m going to post a live blog of every ACC Tournament game this week, including UNC games on Tar Heel Mania. TheACC.com has an excellent bracket that updated constantly (requires flash), but before action starts today in Tampa, and I can’t believe it’s in Tampa, it would be useful to quickly preview each team and what to look for.

simpsons-acc.jpg

By the way: yes, that is a Simpsons interpretation of the ACC. And no, I don’t appreciate being Krusty the Clown, but it could be worse. I could be Mayor Adam West.

#12. Miami (4-12): After the early departure of their best player of 2006, point guard Guillermo Diaz, the Hurricanes were not expected to do much damage in the ACC. Still, losing four of their best players due to injury did not do anything to help matters. With those players healthy, they could be 8 or 9 deep, but as of now they can only play with six players, the only one of whom is a significant threat is undersized guard Jack McClinton. I would be shocked if they were to make it past today and their first opponent, Maryland.

UPDATE: Miami upsets Maryland 67-62.

#11. Wake Forest (5-11): Last year the Deacons were in a similar position, near the bottom of the ACC. Still, they had the talent (the only missing piece was Chris Paul) and the experience to make it to the Semifinals of the tourney before bowing out to the #1 seed Dookies. This year their strength is in their depth. They have 13 underclassmen playing alongside projected NBA center Kyle Visser. If Wake has any chance of winning, the offense must go through him. This is a deep team, but they lack experience, and that could be poison in a tournament like this.

UPDATE: Wake Forest beats Ga. Tech 114-112 (2OT).

#10. NC State (5-11): This team is truly an enigma. Certainly they have played better in the return of point guard Engin Atsur from injury, and they have beaten UNC and swept Virginia Tech and Wake Forest this season. The Wolfpack have also stunk it up against everyone else this season. They seem to be underachievers at their core, but this tournament could be the place to showcase their talent. NC State plays with only 7 players, but all of them can hit the 3-pointer. Their strength will be using the three to lure the opposing defense away from the paint, allowing for lanes to drive inside and get easy layups. But their most important asset is coach Sidney Lowe, or more specifically, his red blazer. If he wears it, the Pack can make a deep run. If he doesn’t, Duke is running them out of the building tonight.

UPDATE: NC State beats Duke 85-80 (OT).

#9. Florida State (7-9): Now on to the teams that have a legitimate chance of winning. This Florida State team is really confusing. They are good enough to have beaten Florida, Virginia Tech and Duke at Cameron Indoor, and they may have the most talented player in the ACC in Al Thornton. At the same time, before winning their final two games of the season they had lost their previous five. Granted, all of those opponents were competitive, but the Seminoles cannot afford to have that kind of inconsistency. Perhaps their inconsistency is due to the fact that they have no true point guard. Isaiah Swann and Ralph Mims usually are the guards controlling the ball, but do not play the role of a point guard on the court. Florida State certainly has the capacity to go deep in this tournament, but they may need to commit to a point man and get some consistency in order to do so. To not see Thornton in the Big Dance would be the biggest waste of talent I’ve seen in a while.

UPDATE: Florida State beats Clemson 67-66. 

#8. Clemson (7-9): If there’s one team that’s more enigmatic than FSU, it would likely be Clemson. The Tigers began the year as the last undefeated team at 17-0. It took them 12 more games to reach win #20. At 21-9 in the ACC, at first glance one’s tourney chances would appear safe. In fact, after their first loss I predicted that they would finish 22-8, 8-8, and safe from being left out of the Dance. But their collapse has been nearly epic, highlighted by coming back from 5 points down in less than 10 seconds to tie the game in Cameron Indoor, only to have extra time unjustly left on the clock, and a defensive lapse leading to a Duke win at the buzzer. At that point things really got ugly. They still have the talent they’ve had all year, including what may be still the best sixth man in the conference in K.C. Rivers. Still, they probably don’t have the mindset to make a deep run. If they lose to FSU today, they are almost certainly NIT bound.

