Quick Midday Recap: Curry Explodes, Roger is Clutch, McClinton Dominates

March 21st, 2008

A quick review of the morning action on Day Two of the NCAA Tournament:

(10) Davidson 82 - (7) Gonzaga 76
The first big games of the first round that actually lived up to its hype. Stephen Curry scored 40 points, including an amazing 30 in the second half, to lead Davidson to the mini-upset. Gonzaga tried many times to run away with the game in the first thirty minutes, getting up 10 with just 13 minutes to go. But too much Curry and not enough clutch play down the stretch did in the Zags. As was the case all season, the Bulldogs simply lacked that one go-to player that could put them over the edge. Steven Gray had big moments early, Jeremy Pargo had big moments in the middle, but it was only Curry who had big moments in the end.

(12) Western Kentucky 101 - (15) Drake 99
Drake's magical season came to an end due to an amazing game-winning three from Ty Rogers. Western Kentucky came out firing and was shooting close to 60% for the first 35 minutes of the game.. but down 74-59 with 8 minutes left, Drake finally found its long-range touch. Once in overtime, the Bulldogs had many chances to pull away but their lack of inside presence and ability to break guys down off the dribble was damning. There's really only so many times you can settle for 40 foot shots. Both teams made bonehead decision in the OT session, especially a foul by WKU's Boris Siakam. But Siakam made up for his wrongdoing by hitting a pair of clutch ft's with 21 seconds left.

(7) Miami 78 - (10) Saint Mary's 64
Up 5 at half, things were looking good for Saint Mary's. But Jack McClinton's 32 point second half outburst (every bit as good as Stephen Curry's half) was more than enough to put away the Gaels. At various points in the second half, he scored 14 in a row for Miami, 10 in a row, and 8 in a row.

(7) Butler 81 - (10) South Alabama 61
Like the above game in some sense, this was neck and neck for 15 minutes with South Alabama leading 23-22. But a three-point barrage by Pete Campbell and AJ Graves broke open the game and the Bulldogs never looked back. Campbell ended up with 26 points, including 8 of 10 from downtown. South Alabam scoring leader Demetric Bennett was held to just 6 points thanks to solid D by Drew Streicher. Butler now faces Georgetown in the 2nd round.

(2) Tennessee 72 - (15) American 57
For 30 minutes the Eagles gave it a good run before the Vols talent and athleticism pulled away. Garrison Carr hit back to back threes midway through the second half to tie the game at 40. Tennessee then called a timeout, ran off 10 straight points and never looked back. Carr, who averaged 18 on the season, ended up with 26 of American's 57 points. Tennessee's Chris Lofton was just 1-7 from the floor, but JaJuan Smith and others picked up the slack.

(2) Georgetown 66 - (15) UMBC 47
Nothing terribly exciting to note here. UMBC showed some heart, keeping the score relatively close for most of the game, but you never got the sense they really had the upset in them.

(2) Texas 74 - (15) Austin Peay 54
This game was well over by the 10 minute mark with Texas leading 22-5. Whatever happened after that really didn't matter.

(13) San Diego 70 - (4) UCONN 69
More on this game soon!

Overall: Some fireworks by Stephen Curry and Jack McClinton, not to mention Pete Campbell's 8 of 10 shooting were the first real big individual efforts of the tournament. Ty Rogers clutch game-winning OT three was the first of what hopefully will be many buzzer-beaters over the next couple weeks.