Saturday, March 27, 2021

17 Teams Left

For me, the day with the most regional finals is the best day of the year in the KHSAA.  That was today, and there were some amazing games:

1st Region Final (at Murray St. Univ.):
McCracken Co. 45, Murray 40

2d Region Final (at Madisonville-N. Hopkins):
University Heights 63, Madisonville-N. Hopkins 61

5th Region Final (at Cent. Hardin):
(4) Elizabethtown 72, John Hardin 63

6th Region Final (at Lou. Valley):
Bullitt East 69, Lou. Western 49

7th Region Final (at Lou. Valley):
(5) Lou. Ballard 83, Lou. Manual 55

8th Region Final (at Henry Co.):
Oldham Co. 62, N. Oldham 56

10th Region Final (at Mason Co.):
George Rogers Clark 60, Campbell Co. 59

11th Region Final (at E. Kentucky Univ.):
Madison Cent. 80, (6) Lex. Douglass 62

12th Region Final (at Lincoln Co.):
Boyle Co. 54, Lincoln Co. 48

13th Region Final (at Corbin Arena):
Knox Cent. 78, (7) N. Laurel 63

15th Region Final (at Appalachian Wireless Arena):
Paintsville 48, Johnson Cent. 46 (Overtime)

16th Region Final (at Morehead St. Univ.):
(10) Ashland Blazer 62, Rowan Co. 58 (Overtime)

Four teams from the AP's final top 10 are going to State:  (4) Elizabethtown, (5) Lou. Ballard, (T8) Bowling Green, and (10) Ashland Blazer.  Here's what happened to the rest of them.

1.  Lexington Catholic lost to Madison Central in the 11th Regional Quarter-Finals.
2.  St. Henry lost to Fort Thomas Highlands in the 9th Regional Semi-Finals.
3.  Covington Catholic lost to St. Henry in the 9th Regional Quarter-Finals.
6.  Lex. Douglass lost to Madison Central in the 11th Regional Final.
7.  N. Laurel lost to Knox Central in the 13th Regional Final.
T8.  Lou. DeSales lost to Bullitt East in the 6th Regional Semi-Finals.


  1. I feel sorry for the Syracuse and Houston fans who get the middle of the night game. UK gets this game a lot, and I never like it.

  2. Houston leads 15-5 at the under-12 timeout in the first half. This has not been a banner day for offense.

  3. 3-point shooting so far today:

    Oregon St: 5-13 (38.5 percent)
    Oral Roberts: 8-31 (25.8 percent)
    Loyola: 5-23 (21.7 percent)
    Villanova: 3-17 (17.6 percent)
    Baylor: 3-19 (15.8 percent)
    Arkansas: 1-9 (11.1 percent)

    That's a lot of missed three-pointers. Props to Arkansas for attacking the rim.

  4. Houston falls asleep, their lead falls to 17-13 with 7:54 left in the first half.

  5. So far, these teams have combined to go 4-18 from three-point range.

  6. Houston leads 30-20 at the half. Syracuse is 1-10 on three's. Houston is 5-17. I'm already looking forward to seeing Gonzaga and Creighton tomorrow.

  7. Earlier in the week, Madison Central went 15-21 from three-point range and beat Lexington Catholic 101-97 in a 32-minute game.

  8. Houston leads by nine, 48 to 39, with 7:51 left. I'm not sure the Orangemen can score nine points in 7:51.

  9. I was right. Syracuse only scored 7 points in the last 7:51 of the game. Houston rolls 62-46.

  10. Three teams from the old Southwest Conference have reached the Elite Eight. None of them is the University of Texas.

  11. Gonzaga crushed Creighton and Michigan buried Florida State. Now Alabama is in all kinds of trouble with UCLA. The UClan went 7-14 from three-point range in the first half, while Alabama only went 3-10. The Bruins lead 40-29 at the half.

  12. Alabama opens the second half on a 9-0 run, and UCLA leads 40-38 with 15:39 left. UCLA now 7-20 from three-point range; the Tide is 4-12.

