Upsets rule Day 2 of the Dance, and Kevin Garnett is back

03.21.09 10 years ago 35 Comments

If Day One of the NCAA Tournament lacked the drama everybody expected, Day Two more than made up for it. Put it this way: two of the late-night batch of games went into overtime (one to double-OT), and they still got outshined by another game in that same time slot. The biggest story was 13-seed Cleveland State knocking off Wake Forest, who if you remember was the No. 1-ranked team in the country not too long ago. This wasn’t your storybook Bryce Drew/Princeton-backdoor kind of upset, either; Cleveland State pretty much dominated Wake from the get-go, flirting with a 20-piecing throughout its 84-69 win. Cedric Jackson — the same guy who beat Syracuse with that impossible full-court heave in the regular season — was the star, putting up 19 points, seven boards, eight assists and three steals and outplaying Wake’s star PG Jeff Teague … In the overtime games, Siena upset Ohio State thanks to two HUGE threes by Ronald Moore — one that tied it in the first OT, and the game-winner in the second OT — and 12-seed Wisconsin upset Florida State on Trevon Hughes‘ and-one layup with two seconds left … Earlier in the day, Oklahoma State’s Byron Eaton also hit a driving layup plus-one in the final seconds that was the game-winner against Tennessee, Marquette barely survived Utah State in a nail-biter, 12-seed Arizona upset Utah, and 11-seed Dayton upset West Virginia … As for the 1-seeds in action, Louisville and Pitt, they each got more than they expected from their respective 16-seeds. East Tennessee State was within one possession of Pitt well into the second half until DaJuan Blair (27 pts, 16 rebs) took over, and Morehead State was only down two at halftime before Louisville slapped on that press and ran away with it … When Rick Pitino‘s squad was really rolling, it got so bad that Bill Raftery was congratulating Morehead for simply getting the ball past halfcourt and getting a shot off … 3-seed Kansas also got all they could handle from North Dakota State; or really just from Ben Woodside, who dropped 37 on Sherron Collins‘ head. Collins gave him 32 right back, but he’s supposed to do that … In the NBA, Kevin Garnett returned to the Celtics lineup, playing 15 minutes (10 pts, 4 rebs) and sitting out the fourth quarter in a win at San Antonio. Also getting Ray Allen back (19 pts), Boston wasn’t great, but benefited from the Spurs (namely Tony Parker and Mike Finley) choking on key free throws down the stretch and going 4-for-17 beyond the arc for the game … With less than 10 seconds left, the Spurs were down two needed a stop. Paul Pierce found a wide-open Big Baby on the baseline, who wetted a jumper and sent San Antonio’s announcers into a state of depression. Sean Elliott sounded like he’d decided to give up on life … With the loss, the Spurs are now just one game up on Houston (who blew out the Wolves last night) for 2nd place in the West. It’s crazy how last summer, right after the Ron Artest trade, everybody was putting the Rockets among the top two or three teams in the West, but nobody would have guessed it would happen like this, with T-Mac sidelined for most of the season, Aaron Brooks running the point, and Von Wafer getting significant crunch-time minutes … Mavs/Pacers was tied with 19 seconds left, Dallas ball, so you knew where they were going. Being guarded by Jeff Foster, Dirk Nowitzki milked the clock, measured his man, took a hard step left and squeezed off the fadeaway. Bottoms. Seeing as Dirk has been money on just about every fadeaway we’ve seen him take for the last two weeks, there was little doubt that one was going in … Some big stat lines from Friday: Chris Paul had 32 points, nine assists and five steals in a win over Memphis; Deron Williams put up 24 points and 11 dimes in a win at OKC; Antonio McDyess (who’s been such a beast lately he might have to be ‘roid tested) had 24 points and 17 boards in a win over the Clippers; Gerald Wallace posted 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists against Toronto; J.R. Smith dropped 40 on the Wizards; and Sam Dalembert pulled down 23 rebounds (11 offensive) to go with 15 points in a loss to the Warriors … Today’s NCAA tourney schedule includes Memphis/Maryland, UConn/Texas A&M, Villanova/UCLA, Duke/Texas, Carolina/LSU and Oklahoma/Michigan. And in Portland, where some of the Dime crew has been posted this week on business, we’ll be in the building for Gonzaga/Western Kentucky and Washington/Purdue. Yesterday, Dime’s Aron Phillips (who went to college in Portland) sent this e-mail: “Just walked down to Compound Gallery, my gear spot in Portland, and no joke, walked in and saw Isaiah Thomas and three other dudes from the UW team reading Dime.” … We’re out like Robert Morris …

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