Saturday, March 22, 2008

Rebels Without A Prayer

Things are falling into line for the 'Hawks as Round Two begins; both Clemson and Vandy went down last night, ensuring a matchup with a double-digit seed in the Sweet 16 if we win today. As for today, most of the prognosticators felt Kent State was better than UNLV, so that matchup may be advantageous as well.

I don't want to sound overconfident, seeing as how the Running Rebs mauled Kent State the other night, but I find it very encouraging that their biggest guy is 6-8. So all we have to do is keep turnovers to a minimum and pound the ball inside, and it should be relatively smooth sailing.

Lots of excitement last night; should be much more to come today. I'm especially looking forward to watching the Big 12 teams -- KSU vs. Wisconsin and A&M taking their shot at UCLA.


  1. I'm calling Hawks 92, Running Reb's 79

  2. I like what you're up to there, JSJ, but I have a suspicion that 90 will be out of reach.
    How about 85-72.

    Big 12 is looking good so far--we advanced, what, 5 out of 6? That's pretty damn impressive.

    KSU/Wisconsin should be pretty interesting--everyone seems to be picking experience over raw talent . . . I'm not so sure. Be a big feather in the B12 cap if the 'Cats win it.

  3. I'll agree w/ Yancy here; perimeter D seems to be UNLV's forte, so we're unlikely to rain 3s on them. We just need to play a solid inside game and we'll win by Yancy's score -- although hopefully keep 'em under 70 in the bargain.

    WV just went up 2 on the Devils. Sure is hard to root for Huggy bear, though.

    Speaking of Huggy bear, I actually think a lot of people are picking K-State to go far at this point. This game today is very winnable, but Bo Ryan is one helluva coach, so I think I have to pick against raw talent once again...

  4. Mountaineers now up by 7.

    Easier if you think of it as routing against Duke, I find.

  5. I guess what I mean to say is that I'm rooting for a rout of Duke.

  6. Wow.

    Mountaineers win it.

    And K-State's up early. Love this weekend.

  7. Guess you were right about Duke being a weak 2, Scotty.

  8. I didn't pick Duke to lose this one, but maybe this will help XAVIER, if they beat PURDUE, that is . . .

    I guess I'll have to watch the KU game on demand, as CBS will be showing NOTRE DAME here.

    I clearly picked too many upsets, I think I went with SIENA, but I sure didn't pick VILLANOVA. Not sure why I picked ST. JOE'S over OKLAHOMA. But I'm happy to see them advance.

  9. Yancy currently has the best bracket score among my Facebook "friends," with Carrie Barrett a close second despite the fact that she's in Liechtenstein or some such place right now...

    Too bad your bracket isn't on there, Chris.

  10. Hey, why is "friends" in quotes? Hmm.

    I assume the Duke thing helps none of us, but I'm glad to have seen it happen.

    X/Purdue should be interesting. Surely that'll be on in Chicago?

    K-State appears to be struggling; be cool if at least let's say four of the 16 were Big 12 teams. . . .

  11. X is getting some excitement, but they're looking good. Damn.

  12. The fuck is up with being down at 6:26?

  13. It's a slog, which is good for UNLV.

    But I think our boys are playing with poise so far. Could be tighter on defense. It's hard to get a rhythm, but no one seems to rattled.

    Jackson, Rush, and Chalmers playing well.

  14. Looking good now. Too bad about Sasha's fouls, but all things considered we look good. Rebounding definitely better this half.

  15. arthur is continuing to play very poorly.

  16. Sherron looking great.

  17. survive and advance.

    and go aggies.

  18. Surprising that our big guys didn't win it for us; I guess that's b/c UNLV packed it in; seemed like Shady was quadruple-teamed every time he got it down low.

    All hail Sherron!

    F-in' Bruins.

  19. I second the F-in' Bruins.

    Nice effort from A&M, though.

    Oh, and "friends" or no, you're on top now, at least among my fellow facebook bracketeers, dgl. Nice call on the Pitt/Michigan State game.

  20. I agree with this point:

    "Frustrated by his team's inability to take advantage of its size advantage and get the ball inside, Self used a four-guard lineup and ordered his guards to attack the lane."

    I think this is when we pretty much blew the game open. Arthur, while scoring a bit, was pretty ineffective on defense. About halfway through the second half, I realized we had Robinson, Chalmers, Collins, Rush, and Jackson on the floor. Things quickly started to look a lot better.

    So, whether UNLV's pressure D made it hard for KU's guards to find the bigs, or what, I don't know. But dribble penetration seemed to do the trick.

    Apparently, that's what Self had in mind all along - since he so often doesn't get credit for being a good game/X's & O's coach, let's give him his due:

    "So with KU leading 34-29 at the break, Self's halftime talk was all about driving the lane to break down UNLV's pressure. Actually, that was also his message before the game.

    "We didn't exactly execute the game plan from the start," Self said."

    Collins played great, and Rush and Chalmers had solid outings as well. But Robinson owned this night:

    "When you think of stopping Kansas, senior guard Russell Robinson isn't the first Jayhawk that comes to mind. "If I were the other team," Robinson said, "I'd leave me open, too, and concentrate on our other guys."

    Last word to Chalmers, on another impressive intangible from the game - our poise:

    "They played some tough defense," Chalmers said. "But they also got burned some. They came out really aggressive. They tried to punk us, get us frustrated. But we didn't bite."

    - all quotes from Bob Lutz, Wichita Eagle. It's too late for HTML.

  21. aTm should've had UCLA. They got all the calls at the end. Somehow hitting a guy across the arms counts as a "block" for Kevin Love. Therefore, he had eight blocks.

  22. Those "blocks" were indeed annoying.

    Great quotes, Leeroy.
    It was a great in-game adjustment, and turned that game from close to blow-out. Terrific coaching.

    One thing I liked about the write up is that Bedore points out that all of the bigs (not just the (apparently) much-maligned Arthur) struggled against the Rebels' defense.

    No KU big man scored in double figures despite the fact the Rebels’ tallest player was 6-foot-8.

    “They swarmed our big men inside and got deflections,” Robinson said. “They are a scrappy team. It was definitely good to get this win under our belt, exhale a bit and move on to the Sweet 16.”

    And I don't care about all you haters and your expectations: we're in the sweet 16, and I shall celebrate!
    Great game, 'Hawks!

  23. I'm with you, Yancy. I don't see how anyone could have a negative feeling coming out of that game.

    Lon Kruger is a great coach and he did the best he could. They effectively swarmed our big guys, but that's OK. We made the adjustments and our guards made the Rebels pay.

    KU opponents have to pick their poison.

    Not too impressed by anybody in this 'Nova-Siena game.

  24. I agree about 'nova. But how about Davidson: WOW. Huge. and I can't help but think good for us. . .

  25. Thanks Yancy for finally making me a contributor. What a crazy tournament it's been. I couldn't believe Davidson knocked off Georgetown. It's really working out nice for us. Can you believe we only have to beat a 12 seed to get into the elite 8? With the exception of the Drake loss I couldn't be happier about how things are going. We may just get a UNC final four match up this year. How great would that be?

  26. Good to have you back, Aaron.