2:59—(Look, a bonus minute!) UNLV is out to a quick 9-2 lead over Kent State, while Kentucky and Marquette are still battling back and forth. UK’s down three right now, but this looks like a game that could go down to the wire.
3:00I—n this hour’s set of games, I picked Marquette over Kentucky, UNLV over Kent State, Purdue over Baylor, and Pitt over Oral Roberts. Of course, as a Purdue fan, I’m much more focused on their game than the others. So get ready for glowing descriptions of Robbie Hummel and E’Twaun Moore (in my unbiased opinion, that is)
3:02—Kentucky’s lucky (wow, that rhymed) to still be in the game with the way they’re shooting the ball. Great defense from the Wildcats to hold Marquette to 19 points in the first 13 minutes, since UK’s only managed one basket in the last eight minutes or so.
3:03—Kent State just missed a WIDE-OPEN (and I do mean wide-open) layup out in Omaha. Nothing’s going right for the Golden Flashes early. As a self-professed couch potato, I even would have made that layup.
3:03—Probably. I think.
3:04—Pitt and Oral Roberts are underway in Denver. ORU is in their third straight NCAA tournament, but the Golden Eagles (popular mascot today) haven’t won in the Big Dance since 1974.
3:05—The Golden Eagles (that’s Marquette) on the big screen are up 20-17. Golden Eagles on the small screen (that’s Oral Roberts) are tied at three with Pittsburgh.
3:06—And Greg Gumbel is taking us to see Purdue. Go Purdue!
3:07—Did I say I would be unbiased?
3:07—No seniors starting for Baylor or Purdue. These programs are definitely on the upswing and should be competitive for several years.
3:08—Not having seen much of Baylor this year, I can definitely say as my first impression: Their uniforms look like the Oregon Ducks. Well, since the Oregon Ducks have approximately 77 different uniforms, that might not be as true as I thought.
3:09—Baylor gets the tip. Purdue gets the steal. The Boilers need to force turnovers, and that was a great start. 2-0 good guys.
3:10—Best nickname of the day so far belongs to a Baylor player. “Tweety”.
3:115-—4 Purdue. Baylor’s offense looks pretty good so far.
3:11—Back-to-back threes for the Boilermakers’ “center”. Gotta love a 6’9” guy that can step out and stroke it. 8-6 Purdue.
3:12—Checking the other scores, Marquette is still up three in Anaheim. Oral Roberts 6-4 early over Pitt, and UNLV has a double-digit margin over Kent State.
3:14—Too much offense early...Baylor’s only up one, but this is definitely a non-Purdue tempo.
3:15—Great defense, Running Rebels. UNLV just took a charge underneath...easy to see why they’re up 12 with the ball.
3:16—Three-pointer, corner pocket for Scott Martin of Purdue. He needs to shoot well if the Boilers are going to make a run in the Dance.
3:17—Marquette and Kentucky continue to trade blows in Cali. I wouldn’t want to be Stanford and likely have to see the winner on Saturday.
3:20Sc—ott Martin, big-time block. Purdue by two with the basketball.
3:20S—cott Martin, big time pump-fake and mid-range pull-up. The freshman is stepping up early.
3:20—Keaton Grant’s limping for Purdue...he’s done that the last few games on and off, but it’s not a good sign.
3:21—Marquette by three, last minute of the first half.
3:22—Deep three-pointer for Baylor...that’s the kind of shot a defensive team WANTS to give up...but it swishes through to cut the Purdue lead to three.
3:22—ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What a dunk by JaJuan Johnson for Purdue! That made my day. Johnson off the bench playing big minutes for the Boilers and comes up with his most emphatic dunk of the season, pasteurizing a helpless Baylor defender.
Welcome to the NCAAs, Baby Boilers!
3:24—Kent State didn’t manage to get their offense on the plane when they headed to Omaha. The Flashes have a grand total of six points in 15 minutes. Ouch. Mr. Self-Proclaimed Couch Potato thinks he could manage to score six points in 15 minutes.
3:25—UNLV isn’t sharing in the offensive struggles. It’s 25-6 in the ugliest game of the day so far.
