There are a lot of inherent perks of being an internet sportswriter (if that's what you would call me):
I get to work from home.
I get to occasionally work in my underwear.
I don't have to ask the warden to use the bathroom. Oh wait, that's one of the inherent perks of not being in prison. Never mind.
Anyway, I know I'm one of the lucky few, and fortunate that I get to do what I love, from the comfort of my home, while many others are behind a desk, in an office all day, every day.
So today, I decided to give back to all of you out there. All of you who "work hard," at "real jobs," where you're forced by the man to wear "pants." I decided to give back by running a live blog starting at 12 p.m. of today's Big East Tournament quarterfinal afternoon games between Syracuse and Georgetown and Villanova and Marquette immediately following.
For those of you at work, please stop by, and refresh the page as often as you please. I'll be updating the commentary as quickly as possible, with no scripting, editing or revising. I just hope my six-year-old laptop doesn't burst into flames by 4:30 p.m.
Hope you enjoy.
(Author's note: If you're going to read this after the fact, you honestly may want to reconsider. It's ok. I won't take it personally. But because this Live Blog really was being followed by people from their desks at work, I felt the need to update things constantly with a lot of little tiny details that probably ultimately weren't needed. Either way, if you want to keep reading, by all means please do. Otherwise don't stress, I'll have plenty more on the tournament as we get closer.)
Before we get started, I was actually in the Garden for all four Big East quarterfinal games yesterday. Here are a few thoughts on what I saw from Georgetown:
- Watching them on TV, you could tell they were athletic, but seeing them in person, they're a freakishly long team. All arms and legs. Basically a group that looks like one of those gangly puppies that runs around, and hasn't filled into their bodies yet.
- Chris Wright is super-quick with the ball. Like, super, super quick. Much faster in person than he looks on TV.
- I hate to say it, but Austin Freeman seemed to be moving a step slow. I don't know if he just knew that he'd be potentially be playing four games in four days and was just conserving energy or not, but he didn't seem to be moving at the same pace as everybody else. Hate to admit it, but it's true. Even saw JTIII mouth to him (I snuck down to about 10 rows off the court), "Are you ok," to which the kid responded.
- I like how JTIII subbed his players in and out. Greg Monroe got into foul trouble early, but it was never a factor down the stretch. Even with a comfortable lead late in the game, Thompson was going offense for defense with him. That's the little stuff you might not think about that wins games.
Also, one final note. Just turned on ESPN ready for some pregame coverage, and we've got some bald guy talking with an undetectable accent talking about soccer. Could anything else get you more excited for some college hoops?? I think not.
12:00 p.m.: And we are looking live at Madison Square Garden, as an awesome montage of old school Syracuse and Georgetown highlights are dubbed to the music recordings of some C List wrapper. I'll tell you, nothing says Big East basketball like Georgetown-Syracuse and some lousy wrap. I feel like it's 1985 all over again
12:01 p.m.: Ohhhhh boy. Dave Pasch and Fran Fraschilla are joined by Doris Burke this afternoon. I like Doris, I think she's a good analyst, but can be just a teensy bit much at times. Any way I can do this live blog with the mute button on? Sorry just thinking aloud.
12:04: And we are underway. Georgetown in their road greys win the tip and turn the ball over. Syracuse in their home whites.
12:05: Wes Johnson nice move to the basket. 2-0. Love Wes' game.
12:06: Doris Burke calls this "The Most Unselfish Syracuse team I've ever seen." I'd say they might be the most unselfish team in any conference we've seen in the past 10 years. If not more.
12:07: Quick score for Chris Wright, quicker 3 for Andy Rautins. 8-4 Syracuse. Our first Leo Rautins sighting as well has just happened. Leo may be the coolest man over 50 in all of Canada not named Wayne Gretzky.
12:09: Our first commercial break, and Johnson is showing why he was Big East Player of the Year, already with eight points. Chris Wright has a couple nice moves to the basket too. 11-6 as we go to another montage dubbed over rap music that would make J.J. Redick blush.
12:12: And we're back. First shot of the Georgetown cheerleaders. And hopefully the last too.
12:14: Pretty move for twoby Greg Monroe. Seeing him yesterday, he was more impressive in person than on TV.
12:15: Annnnnnd a great pass by Monroe. 11-10. Like Monroe's game a lot. Georgetown just starting to figure out this zone.
