Tennessee vs. Virginia Live Blog: 2007 NCAA Tournament
Posted by Mike on March 18, 2007
Today #5 seed Tennessee plays #4 seed Virginia in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament South region. The Cavaliers will need a good day from their guards, Sean Singletary and JR Reynolds. The Volunteers will want to quicken the pace of the game to get easy outside shots and drives in the paint. I’m just hoping that Bruce Pearl doesn’t don the orange jacket today.
12:12 pm: 5-5. I join the game a little late. Chris Lofton hits a three to tie the game, and JaJuan Smith follows with one of his own to give the Volunteers their first lead. 8-5, Tenn.
12:15 pm: Wow that was awkward. The Vols call Wayne Chism “wheezy” because he’s athsmatic. I did not need to know that.
Singletary hits a midrange jumper top make it 8-7 Vols.
12:16 pm: 14-7, Vols. It’s raining threes. Chsim, their “center”, hits a three, and Lofton follows in transition.
12:18 pm: 17-10, Vols. We’re only five minutes into this game, and we already have 7 three pointers (5 for the Vols, 2 for the Cavs, both by JR Reynolds). As we go to the first official timeout, this game is going at an extremely fast pace. This favors the Vols and their deeper bench.
12:22 pm: 17-12, Vols. Reynolds hits another shot, this time a shot clock beating fadeaway. 13:05 left.
Bruce Pearl’s suit is gray today. Thank God.
12:24 pm: 19-16, Vols. Jamil Tucker hits another three for the Cavs, and they’ve brought it back to a one possession game.
12:25 pm: Tennessee is applying a halfcourt press. How Singletary reacts to it should determine the outcome of this game. If the pressure forces a lot of turnovers, Tennesse will win handily, but if Singletary can find open players for easy shots, the Cavs will win.
12:31 pm: 22-21, Vols. Lofton is playing well on offense, but he can’t stop Reynolds on defense. He just hit his third shot from the bonusphere. Many thanks again to Cliff Ellis for coining “bonusphere”.
12:36 pm: With 8:30 left to play, both teams have issues at the free throw line.
12:37 pm: 23-22, UVA. Solomon Tat hits a tough shot inside to give the Cavs the lead.
Another official timeout. Both teams have clamped down on defense.
12:42 pm: 28-23, UVA. Brace yourself for the next really bad joke, courtesy of me. Are you ready?
“Today, it’s JR who’s doing the shooting!”
Thank you. Back to your regularly scheduled programming. Reynolds has 18 already.
12:46 pm: 32-25, UVA. Wow. Suddenly Tennessee can’t buy a shot, and JR Reynolds cannot be stopped. He has 22 of the Cavs’ 32 points, and has sparked a 22-8 run against the Vols.
12:48 pm: Was that a plug for 7 Up, Tim Brando? I think it was…
12:50 pm: 34-25, UVA. With five minutes to go in the half, now the Cavs are dictating a fast pace for the game, and Tennessee is having trouble keeping up. Singletary hits a jumper as Reynolds finally takes a breather.
12:53 pm: 36-25, UVA. Mikalauskas goes to the free throw line and gives Virginia the first double digit lead of the game.
12:56 pm: 36-27, UVA. There are some ads, like that Nivea one, that I actually first saw months ago on Univision during “el Mundial”. Watching soccer is so much more fun in Spanish. Even if you can’t understand a word, you should try it.
12:57 pm: 36-28, UVA. If the Vols could hit the broad side of a barn from the free throw line, this game would be much closer.
12:57 pm: 36-31, UVA. Lofton finally hits a three to end Tennessee’s scoring drought.
1:01 pm: 36-33, UVA. JR Reynolds is noticeably limping. This could be a huge problem for the Cavs in the second half.
1:03 pm: 38-35, UVA. Chism hits a midrange jumper to bring it back within three. Tennessee has outscored the Cavs 10-2 since the game’s only double digit lead.
JR Reynolds completely clanks a shot. The injury is clearly affecting his shooting.
1:05 pm: We’re headed to halftime, as Virginia leads 38-35. For Tennessee to win, they will need to play at a faster offensive pace to get more open, shots. The Cavs really need to have a healthy JR Reynolds, who has 22 points. If not, guys like Adrian Joseph will need to step up.