#7. Duke (8-8): As a die-hard Tar Heel Maniac, it’s tempting for me to kick the Devils while they’re down now, especially after Henderson is getting suspended for today. But that wouldn’t be fair to this team. Tyler Hansbrough has moved on from the elbow incident, and so should everyone else (at least until the novelty shirt comes out next week at the Shrunken Head Boutique on Franklin Street). Beneath their inexperience and struggle lies a good deal of talent. The big problem is that they have absolutely no senior leadership on this team. With experience, they will certainly be back with a venegance next year, so don’t feel too sorry for the Dookies. Most teams would kill to have their “rebuilding year”. They could make a deep run this week, unless Sidney Lowe brings his red jacket, in which case it’s over for them before it even begins.

#6. Georgia Tech (8-8): Unlike most teams in the ACC this year, Goergia Tech finished the season strong, winning 7 of their last 9 games. However, don’t overlook the fact that 6 of those 7 victories were home games, and their one road win coincided with Florida State’s 5 game losing streak and is their only true road win for the entire season. They aren’t out of the NCAA woods yet by any stretch of the imagination, because the committee is going to notice that and wonder if they’ll struggle out of their friendly confines. This is a very young team, led by potential lottery pick Thaddeus Young and 6-5 point guard Javaris Crittenton, and they are very deep and athletic, which is a huge asset come tournament time. However, they must play their A game today, because if Wake beats them, the Yellow Jackets will have a lot of explaining to do.

#5. Maryland (10-6): Okay, everyone from this point on in the list is definitely going dancing next week. Of the top teams in the tournament, the Terps definitely have the most momentum, currently riding a 7-game winning streak that includes a home win over North Carolina and a season sweep of the Dookies. A far cry from when they were 17-7, 3-6 in the ACC and on the outside looking in. Their meteoric rise can e explained in many ways. The biggest improvement the have made is in their offense. Players like D.J. Strwaberry, James Gist, and Ikene Ibekwe were already great defenders, but Strawberry now has an offensive game to make him a more complete player, freshman Greivis Vasquez is playing point guard wonderfully, and senior sharpshooter Mike Jones! who? Mike Jones! who? Mike Jones! is finally getting significant PT. What most surprised me is that while most teams would try to slow down the Tar Heels’ fast pace, the Terps had the athleticism to play at our pace and beat us at it. That’s a big reason why I think they can win this tournament.

#4 Boston College (10-6): All of the top four seeds have really struggled to end the season, but none more than Boston College. The loss of Sean Williams, has had a bigger impact than I has expected, but Al Skinner and the Eagles have always capable of doing more with less. BC has been able to keep the ship afloat thanks to great play from sharpshooter Sean Marshall, point guard Sidney Rice and ACC Player of the Year Jared Dudley. They will all need to play exceptionally well if the Eagles want to get past the Terps on Friday. Oh crap. I just jinxed Maryland, didn’t I?

#3 Virginia Tech (10-6): This is a very dangerous team. The Hokies have all of the building blocks necessary to do serious damage in the Big Dance. They have an excellent, cunning coach in Seth Greenberg. They have experienced, talented guards in Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon. And they have a signature win, the distinction of being the only team this year to have defeated the vaunted Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. Still, they have had their inconsistencies. They were swept by NC State, and they lost at home to Clemson with the chance of clinching the ACC’s #1 seed. Which Virginia Tech will we see from this point on? I’m betting on the former.

#2 Virginia (11-5): This team is practically a mirror image of the Hokies. They have one of the nation’s best and most experienced backcourts in Sean Singletary and JR Reynolds. The have one of the coolest customers in the business in coach Dave Leitao. In spite of having one of the easiest ACC schedules, they have had their share of signature wins, including home wins over Duke and Va. Tech. But they have also blown their chance at the #1 seed with inexplicable losses down the stretch to Miami and Wake Forest. Unlike the Hokies, however, I think the struggling team will show up, as they are inconsistent outside of their new home, John Paul Jones Arena.

The Extrapolater has been so kind as to do the live blogs of Virginia games this weekend (well, at least the quarterfinal).

