I was told late this afternoon (Wednesday) that about 400 tickets remained among the Georgia Tech allotment for Milwaukee. Ramblinwreck.com/tickets says the following:
“Tickets for the 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament are currently on sale to men’s basketball season ticket holders and Alexander-Tharpe Fund members. Please contact the ticket office via telephone for purchase at 404-894-5447.”
So hey, got a buddy who has season tickets and isn’t going? Want to join me in Milwaukee? Hurry up. It’s not the most vibrant town in the world – it looks a little gray even when I’m up there for Braves-Brewers games in the summer – but the people are beyond friendly, the brats are great, and Georgia Tech is 4-0 in NCAA tournament games at the Bradley Center.
Who can forget “holy mackerel” and James Forrest’s desperation 3-pointer in 1992 to beat Southern Cal? That was in Milwaukee. As a No. 7 seed Tech beat Houston and Southern Cal to get to the Sweet 16 that year. Then, of course, there was 2004, when as a No. 3 seed Tech beat Northern Iowa and Boston College in Milwaukee on its way to the national championship game.
Will the magic continue? We shall see. Is Tech staying at the same hotel? Using the same bus driver? Probably so. Coach Paul Hewitt didn’t want to say. Don’t mess with the luck by talking about it.
Oklahoma State/Duke comparison
As if there weren’t already enough parallels to the 2004 Final Four run, with Milwaukee as a site, the Midwest region, Kansas and Northern Iowa in the same portion of the bracket, there’s the fact that Tech is playing the Cowboys for the first time since the national semifinal in 2004. Tech won that game 67-65 on Will Bynum’s layup with 1.5 seconds left.
So hey, what about this year’s Cowboys. First thing we all need to know is James Anderson, 6-6 guard from Junction City, Arkansas. He was Big 12 player of the year. He averaged 22.6 points per game (wow) and only 2.4 assists, so he’s definitely the scorer and not necessarily the creator of the bunch. From what you hear he has the total package. And his coach Travis Ford (the former Kentucky Wildcat) said he was the Cowboys’ best defender too.
Expect D’Andre Bell and Iman Shumpert to be busy with this guy. Shumpert had some monster defensive games in the ACC tournament. Tech will need some more of that.
Here’s Hewitt’s take on Anderson: “He’s a tremendous player. He can score a lot of different ways. He reminds me of (Kyle) Singler in that he can shoot the 3, and go off the dribble, and he can post up. He’s a big-time player.”
I wasn’t sure if it was just because Hewitt had Duke on the brain, after Sunday’s final or what, but he compared Oklahoma State to Duke as a team too.
“They’re kind of like Duke without the inside size,” Hewitt said.
I just looked up a few of the numbers on the Cowboys’ perimeter guys and the 3-point shooting is similar. Anderson (74), Obi Muonelo (78) and Keiton Page (71) have combined to hit 223 3-pointers in 32 games this year. Singler (71), Jon Scheyer (94) and Nolan Smith (49) combined to hit 214 3-pointers in 33 games this season. If anything the Cowboys are more balanced, in spreading out the production behind the 3-point line, but Oklahoma State is shooting 35.2 percent from 3-point range and Duke has hit 38.5 percent.
So how to defend all that?
“Not to take anything from them, but we just played Duke,” Tech guard Moe Miller said. “It doesn’t get anymore guard-oriented than that. As far as everybody shooting over 40 percent from 3, I feel like we’ll be prepared for it.”
Peacock got kicked out the gym
Lastly, I thought you guys might enjoy this little tidbit. Zachery Peacock told me yesterday (Tuesday) that he tried to come over to the Zelnak Center on Monday and put up a couple of jump shots, but Hewitt sent him home to rest.
Here’s a guy who just played four games in four days, threw his body into the scorer’s table, took a Brian Zoubek elbow to his jaw, and still wanted to get out in the gym the very next day.
“I’m not used to sitting down, doing nothing,” Peacock said.
Hey, these guys are hungry. They showed it Sunday against Duke with how hard they played down to the last second in a game in which they had to be exhausted. I think it’ll be an interesting and difficult test in Milwaukee. On the bright side, good chance we’ll be watching one of the toughest matchups in the first round.
So hey, speaking of, I better get off the blog and go pack. Hope to see some of you guys up there.