Tue, 11/08/2011 - 06:19 — Raphielle Johnson
The college basketball season finally got underway on Monday night with three games featuring squads that will be in New York next week for the 2K Sports Classic Benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer. All three favorites, Arizona, Mississippi State and St. John's, won but predictably there were signs of rust. That comes with the territory, but what are some of the things that can be learned from these games? Here are a few basic observations for each of the six teams in action.
Tue, 04/05/2011 - 07:06 — Raphielle Johnson
Given the defensive numbers that both Butler and Connecticut boasted going into Monday night's matchup for the national title few expected a high-scoring contest. But what ensued at Reliant Stadium was stunning, as a game that featured just 17 turnovers combined (11 for the Huskies) looked far uglier than anyone expected. Thanks to their dominance scoring inside and a good job of challenging shots, Jim Calhoun's team won the school's third national title by the final score of 53-41.
Sun, 04/03/2011 - 06:06 — Raphielle Johnson
On March 19th two teams advanced out of the Washington, D.C. subregional, making their way to the Sweet 16. And on Monday night those two teams, Butler and Connecticut, will play for the national title.
In the first game of the night in Houston, Butler was able to withstand an early barrage of VCU three pointers to take a six-point lead into the intermission. After an even start the Bulldogs allowed themselves to be drawn into the Rams' hectic style of play, breaking the pressure for three pointers instead of attacking the rim.
Mon, 03/28/2011 - 07:47 — Raphielle Johnson
The opinion that this season provided the NCAA Tournament with the weakest bubble in history did not stop many pundits from bad-mouthing the VCU Rams. Instead of worrying about what the experts thought of their inclusion Shaka Smart's team moved forward, taking care of USC, Georgetown, Purdue and Florida State to get to Sunday's Southwest Region final. Top-seed Kansas awaited VCU and the Jayhawks got off to a quick start, scoring the first six points of the game.
Sun, 03/27/2011 - 16:36 — Raphielle Johnson
Two tickets to next weekend's Final Four were punched on Saturday, with both games living up to the thrilling form of Thursday night's contests. In the Southeast final Butler made a bit of history, becoming the first team to make consecutive trips to the Final Four when being seeded three or lower with a 74-71 overtime win over Florida. Shelvin Mack scored a game-high 27 points, Matt Howard added 14 and freshman Khyle Marshall scored 10 off the bench. Also, Butler's three-point defense was a factor in the win as they limited the Gators to 3-for-14 on the afternoon.
Sat, 03/26/2011 - 09:22 — Raphielle Johnson
Countless times over the past few weeks Kentucky head coach John Calipari has noted that his upperclassmen deserve some of the credit for the Wildcats' improved play as many rush to credit the highly-touted freshman class. Friday night was just the latest example of what the veterans mean to the team but when the game is on the line the basketball will end up in the hands of a freshman. Just as he did in the second round against Princeton Brandon Knight struggled offensively, shooting 2-for-9 over the first 39 minutes of the game.
Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:34 — Raphielle Johnson
Of the four games played on Thursday night the matchup between West top-seed Duke and five-seed Arizona was the game people thought could provide a double-digit margin. The defending national champions were a solid favorite going in and they played as such in the first half, taking a 44-38 lead into the locker room thanks to a 16-6 edge in points in the paint and 12-5 in points off turnovers. Kyle Singler and Kyrie Irving scored 14 points apiece to lead the Blue Devils, who were far more balanced than an Arizona team that featured a lot of Derrick Williams and little of much else.
Wed, 03/16/2011 - 18:28 — Raphielle Johnson
Tuesday marked the beginning of the NCAA Tournament, although it's tough for most people to consider anything earlier than Thursday being the starting point. The first game of the "First Four" matched Big South champion UNC Asheville and Sun Belt winner Arkansas-Little Rock and the game did not disappoint, requiring an extra five minutes to determine the winner. A Matt Dickey three pointer from the left corner with 11 seconds remaining pushed the game into overtime, where the Bulldogs took the lead for good on a pair of J.P. Primm free throws with 1:11 remaining.
Sun, 03/13/2011 - 18:04 — Raphielle Johnson
Few people thought it could be done: winning five games in five days had never happened in the history of conference tournaments, and no team in the history of the expanded Big East Championship had gone from playing on Tuesday to the tile game. That all changed when Preston Knowles' attempt to tie the game at the buzzer hit the back iron, giving Connecticut the 69-66 win and their seventh Big East Championship title (first since 2004). MVP Kemba Walker scored 19 points, making the game-winning play on an assist after scoring a tournament-record 130 points through five games.
Sat, 03/12/2011 - 09:46 — Raphielle Johnson
It's almost become an annual occurrence in college basketball: Seth Greenberg's Virginia Tech Hokies in their customary spot on the bubble. And they looked to be headed in that direction tonight against Florida State in the final quarterfinal of the night in Greensboro, trailing 27-19 at the half and shooting a brutal 17.9% from the field. The Seminoles outscored Virginia Tech 16-6 in the paint and 14-7 in bench points in the first half, and guards Malcolm Delaney and Erick Green combined to shoot 1-for-15.