FBL Varsity

February Madness Diary, Entry VI

By  Last updated: 6th September 2009

From bucolic Athens, we move to the NYC metropolitan area, more specifically South Orange, New Jersey.



Earl Clark, perhaps bound for the FBL pro ranks after this season, is making one last run at a collegiate title.

11 Pro State 82
6 Illinois 72

An aggressive Fighting Illini defense (40 defensive points on 5 steals and 10 blocks) nearly derailed the season for the Pro State Glands.  However, Pro State came through with 163 PAR, close to their season high for offensive production.  Contributions came from across the board — impact walk-on Sean Evans (10/13/3/2/0), Dante Cunningham (12/12/6/0/0), and Earl Clark (14/9/3/0/0) all served as capable scoring threats and prolific rebounders in the paint.  Ryan Ayers (50% of 28/8/3/1/1) rained down shots left and right in a reserve role for the Glands.  However, Pro State managed only 11 defensive points, a substandard figure for any team looking to advance far in the postseason.  For the Fighting Illini, sophomore forward Mike Davis (16/10/4/0/3) and sophomore center Mike Tisdale (16/6/1/0/3) played superbly on both sides of the ball, but they didn’t have enough of a supporting cast to contend with the Glands’ formidable scoring prowess.

10 St. Mary’s 64
7 Tennessee 54

The St. Mary’s Gaels out-rebounded Tennessee 43-27 and shot a clutch 44.0% on three-pointers, taking the upset win by 10 points.  The loss capped a down year for the Volunteers, who advanced to the Elite Eight in last year’s FCAA Tournament.  In advancing, St. Mary’s bettered their first-round exit in 2008, a 56-40 loss to Arizona.  The Gaels were led by senior forward Daimon Simpson (12/15/0/4/1) and senior guards Wayne Hunter (18/2/2/0/0) and Carlin Hughes (14/4/2/1/0).  Tennessee’s top players for the game were junior forwards Wayne Chism (19/8/0/0/0) and Tyler Smith (16/4/3/0/0).  Tennessee, in part, was doomed by its lack of defensive points (only 14).

3 WCC 74
14 Buffalo 40


Wesley Matthews and the WCC Hermits gave Buffalo sports fans another reason to feel despair.

The Windsor Community College Hermits completely rolled over the Buffalo Bulls, winning by 34.  After his superlative 25/20/1/0/9 performance in the conference tournament final, Hasheem Thabeet turned in an underwhelming 5/4/0/2/2 line.  However, other WCC players picked up the slack and completely overpowered the Bulls defense.  Wesley Matthews (23/3/3/2/1) and A.J. Price (18/2/8/0/0) were major offensive catalysts, while Chris Howard (50% of 11/8/8/0/0) added some punch and playmaking off the bench.  Buffalo Senior guard Rodney Pierce (13/4/5/1/0) and junior guard Calvin Betts (10/6/2/1/0) were Buffalo’s top producers for the afternoon, but there were not many great moments for the Bulls, who shot 34.0% and out of desperation launched up 26 3’s, making only 7.  WCC will take on FBL rival Pro State in the second round of the tournament.

2 Missouri 72
15 Cornell 36


J.T. Tiller and the Tiger offense made short work of the Ivy League champs.

Missouri racked up 40 defensive points on 11 steals and 6 blocks as the Tigers coasted past the Ivy League champions by doubling their scoring total. Stifled by the Missouri defense, Cornell shot a paltry 38.3% from the field. Junior forward Ryan Wittman (21/0/2/1/0) was the only significant offensive option for the beleaguered Big Red. Missouri got solid post play from senior forward Leo Lyons (9/10/2/0/1), and spread the ball around between junior guard J.T. Tiller (11/2/4/1/0), senior forward DeMarre Carroll (13/3/1/1/0), and senior guard Matt Lawrence (13/1/0/1/0). Freshman Marcus Denmon (10/3/4/2/0) provided an additional spark off the bench. Missouri will take on the St. Mary’s Gaels in the second round.

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