12:16: Jumper by Freeman, he seems to look more comfortable than yesterday. 12-11.
12:17: Someone gets sent to the Georgetown bench, but I'm not sure exactly who. I got distracted by their assistant coach who looks like Steve Harvey. Who knew he was struggling that much for work.
12:19: Georgetown relentlessly crashing the boards, and Boeheim is forced to call a timeout. He looks like he's got a proctoligist visit coming up. Wait a second, he always looks like that.
12:20: TV timeout, Georgetown up 14-11. And Dave Pasch cues a teaser, saying that they'll discuss "The greatest game in the history of the Big East," when they come back from commercial. As a UConn fan who was in the building last year, please excuse me while I drink some Drano. Be right back
12:21: And there's the obligatory Jonny Flynn shot. And Hasheem Thabeet shot. And Eric Devendorf. Oh man, I need a drink. I guess it was still cool to say I was there though, but man, that one still stings. A lot.
12:22: Three for Kris Joseph. Tie game. And love his game. Easily one of my five favorite French-Canadian college basketball players this season.
12:23: Transition three for Andy Rautins. That's Syracuse's best play.....And Wright responds with about a 32 foot three....And a quick two by Scoop Jardine. I can't keep up!!!!!! 19-17 'Cuse
12:24: Monroe responds by a quick deuce, followed by a Syracuse deuce right after. JTII calls a timeout and looks like he's ready to commit a homicide. Big East basketball baby!
12:25: Burke just calls JTIII "Visibly demonstrative." I've never been more confused.
12:26: Scoop Jardine for two. 24-21 'Cuse. By the way, is there a cooler nickname in college basketball than "Scoop?" I think not.
12:27: 26-21 as we head to a commercial break with Kris Joseph challenging a Chris Wright dunk. And for the record, John Thompson is still visibly demonstrative. I think...
12:31: Fraschilla just calls Georgetown "sneaky long?" Hmm, who said something similar about a half an hour ago??? (Me, me, me)
12:33: Three-pointer for Scoop Jardine. How do I get a nickname like "Scoop?" Anyone? I'm all ears.
12:34: Johnson on the boards. 34-25 Syracuse. If Georgetown doesn't start making some three's this could get ugly.
12:35: Perfect backdoor pass from Monroe to Wright for two. I like their game. A lottt....
12:36: Corner three for Jason Clark of Georgetown. Liked his game yesterday. Actually, quite honestly, I liked everyone on Georgetown yesterday. I guess playing South Florida does that to you sometime. Either way, all of a sudden a 34-30 game.
12:38: Wright out to Clark. I'm telllllling you, these guys are good. And scary long. 34-33.
12:38: We've just learned that Rick Jackson doesn't mind being called the trash man. Feel free to insert your own joke here....
12:39: Commercial break. 36-33 with 2:47 to go. We head to commercial with "Tonight's gonna be a good night! Tonight's gonna be a good, good, night!" blasting. No. No it won't be if you keep playing that non-sense.
12:39: Wow, I just sounded like a grump in that last little rant. I guess getting home from the Garden at 3 a.m. and getting back up at 7 will do that to a guy. And yes, I'm afraid of what I'll be like when I actually have children. Terrified actually.
12:43: Awesome length of the court pass, Jackson to Jardine. 38-35. 1:30 left.
12:45: Joseph on a putback, and then steals a pass and gets fouled. 40-37 'Cuse. 22 seconds left. Time for one more good shot.
12:46: Johnson for three at the buzzzzzzzzer...... No good. 40-37 at the half.
12:47: A few quick thoughts before I take a quick break: Jardine is playing really well, as is Joseph. Wes Johnson has been quiet since scoring eight early. For Georgetown, they simply need to make three's. They do that it's going to be close. If they don't...well we'll see JTIII being even more "visibly demonstrative," than he is right.
12:48: And with halftime upon us, let me leave you with one of my favorite halftime performances EVER (Click, you will enjoy).
1:03: And we are back! Some of the halftime highlights included my flipping channels and seeing my first "Hot Tub Time Machine" commercial of the day, as well as my dog barking in his sleep, waking himself up with a bark, licking himself, then falling back asleep. I'm not quite sure what to make of these two instances happening almost simultaneously.
1:04: Wow, didn't realize that Syracuse shot 62 PERCENT (!!!) in the first half. If they limit the tunrovers, the should be able to pull away by the 10 minute mark.
