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Games To Watch: College Football Week 6

Posted by Mike on October 6, 2007

#5 Wisconsin at Illinois (12:00 ET, ESPN): Despite being the #5 team in the land, the Badgers haven’t looked very impressive this year, and they’re the Vegas underdogs against Zook and the Illini. Can Wisconsin prove their skeptics wrong?

Kansas at #24 Kansas State (12:00 ET, FSN): It’s the Battle for the Governor’s Cup (aka the Sunflower Showdown), and for the first time in recent memory, both teams are good heading into this matchup. It’s “GET IN MY BELLY!”…

…versus the Power Towels. Who ya got?

Miami at North Carolina (12:00 ET, ESPN2): UNC comes home after a road trip against two ranked opponents, and the next two home game’s aren’t any easier. But the Hurricanes didn’t look too impressive against Duke, and UNC pulled the miracle upset against a top 5 Miami team the last time they came to Chapel Hill. A  s always, the live blog is at Tar Heel Mania.

#10 Oklahoma vs. #19 Texas (3:30 ET, ABC): One week ago this might have been the week’s premier game, between two top 10, undefeated conference opponents in one of the nation’s biggest rivalry. Unfortunately for them, Kansas State and Colorado spoiled that party. Well, at least there’s always the artery-clogging experience that is the Texas State Fair. Seriously, they found a way to fry soft drinks!

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#12 Georgia at Tennessee (3:30 ET, CBS): Without a successful season, Phil Fulmer could be in serious trouble in Knoxville. In the way of a win today is the Bulldogs, who are a staggering 23-3 on the road in SEC play under Mark Richt.

#15 Virginia Tech at #22 Clemson (6:00 ET, ESPN): Past history says that this is the kind of game that Clemson will lose. Can Tommy Bowden’s team change the status quo against the Hokies’ tough defense?

#4 Ohio State at #23 Purdue (8:00 ET, ABC): Both teams are undefeated, but neither have really been challenged this season. Now is the time for them to prove whether or not they are true contender.

#20 Cincinatti at #21 Rutgers (8:00 ET, ESPN2): Of all the BCS teams in the top 25, the Bearcats probably have to be the biggest surprise. At 5-0, they face a Rutgers team reeling from a loss to Maryland last week, and looking for revenge after Cincy dashed their conference title hopes last year.

#8 Florida at #1 LSU (8:00 ET, CBS): The big matchup of the week, possibly the entire year. Even though Florida lost to Auburn last week, they’re right back in the title hunt with a win in Death Valley. But can anyone beat the Tigers right now?

Needless to say, today will be a great day in college football.

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Posted in ACC, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Big 12, Big East, College Football, Florida Gators, Get Pumped!, Kansas, Kansas State, LSU, Mel Kiper Has No Idea What's Going On, NCAA, Ohio State, Patriotism at its finest, Rutgers, SEC, Tar Heels, Texas, UNC, Virginia Tech, what is this hyperbole of which you speak?, YAW YAW YAW CAWLEDGE FOOBAW! | 2 Comments »

Ohio State vs. Florida Live Blog: 2007 NCAA Final Four

Posted by Mike on April 2, 2007

Tonight Ohio State plays Florida for the National Championship in basketball. If Ohio State wins, I will have lost my bracket pool to a bracket determined by coin flips and picked Davidson to face the Buckeyes tonight. At least I will be in the company of three friends:

Hurricanes Are For Drinking

Run Up The Score

The Sports Flow

8:39 pm: Watching the ESPN preview. If Bruce Pearl were a broadcaster, he would be the heir apparent to Dick Vitale. He has the energy, and he really knows his basketball. You probably knew that; the Vols would be in big trouble if he didn’t.

9:00 pm: Everyone is picking Florida to win. Under normal circumstances I would consider that a clear sign that the Buckeyes will win tonight. But Florida is such a good team, and this tournament has been so chalky, I don’t know what to think.

9:15 pm: Ladies And Gentlemen, Jim Nantz and Billy Packer!

9:23 pm: The game begins! Florida wins the tip, but misses their first shot. OSU fares no better.

9:24 pm: 3-2, Florida. A bad inbound pass is stolen by Mike Conley, who gets the easy layup. Florida runs the break and Brewer hits a quick three.

9:25 pm: 5-3, OSU. Great passing leads to an open three by Ivan Harris.

9:27 pm: 5-5. Noah steals a pass in the halfcourt, and Humphrey gets the easy layup on the break.

