March Madness is almost officially here. No, I don’t count conference championships as part of March Madness. We got a taste of the craziness to come, though, thanks to the Big East Championship between Syracuse and Louisville. Get caught up on that, plus a look at Tim Duncan’s resurgence in the absence of Tony Parker.
Louisville wins the Big East after completely dominating Syracuse in second half of title game
Louisville trailed Syracuse by 13 at halftime and by as much as 16 in the second half before turning on their full court press. In just 15 minutes of game time, that 16-point deficit turned into a 17-point victory as the Cardinals captured their second consecutive Big East title, defeating Syracuse 78-61.
Louisville’s Peyton Siva led the defensive attack with four steals and a block in earning his second tournament MVP, joining Patrick Ewing as the only other player to do so. Siva also added 11 points and eight assists in the win. Syracuse was like by C.J. Fair with 21 points and seven rebounds.
Check out the highlights via ESPN:
Tim Duncan turns back the clock for another huge game in Spurs win over Cavs
In the absence of San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, who hasn’t played since March 1 after twisting his ankle, Tim Duncan has been playing out of his mind. He continued the trend last night against Cleveland, putting up 30 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks in the Spurs’ 119-113 win over the Cavs.
Since Parker has been hurt, Duncan has had some huge throw-back games to continue the Spurs’ success without their star, including:
March 3 vs. Detroit: 16 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, five blocks in just 26 minutes
March 6 vs. Chicago: 18 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks
March 14 vs. Dallas: 28 points, 19 rebounds
March 16 vs. Cleveland: 30 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks
For the season, Duncan is averaging 17.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks in just 29.8 minutes per game, averages that extrapolate over 36 minutes per game to numbers as good or better than when he was in his prime (mid/late 20s). Pretty impressive for a 36-year-old.
Check out the highlights of Duncan and fellow aging star Manu Ginobili getting it done against the upstart Cavaliers via ESPN:
All statistics via ESPN.com