1:04: Three by Wes Johnson for the first points of the half.
1:06: Johnson with a beautiful up and under move. 17 now for him. Even better pass from Rautins. I just don't know how Rautins isn't an NBA player at this point.
1:07: And juuuuuuuuuust when Syracuse was pulling away, big three for Chris Wright. 45-42.
1:08: Another great pass from Monroe for an easy deuce. I'm drafting him ahead of DeMarcus Cousins and Derrick Favors if I need a big man in this draft.
1:08: BIG three from Andy Rautins. You just....cannot....leave...that...guy...OPEN!
1:10: Ah, nothing like shoveling cold pizza and hot coffee down your throat on a quick commercial break. If Wheaties is the breakfast of champions, I think this is the lunch of champions. (I know what you're thinking, shut up AT and focus on basketball... Good point).
1:12: Georgetown plays up on the perimeter against Rautins and he blows by his defender and finishes with a left handed layup. To quote some announcer, who said this at some point: "Is there anything this guy CAN'T do!" First television timeout. 50-44 Syracuse.
1:14: Wow, the new "Pacific Shrimp," Tacos at Taco Bell are looking pretty good. What can I say. I'm a fatass.
1:16: Score update over on ESPN2 for those interested: Kansas up just 28-26 very late in the first half.
1:17: Unbelievable cross-court pass through traffic from Rautins to the Garbage Man. I can't stop gushing about Rautins. I just can't. Is this how Dick Vitale feels every time he goes to Cameron Indoor?
1:18: Layup for Jardine. Syracuse 54-46. Syracuse just making more plays than Georgetown right now.
1:19: Three for guess who? Fran Fraschilla just said what I believe too: "I don't care if Wes Johnson is the Big East Player of the Year. But nobody is more valuable to their team than Andy Rautins." Is it getting warm in here, or is it just me??
1:20: Second Leo Rautins cameo of the game. I only wish I could hit the bars in NYC with him later tonight. Just a cool, cool, cool guy (Yes, this crush on the whole family is getting uncomfortable).
1:21: No score update in awhile. 57-51 Orange right now. Georgetown won't go away.
1:22: Freeman with a perfect pass to Wright for an easy layup. Are there two better passing team's in college basketball? I can't think of one. 11:59 left, 59-54, and once again, Georgetown just not willing to die. They're starting to look like the team that everyone fell in love with midseason.
1:25: For those interested, Virginia up on Boston College in the ACC Tournament. Why would you be interested? I have no idea.
1:26: Wright to Clark for 3!!!!! Seven straight points for the Hoyas, and all of a sudden, it's a one point game.
1:28: Fast break layup for Georgetown, and they take the lead! I'd really like to tell you how this all happened, but I really have no idea. Syracuse just turning the ball over way, way too much.
1:29: Shot of John Thompson II in the crowd. He looks like he just found a pile of dog crap in his living room. Come on coach, smile! Be proud of your son and your school!
1:30: Georgetown extending it's lead. 62-59. Chris Wright has been fantastic.
1:30: And Wes Johnson just picked up his third foul. This is not good if you're a 'Cuse fan.
1:31: 13-0 for Georgetown in the last 3:20. Well that explains some things...
1:31: Nice putback for Wes Johnson. Can you have a quiet 19 points? If so, he's doing it right now.
1:34: "Wright in transition. He's made every right decision today." Georgetown by seven as we head to a commercial break 68-61. By the way, was it me that said that was gushing about Chris Wright yesterday? Because I think I was. Kid is awesome.
1:35: By the way, Dave Pasch just discussed Georgetown's schedule this year: Two games against Syracuse. Two against Villanova. At West Virginia. At Pittsburgh. At Louisville. Damn. I'm surprised the '98 Bulls didn't get snuck on there somewhere.
1:37: Freeman with a corner jumper. Absolutely different player than the one I saw yesterday in the Big East Tournament. Georgetown by nine.
1:39: Good put back by Kris Joseph. And man did they need it. 70-63.
1:40: Another bucket by Chris Wright that Doris Burke calls a "toughness basket." Happen to agree with her. 72-65 after two Joseph free throws.
1:41: Rautins fouls Hollis Thompson. We're getting into a danger zone for the Orange.
1:42: 'Cuse just tried to press Georgetown and they picked apart, like a bad...
1:42: Ohh no. Ohh no. Arinze Onuakku down and he is not getting up.