Considering the strength in the middle, I’m surprised that both teams are settling for outside shots so far.

9:28 pm: 7-5, OSU. Conley drives to the right and gets another layup to give the lead to the Buckeyes.

9:28 pm: 9-5, OSU. We finally have our first true points in the paint, as Oden hits a shot with his left hand.

9:29 pm: 9-7, OSU. Taurean Green drives in for a tough basket in the lane. The Gators did a good job of creating space for him.

As we hit the first official timeout, Florida is using their bench early, much more so than the Buckeyes.

9:33 pm: 9-9. Walter Hodge ties the game with another inside drive. I didn’t expect to see so much inside play by the guards against some of the best big men in America.

9:36 pm: 11-11. Florida is doing a good job of pressuring Conley. He’s being forced to make bad passes, and he almost threw one away there.

9:37 pm: Considering how tight the refs are calling this game, you think that Oden would have been called for a foul for elbowing Corey Brewer in the ribcage.

9:39 pm: 14-11, Florida. Green give Florida the lead on free throws. Jamar Butler comes in for Conley, who has two fouls.

9:40 pm: 17-11, Florida. Hodge steals the ball from Butler and gets three the hard way. Conley is being missed already. Florida has been very opportunistic, getting 10 of their 17 points off OSU turnovers.

9:42 pm: 17-13, Florida. Official timeout.

9:46 pm: 20-15, Florida. Brewer hits another three on the fast break.

Greg Oden has played for 10 straight minutes, but he’s been putting in a lot of effort. He needs a breather.

9:47 pm: 21-15, Florida. Conley is back in the game despite foul trouble. Ohio State needs the ball handling.

9:49 pm: So far it’s clear that Florida is the deeper team. I think they can take the approach UNC normally takes in their games, dictating a faster tempo until they run Ohio State ragged. It’s foolproof, because unlike the Tar Heels, I don’t see a mental collapse from these Gators.

Official Timeout. 7:59 left, first half.

9:53 pm: 23-17, Florida. Horford get his first basket, a bank shot from the left side. Conley drives in for a layup on the next possession.

A lot more points are coming from the guards today than one would expect.

9:54 pm: 23-19, Florida. A great pass by Conley, and Mark Terwilliger gets the emphatic dunk! The Buckeyes are a completely different team with Conley at point instead of Butler.

Florida is starting to miss free throws. This could become trouble later, as the game winds down and their legs get tired.

9:56 pm: 27-22, Florida. Ivan Harris hits a three to bring the lead to two, but Lee Humphrey responds immediately.

9:57 pm: 30-22, Florida. What a sweet shot by Brewer. He hasn’t missed one yet from three.

9:58 pm: 33-22, Florida. Taurean Green hits another three for the Gators, as they take the game’s first double digit lead. Florida has been on fire from the bonusphere. Their effectiveness is sort of sneaky, in that so much emphasis is put in Florida’s frontcourt, but games like this they kill you from the perimeter. Although Lee Humphrey shooting lights out should not surprise anyone.

10:03 pm: 35-24, Florida. Brewer swipes Conley clean, breaks away and delivers the windmill jam. Brewer has 11 points. Not that it matters now, but it would have been a lot of fun to see Brewer vs. Kevin Durant in a college game.

10:07 pm: 37-26, Florida. Oden has scored the last two baskets for Ohio State, but he’s looking very tired. He didn’t even challenge Horford’s jumpshot.

10:08 pm: 40-27, Florida. Green hits another three. The Gators are 6 of 8 for beyond the arc, and have made their last 5.

10:09 pm: The first half ends, and Florida leads, 40-29 at halftime. Florida dominated the pace of the game in the first half, and in particular did a great job taking Oden and Conley out of their comfort zone. To comeback in this game Ohio State will need to clamp down on perimeter defense, win the rebounding battle, and attack inside against Florida’s frontcourt, who already have two players with two fouls each.

10:31 pm: 40-31, Florida. As the second half begins, Oden gets position inside and gets an easy shot off the glass. He’s scored the last 9 points for the Buckeyes.

10:32 pm: 42-35, Florida. Conley steals from Green and makes a great pass to Ron Lewis, who posterizes Corey Brewer.

10:33 pm: 42-36, Florida. As I suggested, Ohio State is attacking the inside, and Noah picks up his third foul.

10:34 pm: 44-36, Florida. Chris Richard gets an easy dunk, a putback of a miss by Brewer.

This has nothing to do with the game, but I saw an ad for CBS featuring CSI: Miami, and I just couldn’t resist showing you the best CSI spoof ever.

