Live Blogging ESPN’s 24 Hours of College Basketball: Afternoon

We’re back for our third of four parts of our college basketball marathon. Between now and noon, we’ll be live blogging Northeastern v. Siena, Arkansas-Little Rock v. Tulsa, and Temple v. Georgetown. Tim will bookend the afternoon with the first half of the opener and the second half of the closer, while John S takes everything in-between.

6:00: Luis Guzman pushes it until he runs into two guys, who force a jump ball. Nobody works the possession arrow like the Hoyas. With 0.3 left and Georgetown on the line, I think this one’s about done.

5:58: Monroe on the high post works. Now, Temple will have about six ticks to go the distance, which means it’s not enough time for a pick-and-roll with Allen. Go with Brooks on the penetration, and either kick to the open look on the perimeter or toss it toward the tin; Allen has been very good on the boards.

5:55: Well, they did a pick-and-pop with Monroe, Temple recovered, and then the Hoyas did a pick-and-roll, but it was too late to go into him on a mismatch. Of course, the Owls miss another front end, and so G’Town is still down one with the ball with 17 ticks to go.

Monroe on the block…seriously this time.

5:52: Out of a timeout, Temple hoists a desperation three. Nice work, Fran. Being 3-for-22 from deep before that, you really think you’re due.

Let’s see if JT III can top that with the Hoyas in their own timeout, down one with 55 seconds. It’s a clear two-for-one situation, and it’s inconceivable that they wouldn’t go to Monroe on either the block or the high post.

5:49: Temple has missed three of its last four free throws, including the front end of a one-and-one (sidebar: I love the one-and-one) to keep this a one-possession game. Chris Wright hits two at the stripe on the other end to cut it to one.

5:44: Temple hits its own three before Allen gets a putback and foul, only to miss the and-one. It’s 44-42 Owls at the under-4 timeout.

Temple’s ball movement has been a lot better in this half than in the first (and I feel confident saying that even without watching that half), while Georgetown’s offense is still a little choppy. Good thing for them Big East season is a long time away.

5:40: Two Monroe three-point plays sandwich a Jason Clark trifecta for a 9-0 Hoya run and a 42-39 lead. In other news, there’s only five minutes left.

5:37: ELMORE: “How long ago did I take the SATs? A while.”

PATRICK: “They were only the SAs then.”

Okay, let’s break this down. First off, Elmore follows up his own question with a vague and pointless answer. Then, what does Mike Patrick think the “T” stands for? I can’t imagine he had anything specific in mind. Third, if anything, the SATs have reverted to a more “SA”–or shall I say, “essay”–status recently.

5:32: Luis Guzman finds Ramone Moore on a nice bounce pass for an easy layup and a three-point lead. It was a nice if delayed decision by the Owls to attack the 2-3 zone in the middle instead of passing the ball around the outside, expecting to wear the Hoyas out 35 seconds at a time.

5:27: “Temple didn’t know that Georgetown didn’t know that they didn’t know what kind of defense they were in.”

Read that gem from Lenny Elmore again. Is it too easy to say that we didn’t know that Len didn’t know that he didn’t know what he was saying?

Temple up 34-33 at the under-12 timeout, by the way, thanks to Allen’s double-double and Georgetown’s inept offense. It looks just like the Princeton offense, except they can’t make threes or backdoor passes.

5:22: I’m all for big men throwing backdoor passes, but Henry Sims probably should know better than throwing one when there are three Owls between passer and passee. The turnover leads to a breakout and a goaltending call on Sims. That’s okay, though: John Thompson III just wanted to intimidate Temple with that one.

5:20: Man, who’s coaching this second half? Doug Moe and Paul Westhead? Lavoy Allen’s second three-point play of the half pulls the Owls within three at 31-28. Temple has scored 11 points on its last five possessions; they had 13 at halftime.

5:16: Just some personal perspective on that first half: When I was in eighth grade, my team lost a game, 74-68. We played six minute quarters. So, in 24 minutes, two eighth-grade teams combined for 142 points. In 20 minutes, two college teams scored 32. I know you can say that maybe our eighth grade defense left a little to be desired, but we were in eighth grade! Half the team couldn’t make open layups!

5:13: After a Chris Wright three gives the Hoyas what we could only have thought was an insurmountable 12-point lead, the Owls have rebutted with two three-point plays (pending a free throw).

As for this whole TV timeout occurring before the free throw instead of after it like a few years ago, I…well, I don’t really have an opinion.

5:07: Two minutes into this half and we already have multiple field goals…along with guys getting away with carries, falling down while dribbling, and barely grazing iron. Man, I miss the MAAC.