  13. UCLA leads 46-42 with 11:10 left, as this game has turned into another defensive struggle. UCLA now 7-22 from three-point range; the Tide is 4-14.

  14. Thanks in part to a 9-0 run by Alabama, the score is now 51-all with 7:07 left. UCLA now 8-26 on three's; the Tide is 5-17. UCLA is basically playing the same defense that UK tried in its last game against Alabama -- pressing everything on the perimeter and forcing Alabama to drive. As it did against UK, the Tide has adjusted and is now attacking the rim over and over. This is a very intense game, although both teams are struggling to score.

  15. What a game! Alabama and UCLA are tied at 60 with 2:27 left. UCLA now 8-27 from three-point range; the Tide is 5-21. So everyone is attacking the basket. That got Johnny Juzang (former UK player now with UCLA) into foul trouble, and he just fouled out.

  16. Alabama leads 61-60 with 1 minute left. UCLA has the ball, and UCLA calls time. Alabama has gone 10-19 from the line, and that may end up costing them.

  17. On the other hand, Alabama was obviously fouled on its last possession, and there was no foul called. So that may end up costing them as well.

  18. With 46.5 seconds left, Alabama is called for a foul, and UCLA goes to the line. UCLA makes one of two, and we are tied at 61. Alabama ball.

  19. Alabama attacks the basket, and UCLA is called for a foul with 36.8 seconds left. Herbert Jones for Alabama bangs the first free throw off the back of the rim. He makes the second one, and Alabama leads 62-61. UCLA ball. UCLA calls time with 29.9 seconds left.

  20. UCLA gets the ball inside for a layup, and the Bruins lead 63-62 with 14.6 seconds left. UCLA's point guard charged when he made the pass, but the officials don't make the call. Alabama calls time.

  21. Alabama is 5-21 on three's, and 11-21 on free throws, and that's why they are in so much trouble.

  22. Herbert Jones drives to the basket and is fouled with 6.8 seconds left. He goes to the line:

    The first FT is: no good.
    The second FT is: no good.

    UCLA gets the rebound, and UCLA is going to win. Alabama went 11-23 on FT's in the game.

  23. When UK went to Alabama this season, the Tide was 24-28 from the line.

  24. UCLA makes two FT's and lead 65-62 with 4.2 seconds left.

  25. Jim Spanarkel tells us that UCLA is going to foul up three, but they do not. Instead, Max Reese gets an open look from about 28 feet out. He NAILS IT at the buzzer, and the game finishes in a 65-65 tie. Under the rules, Alabama and UCLA will play five more minutes.

  26. For the record, you should always foul up three.

  27. There have only been two good games in this round, and they both involved the SEC.

  28. After scoring only 25 points in the second half, UCLA catches fire in OT, making shots from all over the place. It looked a lot like the OT between Auburn and UK in 2019. With 38.5 seconds left, the Bruins lead 79-72. UCLA now 10-29 on three's; the Tide is 7-27. UCLA is 11-15 from the line; Alabama is 11-25.

  29. In 2018, when UK lost to Kansas State by three points in the Sweet 16, the Cats went 23-37 from the line. In 2019, when UK lost to Auburn in OT, the Cats went 12-21 from the line. So I know about missed FT's in the NCAA Tournament. But 11-25 is even worse than those numbers. What a horrible way to go out.

  30. UCLA scores 25 points in the second half and 23 points in five minutes of overtime. The Bruins win 88-78.

  31. Final shooting stats for Alabama:

    2-point shooting: 23-41 (56.1 percent)
    3-point shooting: 7-28 (25.0 percent)
    Free throws: 11-25 (44.0 percent)

    Alabama goes 16-2 in the SEC and can't make the Elite Eight. For the record, Calipari has taken UK to the Elite Eight seven times since 2009.

  32. This tournament feels like one of those old UCLA tournaments from back in the day -- every other region is a desperate struggle, and Gonzaga is just hammering everyone in their path.

  33. I continue to root for Gonzaga and UCLA to make the Final Four. With the elimination of Oral Roberts (so close!) and Loyola of Chicago, I'm now rooting for Baylor and Houston on today's side of the bracket.