North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

March Madness Running Blog – Day one, part 2

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A quiet night up here, mostly toggling around between two games (one online, one on TV), with a lot of time spent on American/Villanova, which I’ll get to later.

***

It wasn’t — as I’m so wont to say — a classic; it wasn’t even a game that I’ll remember much about come next spring, but the last few minutes of Clemson/Michigan was fun to watch.

Clemson had their chances to win and after the Wolverines only hit one of two from the line late, some 15 or so seconds to tie it up. That’s a lot of time to move it up court, set something up and take a shot, even two. But some solid defence by Michigan kept Clemson far along the outside and with the clock running out, the Tigers forced up a long shot that wasn’t even close. 63-59 for the Wolverines.

***

I didn’t watch any of the Minnesota/Texas game, but I’m not surprised Texas pulled away with that one. The Gophers were buried deep in the big 10 which I thought was a weak conference to begin with.

***

It was one of those games where a small, scrappy team found it’s stroke and looked to topple the favourite. American University, a 14 seed, was way out in front of Villanova, a three that one wagers goes deep on most brackets.

Right at the start of the second hald, American had a huge lead on Villanova, but slowly it fell away. Not because Nova did anything special, but because American went cold, hitting just two of 15 from downtown – they only pulled away in the first half by hitting those long shots.

When you live by the three, you die by the three.

Granted, they began to switch to playing inside, but they didn’t have the kind of presence to keep up with Villanova at that game. It wasn’t long before they pulled away and an upset became a blowout.

***

Gonzaga was kind of the same, minus the three-ball. They just outlasted Akron, which couldn’t keep up with them and pulled away with about five minutes left, when they went on a monster 19 to one run . After that, it was barely a contest – final score 64-77, and not even that close.

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Written by M.

March 19, 2009 at 9:31 pm

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