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Random Notes on March Madness: Friday

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  • Ian Johnson scored the first 10 points for Davidson and 14 of their first 20 points. Johnson was as beast in the post and finished the game with 26 points and 10 boards. He was matched up against Ohio State’s Terence Dials who couldn’t buy a basket in the paint and at one point was just 3-13 inside the paint. Dials was able to re-group himself and finished the game 8-19 in the paint and led his Buckeyes in scoring with 19 points and 13 boards.
  • My Tar Heels gave me a huge scare tonight and needed a big shot by Tyler Hansbrough in order to move on to the next round. During the ACC Tournament they played some great ball but in the Tournament today their youth an inexperience showed. Why did Wes Miller only get 13 minutes of playing time? I understand that Danny Green was hot (14 points in 22 minutes off the bench) but Miller is one of their best shooters and they needed him to draw out Murray State’s perimeter defenders so that Hansbrough could gain a presence in the post. Despite battling double teams in the paint Hansbrough was able to lead all scorers with 24 points and 7 boards - not bad for a freshman!
  • Bucknell’s John Griffin hit one of the biggest shots so far in the Tournament. With the shot click winding down and his team up three points Griffin nailed a huge three pointer from beyond the arc as the shot clock expired.
  • Despite shooting over 70% in the first half Connecticut went into halftime up just one point against Albany because they had almost as many turnovers (11) as field goals (13). I would have loved to have been a fly in the Connecticut locker room to hear Jim Calhoun rally his troops. Following the game Calhoun told the media, “they shocked us into such a state that they put us in a situation where I witnessed our poorest offensive effort in 20 years at UConn. I never saw us look like that. They were magnificent for the first 30 minutes. We were equally magnificent for the final 10.”
  • Arizona showed a complete dominance of Wisconsin in the first half as they had more points the paint (26-4), rebounds (19-9), steals (6-2) and they shot the ball better (61% from the field for Arizona compared to 40% for Wisconsin).
  • In the Arkansas-Bucknell game both teams were perfect from the free throw line in the first half (a combined 11-11)
  • Arkansas’s Steven Hill had four blocks in the first four minutes of the game.
  • Monmouth missed their first 12 field goals and had four turnovers before they were able to make their first field goal of the game - not they way to beat at #1 seed boys!
  • With eight minutes left in the first half Monmouth and Villanova had already combined for 14 turnovers and just 16 points. Through the rest of the game both teams continued to be unable to take care of the rock and they combined to finish the game with more turnovers ( 31) than field goals (30). Villanova was equally to blame for this ineptitude as they finished the game with 17 turnovers and 16 field goals - not the way for a #1 seed to play in the Tournament.
  • Another beast in the paint today was Leon Powe of Cal. The rugged forward went 4-7 from the field in the first half against North Carolina but finished the game with only 11 shot attempts. Following the game Powe complained to reporters that it, “always seemed there were people in the lane waiting for me. They wouldn't allow me to get the ball where I wanted and that made it tough.”
  • Fellow Canuck Levon Kendall had a great game for Pittsburgh as he went 5-6 from the field for 10 points and four boards in just 17 minutes of playing time. Look for the Junior to continue his strong play through the Tournament and to have a big season next year for Pitt. His teammate, Aaron Gray, was perfect shooting the ball. Gray went 6-6 from the field and 5-5 from the charity strip to finish the game with 17 points and 13 boards. Following the game Gray complained to reporters that Kent State, “were sending two or three guys at me, which was getting frustrating. The few times I was open for a split second, my teammates did a great job of getting me the ball.”
  • Does anyone know why a kid got to sit on the Villanova bench? I’d love to have been able to tell all my buddies that I spent my March Break sitting on Nova’s bench during their run in March Madness!

Date

Sat 03/18/06, 12:18 am EST



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