3:26—Back to action in DC. Purdue by five with the ball. E’Twaun Moore misses badly from outside...hopefully that’s not a sign of things to come.
3:27—Great up and under by Big Ten Defensive Player of the year Chris Kramer. Boilers by seven.
3:27—Gazing out West, Pitt has opened up a six-point lead in Denver.
3:27—Make that eight. Timeout Oral Roberts.
3:28—Even though Purdue’s up early, I’m not really thrilled with the kind of game I’m seeing. Fab freshman Robbie Hummel is on the bench with two quick fouls, and this game is way too fast-paced for a team like Purdue that loves a defensive struggle.
3:28—Keaton Grant missed three layups in the last minute or so, but Calasan is there to clean up the miss. Boilers by seven, thanks to eight from Nemanja Calasan.
3:29—There’s the stroke for E’Twaun Moore. Step-back triple and Purdue’s up ten. Was I complaining about this game?
3:30—Another Subway commercial. Why do Tony Parker and Brady Quinn care how much weight Jared has lost? I mean, come on!
3:30—That’s another good commercial line: “Chuck can’t answer right now because Chuck’s an idiot.” I like that one.
3:31—Pitt 33, Oral Roberts 23. Here come the Panthers. Wow, NBA move by Levance Fields. Fade-away 15-foot jumper. And one. So this is why Bob Knight picked the Panthers to win it all.
3:32—Sorry, Bob Knight, I just don’t see that happening.
3:32—Back to Bolerjack and Wenzel’s call of the Purdue-Baylor game. The Bears have only hit two of their last 10 field goals.
3:33—Turnover Baylor. Purdue’s cranking up the pressure.
3:34—Boilers get a second chance off a rebound. That doesn’t happen often.
3:35—Tarrance Crump hit a pull-up jumper on the skip pass. That doesn’t happen often either. Crump is known for his wheels, assists, and defense as a backup point guard take the shot though. I’m not complaining.
3:35—Tarrance Crump scores again. I officially retire as an analyst.
3:36—"Boilermaker fans on their crowd...I mean feet”—Craig Bolerjack
3:36—Purdue has been able to get to the hoop off the dribble in the last couple minutes. Great job by E’Twaun Moore, and Purdue’s up fourteen. TV timeout.
3:36—The Pittsburgh Panthers are on an 18-0 run. It’s hard to beat teams that get 18-0 runs. I feel like I’m stating the obvious.
3:37—If it feels like I’m talking about Purdue all the time, I do have a pretty good reason. Marquette-Kentucky, what I would consider the best game right now, is at halftime. Kent State isn’t scoring enough points to stay on my television, and Pittsburgh-Oral Roberts is at a commercial. That means it’s Purdue-Baylor by default.
3:38—There’s a little pressure from the Bears. Purdue breaks it, misses a tough shot inside, gets a rebound, and gets fouled. The Boilermakers are doing the job on the glass.
3:39B—aylor cuts it to 12. They can score so stinkin’ quick.
3:40—Moore air balls...Purdue chases down the loose ball...and Crump scores. I don’t understand this game.
3:40—Big shot for Tweety Carter. Purdue made the mistake of helping in the lane, and Baylor made a great pass to the corner.
3:41—JaJuan Johnson is playing out of his mind for Purdue.
3:41—Keaton Grant for three. Purdue by sixteen. Come on now...finish the half strong.
3:41—Turnover Baylor. Here come the Boilers.
3:42—Marquette and Kentucky are underway in the second half. Eagles by one with the ball.
3:42—The thing I love about JaJuan Johnson right now, besides his highlight-reel dunk and newly-discovered post moves, is that he’s getting rebounds inside. Baylor is crashing the glass, but Johnson is controlling things
3:43—Keaton Grant from the elbow. Great pull-up for the sophomore. Purdue’s shooting a sizzling 54% from the floor.
3:44—Timeout on the floor. Purdue by sixteen.
3:45—I really don’t like it when all my Mega March Madness channels black out at the same time. Explain that to me, please?
3:46—Well, my TVs are going batty and my eyes are going batty as well. Time to take a break. See you at 4:00. Thanks for reading and GO BOILERS!