Sunday, March 05, 2006

Salukis Going Dancing Again

Congrats to Southern Illinois for beating Bradley 59-46 in the MVC title game and earing their fifth consecutive NCAA tourney appearance. Six-foot-seven Randal Falker came up with 17 points and 16 rebounds and outplayed Bradley's Patrick O'Bryant, who is 7-feet tall and attracting interest from the NBA. Falker also rivals Jamaal Tatum for best set of dreads on the SIU team.

The Salukis are known for winning with lockdown defense and today was no different as they overcame a one-point halftime deficit by holding the Braves scorless for more than nine minutes during one stretch. That'll win you some games.

It sure wan't pretty, but when is MVC basketball ever pretty? The Salukis' Matt Shaw ended the game with a large patch of blood on his jersey from an errant elbow to his nose, and that pretty much summed up the way the typical MVC game goes. Blood. Defense. Last man standing.

It wasn't long ago that head coach Chris Lowery was leading the Salukis to the tourney as a point guard ('94 and '95 to be exact). He's now the fist person in MVC history to do it as both a player and coach.

To top it all off, the Salukis return all five starters next year and welcome a heralded recruiting class. They're definitely in good shape, even if Lowery has put on a few pounds from his playing days. (OK, more than a few.)

As for Bradley, the Braves' 20 wins and RPI of 28 has to attract some serious consideration from the comittee. I think they deserve a spot, but it could depend on how things break elsewhere over the next week.

The day's strangest moment occurred late in the second half when an SIU cheeleader crashed to the court from her position atop a pyramid. (Aren't you always expecting this to happen?) It happened during a commercial break, and, of course, the bastards at CBS didn't show a replay. Come on, am I asking to much here?

Anyway, the scene looked sketchy for a minute but ended up OK. She was completely strapped down on a stretcher, and as she was being wheeled away, the SIU band began boisterously jamming which prompted her to begin going through her cheering routine with just her arms. While strapped down. On a stretcher. Being wheeled away. Maybe you had to see it, but the whole scene was very bizarre. March madness, baby. You gotta love it. (Video here.)


Blogger Carolina said...

Instead of enjoying the Salukis win, I'm spending too much time worrying about their seed. Something tells me they're gonna get paired up in the same bracket as a 1 or 2 seed ... that'll make it a short weekend.

Hopefully, someone from the Valley will survive to the round of 32 -- and quiet all the conference's critics.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Rknil said...

Don't drive around Auburn Hills lost.

Get an NCAA travel guide from the Wenalway site. Eats, drinks, hotels, touristy places -- all in one printout!

6:00 PM  

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