5:04: John S, everybody, let him know! Let him know! Well, Tim is back on the recliner with a whole bevy of side topics to discuss if this thing doesn’t improve, including but not limited to: the legacy of John Chaney, Georgetown’s ugly uniforms, Greg Monroe’s spurning of Duke, and Temple’s awesome logo.

4:58: I can’t take this putrid game for another half. I’m going to have to tap out to Tim again. For his sake, I hope the teams manage to shoot better than 24% in the second half. I’ll be back in about an hour to join Tim for the Duke game. Until then, though, I leave you in his very capable hands.

4:50: An offensive explosion at the end of the half, as it’s now 19-13 at halftime. Patrick and Len Elmore at one point said that the Hoyas are “dominating” the Owls. Maybe, but this is like watching nerds fight. Georgetown has turned the ball over 8 times and shot only 30%. They’ve managed to be less bad, but barely.

4:39: Moral victory! The Owls gets to double-digits before halftime! It’s not just that these teams are missing, it’s how they are missing. These shots almost make you think there’s something wrong with the ball.

4:36: 14-7 with six minutes left in the first half. That would be fine if this were a football game. This is pathetic. And you can’t even blame this one on jet-lag or an odd start time. I wonder if somebody drugged Temple?

4:28: Georgetown’s Chris Wright just went to the bench with two fouls. He was 2 of 3 from the field. The rest of the players on the court are 3 for 26. This could get uglier.

4:22: Austin Freeman just drove to the basket for a layup. Points takes an 8-7 lead over fouls!

4:19: ESPN just ran one of the 10 dumbest graphics I’ve ever seen. It was “Greatest Marathon Moments.” At first I thought they meant moments in today’s marathon, but they meant marathons in general. One of the things listed was “Kiefer Sutherland in 24.” That was it. No explanation. And then Mike Patrick said, “If this were 24, the plot would still be building at Hour 17.” Really? Has Mike Patrick ever seen 24? It’s not exactly a slow-paced show. I guess I should just be thankful he hasn’t brought up Britney Spears yet. By the way, fouls and points are now even at six.

4:14: What the hell is going on? There have been more fouls than points so far. This is an inauspicious start.

4:07: Remember when John Chaney coached Temple? That guy was nuts.

4:05: Can Temple beat the Hoyas? I hope so. Otherwise the Cal State Fullerton win will remain the biggest upset of the day. As usual, the underdog Owls don’t really have the size to match up well with Georgetown. They also lost their best scorer, Dionte Christmas. Senior Ryan Brooks appeared to fill that void in the opener, scoring 23 against Delaware, but it’ll be tough to replace Christmas’ ability to create on offense.

4:00: Can Greg Monroe be the kind of player so many people hyped him as last year? Asking him to be a dominant inside player in last year’s Big East, which featured DeJuan Blair, Hasheem Thabeet, and Luke Harangody, might have been a lot to ask of him. Only Harangody remains of those three, though, and Monroe has possibly put it together to fill that void. If he can, he and Austin Freeman can make Georgetown a force to be reckoned with.

3:53: Arkansas-Little Rock should be a little disappointed in this half. Other than Solomon Bozeman, who has a great name, nobody’s really provided much spark for the Trojans. They’re down 17 now, with 70 seconds left in the game. Meanwhile, Greg Monroe and the Hoyas are going to tip-off against the Temple Owls in our next game. We’re finishing up our 16th hour of the Marathon, and the 14th hour of NPI’s coverage of it.

3:45: Bryson Pope with a nonchalant behind-the-back pass to Justin Hurtt for the layup. Tulsa’s up 13 with 4:31 to play. Meanwhile, they just showed Derek Fisher highlights from his days at Arkansas-Little Rock. It’s hard to remember him playing for a team besides the Utah Jazz.

3:33: Uzoh dribbles around at the top of the key. Backs up a little. Then he takes one step inside the three-point line and takes the worst shot in basketball. Granted, his team was up 14 at the time, but either take the three or drive to the basket. He made the shot.

3:29: The Trojans are 2 for 11 in the second half. Tulsa is 6 for 13. The Golden Hurricane have (has?) also been able to work players besides Jordan into the action in this half. Joe Richard has helped out inside, and Uzoh and Medder have picked it up a little. They lead 40-26 with 10:40 left in the game.

3:19: I bet Fran Fraschilla went into announcing because his name is so conducive to puns. So far they’ve talked about his “Fran-chise Players,” his “Fran-tastic Four” and his “Ultimate Sex Fran-tasy.” OK, I may have made one of those up.

3:13: Well, I was so distracted by that Key Jewelers commercial that I missed the first four minutes of the second half. Apparently Tulsa scored six unanswered points, bringing their lead to 11. Also, Wayne Burton picked up his third foul. The Arkansas-Little Rock window for a comeback may be closing.

