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Showing posts from March 11, 2007

SIU 61, HC 51, final

A slow bleed.

Southern Illinois didn't win pretty, but they pretty much neutralized both dimensions of Holy Cross' game. They were persistent, they never fell asleep, and withstood Holy Cross' beating underneath. Most of the game they were only up 5, 6, 7 points, but it felt like 13 or 14 points at times. This is one hell of a team - even without a single star, this team should be able to make the Sweet 16. Easily.

Sadly it wasn't meant to be tonight. The shame is that Thomas and Simmons were shut down so thoroughly that they weren't really able to shine the way they had all year. Even when they did get open they seemed rattled and took bad shots. At the end, they were even missing foul shots. Game over.

In a way, it stinks playing another big mid-major team since it's dissatisfying whether you win or lose. I see now that you want to take down a former national champion or storied member of the SEC, not a small school with thoughts of the Sweet 16. Ever…

HC 38, SIU 44, 8 minutes to play

Watch the foul situation at the end of this games. There are a TON of kids in fould trouble out there.

Am I being naive that Thomas is bound to make some FGs by the end of this game? I have this hunch he will be heard from in crunch time. Hopefully I'm right.

Go Crusaders!

Start of 2nd half

The begining stages of this half, and this is going to be a war the rest of the way. Bodies are flying everywhere. Turnovers. Two changes of the possession arrow. Shaw on the Salukis at the end of the hlf has a high ankle sprain.

3rd foul on Clifford now. Will Holy Cross have enough bodies to end this game? Go Crusaders!

HC 25, SIU 30, halftime

Somewhere on my notepad I wrote: "Thomas and Simmons are wound tight."

Again, "Simmons can't make anything."

"Thomas wild shot".

Now it's halftime, and I'm still waiting for the Thomas and Simmons I saw destroy Lehigh during the season and Bucknell during the final. I know the Salukis are one of the best defensive teams in the tournment, but some of these missed shots were definitely missed open jumpers and "tightness".

The game was tied when freshman Van Der Baan got his third foul. That's when the complexion changed and Southern Illinois strung a few fast breaks together to get sa 5 point lead.

If I'm Willard, I'm saying to stick to the gameplan. The shots will fall and they're not exactly shooting the lights out. In the back of my head, I'd be thinking of the Butler game yesteday. Old Dominion got victimized by the 3-pointer midway through the second half and the Bulldogs never looked back. Willard should guar…

HC 16, SIU 17, 7:00 left 1st

Well, my in-running diary is off to a fantastic start - it ate my first post. Way to go, blogger (who has been having major problems tonight).Defensive-minded game, but it's great to see Clifford get involved early. However, I'm worried that SIU will get hot from outside... but the Crusaders' 2-3 zone seems to be causing problems for the Salukis. Both teams seemed to only be getting warmed up, even though both teams are gritty, defensive teams. Holy Cross doesn't seem rattled, which bodes well. However, Thomas and Simmons both seem awful ragged, which does not.Mike Gminksi and the play-by-play guy called this game a "half-court grinder". How long did it take Dan to come up with that one? Better not let him close to any sharp metal objects.Holy Cross just lost the lead, down 17-16. Will be an interesting end of the first half.
Hopefully Blogger will fix their issues by the end...

10 Reasons to Root for Holy Cross

I know it can be hard sometimes to root for the Patriot League representatives in the postseason, being a Lehigh fan. But today is the time. In one of the last games of the first round, Holy Cross will playing Southern Illinois on CBS in your local area (or, if you can't do that, you can sign up for March Madness On Demand for free) at about 9:45 EST tonight.

I'm so thrilled with the Crusaders that I'm going to attempt to write an in-running blog of the whole affair as it's going on. I'm not sure if I would have done it anyway, but after hearing that famous Holy Cross alumnus Bill Simmons would be dropping out of his ESPN in-running first-round diary just before the best game of the first round at 9:45PM, I felt like somebody needed to pick up the slack, and that person ought to be me. Bill, just think of me as your CLOSER.

For you Lehigh fans (and other non-Holy-Cross fans out there), here's 10 really good reasons to root for Holy Cross over Southern Illinoi…

My NCAA Picks: Tigers, Pigs, Asses, and Nightingales

I always seem to get suckered into Christopher Guest movies. With a boatload of incredibly funny actors, in theory they should keep you laughing all the way through the movie - though, in practice, they generally end up being too angry towards whom they're satirizing and aren't funny enough. What ends up happening is like what happens in his latest movie, For Your Consideration - about three dozen of the funniest people on the planet trying to steal the airtime with characters that probably belong in their own movie.

How does this relate to today, the opening day of the NCAA tournament? One of the characters from is the movie, publicity agent Corey Taft (hilariously played by John Michael Higgins), has one of those characters that you end up quoting for weeks afterward -and has the line that sums up the NCAA tournament in one, neat line.

"Inside every [NCAA Tournament team] there's a tiger, a pig, and ass and a nightingale, and you never know which one is going to co…

Random Tournament Thoughts

Admit it, you've sneaked a look at the brackets already today. Face it, is your boss really going to buy into your plan that you suddenly got the flu at 12:03PM this Thursday? Can Butler make the Sweet 16... or can Old Dominion? It's tournament time, and it's a magical time when everyone's bracket is still correct, everyone in the nation is having fun speculating who to pick in their office pools, and Office Depot's stock goes through the roof as companies desperately look for printing supplies and copier toner.

Some random thoughts to whet your appetite for the tournament.

* I don't know about you, but every year I enter every contest that I can think of. Not only the office pool, but I submit everything I can find on the internet for men's brackets on CBS Sportsline, ESPN, and others. Irrational? Probably. But it's like this: if I (for some reason) ever pick the perfect bracket that nobody can beat, brother, I'm going to be ready.

* Of course,…

Thoughts on the NCAA Tournament

How hard could it be? Like sinking free throws in Pop-a-shot, all the committee choosing the NCAA men's basketball had to do was pick the right teams. Drexel beat Villanova, Creighton and Syracuse. Appalachian State beat VCU, Vanderbilt, and Virginia. They did everything they needed to do to get in - scheduled conference-worthy teams on the road, and beat them. A free-throw. Right?

Um, maybe not. The men's committee thought that a 17-12 Stanford team (who lost four of their last five) deserved to make it in the tournament, and a 21-13 Arkansas team that went 6-8 in the SEC (with terrible losses to SEC cellar-dwellers LSU and Auburn) were more worthy than two "mid-majors" that proved that they belonged with the big boys.

It's no secret as to why Stanford, Arkansas, and borderline teams Texas Tech (who got thrashed by Kansas State in their conference tournament) and Illinois (who beat only one ranked team all year). Rather than give the Colonial Athletic and …