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  • Issue # 11.4.3 “First Four Unkind to Pac 12” (First Four Recap) (3/27)

    Posted on March 27th, 2018 - 7:38 pm Scott No comments

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    RECAP OF FIRST FOUR, THE GREATEST UPSET, AND SISTER JEAN
    At least $56 will be donated to World Vision; over $705 donated in 8 years

    EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- Apparently the Selection Committee did watch Pac 12 basketball because they shafted one of the big 5 conferences for a good reason — they suck.  With any respect, USC would be easily in, UCLA and Arizona St would be 8/9 seeds, and Arizona, as the conference and tournament champ, would be at least a 3 seed.  Nope.  No USC, UCLA and Arizona St relegated to the First Four games, and champ Arizona dropped to a 4 seed and not in the West.  Well, the committee knew what it was doing as #11bE-UCLA choked down the stretch against #11aE-St. Bonaventure, 65-58, and #11aMW-Arizona St lost a close one to #11bMW-Syracuse, 60-56.  This was the first time a conference had two teams in the First Four and now have the distinction as the only conference to have two losers in the First Four in the same year.  UCLA’s Aaron Holiday was a turnover machine (10 of UCLA’s 20 total) including three in the last 30 seconds after the Bruins had rallied to tie the game at 58.  Arizona St had a 7 point lead with 7 minutes left before Syracuse, the last team in, went on an 8-0 run.  Certainly, the Pac 12 basketball teams matched the horrible post-season Pac 12 football had.

    #16bE-Radford slowly outscored #16aE-LIU Brooklyn 12-3 in the final five minutes to get their first tournament win, 71-61.  There were 42 fouls and 30 turnovers in this grudge fest.  #16bW-Texas Southern broke open a 10-10 game and never looked back in routing #16aW-NC Central, 64-46.  Like a few of the Southwestern Athletic (SWA) Conference teams, Texas Southern played their first 13 games on the road against top teams and went 0-13 to start but won when it mattered, in the SWAC championship game and in the First Four game, their first ever tournament win.  Texas Southern’s 0-13 start was the worst ever for a tournament team and they became the first sub .500 team (15-19) to win a tournament game.  NC Central lost their second straight First Four game (last year).

    The greatest upset is one of those “where were you when it happened” and I’ll always remember being at the Black Angus in Buena Park with my family and watching the game on the NCAA March Madness app on my iPad Air 2.  Stunned.  I even tweeted a cryptic message:  Watch TV now.  History in making? for anyone who didn’t bother to watch another #1 seed trash a #16 seed.  The way #16S-UMBC played was fun to watch, they never took the gas off the accelerator that most big programs do when they have a double-digit lead with 10 minutes left.  Kept the pressure and #1S-Virigina never responded.  Virginia wasn’t a #1 seed, they were the #1 overall seed, and despite losing a bench player who was just 4th on the team in scoring, were still heavily favored to make the Sweet 16 before they had to worry about not having De’Andre Hunter on the bench.  In fact, I compiled a few of the predictions below from all over the spectrum, post-Hunter injury.  The most interesting was the swarm concept as a bunch of people individually moved a token toward the most likely scenario, in this case Virginia – High Confidence. The concept here as that as everyone is moving their token to that spot, some will Read the rest of this entry »

  • Issue # 7.3.1 “Rambling On” (3/22)

    Posted on March 23rd, 2018 - 1:33 pm Scott No comments

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    LOYOLA-CHICAGO STOPS NEVADA COMEBACK, TWO #9S ARE IN
    SacKings4Ever back in the lead with 60 still in the running for money

    Loyola-Chicago's Sister JeanCERRITOS, CA (smt)- Once again, #7S-Nevada rallied from a double-digit second half deficit (this time 12 points with 16:45 left) to tie the game at 59… but left too much time on the clock with 4:06 remaining.  In a tight battle the rest of the way, #11S-Loyola-Chicago’s Marques Townes hit a clutch three with 6.3 seconds left to lead by 4 and eventually held on to win, 69-68.  The Ramblers’ three victories have been a total margin of just four points and they reach the Elite 8 for the first time since ’63.  Interestingly, Nevada was low on fouls to give and with a six second differential in shot to game clock, surprisingly did not try to foul (either to get their count up to a 1-on-1 or to just extend the game) and even if Townes would have missed the three, less than six seconds would have been left to go down the court.  So after a quick layup with 3 seconds left, Nevada fouled three times, each taking 0.5-1.0 seconds, but could not get the ball back because Loyola-Chicago was not in a 1-on-1 situation.  Game over.  Maybe Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, Loyola’s 98-year-old team chaplain, put the prayer on big time to have Nevada reach such a poor decision.

    #9S-Kansas St, despite three players fouling out, won for the first time ever against #5S-Kentucky (now 1-9 all-time) by scoring the last three points in a 61-58 win.  In the Wildcat-Wildcat battle, Kentucky was on a 13-4 run and was up 57-56 with 1:32 left.  #4W-Gonzaga has had a poor showing all tournament and it finally caught up them as #9W-Florida St found an opening and finished on a 22-11 run to reach the Elite 8 for the first time since ’93, 75-60.  #3W-Michigan’s barrage of threes helped build a 29-point first half lead (52-23) en route to a thrashing of #7W-Texas A&M, 99-72.  Michigan shot 61.9% (tournament high) from the field and made 14 of 24 threes (58.3%).

    In the pool, SacKings4Ever and Alyonushka went 2-2 with the former taking over 1st place (87 pts) and the latter moving to a tie for 64th (69) from 114th.  Wuk2 moved into 3rd (84) behind former leader M Star (84) but Read the rest of this entry »