Saturday, March 19, 2011

News On The Horizon 3/19/2011

NCAA Third Round Game Analysis – Saturday--Rush The Court

#1 Pittsburgh vs. #8 Butler – Southeast Region Third Round (at Washington, D.C.) – 7:10 pm ET on TBS.

This figures to be a well-played, fundamentally sound game. Each team protects the basketball very well and can rebound with anyone, as we saw when Matt Howard grabbed an offensive carom and put it in as time expired to beat Old Dominion on Thursday. Butler was able to beat the Monarchs at their own game, outrebounding them overall and on the offensive glass. They’ll need to do the same against a Pittsburgh team that is ODU on steroids, and then some. The Bulldogs rank #11 in defensive rebounding percentage and must prevent the Panthers, especially Gary McGhee, from getting second chances if they hope to pull the upset. Pittsburgh, embodying the personality of their coach Jamie Dixon, is a team built on fundamentals and mental toughness, able to grind for 40 minutes and wear out their opponent. Butler is in the same mold but it will take an extraordinary effort to win. Butler will have to grind this game out on the defensive end with special attention to interior defense and rebounding. They did a great job on both counts against Old Dominion and a similar performance against the Panthers will keep them in the game. Pittsburgh runs lots of screens and cuts to free up guys like Ashton Gibbs for jumpers so the Bulldogs have to switch well or fight through to succeed defensively. Butler gets a lot of points from three point land and a big night from Shelvin Mack could give the Bulldogs a chance to remind us of what they did last year.

The RTC Certified Pick: Pittsburgh.

Utah Jazz decline to re-sign Cousin to 10-day--Deseret News

BUTLER PRIDE: Coach Tyrone Corbin didn't get a chance to watch too much NCAA Tournament action Thursday because of various duties with the Jazz.

But he knew how the team close to one of his player's hearts fared.

"Butler won by two," Corbin said, laughing. "I keep up with our guys."

So, obviously, does the Jazz's Butler guy, Gordon Hayward.

The 20-year-old rookie managed to catch the tail end of the Bulldogs' thrilling first-round buzzer-beating win over Old Dominion from the training room at the Jazz's practice facility.

Hayward had his recently injured foot iced up, and was the only player in the room at the time.

"It was pretty cool the way the won, and it was exciting for them," Hayward said. "(Trainer Gary) Briggs was in there, too, so I was able to give him a high-five."

Hayward texted congrats to his Butler friends and posted the following on this Twitter account: "Dumb hyped right now #legooo" moments after the Bulldogs' victory.

He holds out high hopes for the No. 9 seed, which made it to the NCAA championship game with him last spring.

"If they play their game they can beat anyone in the country," Hayward said. "It just depends on how they play defense and how focused they are."

BIRTHDAY WISHES: Hayward was not thrilled when reminded that Friday was C.J. Miles' birthday. The reason? Rookies have to sing a version of "Happy Birthday" to teammates on their big days.

NCAA Tournament Round of 64 Breakdown--Crimson And Cream Machine

Southeast Region

There were some entertaining first round games from this region. Michigan State-UCLA and Old Dominion-Butler were one possession games as the buzzer sounded. Utah State kept it close with Kansas State most of the game, and Wofford actually gave BYU a little trouble.

BRACKET BLOG: Third Round (Day 1)--Bring On The Cats

Southeast Region

No. 1 Pittsburgh (28-5) vs. No. 8 Butler (24-9)
March 19 | 6:10 p.m. CST | Washington | TBS
Tim Brando | Mike Gminski

How They Got Here:
No. 1 Pittsburgh 74, No. 16 UNC Asheville 51
No. 8 Butler 60, No. 9 Old Dominion 58

This game has the potential to be nearly unwatchable, in my opinion. Both teams like to slow it down, and both emphasize defense and rebounding. I think it will get into the 60s, but I wouldn't bet money on it.

Anyhow, Butler certainly has the pieces to be annoying and give Pittsburgh a scare. Big East teams aren't exactly faring well right now and Pitt has a history of faltering short of whatever round it's supposed to reach.

But as much as I might like Butler to win and the Cats to defeat Wisconsin so the two of us can settle some unfinished business in the Sweet Sixteen, I don't really expect it. Pitt will show why it's a No. 1 seed.

Pomeroy: Pitt 69, Butler 61
Sagarin: Pitt 69, Butler 62

NCAA Tournament Open Thread: Third Round Saturday--Blogging the Bracket

Mid-Evening Window

Washington (SE)
No. 8 Butler Bulldogs vs. No. 1 Pittsburgh Panthers 7:10 p.m. ET TBS
Denver (SE)
No. 11 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. No. 3 BYU Cougars approx. 7:45 p.m. ET CBS

My Picks: Pitt catches a break in not having to face ODU, and they should have success getting the Butler bigs in foul trouble to advance, while BYU will get a challenge from the Zags, before they top their future league-mates in a close contest.

Super Saturday 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Open Thread--Maize n Brew

The Butler Bulldogs v. The Pittsburgh Panthers - Maize n Brew writers SCM and Beauford are from Indiana. They're pulling for Butler and so are we. The royal we.

2011 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 8 Butler V. No. 1 Pittsburgh--SB Nation Indiana
Butler Can Win--Basketball Prospectus
Former Horizon League standout now assists OSU--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Notebook: Indiana natives in post for both Butler, Pitt--The Indy Star
Pittsburgh, Butler both claim underdog status--The Indy Star
Rested Dawgs placed in prime time--Indy Star Butler Insider

One look at the 63 NCAA women's tourney


WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY (5) vs. Arkansas-Little Rock (12) - The Trojans have lost twice since Dec. 11 and that was by a combined five points. Unfortunately they run into a very, very good Phoenix squad that has only lost once all year.
WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY (5) vs. Michigan State (4) - Before this season, only 14 teams have entered the NCAA tournament with at least 30 victories and no more than one loss. All have made it out of the second round. The Phoenix won't end that streak.

BAYLOR (1) vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay (5) - The Phoenix will give the Lady Bears their first challenge of the NCAAs, but they have no answer for Brittney Griner in the middle.

Molly Fox leads revamped Raiders on tournament run--Fairborn Daily Herald

Tournament Tracker: March 19--Horizon League Network

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