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Liveblogging UConn-Purdue at 7 pm ET

26 March 2009

…at Click here to follow along, and to ask questions of your fearless liveblogger. Should be an intriguing game, two excellent defensive teams, with Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson a potential difference maker as the Boilermakers try to spring the upset.

Great slate of games tonight too. Villanova-Duke is my pick for game of the night, two teams with similar perimeter-oriented styles. Since I picked Villanova to make the Final Four, I’m sticking to my prediction and taking the ‘Cats, led by difference-maker Dante Cunningham, to knock off the Blue Devils.

One note on another marquee game tonight, Missouri-Memphis. Contrary to what everyone in the world is saying, this is NOT a matchup of two of the fastest-paced teams in college hoops. Last year’s Memphis team, with an all-world push-the-tempo point guard in Derrick Rose and a supremely talented finisher on the wing in Chris Douglas-Roberts, was that kind of team. But this year’s squad isn’t. According to, Memphis ranks 170th in the country in Adjusted Tempo, placing them just below the national average. Missouri’s up-tempo reputation is more well-deserved, as the Tigers rank 29th nationally in that department. That’s almost exclusively a function of their 40 Minutes of Hell trapping defense, though, not their offense.

As for Pitt-Xavier, just got off the phone with Pittsburgh mega-fan Dave Dameshek, assuring him that Pitt is the one lock tonight, against the overmatched Musketeers. Given I’m the loon who predicted a Michigan upset over Oklahoma and Player of the Year Blake Griffin, you might want to load up on X.

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