Big East: First Round
No big surprises here, except for maybe how some of the commentators were acting like Syracuse defeating the worst team in the Conference was somehow the last thing their resume needed to get in. I can't imagine how this game would improve their chances one way or another. I think they still need one more game to be safe. Regardless, Syracuse takes care of business against UConn, 78-65.
Villanova defeats DePaul, 75-67. Villanova may have one of the best freshman players you haven't heard much about yet. Scottie Reynolds hasn't played a ton this year, but with Mike Nardi out, he's been running point for the Wildcats. He tied Kerry Kittles' Villanova record for points in a Big East Tournie game with 29 in this one. Curtis Sumpter, who I'm pretty sure should be coaching by now, added 25. They have Georgetown next, so that's the end of this little run.
The Ghost of Pittsnogle & Gansey lives on--West Virginia scored 92 points tonight, and hit a sick amount of 3-pointers (17 on 31 attempts) and beat Providence 92-79. The guys who made WVa so entertaining the last couple of years are pretty much all gone, unless you count Frank Young (I don't). So this is a tricky team to figure out. They still run the same offense, but they've had fairly mixed results this season. They live and die by the jumpshot. If they're hitting, they are very dangerous. But if they aren't, they really don't have a Plan B, and could beat by just about anybody. This could be a bracket-busting team, and they could bust brackets either way. If they get hot in the Big East tournament, and go from a what I'm guessing is maybe a 12 seed now to a #7, or #8, who the fuck knows? Ehff.
Marquette hasn't been getting much love lately for a Top 20 team, and for good reason. They've been very uneven of late. They won tonight, 76-67 over a very depleted St. John's team. The mantra for every team that plays Marquette will be the same--stop Dominic James. St. John's actually did a pretty good job on him, shooting wise--holding him to under 10 points, and just an abysmal percentage (14%) but he still got his assists, and in some ways, that's where his true talent lies. And St. John's was closer in this game than the score would suggest. Fun player to keep your eye in the future (like next year future--St. John's is done for this year--Anthony Mason, Jr. Yes! That Anthony Mason's kid. And Dad showed up at the game tonight, and he even had his son's number shaved in his head! Awesome!