Sunday, April 04, 2010
Devils and Dogs to Meet in NCAA Final
5 Butler 52
5 Michigan St. 50
The Butler Bulldogs continue to amaze, now having reached the final plateau of their impressive run through the NCAA tourney field, knocking off the Michigan State Spartans in the first of two semi-final games Saturday.
As has been the case in most of their wins - now at 25 straight - the gritty Bulldogs were led by their best player, Horizon League Player of the Year, Gordon Hayward, who led all scorers with 19 points, while pulling down 9 rebounds. The lanky forward also collected a couple of steals and blocked two shots. And, it was Hayward who grabbed the rebound to finally close out the Spartans on Korie Lucious' purposely-missed free throw at the end of the game.
What makes Hayward's accomplishment in this game so special is that he played almost the wole game without a rest - 39 minutes - and carried the team through the first half as fellow forward Matt Howard was saddled with 2 fouls. He also played most of the second half without the services of Shelvin Mack, who was on the bench, suffering from leg spasms. Somehow, Mack managed to score 14 points. Hayward was 6-for-14 from the field, including 3 of 8 3-point shots.
The Bulldogs face Duke in the final, Monday night.
1 Duke 74
2 W. Virginia 58
When Duke started hitting their 3-pointers midway through the first half, one could almost sense the inevitability of their presence. West Virginia kept allowing open looks, and the Duke bomb squad of Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith kept dropping them in from long range.
From 3-point land, Singler hit 3 of 5, Smith, 4 of 9 and Scheyer, 5 of 9. They were also the game's top three scorers, with 21, 19 and 23 points, respectively, but Jon Scheyer was singlularly outstanding, going 7-for-13 overall as the game's high-scorer, with 6 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals while not committing a turnover.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Duke's Scheyer, Singler Stomp Tar Heels
They weren't exactly sharpshooters from inside the 3-point line, but Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler shot well enough from outside the arc to bury North Carolina right in the Tar Heels' back yard at Chapel Hill, 64-54.
The guard-forward combo combined for 2/3rds of the Blue Devil scoring, 43 in all, sending North Carolina to their 4th straight conference loss, 4th straight home loss, and dropped them to a 2-7 record in the ACC, just 1/2 game ahead of last place NC State (2-8). 8-2 Duke expanded their ACC lead to a full game over idle Maryland (6-2) and Wake Forest (7-3). Maryland's scheduled home game with Virginia was cancelled due to the fierce storm which dumped nearly 4 feet of snow on College Park over the past 4 days.
Singler was the man in the first half for Duke, while Scheyer scored most of his game-high 24 points in the second half. Singler was 7-for-18 overall, but 4 of 5 from 3-point range as the Tar Heels allowed him open looks in the early going. He finished with 19 points and 9 boards. Scheyer was 7-for-20, but 5 of 9 from outside the arc, adding 4 assists and 5 rebounds. As a team, the Blue Devils had one of their worst shooting nights of the season, hitting just 31% from the field, though they managed 50% (9-18) from 3-point land. The dynamic duo had all of the treys.
North Carolina didn't fare much better, hitting 35% from the floor and a woeful 5 of 18 (28%) on threes. Carolina's overall record now stands at a mediocre 13-11, nearly assuring that they will not be invited to the Big Dance in March. It's a sorry state of affairs in Chapel Hill, less than a year removed from cutting down the nets as national champions. Of course, losing players like Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and Danny Green did put a very large dent in Carolina's overall game.