Buzzer Beater: The Weekend Review

    
March 3rd, 2008
 - The NIT would like to officially welcome Syracuse to the mix, after a bizarre late-game collapse against Pitt on Saturday. The Orange may have been done in by a no-call when Paul Harris was stripped of the ball underneath the basket, but bad calls don't explain blowing an 11-point lead in the final three minutes. Barring a surprise run through the Big East Tournament, the Orange, now7-9 in the conference, are likely on the wrong side of the bubble for the second straight year.

 

- Maryland also didn’t do themselves any favors after inexplicably blowing a 20-point second half lead and falling at home to Clemson.  The Terps may need a win or two in the ACC Tourney to feel good about their chances after this latest setback.

 

- Hats off to Boston College's Tyrese Rice. In case you spent the weekend in a cave, the junior point guard poured in a career-high 34 points against #2 North Carolina...in the first half. Rice's amazing display included eight three-pointers, and he actually led the entire Tar Heels team until five minutes remained in the first half. Slowed considerably in the second half, Rice would still finish the game with 46 points. UNC's depth enabled them to escape with a win, but Rice's shooting display won't soon be forgotten.

 - Congratulations to Cornell, who earned their first bid to the NCAA Tournament since 1988 with a 86-53 win over Harvard. Like many Ivy League teams, the Big Red won't razzle-dazzle you, but they will play sound, fundamental basketball and won't beat themselves. And for those who think this just means they'll be served up on a platter to the likes of UCLA or Memphis, keep in mind that Cornell gave Duke all they wanted in a January match-up at Cameron, eventually falling short 81-67.

 - Question for Kansas State players and coaches: I know basketball is a team game, and one man can't beat five....but is there a reason Michael Beasley doesn't touch the ball on every possession? The super-frosh is shooting 55% from the field, averaging 26+ points per game...yet there were stretches of five or six possessions against Kansas where he didn't even see the ball. Granted, that may not have affected the outcome against a fired-up KU squad, but if I'm a guard for K-State, my first, second and third options are to get the ball to #30 - period.

 

- Brook Lopez of Stanford is quietly becoming one of the best big men in college basketball. The seven-foot sophomore poured in 25 points in a big win over Washington State Saturday, as the Cardinal improved to 24-4 on the season. Stanford, now winners of six of their last seven, is looking like a team no one will want to play in the tournament.

 - Big ups to Texas Tech's Alan Voskuil and Georgetown's Jonathan Wallace, who both nailed crucial free throws in victories on Saturday. Wallace calmly nailed three with less than three seconds left to tie the game at Marquette, a game the Hoyas would win in overtime. Meanwhile, Voskuil went 10-10 from the line, including six in the final minutes, as the Red Raiders stunned Texas 83-80.

 - Can anyone figure out Texas A&M? The Aggies were pounded by Oklahoma on Saturday, 64-37, just four days after laying a 44-point beatdown (in which they scored 98 points) on Texas Tech. The Aggies, up and down all year, will still be dancing this year, but who knows how long they'll stick around?

 - Louisville continues to impress, winning their ninth game in a row with a victory over Villanova. Included in that stretch are wins over Georgetown, Pitt, Marquette and Notre Dame. The Cards are peaking at just the right time, and appear to have the ingredients for a deep tourney run.

 - Joey Dorsey...please just play basketball. The talented but fiery Memphis big man had to be restrained before the game at Southern Miss after jawing with some players during warm-ups..yet another incident in a career full of them. Dorsey is a fantastic rebounder and defender, but his lack of self-control might be the biggest factor in determining how far the Tigers go this year.

 - And finally, congratulation to Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who earned his 800th career victory over N.C. State on Saturday. The Devils overcame a 13-point second half deficit with timely shooting to get Coach K to the vaunted mark. There are plenty of Duke haters out there, but there's no denying that Coach K is one of the best ever to walk the sidelines.