3:10: What is the relationship between that guy and the deaf girl in that Kay Jewelers commercial? That kiss at the end certainly implies that the two are married, but how can he be married to a deaf girl if he’s JUST NOW learning sign language? Isn’t that something that needs to happen rather early in the relationship? I guess they could be dating, but they appear to live a house together, and that’s a lot of presents under the tree for two single people. I hope Kay makes a sequel to clear up some of these unanswered questions.

3:04: Zack Greinke won the AL Cy Young Award. The BBWA clearly doesn’t read NPI. Oh well, it was probably the right choice.

3:01: One question while we’re at halftime: Why is this the 2 PM game? No offense to Tulsa and the Trojans, but if ESPN can get Monmouth and St. Peter’s to play at 6 AM, and Hawaii/Northern Colorado and Saint Mary’s/San Diego State to each start at 11 PM local time, then you’d think they could get a bigger program for a prime afternoon spot. They couldn’t ask Kentucky and Miami of Ohio to push their game back a day? What about a team that needs the national spotlight, like Butler? I don’t mean to give the impression that I’m not enthralled by this Golden Hurricane team. I’m only wondering.

2:53: Well, that separation never came. Tulsa should really be up by a lot more, but Uzoh and Justin Hurtt are a combined 1 for 11 from the field. They haven’t been able to capitalize on the Trojans’ inability to guard Jerome Jordan. It’s 25-20 at the half, which isn’t even the lead Northeastern had on Siena in the last game. This doesn’t bode well for the new C-USA Top Dogs.

2:47: Tulsa’s gotten a little sloppy with the ball, with a back-to-back turnovers. If they don’t get some separation before halftime, then the Trojans could stage a comeback in the second half. Wayne Burton, who’s been on the bench with two fouls for most of the first half, will coming in for Arkansas-Little Rock. He may be able to limit Jordan.

2:40: Arkansas-Little Rock’s assist-to-turnover ratio is 0:9. I’m no expert, but that’s probably not ideal. Interestingly, though, the scoring for their team has been pretty balanced, even without a single assist. Somehow that ball’s getting distributed. Their defense on everybody except Jordan, who they can’t keep off the free throw line, has been good as well. It’s kept the Trojans in the game for most of the first half.

2:26: Since Uzoh’s three, there’s only been one field goal for either team. Once again, it’s mainly been poor shooting. Well, wait a second, Donte Medder just hit a three for Tulsa, and they now lead 15-10.

2:19: Can we talk a little about Tulsa’s nickname? It’s terrible. First of all, modifiers in nicknames are bad (except for the Rainbow Warriors–that one’s excellent). Too cumbersome. But modifying “hurricane”? Is a regular hurricane not intimidating enough? Also, how can a hurricane be Golden?

If that’s not enough, they decided not to pluralize it. It’s not the Golden HurricaneS, just the Hurricane. Collectively, they make up just one hurricane. Singular nickname should be reserved for the WNBA.

2:14: Well, Uzoh and Jordan look pretty good so far, combining for all of the Golden Hurricane’s first 10 points. Jordan picked up the first seven, and then Uzoh put Tulsa in the lead with a three.

2:10: Tulsa’s probably happy John Calipari’s over in Kentucky now. Conference-USA may be open now, and Tulsa may be the new Top Dog. It’ll be weird to live in a world where Tulsa can be described as a Top Dog. But they’ve got seniors Ben Uzoh and Jerome Jordan, who potentially set up a nice outside-inside duo.

2:07: Man, the Arkansas-Little Rock/Tulsa game started literally instantaneously. As soon as the last game ended, they went to Tulsa, where the toss was already in the air. You gotta love that efficiency.

2:04: Northeastern goes down shooting. Chaisson Allen made his second three with 10 seconds left, but the Huskies are still down seven. This game is all but over. Get ready for Arkansas-Little Rock and Tulsa, starting next.

1:52: Ubiles has 25 of Siena’s 51 points. He also has 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Rossiter’s also been pretty integral, with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Other than those two, though, the Saints haven’t needed a whole lot else. Their defense continues to keep Northeastern at bay. Tellingly, Matt Janning, the Huskies’ best offensive player, has only taken two shots in the second half.

1:42: Credit to Raftery and McDonough: They’ve been mentioning that Siena coach Fran McCaffery is worried about his team’s lack of depth, and that’s clearly coming into play. The team is visibly tired, coming short on some jumpers and missing easy layups. Even so, the size advantage they have is getting them some easy points. They lead by six with 7:37 left.

1:33: ESPN’s really pimping this College Basketball Encyclopedia. Is now really the time for a comprehensive, bound encyclopedia? Can’t we just Google stuff now?

1:27: Manny Adako, another Northeastern forward, just picked up his fourth foul, furthering the Huskies foul trouble. Meanwhile, I’m not so sure that Siena’s defense is that good. They’re getting away with some physical play, and Northeastern hasn’t yet been able to make them pay for overplaying the ball. With that said, the Huskies only have three points this half.