10:36 pm: 49-38, Florida. Lee Humphrey cannot be stopped.

10:46 pm: 51-42, Florida. Conley brings the Buckeyes within five, as Ohio State finally gets to the free throw line. But Florida gets an easy shot inside on the next possession.

10:47 pm: 51-44, Florida. Ohio State continues to score in the paint, where they have 32 of their 44 points.

10:50 pm: 53-44, Florida. With 12 minutes left, Florida’s frontcourt is in deep foul trouble now. Let’s see if Ohio State can use that to take the lead back.

Official timeout.

10:53 pm: 53-46, Florida. Conley hits the tough revers layup, as Ohio State tries to attack the foul troubled frontcourt of the Gators.

10:54 pm: 56-46, Florida. On the very next possession, Lee Humphrey fakes out Jamar Butler and hits another three to give Florida a double digit lead.

10:57 pm: 58-47, Florida. In spite of the foul trouble, Florida is running Oden ragged. He can’t outfight the Gators for a rebound anymore, and Horford is able to slam it on the other end uncontested.

10:59 pm: 61-50, Florida. Noah picks up his fourth foul but Oden is absolutely exhausted now. Before the commercial break, I think I heard Jim Nantz say “The F—eyes!”

8:23 left.

11:01 pm: 64-52, Florida. A great initial block by Oden, but how can anyone leave Humphrey so wide open?

11:04 pm: 64-56, Florida. Ohio State scores two straight baskets, and is starting to run a press against the Gators. With Florida’s good passing, this could backfire.

6:14 left.

11:11 pm: 66-60, Florida, 5:00 left. You have to commend Greg Oden, He’s had to play three different Florida players for 33 minutes and is still producing a solid performance.

11:12 pm: 69-62, Florida, 4:30 left. Just as Oden cuts the lead to 6, Taurean Green hits a three at the top of the key.

11:13 pm: 73-62, Florida, 3:25 left. Florida is beginning to kill time. Richard and Horford both hit shots inside, and Florida regains a double digit lead.

11:14 pm: With two and a half minutes to go, the Gators up 11, and Ohio State running on fumes, this game looks pretty much over.

11:17 pm: So that’s why Ohio State is losing. Jim Tressel isn’t wearing the sweater vest.

11:19 pm: 75-63, Florida, 2:15 left. As Florida is closing in on being at the pinnacle of college basketball, I begin to wonder: whatever happened to Teddy Dupay, one of the players that first put Billy Donovan’s team on the map? He was their star point guard when they shocked Duke in 200 en route to the 2000 NCAA Tournament finals before losing to Michigan State. Yet I have not heard from him since.

11:22 pm: Damn. If you thought Joakim Noah was ugly, you should take a look at Yannick. Nnnyyyagghhh…

11:29 pm: It’s official: Florida wins, 84-75, and captures their 2nd consecutive national championship. Congratulations to the Gators, who executed a near perfect gameplan, giving Oden and Conley fits all night, shooting lights out from three, and silencing all the critics (myself included; I had them losing to Maryland in my bracket). Most importantly, with Ohio State’s loss I am spared the embarrassment of losing a bracket challenge to a penny. Corey Brewer is the Most Outstanding Player, which he deserves. His overall play was insane tonight.

I’ll be liveblogging the Women’s National Championship tomorrow night, but now I’m going to bed.

Posted in #1, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Basketball, Big Ten, Billy Packer, Bracket, College Basketball, Digital Headbutt, Final Four, Florida Gators, Live Blog, NCAA Tournament, Ohio State, SEC | 12 Comments »

NCAA Final Four: Prepare Yourself for Billy Packer

Posted by Mike on March 30, 2007

It’s that time of year again, the Final Four, the time we finally determine the best team in college basketball. It also means one can no longer avoid listening to Billy Packer. So to help you prepare for the his onslaught upon your eardrums, I have assembled a collection of clips to help you prepare…and survive.

billy_packer2.jpgdr_weird.jpg

(Photo: Billy Packer looks into a mirror.)

First, the clip of Gerald Henderson’s elbow to Tyler Hansbrough. Who can forget this call by Packer?

By Comparison, here’s a call he made in a Duke-Kentucky NCAA Tournament game.

Here are some lesser known Billy Packer moments, many of his outbursts that never make it to television. I think this is what you’re most likely to see beginning tomorrow night.

