Ali, Boom-maye! The Biggest Upset of 2010; D-Wade and Q-Rich go Chicago style in front of Jordan

03.21.10 8 years ago 19 Comments

Northern Iowa's Ali Farokhmanesh

If nothing else, Northern Iowa needs to keep this run going so we can see how many more times Greg Gumbel butchers the name Ali Farokhmaneh. One of the 14 variations he had yesterday was pronouncing the kid’s first name “Aloof” … In case you missed it, Farokhmanesh is becoming the breakout star of the NCAA Tournament. After dropping the game-winning three against UNLV in the first round, the 6-foot senior delivered the dagger yesterday as the Panthers took out overall No. 1 seed Kansas. Northern Iowa was up by one with 40 seconds left when they broke KU’s full-court press and got it ahead to Farokhmanesh. In a spot where 90 percent of the players in the country would either hold it and wait to be fouled or pass it off, Farokhmanesh (16 pts) saw that he wasn’t being covered and stepped into a triple that made Jacque Vaughn roll over in his grave. The Jayhawks still had one more chance, down three with four seconds left, but Farokhmanesh went to the line and buried both free throws to secure the upset … You know the craziest part? Ali isn’t even UNI’s best player. He’s started every game this season, but he’s only their fourth-leading scorer at 9.7 points a night. Nowhere near an NBA prospect, Ali will be slaughtering some pro league in Lebanon or Zamunda at this time next year … Northern Iowa completely overshadowed St. Mary’s, who earlier in the day pulled a pretty major upset by knocking off 2-seed Villanova. But mainly because ‘Nova looked extremely vulnerable against Robert Morris in the first round, this wasn’t as much of a shocker. Scottie Reynolds (2-11 FG) might have done irreparable damage to his NBA stock in just two games of this tournament, while St. Mary’s center Omar Samhan (32 pts) might have put himself on the map with pro scouts. We’ll chalk this one up to the Curse of Donnie McGrath — Big East heavyweights Georgetown and ‘Nova looked inexplicably awful playing in Providence’s gym this week … Meanwhile, new national championship front-runner Kentucky cruised past Wake Forest in a 30-piecing; Washington routed New Mexico in an 11-over-3 matchup that looked like it should have been seeded the other way around; Tennessee ended Ohio’s Cinderella run; Baylor beat Old Dominion; Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen dropped 34 points to out-gun national darling Jimmer Fredette and send BYU home; and Butler edged Murray State in another nail-biter …

D-Wade (photo. Mannion)

In the NBA, that’s two nights in a row where Michael Jordan‘s roster of Jordan Brand athletes have stepped up to impress the boss in-person at the expense of handing his Bobcats a tough loss. First it was Joe Johnson sticking the game-winner on Charlotte in ATL, then last night Dwyane Wade and Quentin Richardson combined to beat the ‘Cats in Miami while MJ watched from the stands … In an ugly game where neither team shot better than 35 percent, D-Wade dominated defensively — blocking five shots, including picking off Tyrus Thomas‘ layup on a fast break and stuffing 7-foot-1 Tyson Chandler at the rim — while Q-Rich provided the offense, sticking six threes for all of his 18 points … If Mike has to sit through too many more 4-for-21 shooting nights from Stephen Jackson, his facial hair is gonna start going gray … Real quietly, the Celtics are getting back on track as a legit title contender. The new Big Three (at least on the offensive end) all showed up as the C’s won at Dallas, their fourth win in a row. It was tied late in the fourth quarter before Rajon Rondo (20 pts, 10 rebs) scored eight of Boston’s next 11 points, getting into the lane to create layups and floaters, while Paul Pierce (29 pts) and Ray Allen (21 pts) added the free throws to keep the Mavs at arm’s length … Is it bad for Nate Robinson‘s impending free agency when 73-year-old Mike Finley is already getting more playing time than him? … The Nets looked like they might have been on their way to win #8 before Chris Bosh decided he wasn’t having it. Jersey was tied with Toronto midway through the third quarter of the Vince Carter Invitational, but then Bosh scored 15 of his 36 points the rest of the way as the Raptors pulled away. Bosh was spinning and dunking and bouncing around so much with those dreads flying behind him, he looked like Waka Flocka Flame‘s video stunt double … Other stat lines from Saturday: Zach Randolph had 20 points and 13 rebounds as Memphis dumped 123 on the Warriors in a win; John Salmons scored 26 to lead Milwaukee past Denver; Kirk Hinrich put up 17 points, 11 dimes and 3 steals as Chicago beat Philly to snap their 10-game losing streak while getting Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah back in the lineup; and Paul Millsap hung 22 points and 15 boards on the Hornets in a Utah rout … Tyreke Evans is going to be sidelined for about a week with a bruised jaw, so if you were planning to watch a Sacramento Kings game this week, don’t bother. Unless of course you’re a big Ime Udoka fan and have been waiting for his chance to shine … We’re out like the Jayhawks …

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