Marquette will not honor Q-Pon: Washington’s Quincy Pondexter pronounces the Golden Eagles legally dead, and the Cause of Death is a Q-Pon bankshot Jack-ed up two seconds before time expires
What a(u)topsy-turvy opening day of the NCAA! Three games went into Overtime (which is as many as the whole Tournament last year), including one Double-Overtime, there were several other buzzer-beaters, and FIVE Double-digit seeds advanced. And #11 Washington was a Double-Digit Seed who advanced on a last-second shot. There were actually 1.7 seconds left after the driving bank shot by Quincy Pondexter put the Huskies on top 80-78, but Marquette’s desperation halfcourt prayer wasn’t answered, so Q-Pon’s clutch shot was the game-winning dagger.
The game was fast-paced and high-scoring from the start, with UW’s Isaiah Thomas being the star. Thomas scored a team-high 19, including 3 3-pointers, and he also dished out 8 Assists. But with 40 seconds left in the game, with the score tied, he missed a 3-pointer. Luckily for Washington, Pondexter snagged the Rebound, setting up his game-winning heroics.
Washington made the Pac-10 1-0, and proved that West Coast teams have plenty of heart — Marquette went on a run in the 2nd Half, opening up a double-digit lead, but the Huskies didn’t quit. They just fought back, going on a run of their own to get back in the game. Today, California — without one suspended player — will take on Louisville, trying to keep the Pac-10 undefeated. Meanwhile, the vaunted Big East started out 1-and-3, with Marquette, Notre Dame, and even #3-Seed Georgetown getting upset, and the one win being Villanova, who had to play an extra 5 minutes to beat a 15-seed.
Georgetown’s loss coupled with losses by 4-seed Vanderbilt (to Murray State), 2 6-seeds and a 7-seed, and just like that, in one day of games, NO ONE YOU KNOW HAS A PERFECT BRACKET. Two 8-Seeds also got upset (speaking seeding-wise), meaning that the “Underdogs” won 7 of the 16 games on Thursday. Good luck predicting THAT.
One of the biggest chokes came from Texas. Playing a weak and lightly-regarded Wake Forest team, Texas had to twice scramble back from double-digit deficits, just to make it close. Then the Longhorns missed a Free Throw that would have won the game in regulation. They then proceeded to BLOW AN 8-POINT LEAD IN O.T., by missing four Free Throws in the final seconds, including 2 by a 90% Free Throw shooter. Wake Forest now gets to take on Kentucky, so it’s not like Texas would have been going far anyway, but it was still a collapse that they will remember in Austin for a long time. Apparently, they forgot to shut the Barnes door, and the Demon Deacons escaped. But is it possible that KARMA played a role?
During crunchtime, a Texas player got fouled HARD by a Wake Forest player, and the Longhorn went down to the floor for a moment. When a Demon Deacon put out a hand to help him up, it APPEARED ON TV like the Longhorn rudely and obnoxiously shook off the help, like “Get the F outta here.” I’m not sure if it was the same Deacon who committed the foul, but regardless, it looked like a bush league move by the UT player. If it really happened as it appeared, then I’m glad they lost… on a heart-breaking, last-second shot in O.T.
And for those of you who do lots of brackets every year, and really follow the day-by-day progress, believe it or not, I still have an entry with only 3 losses, and the Sweet 16 still completely intact. Not too shabby when you consider what a wild and surprising day it was.
Speaking of wild and surprising, here are five more winning Washington Cheer photos to celebrate the exciting Husky victory.