1:43: Dr's are checking out Onuaku's right knee. Too early to say the severity. You can hear a pin drop in the Garden. Wow.
1:45: Onuaku helped to the Syracuse bench. Doesn't look like he can put much weight on it. I'm sorry to those reading, but this does not look good. At all.
1:47: Wes Johnson with a put back. Things are definitely getting chippy. And a foul on Syracuse the other way. 'Cuse fans not happy with the foul call. 73-68 Georgetown.
1:48: Big bucket by Joseph. Big bucket. 73-70.
1:49: Scoop to the hoop! Going to the line with two shots. 74-72 with just about four minutes to go. Hoyas have missed four of their last five foul shots.
1:50: Georgetown breaks the press...Greg Monroe to the hoop, gets fouled... And One!!! 76-72 with Monroe at the line after a commercial break (I know I'm not doing a great job describing this game, but it's very exciting. I'm so nervous, I'm working on my third undershirt right now. I wish I was kidding.)
1:52: Time for the obligatory ACC update. Virginia is about to hold on against Boston College. Yes, I know, no one cares.
1:52: Alright Monroe to the line. You can feel the tension through the television with a most pro-Syracuse crowd.
1:54: Fifth turnover by Rautins. Update on Onuaku: Right knee injury. Previous knee injury was to the left. He probably isn't going to return.
1:55: Chris Wright into the lane, tipped in by Austin Freeman. No other way to put it, Georgetown is just making more winning plays right now. Syracuse playing with the same urgency as a Burger King drive thru worker.
1:56: Franny F brings up a good point: "You just can't beat this Syracuse zone by shooting three's." Georgetown proving that today.
1:57: Scoop Jardine to the line. Two shots.
1:57: Scoop makes both, 79-74 Georgetown.
1:58: Another deuce by Freeman. Syracuse just doesn't have an inside prescense without Onuaku.
1:58: Johnson gets a putback. Timeout Syracuse. Jim Boeheim has the same face right now that my dog does when he eats a week old sandwich out of the garbage. Which is to say not good.
1:59: Dumb drive by Freeman, cleaned up by Monroe. Makes the layup....up and gets fouled. 1:57 left. 83-77
1:59: Miss by Kris Joseph, rebound by Wright and Syracuse foul. Gotta say, a little disappointing performance down the stretch from Rautins and Wes Johnson. Joseph is the only one playing with any urgency.
2:00: One free throw 85-76
2:01: Turnover cuts the lead to 85-78. Wright into the lane loses it. Rautins, to Johnson to Kris Joseph for three....... FOUR POINT GAME!!!!! 51 seconds left.
2:02: Whew, when this game is done I'm going to need a Gatorade. I'm losing my electrolytes in a hurry. Back to basketball....
2:03: Monroe fouled will go to the line 85-81 with 46 seconds left. Important note, both Kris Joseph and Rick Jackson have four fouls. Monroe misses the front end.
2:04: Annnnnnd we have a lost contact on the floor. Tick, tick, tick...
2:05: Ok, chris Wright can see again... But unfortunately he iced his teammate as Monroe missed the second..
2:05: Rebound to Scoop, drives the length of the court... To the basket... Miss!
Rebounded Monroe. To the foul line.
2:06: Makes the first one. 86-81. And he makes the second one.
2:06: Scoop to the rim again... Misses. rebounded by Monroe....And Syracuse... They're not fouling! They're not fouling! Finally, Johnson fouls, and fouls out. 15 seconds left 87-81 Georgetown.
2:07: 88-82, this one is all but over for Syracuse.
2:08: Scoop for three... Got it! 88-84. Austin Freeman gets fouled.
2:08: And it's official. 91-84 is your final. Georgetown beats Syracuse for the first time all year.
2:09: Beth Mullins interviewing JTIII with a leather jacket that looks like she got from the tacky Gwen Stefani collection. Honestly, Stevie Wonder thinks her jacket is hideous.
2:10: And an interview with Chris Wright. The kid can play, but I can't lie, his voice sounds the same as my 11-year-old niece. Of course, when he's making millions in a few years and I'm here, I think he'll get the last laugh. Even if it is a girly one.
2:11: Let's take a quick break. Be back for Villanova and Marquette in 10 minutes....
2:39: And we are BACK! Sorry for the delay, some technical difficulties held things up. But we enter with Villanova clinging to a 2-0 lead just one minute in....