I hope that you are now immune to whatever Billy is going to say on Saturday and Monday. Lord help us if he’s in a Taco Bell commercial.

UPDATE: I saw this after I posted and uhh…wow.

That’s it. I’m going to avoid him for the sake of my sanity and watch the Women’s Final Four. At least the Tar Heels are participating.

Posted in #1, ACC, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Basketball, Big East, Big Ten, Billy Packer, Bracket, Buckeyes, College Basketball, Digital Headbutt, Final Four, Florida Gators, Funny Videos, Georgetown, Hoyas, NCAA Tournament, Ohio State, Pac 10, UCLA | 3 Comments »

Memphis vs. Ohio State Live Blog: 2007 NCAA Tournament Elite 8

Posted by Mike on March 24, 2007

Today Memphis plays Ohio State in the South Regional Final in San Antonio. Memphis will try to use their deep bench and fast game pace to run the Buckeyes Ragged. Ohio State cannot allow the Tigers to get far ahead in the game like in their previous two contests. They will need a big day from Greg Oden, especially on defense, and guards like Mike Conley, Ron Lewis and Jamar Butler need to hit the three. Winner plays North Carolina…hopefully.

4:41 pm: 2-0, OSU. Off the tipoff, Greg Oden gets the ball inside and his shot rolls in for the first points of the game.

4:43 pm: 4-0, OSU. The Big Ten this year has seemed to be a slow, halfcourt, defense oriented league. However, Ohio State seems very comfortable with a fast-paced game. Memphis may not have expected this.

4:47 pm: 8-2, OSU. It takes nearly five minutes for the Tigers to get their first basket, a drive in layup by Antonio Anderson.

Memphis seems very uncomfortable with Ohio State’s defense.

4:51 pm: Andre Allen of the Tigers has two personal fouls. The last one was questionable; it looks like he took the ball clean from Oden.

4:52 pm: 9-5, OSU. Jeremy Hunt hits a three for the Tigers.

The Tigers are starting to play more aggressively on offense.

4:55 pm: 9-8, OSU. Memphis is coming back, as Hunt has been sent twice to the free throw line. Memphis had by far the worst free throw shooting of anyone in the field of 65, but they’ve shot well in this tournament.

Oden has been out for the last few minutes, and the Tigers have really attacked the rim in his absence.

4:57 pm: 10-9, Memphis. The Tigers take the lead after Hunt hits two free throws.

4:59 pm: 13-11, Memphis. Hunt penetrates the lane, and he kicks out to an open Willie Kemp for three.

Conley drives in 10 seconds later and gets a layup to tie the game.

5:00 pm: 17-15, OSU. It looks like Oden tipped in a basket for Memphis there. He definitely makes up for it on the next possession.

It seems to me that the effectiveness of the Buckeyes’ gameplan depends on whether or not they can force turnovers. During the stretch when they couldn’t get any TOs, Memphis dominated.

5:06 pm: 20-17, Memphis. Joey Dorsey and Oden are both on the bench with 2 fouls.

5:09 pm: 23-21, Memphis. Doneal Mack hits another three for Memphis to take the lead back.

5:10 pm: 23-23. 6:23 left in the first half.

Conley keeps driving inside. He hasn’t even looked to kick it out to another guard for a three.

5:13 pm: CBS, who the hell is MEMP? That abbreviation makes no sense.

5:14 pm: 26-24, Memphis. Hunt hits a three from outerspace basketball range. He has 16 today.

5:15 pm: 29-26, OSU. The Buckeyes finally kick out a pass from the inside to a guard for an open three. Butler hits it and give them back the lead.

5:17 pm: Chris Douglas-Roberts joins Dorsey in foul trouble for Memphis.

5:18 pm: 30-26, OSU. Ironically, it’s the Buckeyes who are struggling from the stripe.

Dozier dunks it in to cut the lead to two. 30-28, OSU.

5:19 pm: 32-28, OSU. Antonio Anderson is down, having been hit in the forehead. He’s bleeding badly.

5:23 pm: Anderson is going to the locker room. Let’s hope he’s okay.

5:24 pm: 37-30, OSU. Ron Lewis hits a three. The guards have really stepped up while Oden has been on the bench.

5:27 pm: 39-33, OSU. If Memphis is going to stay in this game, it’s going to be from the bonusphere. They’re 6 for 9 for three.

What a play by Douglas-Roberts! CDR catches the ball at the baseline, and he drives inside past two players, and then dunks one handed over another. Again, what a play.

