Office Hours: Calm Before The Storm Edition

By David Scott - March 09, 2008


It was, until Sunday afternoon's William & Mary takedown of VCU, a pretty ho-hum start to the NCAA's post-season and The Professor was getting a little antsy for some nail-biting. The Professor was also in deep anticipation for the series finale of "The Wire."

As much as Bunk, McNulty and Bubs delivered, so too did the NEC's No. 4 seed Mt. Saint Mary's, which took out No. 1 seed Robert Morris Sunday afternoon. According to my expert on all such things, the incomparable Jerry Palm, that signifies "Robert Morris finish(ing) the (regular) season 26-7, which means they will hold the new record for the most wins by a team left out of the NCAA tournament. Akron and Vermont were left out last year with 25 wins.

The Colonials are thus the first AQ for the NIT. Congrats. Or we're sorry. (Speaking of that, The Professor will have a Tuesday look at the NIT/CBI situation. Look for it here at "Hang Time.")

The night was capped off with a wonderful double OT WCC semi-final in which San Diego fought back and out-defended St. Mary's for a chance to take down Gonzaga in the title tilt on Monday night. If that occurs, the WCC should be a three-bid league for the first time ever. The game ended just before 2:30 a.m. (EDT) and it was well worth the lost sleep.

And now, the grade book is open. . .

A: Joey Dorsey, Memphis
His coach told him earlier in the week to write his own story. On Saturday at the FedEx Forum, Dorsey Menckened a masterpiece in his senior day farewell. It was all Mr. Dorsey and zero Mr. Fumbles. Dorsey went for 16 and 12 with a block and just one turnover in the Tigers' rout of UAB.

"When Joey Dorsey has that kind of presence around the basket, we are really, really good," said John Calipari, who now has the three-peat of 30-win seasons. "We have been trying to figure out ways to get him going. He was tremendous."

Dorsey gave energy and effort and looked very much like the rising second round pick that he has shown glimpses of all season. Whey Dorsey rebounds and stays focused, he is, as Calipari suggested, a difference maker. It was Dorsey's 8th double-double of the season, but his first in a month.

"The biggest thing," said Calipari. "is that he would shoot the ball, miss it, and then go rebound it; which he just hadn't done in three or four weeks."

D: Maryland
Losers in five of its last seven including a bad loss at Virginia on Sunday. The Terps don't profile as a team that has earned its way into the NCAA Tournament.

A: Josh Shipp
The Professor is going to ignore whether or not it was a legal shot that Shipp swished on Saturday (try that a few times fast) and we're going to instead look at the aesthetic beauty of the Larry Bird imitation.

We're also going to suggest a rule change: The player is in bounds, the ball is in bounds and the goal is in bounds so the shot should be allowed. If not encouraged.

One more thing, with all these close escapes for UCLA and Georgetown -- most prominently -- we tend to be in the camp that believes that kind of magic runs out at a certain point and it's usually during the post-season. There's a reason these teams are playing repeated close ones and most often that reason is a flaw within the team. The Sweet 16 and Elite 8 have a way of exposing flaws.

C-minus: Indiana
Losing to Michigan State is forgivable, losing to Penn State is not and the Hoosiers are now 8-4 in their last 12 and on everyone's lips as a potential first round upset victim. The Dan Dakich transition has been uneasy to say the least and IU needs a bit of a run in the Big Ten tourney to turn things around before the Big Dance commences. Otherwise, they will have negative momentum heading into March 20 or 21st and that is not a good type of Mo to have, especially now.

A: Donnie Jones, Marshall
The first-year head man for the Thundering Herd got tossed in style this past week when he got his first career technical and his second career technical in a matter of moments, earning him his first career ejection.

Best yet, the ejection came with 17 minutes left in the game and the Herd trailing by 12. They won the game by a bucket on Mark Dorris' made jumper with three seconds left in the game.

A: Ronnie Thompson, CSTV
The rookie analyst was in Game Room with our guy, Greg Amsinger on Saturday and JT's kid and JT III's brother performed quite admirably on the couch alongside AMSINGER (I tend to sing his name because of Ammy's fabulous commercial). Ronnie deserves another shot on the sidelines after the Ball State debacle, but if he were to choose the TV path, he would be well-equipped as well.

B: C-USA Tourney Bracket
Aside from the 5-12 Southern Miss/Rice match-up on Wednesday, the league is providing The Professor with the legitimate chance for some compelling first-day action with the 7-10 of Tulsa and East Carolina, the 8-9 of Tulane and Marshall and the 6/11 of UTEP and SMU, which will be a re-match of the double OT win by the Mustangs on March 1 that some say could have been the league's game of the year.

Remember to check out all of our live-blogging at CSTV.com's "Posting Up" blog throughout the next month.

A: Bob Hurley, St. Anthnoy's
Twenty-five state tiles. Wowza. The word "miracle" doesn't begin to explain it.

Material from school and league releases in addition to wire story news were used in compiling this column.

Posted by David Scott at 05:55 PM on March 09, 2008
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