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NCAA Tournament, Regional Finals, Day 8 open thread
2008-03-30 10:09
by Bob Timmermann

Two more games today and then no basketball (except for the NIT and CBI) until Saturday. And I'll be in Kauai then. But there will still be a thread.

Today's action:

11:20 am - #2 Texas (31-6) vs #1 Memphis (36-1) at Houston (South) - The winner of this game faces UCLA Saturday. Both teams had easy first round games, tough second round games because of poor foul shooting, and then easily won their regional semifinals.

Memphis has lost in regionals the last two years: in 2006 to UCLA and in 2007 to Ohio State. Texas last went to the Final Four in 2003 when they won a regional final against Michigan State in San Antonio. Texas lost a regional final to LSU in 2006. Memphis was a national runnerup in 1973 and also made the Final Four in 1985. The Tigers lost in a regional final in 1992 to Cincinnati.

If the game gets close, I think Texas is behind in the final seconds, Longhorns coach Rick Barnes should run this play.

2:05 pm - #10 Davidson (29-6) vs #1 Kansas (34-3) at Detroit (Midwest) - The Wildcats, behind the superhuman shooting of Stephen Curry are the tournament's last Cinderella team, but they have to face a #1 seed in Kansas that appears to be playing its best basketball of the year. The winner of this game faces North Carolina.

The Wildcats are the first team from the Southern Conference to play in a regional final since VMI in 1976. VMI beat Tennessee and DePaul before losing to Rutgers in the East final that year. Davidson played in a regional final in 1969, losing to North Carolina.

Kansas is playing in its 18th regional final. They are 12-5 in these games, but have lost the last two, in 2004 to Georgia Tech and in 2007 to UCLA.

If the games today get dull, there is always this montage of big shots in the NCAA tournament, most of which are called by Gus Johnson.

Ham Fighter Nation leads the bracket contest, but if Texas beats Memphis today, Sesame Chicken takes over the lead. No one in the contest has Davidson going to the Final Four.

2008-03-30 11:08:35
1.   Andrew Shimmin
If Texas wins today, there's no way Ham Fighter Nation can win. The best I could do is second place to blue22, if Texas then beat UCLA, and Kansas still won the whole thing. I need the final game to be either Kansas/Memphis with Kansas winning, or Davidson/Memphis, with Davidson winning.
2008-03-30 11:10:08
2.   Bob Timmermann
What happened to "inevitable"?
2008-03-30 11:11:59
3.   oshea2002
my nightmare scenario is possible if Memphis beats Texas today - a ucla title and I don't win my brackets. If Texas wins, I've guaranteed myself either the joy of watching ucla lose in the Final 4, or 2 winning brackets. Hook em Horns!
2008-03-30 11:16:28
4.   Andrew Shimmin
2- Now is a time for healing. Plus, I'm worried that Sesame Chicken's oppo research team may have discovered that I wasn't a tenured law professor. Although, c'mon, people. Adjuncts still count, don't they? Try telling the guy teaching your Con Law class that you're not going to submit to his mid term because he's, "not a real professor."
2008-03-30 11:20:58
5.   Bob Timmermann
Sesame Chicken signed up just after Ham Fighter Nation.

I hope this isn't a sockpuppet thing.

2008-03-30 11:21:03
6.   oshea2002
4 - you were/are a law prof?
2008-03-30 11:21:57
7.   Andrew Shimmin
5- No.

6- No.

2008-03-30 11:23:50
8.   Andrew Shimmin
Wow, look at Sesame Chicken's profile page. He has trophies! He must be a real person, but I don't recognize either name listed.

2008-03-30 11:25:07
9.   Andrew Shimmin
6- Part of my shtick has been borrowing story lines from this years Democratic primary. Obama is now catching some flack for calling himself a law professor, even though he was only and adjunct.
2008-03-30 11:25:45
10.   oshea2002
CDR has an entire novel tattooed on his right arm.
2008-03-30 11:33:59
11.   Bob Timmermann
This game is turning into trainwreck's nightmare.
2008-03-30 11:43:09
12.   oshea2002
I don't care how good Texas is; running with Memphis is suicide. Their loss to Tennessee and their should have been loss/OT win over USC were both very low scoring affairs. Floyd basically killed the game and made it unwatchable, but we almost won.
2008-03-30 11:47:30
13.   trainwreck
Well, at least UCLA would get a shot at them. But if we lose to them...
2008-03-30 11:48:17
14.   Bob Timmermann
I doubt Howland would have UCLA try to run with Memphis.
2008-03-30 11:50:57
15.   oshea2002
I know Barnes is a terrible coach, but this performance takes the cake. How about some more quick 3's and make this a transition game against the most athletic team in the country?
2008-03-30 11:51:18
16.   trainwreck
That is a definite. I say we send out Aboya to do his business.
2008-03-30 12:02:15
17.   Bob Timmermann
So Memphis vs. UCLA wouldn't just be Florida vs. UCLA, part three?
2008-03-30 12:07:31
18.   oshea2002
17 - I don't think ucla has the athletes Memphis does - but I also doubt Howland is dumb enough to play like Texas is playing. They'd have to do whatever it takes to get Dorsey into foul trouble. Maybe try a junk defense, although ucla's style of doubling the ball would probably work since Memphis just destroys teams getting to the hole.
2008-03-30 12:10:27
19.   Bob Timmermann
I doubt Howland would ever change his defensive style in any noticeable way. His doubling style is his trademark.
2008-03-30 12:15:34
20.   oshea2002
I don't think he'd go with a junk D either, but I've seen how well the Triangle and 2 worked on them.
2008-03-30 12:17:41
21.   trainwreck
Collison and Shipp are going to have problems defending players on Memphis.
2008-03-30 12:29:13
22.   oshea2002
21 - that is why Floyd Triangle and 2'd them on CDR and Rose - Mayo, Hackett and Gibson are good defenders but no one has 5 guys that can defend this team straight up. From an athletic standpoint CDR is probably their worst athlete, so that would give Shipp a shot, but CDR plays so smart. Shipp needs to make him pay on the other end.
2008-03-30 12:33:53
23.   Bob Timmermann
However, if John Wooden was able to give up his zone press in 1968 to play Houston with a box and one on Elvin Hayes, perhaps Howland will try something new.

