Saturday, February 9

Running Diary: Georgetown @ Louisville

So this is one of those few posts that I'll throw up here that has nothing to do with either college football or baseball. The reason should be obvious - look at the post date. If that still doesn't convince you, try and count the number of times you've heard of Georgetown football. Yeah, that's what I thought.

I haven't been following college basketball this year as much as I have in years past; that's partly my fault (laziness) and partly due to a couple of major side projects I've taken on. Okay, technically this is my side project, but I have plans for this too. The only problem is that I'm one of the major contributors for Rotojunkie's preseason baseball package (the Fix), so I went from BCS breakdowns to preseason baseball and totally missed basketball somewhere in that. So I'm due.

While I'm at it, the Fix is due for its launch in a little over a week if everything goes well; once that happens, we should be debuting a bunch of new posts. I've been talking with James about a series we want to do with college football, so hopefully we can roll that out starting in a few weeks.

8:58 pm: Holy crap, Rick Pitino's in a white suit. I'm really not sure what to make of it... I mean, Bruce Pearl spends half of the Vols' games in an orange suit and pit stains, so I'm really not one to critique other coaches' choice of dress. But it looks odd.

On a related note, the basketball version of College Gameday isn't as good as the football one - a little bit too heavy on the blowhard for my liking - but it's pretty solid for an ESPN offering.

9:05 pm: We've opened with a "defensive" battle - really it's a combination of defense and bad shooting so far. I'm hoping like hell that someone tops 70 in this game. First score of the game is - ironically - on a complete defensive breakdown 90 seconds in.

9:06 pm: So you know how I said I was totally enthralled by college football? That's really only part of why I haven't followed college ball; the other part is hockey. I went ahead and splurged on the online version of Center Ice, and it by and large hasn't been terrible. Sure, I can't watch any Caps games (but there's probably a downside to that; I don't know what it is yet), but the most annoying thing with Center Ice is its occasional tendency to freeze up. I've had this happen a couple of times where it just stops working for a couple of hours at a time, and tonight it was only giving me small pictures.

9:09 pm: Erin Andrews finally explains why Pitino's in a white suit - long story short: motivational ploy. Taking a page from Mark Richt, perhaps.

9:18 pm: First rule when writing on a laptop: don't drop it. I just violated the first rule. After a pretty dead first few minutes, it's turned kind of interesting, but the play has only been solid so far. I'm watching NC State @ Maryland during TOs; it's a completely uninteresting game except for Maryland wearing some hideous-looking mustard things that pass as jerseys.

Why have my last two updates been about clothing?

9:24 pm: I'm starting to regret my desire to write about this game. The last three possessions: steal to a bad, off-balance shot, missed wide-open 3 followed by a scrum and ball out-of-bounds, traveling. Of course, while I'm writing this we see yet another wide-open 3 followed by a scrum and ball out-of-bounds. This is the best conference in NCAA?

9:27 pm: Georgetown apparently runs the Princeton offense; Louisville is looking like they run the no-motion offense. I define shitty offensive output as averaging a point a minute, and Louisville isn't even at that rate; that's right, we're 14-10 Georgetown with 8:37 left. Someone want to start throwing shit up and see if it works?

9:29 pm: Louisville F/C Scott Padgett and Georgetown F/C spend 20 seconds beating the paste out of each other before Padgett is called for an offensive foul. We're amazingly under 8, and I need to check to see if either team is shooting above 35%. Shockingly, both teams are, but how the hell that's happening is a mystery to me.

9:30 pm: Maryland update: they've got a guy whose name I can't pronounce but whose hair is awesome. I love the out-of-control afros.

9:32 pm: Louisville finally unveils their full-court press, and ....well, at first glance I'm unimpressed. Then I remember I'm used to Bruce Pearl's version, which is simply beyond nuts - and as awesome as it is frustrating. Meanwhile, Georgetown's nudged their lead to 6, which doesn't feel like it's solid.

9:35 pm: We finally get a TO graphic - Georgetown 4, Louisville 10. I feel validated for thinking that Louisville was sucking on the offensive end now. Meanwhile, G-Town is managing to consistently get the ball strong inside for scores, opening their lead to 8 - which feels like a lead now.

9:37 pm: We're to the under 4 TV timeout, and I'm floored that there's only 9 fouls combined between the two teams. That just doesn't feel right, but I guess the TOs have been skill, not fouls.

9:39 pm: Maryland update: not only are the guys on the floor wearing mustard, so are the fans - which means that's intentional. God, I live in a weird town.

9:41 pm: Louisville's press finally pays dividends as GT turns it over almost immediately after inbounding the ball. This is the first time that GT's looked bad in the last 8 minutes; now I'm thinking that if Louisville can't get their 3-pt. machine going, they may just need to get to the line a ton to make up for it.

9:45 pm: Louisville nailed their first 3-pointer of the game, getting the crowd into it (finally!), but ...way to go, D. Hibbert all alone for the easy 2 - but L-Ville nails a 3. Austin Freeman with a 3 in response, and all I have to say right now is: about damn time. Of course, we get all excited about this only to go into halftime... but shit, I'll take it.

