To read up on BOTL, look at this post for a background as well as the matchups.
The teams are ready and BOTL 2010 kicks off in the East region! Temple is the #1 seed but is hoping their opponents aren’t shooting experts. Clemson advanced to the Final Four last year and are looking to advance even further. But what actually occurred? Find out after the jump…..
#1 Temple vs. #8 East Tennessee State
Temple down 33-30 at halftime? No big deal. ETSU has played tough but they can’t pull out the win, can they? Isiah Brown hits a jumper. It’s 59-51 Buccaneers with under 9:00 to go. Still not panic time. Oh crap Jones hits another shot and it’s 64-52 with 7:46 left in the 2nd half. PANIC!!!!! Nice! Luis Guzman drains a three for Temple and it’s 70-63…but 1:52 LEFT! PANIC!!!! CHOKE! GAG! SURRENDER! East Tennessee State knocks off Temple in the upset! East Tennessee State 76 Temple 67
The big factor of this game was ETSU’s aggressive play, sending them to the line for 30 total shots compared to Temple’s 15. Also, the Owls were 4-22 from three. Not their day.
#4 Texas vs. #5 Wofford
Wofford was able to give Wisconsin a massive scare, but not even strike any sort of fear into Rick Barnes’ team. The Longhorns get to play ETSU in the next round after destroying Wofford by 16. Damion James scored 17 points and had 15 rebounds and that led the way for Texas to destroy the opposition. Texas 83 Wofford 67
#2 Marquette vs. #7 Morgan State
It looked like the Golden Eagles would be cruising to victory, leading by as many as 12 in the 1st half and still ahead by 11 early in the 2nd. Morgan State had other ideas, slowly chipping away at the deficit until it dwindled down to 1 with 5:45 remaining. Darius Johnson-Odom however would knock down a three to make it 71-67 Marquette, and Maurice Acker scored on a scoop shot to bring the lead back up to 6. Morgan State could never really recover and Marquette made their free throws to put away the Golden Bears. Marquette 84 Morgan State 79
#3 Clemson vs. #6 Montana
Clemson made 26-46 field goals and only trailed twice in the early stages of the contest. Anthony Johnson of Montana couldn’t pull out another fantastic performance, but he did lead his team in scoring with 15 points. Alas, the Tigers scared off the Grizzlies. Clemson 69 Montana 51
#4 Texas vs. #8 East Tennessee State
Texas led by double digits in the 1st half and 8 at intermission. However, they could not put away the Buccaneers in the 2nd. They kept fighting back and briefly led with 13:56 left. Texas answered back with a big run and Dexter Pittman’s jumper at the 6:33 mark to make it 79-68 Longhorns looked to have sealed the deal. Not so fast my friend! With under a minute to go the Bucs cut the lead to 83-81 thanks to Texas not making their free throws (sound familiar?) , then the fun began…..
“MICAH WILLIAMS FOR THE TIE! IT’S GOOD!!! THE GAME IS TIED AT 83-83 WITH :52 TO GO!!! Back comes Texas, Damion James SHOOTING BUT WILLIAMS BLOCKS IT!!!! PITTMAN COMES UP WITH THE LOOSE BALL!!! They reset, Pittman passes it to D’Covan Brown AND A NO LOOK TO AN OPEN JAMES FOR THE LEAD!!! HE GOT IT! CLUTCH SHOOTING GIVES TEXAS THE LEAD BACK!”
“LAST CHANCE FOR ETSU!! LUKAS PODERIS WITH UNDER :20!!! HIS SHOT IS BLOCKED BY PITTMAN!!! JAMES GETS THE REBOUND AND PASSES TO PITTMAN WHO IS FOULED BY PODERIS!!!”
Fittingly Pittman would ice the game by calmly making both foul shots and ending the Buccaneers’ run and sending the Longhorns to the regional final. Pittman recorded a double-double along with James. Texas 87 East Tennesee State 83.
#2 Marquette vs. #3 Clemson
Clemson rallied from 9 down in the 2nd half to advance to the regional final. Once a 43-34 scoreline, Clemson used clutch shooting and solid defense to stifle the Golden Eagles attack. Buzz Williams’ side had one last chance when Lazar Hayward’s triple cut the Tigers’ lead to 66-63 with :04 left. Milton Jennings put the game out of reach by hitting the 2nd of 2 free throws to knock off Marquette. Clemson 67 Marquette 63
#3 Texas vs. #4 Clemson
Texas was up against the ropes early in a fast-paced first half. The Tigers raced out to a 34-21 lead before Texas closed out the half on a 16-8 stretch to cut the lead to 5 at the break. Back and forth they went in the 2nd and it was only a matter of landing the final blow to win the game. Clemson had that shot with seconds remaining in regulation down 74-72….
“DEMONTEZ STITT BRINGS IT OVER HALF COURT!!! SECONDS TICKING!!! LOOKS FOR THE TIE!!! BLOCKED BY JORDAN HAMILTON!!! THE BUZZER SOUNDS AND TEXAS IS GOING TO THE FINAL FOUR!!!!!” Texas 74 Clemson 72.
So the Longhorns complete the rally and advance to the BOTL Final Four for the first time in school history. Clemson choked under pressure and couldn’t sustain their early first half success. Congratulations to Rick Barnes and the Texas Longhorns, the champions of the East region.
Next region: West