The box and one against Houston in 1968 worked very, very, very, very well.

2008-03-30 12:44:23
24.   Linkmeister
23 "The box and one against Houston in 1968 worked very, very, very, very well."

In both games, or just the tournament one?

I don't remember, even though I saw both. I was a lot less knowledgable about B-ball defenses back then.

2008-03-30 12:45:40
25.   Greg Brock
Howland doesn't change anything. Hedge the screens up top, double the post, all man to man all the time.

I'm not worried about Memphis. One of the best FT shooting teams against the worst.

2008-03-30 12:51:36
26.   Bob Timmermann
UCLA did not play a box and one against Houston in the game in the Astrodome. Wooden switched his defense in the Final Four (played in Los Angeles) and UCLA won 101-69. The game was not as close as the score would have indicated.
2008-03-30 12:53:45
27.   oshea2002
Looks like a miracle is all that is standing in the way now of 4 #1's.
2008-03-30 12:56:09
28.   Bob Timmermann
A miracle? Or just Bill Self?
2008-03-30 12:59:33
29.   Andrew Shimmin
28- Is Self a bad coach, or a bad person? I can't always tell which way your disdain is pointed.
2008-03-30 13:01:41
30.   Bob Timmermann
Bill Self seems like a good guy. His teams just have the unfortunate habit of losing in regional finals.

Once he gets to a Final Four, then everybody forgets about it.

The Final Four is shaping to have three coaches who are relatively on the up and up in Williams, Howland, and Self, and one man who is pure evil in Calipari.

2008-03-30 13:08:30
31.   trainwreck
Well Self does cheat, but he is much less of a jerk than Calipari.
2008-03-30 13:08:46
32.   trainwreck
Plus, he does not have to cheat as much.
2008-03-30 13:09:36
33.   Bob Timmermann
It's college sports, it's all just a matter of degrees when it comes to cheating.
2008-03-30 13:11:10
34.   Greg Brock
Self is kinda shady, but not overly so.

The Charlie Villanueva episode wasn't too cool.

2008-03-30 13:13:52
35.   trainwreck
Hit em hard, Augustin!
2008-03-30 13:19:38
36.   trainwreck
So how much does Davidson lose by? 20?
2008-03-30 13:21:12
37.   Greg Brock
Davidson will win. Book it.*

*Don't book it.

2008-03-30 13:28:37
38.   oshea2002
Villaneuva then ended up playing for an even bigger cheater.
2008-03-30 13:35:46
39.   trainwreck
It was inevitable. Bruins, you know what you must do.
2008-03-30 13:40:52
40.   Bob Timmermann
Ocelotsideshow once was in the lead briefly. Now that entry is next to last.

Ham Fighter Nation will lead going into the Final Four.

2008-03-30 14:17:27
41.   Greg Brock
Make a shot!
2008-03-30 14:52:56
42.   Bob Timmermann
Wow, a close game!
2008-03-30 14:57:59
43.   trainwreck
If Kansas loses this, Bill Self will age 15 years right before our eyes.
2008-03-30 15:54:18
44.   oshea2002
Self will never live this down if KU chokes.
2008-03-30 16:05:40
45.   trainwreck
What a shame.
2008-03-30 16:09:50
46.   Bob Timmermann
Gus Johnson is not going down without a fight.
2008-03-30 16:13:04
47.   Bob Timmermann
Note to Kansas: guard Stephen Curry.
2008-03-30 16:15:14
48.   Andrew Shimmin
Nobody would mind if I changed my last few picks to have Memphis beating UNC, right?
2008-03-30 16:16:02
49.   trainwreck
That was not a very well thought out play.
2008-03-30 16:20:26
50.   Bob Timmermann
Ham Fighter Nation leads going to the Final weekend. Here are the possible winners:
If North Carolina is the champion, Sesame Chicken and Mike Meyers Sound tie. Sesame Chicken would win the tiebreaker and get the option of either the t-shirt or the book first.
If Kansas is the champion, Ham Fighter Nation wins if Memphis is the loser. If Kansas beats UCLA, then Pomeroyian wins.
If Memphis wins, Bama Yankee wins.
If UCLA beats North Carolina, Bison Power wins.
If UCLA beats Kansas, Steven Alpert wins.

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