5:29 pm: UPDATE: The Dook women have been eliminated! Rutgers beats Duke, 53-52 in the Sweet 16! WHOOOOOOOO!!!

5:31 pm: Kemp hits another three before halftime. Memphis is now 7 for 10 beyond the arc. Ohio State leads, 41-38. Ohio State seemed to do a good job of frustrating the Tigers on defense, but it looks like Memphis has figured them out. They certainly have had it easier in Greg Oden’s absence. The Buckeyes will need him to stay out of foul trouble in the second half.

5:53 pm: 43-38, OSU. Oden starts the second half the way he starts the first. He gets a quick basket inside, catching Memphis out of position. On the next possession Butler alley oops it to Lewis. 45-38, OSU.

6:00 pm: 45-42, OSU. CDR gets another nice basket off the drive inside.

6:02 pm: 47-42, OSU. Oden picks up his third foul.

CDR’s layup rolls around the rim three times before falling in. 47-44, OSU.

6:03 pm: 49-44, OSU. Lewis hits a three…or does he? The refs call it a two, but I disagree.

6:04 pm: 49-47, OSU. Wow. Hunt can really run the fast break.

Official timeout.

6:09 pm: 49-48, OSU. Allen and CDR are on the floor with three fouls.

6:12 pm: 52-51, Memphis. CDR puts the Tigers back on top with a great crossover, drive and floater from the left side.

Memphis has been getting all of the rebounds while Oden has been on the bench.

6:15 pm: 56-51, Memphis. Oden comes back in. 12:30 left.

6:16 pm: 56-54, Memphis. Oden’s impact is almost immediate. He kicks out a pass to Butler for a wide open three, and then he gets a block (goaltending?) on the next Memphis possession.

6:17 pm: 58-54, Memphis. Anderson hits an outside shot. It’s good to see that he’s recovered from that elbow to the head.

6:21 pm: 58-56, Memphis. Dorsey is out with foul trouble. He hasn’t seemed to be a factor at all.

6:23 pm: 60-57, Memphis. CDR has taken over the second half.

6:24 pm: 60-60. Just as I say that, CDR commits a stupid foul. Oden is going to make that shot no matter what, but he tries to tackle him. He’s called for the intentional foul, his fourth, and Oden gets the basket and two free throw opportunities. He misses one, preventing the lead.

6:27 pm: 64-64. Oden gets the emphatic dunk to give Ohio State the lead.

Anderson hits a sweet jumper on the next possession.

6:28 pm: 66-64, OSU. With seven and a half minutes left, that layup by Daequan Cook was way too easy.

6:30 pm: Tomorrow on the Amazing Race…we’re going to Zanzibar! To meet the ZanziBarbarians!

6:32 pm: 69-64, OSU. Butler hits a loooooong three. Which reminds me, Memphis hasn’t been hitting their outside shots in the second half.

6:34 pm: 71-64, OSU. Greg Oden has played extremely well since returning with 12 minutes left. We’re down to 5:30 in the game.

6:36 pm: 74-64, OSU. Oden was able to get the ball out of his double team, and Lewis was able to hit a wide open three. The lead is now double digits. 4:30 left.

6:42 pm: 76-69, OSU, 3:15 left. Just as things are looking bleak for the Tigers, Hunt hits another three. He has 26 points in the game.

6:44 pm: 78-72, OSU, 2:30 left. Anderson makes a great pass to Kemp for another three to make it a two possession game, but CDR and Andre Allen have fouled out.

6:47 pm: 82-72, OSU, 2:09 left. Ohio State seems to be salting the game away at the free throw line, but where is that blood-curdling scream coming from? I don’t know what that means, but it sounds bad.

6:48 pm: 82-74, OSU, 1:56 left. A good drive inside by Dozier, but is it too little, too late?

6:51 pm: 86-74, OSU, 1:12 left. Memphis’s shots have stopped falling, and this game is pretty much over.

6:56 pm: The game ends. Ohio State wins, 92-76. The Buckeyes are moving on to the Final Four, and if UNC wins tomorrow, the Bucks will be our opponent, and frankly, I’m not looking forward to facing them. Even when Oden is neutralized, their guards do a really good job of picking up the slack.

There is no rest for the weary. Up next, the UCLA-Kansas live blog.

Posted in #1, Basketball, Big Ten, Bill Raftery, Bracket, Buckeyes, College Basketball, Conference USA, Digital Headbutt, Greg Oden, Live Blog, Memphis, Mid Majors, NCAA Tournament, Ohio State | Leave a Comment »