#1 North Carolina (11-5): What can I say about the Tar Heels that I haven’t already said on Tar Heel Mania? But let’s review anyway. UNC is by far the deepest and most talented team in the conference, if not the entire nation. Most teams would kill for a lineup of Deon Thompson, Alex Stepheson, Danny Green, Marcus Ginyard, Wes Miller, Quentin Thomas, and Bobby Frasor. That’s our bench, for Christ’s sake! Tyler Hansbrough and Brandan Wright may be the best frontcourt in the nation, ad frankly, I think Psycho T is going to play even more aggressively after after last week’s incident. We have two major weaknesses, however. The guards are inexperienced, and with the exception of Ellington, they have real trouble shooting the ball well. A team like Virginia Tech beat Carolina because their backcourt practically ran laps around ours. Our second, and perhaps bigger, weakness, is Roy Williams’ (bless his soul) inability make adjustments in the middle of a game, some that Coach K and Seth Greenberg are excellent at doing. If UNC struggles and Roy doesn’t have a backup plan, they could end up going home early. But with the right mindset, I don’t think there’s a single team in the nation that can beat the Tar Heels.

If you’re really curious, you can look here to see how people are predicting the outcome of the ACC Tournament.

My Pick to Win: Do you really have to ask?

Posted in #1, ACC, ACC Tournament, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Al Thornton, Basketball, BC, Boston College, Championship, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Gerald Henderson, Maryland, Miami, NC State, NCAA, North Carolina, Tar Heel posts, Tar Heels, Tyler Hansbrough, UNC, UVA, Virginia, Virginia Tech, VT | 8 Comments »

Boston College vs. Virginia Tech: The ACC Battle for Second Place (Because UNC is first)

Posted by Mike on February 21, 2007

Tonight Virginia Tech faces Boston College in what is the the night’s most meaningful game, and would be the most intriguing game if not for 1) UNC vs. NC State and 2) Va. Tech’s Sunday loss to the Wolfpack which took them out of potential first place. However, a lot is at stake for both teams coming off losses particularly for BC after their two home losses to Duke and UNC. This is perhaps their toughest stretch of the season. It is important the the Eagles find a way to stop Zabian Dowdell. If they do that, they will likely win this game.

7:03 pm: 2-0, BC. Shamare Spears is fouled on the opening possession and hits his free throws.

7:04 pm: Interesting fact: both of the teams coaches are bald. I have no idea what it means for this game.

7:05 pm: 4-2, BC. Coleman Collins dunks with two hands to open scoring for the Hokies, but Tyrese Rice Rice drives into the lane and gets a layup to give the lead back to the Eagles. Few can drive the ball better than Rice and Dowdell.

7:06 pm: 6-4, BC. Collins again gets an easy dunk, but John Oates fights for another basket inside after his first shot was blocked by Dowdell.

7:07 pm: 9-4, BC. Deron Washington makes an unbelievable play. First he blocks a three pointer by Sean Marshall, and then he leaps out of bounds to save the ball. But Rice catches it and tosses it back to Marshall for the easy three. All that effort just made it easier for the opponent. The lesson: don’t try.

7:12 pm: 10-6, BC. Jaman Gordon picks up his second foul already, but VT is 3-for three on FG attempts, provided they are Collins dunks.

7:13 pm: 12-8, BC. A.D. Vasallo gets a nice inside basket to cut the lead to two, but we finally hear from Dudley today, courtesy of a nice pass by Rice.

7:14 pm: 12-9, BC. The Hokies is starting to run the press, and the Eagles seem to be fazed by it.

7:16 pm: 14-13, BC. Their defense pays off as Dowdell gets an easy basket in transition. The two teams then exchamge defensive lapses, which leads to quick inside baskets.

7:18 pm: 15-14, VT. The Hokies get the lead thanks to great hustle to the ball by Dowdell, and goaltending by John Oates.

Why are there empty front seats in this stadium? This is one of the biggest games of the year for Virginia Tech, and front seats go unused? That is embarrassing.

7:21 pm: 18-16, VT. Dudley gets a tough basket inside, but Vasallo is wide open for a 3-pointer that gives the lead back to the Hokies.

7:23 pm: Doesn’t Tyrelle Blair look like a tall, awkward Chris Brown?

tyrelle-blair.jpeg chris-brown.jpg

Well, maybe not.

7:25 pm: 25-16, VT. The Hokies are absolutely dominating this game both defensively and on the boards. Their defense forces bad shots and passes, which lead to a quick change in possession, and in turn easy offensive opportunities, the latest a three by Zabian Dowdell.