2:41: Our friends Fran, Dave and Doris are back calling game two. And I've got to say that as much as I love Doris, HD is just not her thing... To put it nicely. I'm sure she's got a great personality though
2:43: Moutaphou Yarou (Say that 10 times fast... Or once) with a SICK block leads to an easy transition basket. 4-2 'Nova.
2:43: Deeeep three by Lazar Hayward. Or as the St. John's fans liked to call him yesterday, Laser.
2:43: Deep two for Antonio Pena. 9-5 'Nova. Nice pace to this game. Kind of like UConn-St. Johns the other day. Only the exact opposite.
2:44: Deeeep three for David Cubillian. Both teams brough their "A," games today. At least through four minutes anyway.
2:45: Three for Corey Stokes. 12-8 'Nova. Somewhere Zeffy Penn is smiling.
2:46: And we've got our first commercial break. 12-10 'Nova. And I need to catch my breath.
2:49: *** Arinze Onuaku update: All they know is that it's a strain, and an MRI will be done tomorrow Beth Mullins reports. And her jacket is still hideous.
2:51: Big three for Darius Johnson-Odom, easily one of my three favorite players with a hyphenated last name in college basketball. Marquette with their first lead.
2:51: And another three for the man two last names. 16-12 Marquette. Jay Wright furiously calls a timeout.
2:53: And a collision between David Cubillian and Taylor King inadvertantly knocks over referee John Cahill. Maybe it knocked some sense into the old man (And for those of you who don't know, yes I'm bitter. Cahill blew a call that cost UConn against Syracuse. And yes, my psychologist says that it's time to move on. But I just can't)
2:56: Pete Thammel of New York Times reporting that Onuaku's knee tests come back negative. His mom says he'll back for the tournament. Hopefully as our old pal Fran just said, "Momma knows best."
2:57: Corey Stokes just hit a three from about 72 feet away. Marquette still up by one.
2:58: Another three for Johnson-Odom, giving him 11 on the game. This Marquette team is really sneaky good.
3:00: Johnson-Odom misses a three for the first time all game. Apparently Buzz Williams should have left him plugged in just a few minutes longer. (In other words, the guy is a machine. And yes, that was a bad joke. Let's just move on....)
3:01: Villanova guard Malik Waayans throws the ball to the pretty woman in orange in the third row of the stands. She unfortunately, does not play for Villanova
3:02: By the way, not exactly sure when I stopped using periods at the end of most of my sentences. My guess is that it was probably around halftime of the Syracuse-Georgetown game.
3:03: THis is turning into a layup line for Villanova. But unfortunately, it looks like the layup line of a women's game since they keep missing. 23-17 as we go to the under eight minute timeout.
3:05: Scoreboard update. Virginia won. Kansas held on against Texas Tech. And Michigan up 28-13 on Iowa on ESPN2. The Hawkeyes are in the process of setting the game of basketball at least 15 years with this performance.
3:07: Laser... I mean Lazar Hayward with a put back followed by a turnover for Villanova. Someone should probably tell 'Nova that their season is two losses from being over.
3:10: Tough scoop shot for Scottie Reynolds. Glad he woke up from his nap. I was worried we might see him walking onto the court with his blankie in a minute.
3:11: Buzz Williams is sweating like he just ran a 5k. Marquette 26-23.
3:13: Fran Fraschilla just said that Williams is one of the "true humanitarians of the game." What exactly does that mean? Is he going to deliver supplies to third world countries after the game?
3:14: Under four minute timeout, and the scoring is at a stand-still. More bricklaying than a construction site right now. 26-23 Marquette still up.
3:16: Nice banker by Jimmy Butler from Marquette, followed by a Corey Stokes three. Looks like the timeout did everyone some good. 28-26 Marquette
3:17: Buzz Williams, the Humitarian yelling and screaming about the Stokes three and a following Corey Fisher layup. Looks like he's about to pop a blood vessel in his head. And I'm pretty sure Lazar Hayward just had to wipe some of Williams spit out of his eye. 28 up.
3:21: Some guy with a hideous fade hits a jumper for Marquette. May have been Kid Kross, not really sure.
3:22: David Cubillian rushes an undeeded three with six seconds left, instead Villanova gets the ball back.... And Corey Fisher is blocked at the buzzer. Villanova finishes on a 13-4 run. 30-30 at halftime.