And the half ends with a block transitioned to a GT layup, so they're up by 8 going into the locker room. By and large, it's a pretty crummy first half that was redeemed at least partly by the last two minutes, which were exciting.

10:03 pm: One of the odder trends I've seen today while watching basketball is a sudden update in the music everyone uses. Most jarring music: CBS busting out the Linkin Park, which is disturbing on more levels than I like to think of.

Oh, and if anyone cares, Pitino's back to his usual duds. He's not superstitious, nope.

10:05 pm: Has Erin Andrews always been that well-endowed, or am I the last person to notice? Still, I'll just blame not noticing on her hair, which is positively in the WTF? zone. She's still attractive, but the hair is bizarre.

10:07 pm: Here comes Louisville. Padgett scores thanks to a goaltending call and GT turns it over on the next possession and immediately fouls. Padgett draws another foul on the next possession, and even though the Cardinals are down by 4, I'm starting to like their chances now. In a close game, I always want to be the first team to get their opponent to 7 - and 10 - fouls.

10:09 pm: Beautiful drive down the lane and layup to cut the margin to two. Right as the announcers are saying that GT needs to take high-percentage shots, someone launches an ill-timed three from the corner. Good job.

10:13 pm: Bad foul by McGee (Louisville) in the backcourt to send the game to the under-16 TV TO.

10:18 pm: Scott Padgett = Chris Mihm. Discuss. Hibbert's won the battle down low, although Padgett is pretty good at drawing fouls - add another on Maclin.

Meanwhile - holy crap, Jerry Smith has put the Cardinals back in the lead and the crowd's finally woken up. Good job.

10:20 pm: Hah! Padgett just committed the laziest foul I've ever seen - a half-assed reach on a drive. Whoops.

10:23 pm: Edgar Sosa (who I keep wanting to call Jorge Sosa) nails a three, followed by an easy, idiotic TO by Georgetown.... and Dick Vitale inches closer to a heart attack.

10:26 pm: We're back out of the timeout using a camera much closer to the court - weird angle. Maybe the guy on the top camera needed to hit the head. Oh well. Meanwhile, Louisville's surged to a 6-point lead, Padgett draws another foul, and Vitale is finally starting to grate again. He really needs to dial down the Italian references to Pitino; I think we all know by now, kthx.

10:28 pm: Another backcourt foul by Louisville - this time it's Jerry Smith. I really don't like backcourt fouls without good cause, and there has to be a damn good cause for it to actually work. Meanwhile, Patrick Ewing, Jr. draws another foul on the same possession, which would drive me nuts if I was on Louisville's bench.

10:30 pm: 31 minutes in, we finally see our first trap of the night. We also have our first egregious band error; pep bands shouldn't play Green Day. They shouldn't play "We Got the Funk," either, unless they actually have the funk (hint: they don't, unless they didn't shower that day).

10:35 pm: I'm starting to be impressed by Hibbert, who's showed a hook shot to go with the rebounding and shot blocking. If he could refine that a bit...

10:38 pm: It's block central here - Sosa blocked on a breakaway layup, Louisville blocks GT's next three - and Padgett draws another foul! Good god. He's made more free throws on his own than G-Town's taken, and of course nobody has actually mentioned that. And yes, the margin (Louisville by 6) is less than the FT disparity (Louisville by 8).

10:41 pm: Georgetown needs to remember to play without both hands around their neck. It's just a bad idea.

Earl Clark hits a 3-pointer to pull Louisville up by 9. That could be the game, the way the Hoyas have played this half. They'll have to get tougher before the tourney rolls around.

10:43 pm: Hibbert once again made Padgett his bitch, blocking yet another shot of his. The funny part is of all the fouls Padgett has drawn, maybe one of them was Hibbert's. He's done a great job down low.

10:47 pm: Padgett forced again into a bad shot; Hibbert shouldn't get direct credit for that, but he was in the area - and Vitale finally gives him some credit for it. It's a shame that none of the other Hoyas bothered to show up in the 2nd half. Yes, they've scored only 13 points in the 2nd half.

10:50 pm: And Vitale just dropped that scoring note in the above line. Wonder if someone's reading this.

It's all but over now; Louisville extends the lead to 10 with 90 seconds to go, and Georgetown cannot move the ball quickly. They're not designed to, so I can't blame their offensive design for the loss.... but I can blame their turnovers for the shoddy play in the 2nd half.

10:52 pm: Ewing Jr. hits a three-point play and Louisville immediately wastes their next possession. We're within 7, 1:10 left. Probably nothing to see here, but....

10:54 pm: Jonathan Wallace throws up a POS shot and it somehow goes in. Padgett turns around and draws another foul; since I've mentioned it so much, he's a 59% shooter on the season, 6-7 tonight ... and misses the front end, but G-Town loses the ball immediately out of bounds. Padgett fouled again; I swear, he hasn't drawn all of the fouls, it's just seemed like it. He's now 8-10 on the night. A hasty GT three (missed) and a foul will all but seal it, as we're at three possessions already.

10:57 pm: Looks like Louisville is back. Sure, it's a win on their home court against a team that's been suspect in big games (the 2007-08 KU football of basketball), but it's a nice coming-out party for them.