Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bobwa over basketball?

I have two things to get off my chest before I summon my inner Homer Simpson and exclaim "Whoo-hoo!" in celebration of Gannon's 69-50 PSAC semifinal win over Cheyney last night:
  • A reliable source has told me that Kutztown will be unable to host the NCAA regionals. Why? Because they have committed their gymnasium to an appearance by Barbara Walters at the university's Decision Maker's Forum. What this means is that even if the Golden Bears beat Gannon tonight and earn the Atlantic Region's #1 seed, the host team will be the #2 seed, which win or lose, will probably be the Golden Knights. Don't celebrate yet; Va. Union could still move into the #2 spot if GU loses. Two non-basketball questions here. Since when is Barbara Walters a decision-maker? And why would the world-famous Bobwa want to go to Kutztown? I can picture the conversation on the set of The View. "Barbara -- where are you jet-setting to this weekend? Chicago, L.A., or London?" "Better! I'm going to Kutztown, Pennsylvania. It's lovely there this time of year!"
  • The other thing I wanted to get off my chest is that Cheyney was the most inept offensive playoff basketball team I've ever seen. I've had the good fortune to travel to the GLIAC playoffs and NCAA Division II tournament over the past few years, so I've seen a ton of playoff teams. I have no idea how the Wolves scored 85 points in their PSAC Quarterfinal against West Chester. Everything they did against Gannon was off the dribble and didn't appear to be a set play. They attempted some on-ball screens, but when Gannon briefly defended it, Cheyney stopped attacking. Instead of a pick-and-roll, it as a pick-and-whoa! Gannon's defense was excellent, but nobody forces you to not run plays or to jack up bad shots with 15 seconds on the shot clock.

Whoo-hoo! Gannon's in the PSAC Finals! The great thing is that they did it in the face of adversity. Pierre Howard could only play half the game because of foul trouble. Kyle Goldcamp had an off night finishing around the basket, namely because he was being beaten by Wolves defenders all night. The Knights also overcame some early big-game jitters before their 30-6 run essentially put the game out of reach. Gannon didn't play its best game of the season (they were much sharper against Edinboro Tuesday), but still came away with a convincing win.

One of the painful cliches you hear this time of year -- besides "on the bubble" and "stepping up" -- is "defense wins championships." Let's hope that's the case tonight. Kutztown is the #1 offense in the PSAC (#9 in all of D-II play) while Gannon is statistically the best in the league and #4 in the nation. If you see Kutztown's leading scorers Stephen Dennis and Dave Ben show any frustration in the first half tonight, that will be a very good sign for the Knights. If they're confident and comfortable, then I won't be.


  1. In other games of interest:
    The GLIAC finals will be a rematch from last year -- Findlay vs. Grand Valley. Only the site has changed; the undefeated Oilers will host the Lakers.

    In the WVIAC, the finals will pit #2 Alderson-Broaddus vs. #4 Pitt-Johnstown. A-B is already a lock to be in the NCAAs. If UPJ would win, they would likely be the #8 seed which could bounce IUP, Slippery Rock, or Elizabeth City State from the D-II field of 64.

    Old "friend" Herb Magee has his Philadelphia University (formerly Textile) in the Central Atlantic Conference championship against Bloomfield. Also, old GU rival LeMoyne is in the finals of the NE-10 tonight at Assumption.

    Ky. Wesleyan lost a heartbreaker in the GLVC quarters to Rockhurst, possibly bumping the Panthers from the Great Lakes Region NCAA field. Pardon me while a grab a box of tissues and weep for them. (That was sarcasm.)

  2. And if UPJ wins, it will set up a battle of Goldcamp vs. UPJ. THAT would be interesting.


    Here is the link BW is at KU on March 18. Strange, because the regional final is March 17. It looks like a swanky affair -- $45 a ticket! They must need time to prep the place.


    Knights beat Kutztown! What a win. What a job by Cory Knight tonight. His defense and ball handling skills left me breathless.

    I only wish that I could have been there in person to see it, not in Indianapolis. Though it will be helpful to be in Indy in case the selection committee does something idiotic and does not select Gannon to host to tournament. The NCAA headquarters is a block from my school. They will be hearing from me in person if an unfavorable decision goes down!

    Way to go Knights!

  5. Yeah!!! PSAC Championships. A long way back from 9-17! Gotta give Reilly credit for how he took the players out one by one at the end of the game.

    Gumby, no worries here. GU will host. It's NCAA time, baby!

    How about Stoczynski ... He looked like Shane Battier out there tonight.

  6. UPJ 74 A-B 73

    Likely Gannon vs. UPJ on Saturday. Good draw ... I'd rather not face SRU again.

    Slippery Rock fans won't sleep well tonight.

  7. as much as i'd like to see KG vs UPJ I don't know if they'll jump up 4 spots in the Region just because they beat the #7 Region team. if you look at the extended regional rankings UPJ is #12 in Atlantic. I think SRU would definitely drop and I think A-B could possibly fall out, but I don't know if UPJ has enough to move up 4 spots. I think IUP may drop to 8th, but that's just my opinion... I think #8 will be IUP, WV State or A-B, but if UPJ makes it to #8, then IUP SRU and A-B are out

    And how about Ty Stoczynski.... always good to see the local legends pull it off.. I feel Knight was a very close 2nd in the voting. I was told that Ty was #1, Knight was #2, Lindsey was #3, and #14 was #4 in the voting, but I don't know how true that is.

  8. UPJ won the WVIAC, so they get that league's automatic NCAA bid.