3:23: Just saw that I wrote an "undeeded," three. Not sure what that is. Think I meant uneeded. I think. Definitely need a halftime break. But before I do, I've got to say I liked the late run by Villanova. If Scottie Reynolds has a typical Scottie Reynolds second half, the Wildcats should be fine. See you all in 10 minutes.
And also, for those of you who missed in the first game: Here's one of my favorite halftime speeches ever. Enjoy.
3:39: And we are back, as they show the replay of Buzz Williams ripping into his players. It's Big East basketball and it's in the air....Nova starting with the ball...
3:41: Beth Mullins apparently caught up with Williams out of halftime. Despite sweating through his first shirt, he politefully declined her offer of the hideous leather jacket she's wearing. Ok, maybe I just made that up. What can I say, I'm starting to get tired.
3:42: (Basketball Aaron...Focus on basketball). First points of the half come on a nice Reynolds pass to Fisher at the top of key. After a Marquette miss, Corey Stokes hits a three, causing Williams to call a timeout, as he looks like he's passing a kidney stone.
3:43: Pasch just compares Stokes and Fisher to Corey Haim and Feldman. Wonder if Pasch knows that Haim died yesterday. Too soon Mr. Pasch. Too soon.
3:47: Biiiiig corner three for Cubillian as the shot clock expires. 36-33 Villanova.
3:49: Back and forth action. Both teams starting to get into their grooves. 38-38. Corey Stokes is a really, really nice player.
3:50: My favorite Mouphtaou with a lay in. Don't know if any of you knew this, but my mom wanted to name me Mouphtaou, but my dad objected at the last second.
3:51: Ok, I like Papa John's as much as the next guy. But if I see this commercial where the guy hits the halfcourt shot I'm going to start to get mad. Like Randy Johnson on his first day in New York mad (If you don't remember what I'm talking about look it up)
3:53: So our announcing team is talking about their favorite "30 for 30" documentaries, and Dave Pasch preferred the one the USFL, while Fran was partial to the Baltimore Colts marching band. I feel like these are things you should know. Oh, and a Scottie Reynolds three makes it 45-40.
3:55: Wow, never heard the story on how Jay Wright went all the way to Benin to recruit Mouphtaou and meet his family. Also, he's apparently one of 13 children. Again, just sharing.
3:58: Corey Stokes hits his fifth three. No doubt that right now he's the player of this game. Big three by Maurice Aker in response. 48-44 with 12:30 to go.
4:00: And there's our boy Darius Hayward-Bey.... I mean Johnson-Odom. Nice up and under move, cuts the Villanova lead to 50-46
4:00: And just like against Cincinnati and West Virginia, Villanova is letting Marquette hang around. 50-48. Shouldn't this team know better by now?
4:01: Missed layup by Fisher, cleaned up Pena. Fouled and one. Exactly what Villanova needed 52-48 with a TV timeout.
4:02: Alright, I would make my second "Hot Tub Time Machine," joke of the day, but really, why even bother. Will it be the least grossing film of all time?
4:03: Does anyone find the irony in the Sportscenter commercial where Jim Calhoun gives a pep talk, and Hannah Storm and Josh Weiner blow off what he says? I don't think it's good that they had the same body language that Jerome Dyson and Stanley Robinson did the last four games of the season. And yes I'm bitter.
4:05: The crew is talking about the Arinze Onuaku injury, and Doris brings up a good point "There aren't enough good two seeds for Syracuse to lose their No. 1 seed." I agree.
4:07: By the way, not to change the subject again, but just saw Cole Aldrich's final line in the Kansas game: 13 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks. That guy is gonna be productive in the NBA for a long, long time.
4:08: 52-49 Villanova by the way
4:09: Two free throws from Johnson-Odom. 52-51. Somewhere Al Davis is grabbing his checkbook.
4:09: Oo, oo.... Possible game changing play, Corey Fisher turns over the ball, and as Jimmy Butler is going in for a layup, Reggie Redding is called for an intentional foul at midcourt. Again, could be game changing. Butler makes one of two. 52-52
4:11: Big jumper by Johnson-Odom as the shot clock runs down. 54-52.
4:12: Fisher to Pena for an easy layup followed by a Cubillian three. Jay Wright looks like his puppy just got run over by a car. 57-54 as we go to the under eight minute timeout.
4:15: Fran just says that Villanova doesn't have "ball-stoppers." I mean, I know what he's saying, but damn. Doesn't that sound like something you'd buy at a.... You know what. Nevermind. Corey Fisher going to the line down 57-54.
