... the safe, smart AM read for college basketball fans
As if you really needed another reason to immerse yourself in Friday's loaded slate of conference tournament games. Out of the 49 contests that tipped off yesterday, exactly seven (14.3%) took at least another period of basketball to decide a winner. And in the tensest month of the year, as team's fight and claw to keep their seasons alive, that's one heck of a ratio.
Over at MSG, Georgetown and Cincinnati took a pair of overtime periods to determine a victor, while Marshall and Tulsa needed three OTs in the C-USA quarterfinals. Elsewhere, Southern Miss edged East Carolina in an extra five-minute period, as Notre Dame slid by South Florida and Minnesota made a valiant effort to crush Northwestern's dreams once and for all. Even the smaller circuit didn't disappoint when it came to free hoops, as Florida A&M took down Delaware State and Arkansas Pine Bluff did the same against Alabama State.
Seven games. 14 teams. Ten overtime periods. Not too shabby. Best of all, more Madness is coming...
* John Shurna's delusions of grandiose: "Hopefully, I won’t be disappointed on Sunday, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see." (Chicago Sun-Times)
* Buzz Williams is awesome, reflective: "We were playing from behind from the beginning. We never appeared to be in sync. Seemed like we kept passing the mic at a karaoke bar, (like) 'I'm not sure of the words, you try.'" (Louisville Courier-Journal)
* A 26-point day for Elijah Johnson helped push KU into the Big 12 semis (Rock Chalk Talk)
* Can Tony Wroten Jr. be an immense scapegoat AND a budding superstar at the same time?UW Dawg Pound)(
Texas - Rick Barnes' Longhorns ousted the No. 3-seeded Iowa State Cyclones on Thursday to keep their tourney hopes alive in impressive fashion. Despite a four-point deficit at the half, Texas outscored ISU 46-36 over the final 20 minutes to pick up its most timely victory of the 2011-12 campaign. The Longhorns' 9-9 conference record isn't going to do them any favors on Sunday, but a win this significant, followed by a strong showing against Missouri today, definitely could.
Northwestern - Make no mistake, the sting from this loss will be felt for a very, very long time. Most Bracketologists out there had Northwestern located among the last four schools in the field of 68 before Thursday's games tipped off. Yesterday's OT defeat to Minnesota, though, appears to have negated that fact, as the Wildcats are now firmly on the wrong side of the bubble in the mind of every single prognosticator in the country. A choke job of the highest order.
0.59 - Points per possession by Georgia Tech in its season-ending ACC tourney loss to Miami. The Yellow Jackets took a 20-19 lead into the half before reality set in and a shellacking promptly commenced.