7:30 pm: 27-16, VT. The BC defense seems to be sitting back, reacting rather than acting. The Tech guards are picking them apart. This reminds me eerily of UNC’s first half in Blacksburg.

7:33 pm: 29-19, VT. Marquez Haynes finally stops the bleeding by getting three the hard way. Before that the Hokies outscored the Eagles 21-4.

7:34 pm: 31-21, VT. Jared Dudley is getting beat up in this game, but that hasn’t stopped him from performing effectively in the offensive paint.

7:36 pm: 31-23, VT. Boston College is fighting back by making their presence felt inside. The Hokies keep missing layups; eventually that’s going to haunt them.

Vasallo gets his third foul.

7:40 pm: 36-23, VT. Deron Washington is the go-to guy right now for Virginia Tech. Boston College seems to have no answer for him. Sean Marshall certainly doesn’t.

7:42 pm: 36-28, VT. Well, that was lucky. Sean Marshall shoots a three, hits nothing but iron, and them the ball bounces straight up and into the net.

7:44 pm: 36-10, VT. Rice commits highway robbery, and it leads ultimately to an easy basket by Dudley. Suddenly BC has a chance to go into halftime only one possession down.

7:46 pm: 36-32, VT. Rice lets the clock run down in the first half. He then proceeds to floor it down the lane and get a layup over Collins as time expired. Once down 13, Boston College is back in striking distance. They need to continue to play good defense and crash the boards to get the lead back. Virginia Tech needs to stay agressive and create turnovers. And of course, Zabian Dowdell must have the ball.

8:07 pm: 46-32, VT. Uh…wow. A.D. Vasallo has led the Hokies to a 10-0 run in the forst two minutes of the second half. They are just storming out of the gate.

8:08 pm: 48-32, VT. Dowdell gets an easy basket inside and gives the Hokies a 16 point advantage.

8:10 pm: 50-32, VT. What is wrong with Boston College? Why are they playing so badly? This calls for a bizarre video clip. We miss you Dave.

8:17 pm: 54-34, VT. Deron Washington is on fire. And that’s about all I can say right now. I am just in shock. It looks like either Virginina Tech is a clearly superior team, Boston College has stopped trying, or they are completely gassed and the Hokies are running laps around them.

8:21 pm: 58-34, VT. In 8 second half minutes, VT has outscored BC 22-2. That is simply unbelievable. I can’t believe that this is the same Boston College team that beat the Hokies by 21 earlier in the year, and I can’t believe this is the same Va. Tech team that go swept by NC State.

8:23 pm: 58-36, VT. Boston college finally stops the bleeding with its first field goal of the second half. Their collapse in the second half is nothing short of schocking. Just this time last week they were in control of the ACC and facing a team on a 4 game skid. WTF?

8:27 pm: ESPN is determined to kill any sport that isn’t on their network. I’m sure of it. You’re laughing now, but you’ll be crying when you see 10 minutes of Major League Soccer analysis every night on SportsCenter this summer and the entire NHL playoffs get 10 minutes of coverage. Oh, joy.

8:31 pm: 66-36, VT. When you are getting badly beaten, that’s one thing. When you’re being outscored in conference 30-4 in 12 minutes, it shows a complete lack of effort on your part. I am really disappointed by the Eagles in this game. You have to question how viable a team is in the NCAAs when they lack effort in big games.

8:36 pm: 68-41, VT. So that’s it. Rice hits a three pointer, but more importantly, for the first time in this half I am reminded that he exists.

8:40 pm: 70-48, VT. Boston College is finally hitting their shots, but it appears far too little, far too late.

8:47 pm: 73-53, VT. Tyrelle Blair commits a blatant intentional foul on Washington. I like Boston College, but he should be ejected for that. It looked like he may have been trying to hurt the guy.

8:56 pm: The game goes final: Virginia Tech wins, 79-62. The Hokies were impressive in victory, but more importantly Boston College was horrendous in defeat. I was not so much that they got blown out, it was that they seemed not to give any effort when they needed it most. That really disappointed me. They need to close out the season well, getting at least two victories (including at least one ACC tourney victory) before NCAA tournament time, to right the ship.

Posted in ACC, Basketball, BC, Boston College, College Basketball, Tar Heel posts, Virginia Tech, VT | 3 Comments »

 
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