4:17: Fisher makes both. Villanova down by one with 7:30 to go.
4:18: Reynolds misses a short jumper. Just does not seem like his game. Still only eight points and three in the second half. Hate to be picky, but just saying.
4:19: BEATUIFUL, beautiful ball movement by Marquette leads to an open three for Johnson-Odom. He's got 21 points, and he's got Fran Fraschilla talking about "ball-stoppers" again. Ughhh.
4:20: Uh oh, easy bucket for Lazar (Laser) Hayward. Marquette by six. Villanova's letthing this one get away....
4:21: A potential steal for Lazar Hayward goes for his fourth foul instead. Could be a game changing play. By the way, anyone notice that Hayward looks an awfull lot like an undersized Kenyon Martin? What I'm just saying. Fisher makes one of two, 62-57 Marquette.
4:23: And... ANOTHER three from Johnson-Odom. The guy is unconcious. No seriously, someone check his pulse. Marquette up 65-57. Villanova is absolutely falling apart.
4:25: Well, well. Quick two by Reynolds, followed by a steal by Fisher. These guys are far from life support, but this is still the first signs of life we've seen in some time. 65-61.
4:26: Wowwwww. Questionable traveling call on Marquette. Villanova gets the ball back, and now Pena's going to the line after a foul. Quiet night for Antonio Pena by the way.
4:27: Good time to change that for Pena. He swishes both. And all of a sudden it's a 65- 63 game.
4:28: As Maurice Acker is falling down, Williams gets a quick timeout. We're under four minutes, so the next whistle will be the last TV timeout as well. Hayward has four fouls. Villanova is fine in the foul department. All caught up? Good.
4:29: Steal by Fisher. Tie game!
4:29: And right back the other way Marquette goes down makes a shot and gets fouled! 67-65 with just over three minutes to go.
4:32: Just two Power Bars and had an IV bag put into my arm. I feel refreshed. Let's get back to the action....
4:33: Butler makes the foul shot, and Corey Fisher responds with a banker. If Fisher hadn't brought his "A" game, this one might be outta hand right now. Fisher and Stokes will be the MVP's of this game if Villanova can pull out the victory.
4:34: Wow, nice pull-up by Jim Butler. Three point lead for Marquette.
4:35: And Stokes responds with his sixth three!!! Tie game.
4:35: Just like yesterday, Hayward with a huge, huge three. Marquette by three.
4:36: Missed layup by Villanova, followed by Marquette briing the clock under one minute. Butler, for a pull-up... No. And loose ball... Corey Fisher called for a foul!! David Cubillian going to the foul line... Tough, tough call...
4:37: Cubillian makes the first.... And makes the second... 75-70
4:38: Quick layup by Antonio Pena, cuts the lead to 75-72 with 33 seconds left. All I can say is that if Dick Vitale was calling this game, my speakers would have blown a long time ago. Great, great game.
4:39: Villanova fouls "Laser," Hayward. 1 and 1
4:40: Hayward makes the first. 76-72....
4:40: And the second.... 77-72
4:40: Oh my. Huge play. Huge play. Maurice Acker called for a foul, his fifth. Corey Fisher makes the basket, down to a 77-74 lead, with chance to cut it to two.
4:41: And he misses! Cubillian fouled 18.4 left. Pretty much can ice the game if he makes both.
4:42: Cubillian misses the first and makes the second.
4:43: Oh boy. Villanova takes way to long to get into thier offense. Antonio Pena makes a bucket, but they're still down two with only 4.5 seconds left. It is not looking good.
4:44: Foul on Hayward. 3.2 seconds left. By the way, who knew that Lazar Hayward was the second leading scorer in Marquette history. I'll tell you one guy who definitely didn't. This one.
4:45: Big role for Hayward 79-76. And another bounce! 80-76
4:46: At the buzzer Fisher misses ball-game. Just a great, great game. Doesn't seem like these two teams always play them?
4:47: Wow. I've never seen Lazar Hayward smile. Kinda like seeing your dad cry for the first time. Just very weird.
Either way great effort by Marquette and great effort by Georgetown, who'll be playing tomorrow night.
I leave you with this one question: Is what we saw today in the Big East Tournament a preview of what we'll see all NCAA Tournament, with higher seeds falling like flies to upstarts?