Just a hunch, but could this possibly shape up to be our day? If not, we still must take time to thank the Patriots of George Mason, who made sure the day won’t be a total loss. Imagine that – a Sweet Sixteen matchup of George Mason vs. Wichita State. And they really earned it, too – taking down 4 “power conference” foes in Seton Hall, Michigan State, Tennessee, and North Carolina. If Washington can knock off UConn, then there will be a legitimate shot of a mid-major crashing the Final Four.
Live blogging to commence shortly.
4:43 – If Kentucky could block out on missed free throws, UConn would be finished right now.
4:44 – One of these days, a player is going to cram a ball down a UConn cheerleader’s throat after that stupid “You! You!” chant. It fits the obnoxious UConn fan mentality perfectly, though.
4:46 – UConn wins. Hopefully, Washington will take them down. Don’t look now, but Northwestern State is trying to rally from the dead again. Must be tough to be a Demon fan. This time, they’ve cut a 24-point second half lead down to 8. 4 minutes to play.
4:57 – Mountaineers will advance. When does our game tip?
5:04 – OK, almost ready go. Let’s get Aldridge in foul trouble!
5:05 – Nice, aggressive start.
5:07 – It’s TEXAS shooting 3s. Weird.
5:09 – If there’s a phrase I hate worse than “three ball,” I don’t know what it is. Well, maybe “synergy.”
5:11 – Down three, but a solid opening segment. Not playing tentatively. I’m not convinced of Texas’ heart just yet. Don’t give in an inch, and they could wilt down the stretch. TOUGHNESS. That’s what has been missing since mid-January.
5:15 – This Aldridge cat is good. Looks like he came to play today. But Powe looked good early, too.
5:16 – Like Jeff predicted, we struggle against the zone. It’s 16-5 now. Of course, UNC was up 16-2 earlier today. No need to panic. Yet.
5:20 – Big Ced fumbles a nice entry pass. Can’t mess those up.
5:21 – Another turnover. A second timeout may be in order.
5:24 – We really needed that Big Ced slam. Reassert some attitude. Margin down to 11. Like Friday, the key is being within 5 at halftime. That’s very doable. The players’ shoulders haven’t started to slump like they did against Wake.
5:27 – If Gibson stays this hot, we’re screwed. No two ways about it.
5:28 – Big Ced comes up big again. He and Grant are keeping us in it.
5:31 – I should add “to the extent we’re still in it.”
5:33 – Texas appears to have brought their “A” game today. If so, that’s a bad sign. We can’t beat their “A” game, since their only weakness (ballhandling) is one we can’t effectively exploit.
5:34 – Just an FYI – the feed on TWC digital channel 257 is several seconds ahead of WRAL. Hey, Sendek just called a good timeout play!
5:36 – Fells providing a spark. Down to 9.
5:38 – Look at us push the tempo!
5:39 – Didn’t Buckman used to be a good player?
5:40 – Grant fouls, but stops an Aldridge jam. The intensity is there today.
5:42 – Grant playing with no fear. Fells too!
5:44 – Wow, that was big for the Longhorns. They need to re-establish their lead before halftime, or our momentum will swamp them. Entertaining half of basketball.
5:46 – To Sendek’s credit, he’s sticking with the hot hands of Grant and Fells.
5:50 – The margin is five at the half. Right where we need to be, especially with Aldridge neutralized.
6:14 – Every time we’re on the verge of being KO’d, Ced brings us back. This time, with his D.
6:16 – Silly foul by Ced. Can’t have that.
6:18 – Ced’s jam, and it’s back to 5 at the first TV break. The defense has to tighten, though. Texas has missed some point-blank chances this half. Can’t count on that to continue. But again, I question this Texas team’s heart. Stick around with pressure, and they’ll wilt. It almost happened against Penn.
6:22 – Here comes a Texas burst. Still plenty of time, just need to punch back.
6:24 – Fells with another hustle play.
6:25 – Fells goes out. Crap.
6:27 – Fells back in. Yay!
6:28 – Texas should have extended this lead more than 12.
6:30 – Alridge is really frustrated. I know it doesn’t look good, but I’m telling you – one nice flurry, and Texas will be back on their heels. If it’s under 5 at the last TV timeout, we’ll win. Guaranteed. Otherwise, 98% sure we’ll lose.
6:33 – Why settle for a 3 when you have numbers?
6:34 – Potential dagger from Abrams, after he bailed them out in the first half.
6:35 – Bethel’s ass needs to come out now. A pull-up 30-footer? Even Evtimov hasn’t tried that yet! Time to press them and drive the basket exclusively on offense. Pull out all the stops. This second half has been really disappointing.
6:38 – To sympathize with UNC fans everywhere, I’ve broken out the Syrah.
6:41 – OK, I now formally give up. There’s no more energy in our guys’ legs. Why the offense quit going through Ced, Grant, and Fells will remain a mystery forever. But it sure is more fun watching Evtimov and Bethel barely graze rim on wild 3s, isn’t it?
6:45 – We broke 40. Yay!
6:46 – Texas still looks completely disinterested out there. If we hadn’t panicked so quickly…
6:47 – All three of the notable “wildly exceeded regular season expectations” teams – UNC, Tennessee, and Ohio State – are now out of the dance.
6:49 – “When I was your age, we didn’t refer to our elders by their Christian names.” Name that quote.
6:51 – Why doesn’t our sorry-ass SID insist on CBS calling us “NCSU?” We are a university, for f**k’s sake!
6:53 – Come on Herb, let our poofy-headed white kids play!
6:57 – Here comes the press, 5 minutes too late. Will someone in the arena slap Herb for me? Shades of pressing the “blue team” in the last minute.
7:00 – Shout out to Cardiff Giant – it’s all over save for a public rogering of one of our cheerleaders.
7:02 – Here comes Brack. If Sendek comes back, will he?
7:03 – Barnes’ non-Buckman white kids are coming in.
7:04 – Is this the way the Herb Sendek era ends? 75-54, Texas. Fittingly, the last Wolfpack shot is an airball.
7:05 – Quote from my 7-year old daughter – “Everyone beats the hell out of us, because we SUCK!” Maybe that shouldn’t amuse me, but it does. Comment away, Pack fans.