1:23: Northeastern calls timeout as they can’t seem to solve Siena’s defense in the second half. Ryan Rossiter’s wingspan looks massive against the small Huskies lineup, and Northeastern’s most effective big man, Nkem Ojougboh, just picked up his fourth foul.

1:14: Siena keeps getting good looks at the basket, both in transition and in the half-court set. Unfortunately, they’ve missed a bunch of the easy shots they got for themselves. It’s frustrating, but eventually those have got to start falling, right? They’ve pulled to within one now after four minutes in the second half.

1:06: Apparently Nolan Smith sent Jason Williams (should I be calling him Jay? Or did he give up that charade?) a text message saying tonight’s game was going to be his coming out party. I like the move of making that announcement via text message. It’s low-key enough that nobody will think he’s show-boating, but has enough of an audience (since he did send it to an analyst at ESPN) such that if he plays well tonight, he’ll look prophetic and determined.

1:03: John S in again. Tim didn’t spend nearly as much time praising McDonough and Raftery as I expected. I was planning to devote a lot of the second half to knocking those two down a peg, but I guess that would seem vicious and unwarranted now. I’ll have to stick the actual game, which has been pretty uninspiring thus far.

12:54: I’m gonna hand it back to John S for the second half, where he won’t pay nearly enough attention to McDonough and Raftery.

12:50: Janning hits a beautiful transition floater at the halftime buzzer, making a shot most people brick look easy. (Seriously, when you’re going full-speed, the floater is as hard a shot as there is).

Over the last eight minutes, though, Ubiles has been Ubi-more for Siena,* with 13 first-half points and help close the gap to 26-20 at the break.

*To get that joke, you have to understand that it’s pronounced “Yoo-bah-less.”

12:40: Siena makes its run, with 10 consecutive points to cut the lead to four. They just ran an excellent skip pass with a fade screen for a three-pointer from Clarence Jackson–similar to what Drexel ran earlier today. Northeastern hasn’t scored since the last TV timeout.

Meanwhile, the Bottom Line reports that “Portland State expected to announce that Jerry Glanville will not return as head coach.” I got really excited halfway through that for the possibility that PSU was announcing the hiring of Jerry Glanville. Well, now maybe he can come back to Fox and be the worst football analyst imaginable again.

12:31: Well, in direct refutation of what I said, the shots are still not falling for Siena, who trail 20-6. The Saints have eight turnovers in 12 minutes and don’t look anything like a competent NCAA Tournament team. At the same time, they lost their first three games last year before coming back to win 27 on the season.

Northeastern looks very solid behind Janning and Baptist Bataille. I’m getting a Matt Harpring vibe from Janning, but I’m pretty sure most of that has to do with the fact that his name is Matt. And Bataille isn’t doing anything particularly notable, but his name is Baptist Bataille.

12:29: Aww, Ronald Moore–the Siena guard who nailed game-tying and game-winning threes in last year’s first round contest with Ohio State–presented Raftery with a T-shirt saying “Onions!” and Moore’s own note “Double Order.”

12:22: Edwin Ubiles has two buckets the last three trips for Siena (sandwiching an airballed floater and missed dunk by Ubiles on the other trip) to pull the Saints back to 13-6. Siena is a team that feeds off its full-court press, and it can’t get into the press when it doesn’t score.

12:18: It’s an 11-0 run for Northeastern, as Siena still has just one field goal. It’s not like the Saints aren’t getting some good looks, so I expect them to start falling eventually. Matt Janning has looked good so far for the Huskies.

With all the injuries in Evanston and the graduation of Ben Woodside at North Dakota State, Northeastern is probably the second best team in the country that starts with “North.” They’re no better than the third best team, though, named the “Huskies.”

12:11: As in pretty much all of our games, it’s been a fairly sloppy start here in Albany. It took Northeastern 3 1/2 minutes to score, but the Huskies have an early 5-2 lead.

It hasn’t been a sloppy start for Sean and Bill. Exhibits A & B, via paraphrase:

SEAN: “Some opening jitters for the Huskies. Rare exposure for the team and their first game of the season.”

BILL: “Plus you’re here: a big name in Boston.”

SEAN: “Franklin looking considerably bulked up from a year ago.”

BILL: “Why do you look at me when you say that? Is there a message there?”

12:02: We all know why I’m here for this game: It’s McDonough and Raftery, baby! The best announcing duo in sports gets the best game thus far today, with a Saints squad returning four starters from a team that gave Louisville a run in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season taking on a Northeastern team expected to contend for the Colonial conference crown.

Tip goes to Siena, and Northeastern goes “mantaman!”

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