Friday, March 23, 2007

Sweet Sixteen Day Two

Welcome to the second day of the Sweet Sixteen. I have my picks for today in bold, and as you can tell I don't have any money riding on it, or I would pick UNC over USC, but I just have one of those funny feelings that SC is peaking at the right time this year. We could see three Pac Ten teams in the Elite Eight later this weekend.

Vanderbilt falls to Georgetown

Jeff Green squeezed between two defenders and Georgetown squeezed out a win.
Green spun and banked in a short, off-balance shot with 2.5 seconds to play and the Hoyas earned a harder-than expected 66-65 victory over Vanderbilt in the East Regional semifinals on Friday night. The victory was the seventh straight and 18th in 19 games for second-seeded Georgetown (29-6) and put them in the regional final for the first time in 11 years.

North Carolina rallies to beat USC

USC has been on fire all night, but UNC has been staying close enough to make a late run, 59-58 USC with 7:18 left. USC has to stay hot to pull this one out, and one has to wonder why they didn't slow it down with a big lead early in the second half. What exactly is Tim Floyd thinking?

Down by 16 points early in the second half, the Tar Heels suddenly shifted into another gear and startled Southern California 74-64 Friday night in the East Regional semifinals. Fifth-seeded USC (25-12) was putting on a dunking exhibition and led 49-33 with 17:42 left before it all fell apart. Trojans coach Tim Floyd threw his program onto the court after a call in the final minute, and was whistled for a technical foul. By then, Wright and his teammates had already done plenty to frustrate Floyd's team.

Florida slips by Vanderbilt

Al Horford had 16 points, seven rebounds and a key block in the final minute to help the top-seeded Gators hold off undersized Butler 65-57 Friday night. The Gators (32-5), trying to become the first team since Duke in 1992 to win consecutive national titles, advanced to the Midwest Regional on Sunday against the Oregon-UNLV winner. The defending national champions trailed by as many as nine points and never found their comfort zone against the scrappy Bulldogs.

Oregon takes care of UNLV

The Ducks look pretty tough tonight and have put this one away leading 66-53 with around four minutes remaining. Tajuan Porter, the little guy nobody wanted, has Oregon one game away from the Final Four. The diminutive freshman tied an NCAA regional record with eight 3-pointers and finished with 33 points, and Oregon withstood a frantic comeback to top seventh-seeded UNLV 76-72 on Friday in the Midwest Regional. The Ducks advance to play Florida.

By the way you would think it would be pretty hard for Oregon to fire Ernie Kent now, but it might be even harder to keep him under new Oregon AD Pat Kilkenny. Like Tubby Smith he might be wise to get out before he is eventually pushed out.

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