1:29 pm: 40-35, UVA. The second half has just begun, and already Chism picks up his fourth foul. This could be big trouble for the Vols.
1:31 pm: 40-37, UVA. Dane Bradshaw jars the ball loose, passes it to JaJuan Simth as he falls to the floor, and Smith gets the easy layup to cut the difference to three.
1;34 pm: This game is starting to become hard to watch. Normally these teams play an uptempo game, but Tennessee just held the ball for a minute and a half without scoring.
1:35 pm: 42-42. Just as I type that, the two teams get three baskets in about 30 seconds, the last a Ryan Childress open three pointer to tie the game at 42 as we go to the first official timeout of the second half.
1:39 pm: 45-42, Tenn. JaJuan Smith drives inside, gets the basket and the foul. 15:00 left.
1:40 pm: 47-42, Vols. Simth swipes the ball clean from Singletary, and gets an easy layup to bring Tennessee’s lead to five. He can’t jump high enough to dunk though. That’s the second time in the game that I’ve noticed this.
1:44 pm: 49-44, Vols. Reynolds makes it through the Vols’ fullcourt press. He has 26.
1:45 pm: 52-44, Vols. Childress is left all alone and hits another three. The Vols have their biggest lead of the game, and have outscored Virginia 17-6 so far in the second half.
1:46 pm: 54-44, Vols. Dave Leitao spots a jumbo chili dog, and realizes he hasn’t had breakfast. He licks his lips in desire of said chili dog. Or maybe his filthy mind is wandering off with a cheerleader.
1:50 pm: 57-48, Vols. Dane Bradshaw makes a huge three with Lofton on the bench. Singletary and Reynolds must take advantage of his absence.
1:51 pm: 57-50, Tennessee, 10:35 left.
1:57 pm: 59-53, Tennessee. The Vols commit a huge defensive lapse as Adrian Joseph drives in for the dunk while three Vols watched. But Childress has a putback inside to bring the lead back to six.
2:00 pm: 61-55, Tennessee. With under eight minutes left, the Cavs still haven’t gotten much production out of their role players.
2:04 pm: 61-59, Tennessee. Singetary is attacking the basket, and Joseph is finally stepping up, and the Cavs have cut the lead to two.
2:06 pm: 64-59, Tennessee. JaJuan Smith hits a shot clock beating three off the backboard, and the lead is back to five. Brando says: “He banks it in! So they’re open in Columbus on Sundays, huh!” Wait…what???
Five minutes left.
2:13 pm: 64-62, Tennessee, 2:47 left. Adrian Joseph hits a huge three to cut the lead to two. Leitao calls a time out, and I have to listen to the infernal John Mellencamp again.
2:15 pm: 67-62, Tennessee, 2:20 left. Jajuan Smith continues to step up, hitting an open three to put the Vols up five and drawing an offensive foul on Sean Singletary to the give the ball back to Tennessee.
2:19 pm: 69-63, Tennessee, 1:20 left. Diane misses a wide open three, and Chism hits a free throw to put the Vols up six, but he fouls out.
2:23 pm: 69-66, Tennessee, :35 left. Jason Cain has made two straight smart plays. First he drives inside and fouls out Chism, and then after hitting two free throws, he out fights the Vols for a rebound, and Singletary goes the the line, cutting the lead to two.
2:29 pm: 73-72, Tennessee, :12 left. After the teams exchange free throws, Singletary hits a huge three pointer from the top of the key. He has really stepped up in the final minutes.
2:32 pm: 75-74, Tennessee, :06 left. After Lofton hits two free throws, Singletary is fould before he can shoot, which is the smartest thing Bruce Pearl and the Vols could do. Singletary tries to miss the second free throw but makes it.
2:36 pm: Lofton hits his free throws, Singletary gets a good look from three, but it rattles out, and Tennessee wins, 77-74. Lofton came up big late from the free throw line, and JaJuan Smith made some great plays for the Vols down the stretch. Singletary’s efforts weren’t enough, as Reynolds never recovered from the ankle injury, scoring only 4 points in the second half. I’m glad Tennessee won, as I had them in my bracket. But I feel bad that his college career ends with the potential for a career day but ultimately with an injury like that. The Vols move on to face Ohio State, and they can win if they can dictate a fast pace.
Coming up next…Virginia Tech-Southern Illinois live blog!