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Posts Tagged ‘Big East’

Butler’s Bank Is Open for March

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Da'Sean Butler

Buzzer beaters. Game winners. Prayers. Call them what you will, but there’s something indescribably enjoyable about seeing these acts; unless, of course, your team is on the receiving end of such a thing. When they happen in March, it’s even bigger and in some cases, much more painful. Just ask Mike Cronin, Dion Dixon, Lance Stephenson and anyone else affiliated with the Cincinnati Bearcats.

Da’Sean Butler delivered such a (gifted?) gem in the Garden last night, and while he needed some good fortune to even get a chance at the shot, when the opportunity came, Butler simply gave the fans the best “Onions!!!!!!” play he could.

One thing’s for sure: The crowd loved it.

Crowd reaction after the jump >>

Did Louisville Save Their Season?

Victor Anderson

After running over the Kansas State Wildcats last night, did the Louisville Cardinals save their season, one that started so poorly against another team of Wildcats? While it’s a little too early in the schedule to make that declaration, it’s safe to say after scoring only two points against Kentucky, Louisville’s offense has certainly woken up.

In their last two games, the Cardinals have scored 89 points, 51 against Tennessee Tech and 38 last night against Ron Prince’s team. The game was being advertised as a showcase for K-State quarterback Josh Freeman. While Freeman played fairly well, he and the rest of his team was outdone by Louisville’s freshman running back, Victor Anderson.

More Louisville football after the jump >>

The Beauty of 310 Pounds Running

OK, this is my last self-serving post about Kentucky/Louisville, but it’s a good one. What we have is the highlight real of Myron Pryor recovering a fumble an returning it 72-yards for a touchdown in his best Usain-Bolt-at-310-pounds impression. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pryor’s return registered on a nearby Richter scale.

It was nice of the Louisville Cardinals skill players to care enough about the game to chase Pryor down. Not one wide receiver, running back or other skill position player — save fullback Brock Bolen — comes into the screen during the five minutes it took Pryor to travel 72 yards.

I guess that’s what it means to play with pride no matter what the score is.

I have a feeling Cardinal fans are longing for the days of Bobby Petrino, but, in the everlasting words of Rick Pitino — “Bobby Petrino is NOT walking through that door, fans. Brian Brohm is not walking through that door and Michael Bush is not walking through that door.”

Georgia On My Mind

Knowshon Moreno

USA Today released their Preseason Top 25 College Football Coaches Poll today and as expected, Mark Richt’s group of Georgia Bulldogs sits atop these rankings. There were six teams receiving first place votes (Georgia, USC, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida and LSU — who make up the top six teams) with Georgia leading the way with 22.

Now, as with all things poll-related, there is disagreement about who should be at the top and in college football, because these polls matter (even now), these discussions can get awfully loud and contentious. In fact, Deadspin makes sure to point out Georgia’s ranking disparity between SEC coaches and national coaches. Apparently, the feeling is the national coaches are giving Georgia too much love for bitch-slapping Hawaii in Sugar Bowl last season.

Whatever the case, teams like USC and OSU will get their chances to prove their worth; however, if somehow the Bulldogs make it through their ungodly SEC schedule with none or only one loss, it’s going to be hard to keep them out of BCS Championship Game.

Moving on. Here’s a breakdown of the Top 25 by the big-six conferences. Did somebody say 27 — as in, 27 days left until kick-off?

* ACC – three teams (#9 Clemson, #15 Virginia Tech, #23 Wake Forest)

* Big 10 – five teams (#3 Ohio State, #12 Wisconsin, #19 Illinois, #22 Penn State, #25 Michigan)

* Big 12 – five teams (#4 Oklahoma, #7 Missouri, #10 Texas, #13 Kansas, #14 Texas Tech)

* Big East – two teams (#8 West Virginia, #21 South Florida)

* Pac-10 – three teams (#2 USC, #16 Arizona State, #20 Oregon)

* SEC – five teams (#1 Georgia, #5 Florida, #6 LSU, #11 Auburn, #18 Tennessee)

This means only Brigham Young and Fresno State are the only two mid-major conference teams in the top 25. Based on that, it’s hard to see a BCS-busting team like Boise State or Hawaii (to a lesser extent) making it through this season.

Intentional Upset: The Big East Was Full of It Last Night

I’ll say this for the Big East: They certainly now how to entertain during their conference tournament… and they provide good upset fodder. Just ask Louisville and Notre Dame. Both teams were higher seeds than their opponents and both teams were unceremoniously bounced from the Big East tournament. Louisville was given their walking papers after an entertaining game that needed an overtime period to determine the outcome.

Pitt Wins

In the end, Pitt advanced, 76-69. Sam Young led the Panthers with 21 points and 12 rebounds. The win does wonders for Pitt’s NCAA Tournament chances, something that looked a little slim before the Big East tourney started. Next up for the Panthers: Marquette, the other big upset winner from last night.

Marquette was powered by an hot second half that saw the Golden Eagles score 57 points while shooting 52% for the game. Cracked Sidewalks has more:

Jerel McNeal went off for 28 points to defeat #14 Notre Dame in the 2nd round of the BET, in what is the biggest post-season victory for Marquette in the Post-Wade era. Marquette beat the hated Domers 89-79…

McNeal was beyond superlative, hitting 9 for 16, including 4 for 7 from long range. Lazar chipped in 16 and James 10. DJ had 10 points and you take a line score of 10/6/6 any day of the week.

In other conference upset news, Nebraska beat Missouri in the Big 12 tourney and Boston College smacked Maryland, pretty much securing the Terps an NIT bid.

The Basketball Conference Awards

The “regular season” for college basketball ended this past weekend and the conference player awards have been announced. So, instead of making you go to all the conference sites to verify your picks for ACC Player of the Year, we’ve decided to handle the heavy lifting and list the All-Conference teams and the Conference POY awards.

For the sake of avoiding scroll-monster posts and with absolutely no offense to the mid-majors, we’ve limited our lists to the power conferences. See if you agree or disagree with these results:

See the major conference awards after the jump ››

Intentional Upset: Louisville Is For Real

Rick Pitino

This is an upset in ranking only… The 18th-ranked Louisville held off the 17th-ranked Irish of Notre Dame by the score of 90-85. Led by David Padgett’s 26 point outing, Rick Pitino’s Cardinals reconfirmed to the world that the are indeed a Final Four threat in March.

An interesting note: on UofL’s site, they have the Cards listed at 13th, while ESPN has them at 18th. I guess you take the highest ranking when you are promoting your team, in this case, the AP ranking.

The win moved Louisville into a tie with Georgetown for the overall lead in the Big East conference. Both teams stand at 13-3 in Big East play. Currently, Pitino’s team holds the tie-breaker, thanks to their win over the Hoyas in Freedom Hall earlier this month. The two teams meet again, at Georgetown’s house, on March 8th.