Get inside March Madness with SI.com's Luke Winn in the Tourney Blog, a daily journal of college basketball commentary, on-site reporting and reader-driven discussions.
3/27/2007 10:01:00 AM
The Blog's All-Second Weekend Team
Taurean Green (left) led the Gators into a rematch of the 2006 title game.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Mike Conley quietly took home the South Region's MOP honors.
We're going small for the Blog's All-Second Weekend Team: two point guards, two shooting guards, and one new-age Scottie Pippen.
That Pip'-styled power forward, Georgetown's Jeff Green, is the squad's captain, based on his game-winning bank shot to beat Vanderbilt and his 22-point effort in the comeback that stunned Carolina. He's also humble to the point of amusement: Standing against a wall outside the Hoyas' locker room on Sunday night, Green was asked about being named the East Region's Most Outstanding Player. He responded, in a completely genuine manner, "I was? Oh."
"I thought it would be [Georgetown freshman] DaJuan Summers, because he played his butt off. I'm surprised to get it."
You, Jeff, were the only one who was surprised. Now, for the rest of the team:
(A few criteria for selections: The first team was limited only to players who advanced to the Final Four, and the entire list was restricted to players who appeared in both the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds.)
G: Taurean Green, Jr., Florida Stats: 5-of-8 shooting (all threes), 17 points, 1 assist, zero turnovers vs. Butler; 5-of-12 shooting, 21 points, 3 assists, 3 turnovers vs. Oregon
Green buried five treys to help the Gators fend off Butler's upset bid -- and then outscored Al Horford and Jo Noah combined (they had 20) in the Midwest Region final.
Kansas' vaunted backcourt got scorched by Afflalo in San Jose; can he now get revenge on Florida for the egg he laid in last year's title game?
G: Mike Conley, Fr., Ohio State Stats: 4-of-10 shooting, 17 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals vs. Tennessee; 5-of-11 shooting (9-of-10 FTs), 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 turnovers, 2 steals vs. Memphis
Most of the talk in San Antonio surrounded Greg Oden (and Joey Dorsey's verbal antagonizing of the big man) while Conley was quietly named the region's MOP.
G/F: Ron Lewis, Sr., Ohio State Stats: 9-of-17 shooting, 25 points, 5 rebounds vs. Tennessee; 5-of-12 shooting (10-of-10 FTs), 22 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals vs. Memphis
Lewis, who toiled in obscurity for two years at Bowling Green, made a timely transfer, as he's now gunned the Buckeyes to within two wins of a national title. F: Jeff Green, Jr., Georgetown (CAPTAIN) Stats: 7-of-11 shooting, 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover vs. Vanderbilt; 10-of-17 shooting, 22 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover vs. North Carolina
Where will Green's East Region MOP trophy go? Anywhere but his place. "I don't keep my trophies," he said.
Sixth Man: Jonathan Wallace, Jr., Georgetown Stats: 3-of-8 shooting, 8 points, 4 assists, 0 turnovers vs. Vanderbilt; 7-of-11 shooting, 19 points, 7 assists, 1 turnover vs. North Carolina
Had Wallace made more noise against Vandy, he might trumped Green for team captain status. The guy whom Green called "our best player" committed just one turnover in 71 minutes played on Friday and Sunday, and hit the cold-blooded trey that sent the UNC game to overtime. Second Team:
VCU's Eric Maynor buried Duke with the biggest shot of the tourney thus far.
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
It was Friday afternoon in Buffalo, near the conclusion of Virginia Commonwealth's closed practice at HSBC Arena, and Eric Maynor was describing to me his newfound fame. The sophomore guard measured this not by the size of the CBS audience for his first-round heroics against Duke, but by the bump in traffic on his Facebook page. "I went on the computer this morning, and I had 69 new messages," Maynor said, and then quizzed me excitedly. "And guess how many friend requests. Take a guess. 247!"
Maynor's Rams didn't make the Sweet 16, but he did earn a spot on the Blog's All-First Weekend Team, an honor that may or may not generate additional Facebook friends. The starting five is a mix of old standbys and those, like Maynor and UNLV's Wendell White, who were launched out of obscurity and into the national consciousness by their big-time performances. The All-First Weekend Team
G: Eric Maynor, Soph., VCU Stats: 8-of-16 shooting, 22 points, eight assists, three turnovers, three steals vs. Duke; 5-of-14 shooting, 14 points, eight assists, one turnover, three steals vs. Pitt
Macmain (they nicknamed him after a Lil' Wayne sidekick) saw his numbers take a dip on Saturday, but he did hit the sickest shot of the tournament thus far -- the game-winner against the Blue Devils -- and will undoubtedly be a part of the One Shining Moment montage.
G: Acie Law IV, Sr., Texas A&M Stats: 6-of-15 shooting, 20 points, six rebounds vs. Penn; 6-of-14 shooting (13-of-15 FTs), 26 points, four rebounds vs. Louisville
The Aggies escaped from an inhospitable environment on Law's back, as he gave the Cards' defense fits in Lexington, getting to the line for 15 free-throw attempts and making 13. "We have a point guard who has played at as high a level as I've seen a guy play," said A&M coach Billy Gillispie. "His leadership has gone out of the roof just like his game has."
F: Wendell White, Sr., UNLV Stats: 8-of-12 shooting, 19 points, eight rebounds against Georgia Tech; 8-of-12 shooting, 22 points, three rebounds vs. Wisconsin.
The Rebels list the 6-foot-6 White as a backcourt player, and he calls himself a "power guard," but in reality he's an Alando Tucker-type wing whose 66.7 percent shooting against the Yellow Jackets and Badgers makes him the most efficient offensive star of the dance. Had White kept the afro he wore last season, he'd be getting a lot more national love right now.
F: Tyler Hansbrough, Soph., UNC Stats: 9-of-11 shooting, 21 points, 10 rebounds vs. Eastern Kentucky; 10-of-17 shooting, 33 points, nine rebounds vs. Michigan State.
Pyscho T (or Spaz-bro, if you ask Wes Miller) ripped off his mask at the 12:33 mark of the first half against the ultra-physical Spartans -- and then went nuts on offense, putting up the second 30-point game of his career.
F: Kevin Durant, Fr., Texas Stats: 6-of-13 shooting (15-of-16 FTs), 27 points, eight rebounds vs. New Mexico State; 11-of-24 shooting, 30 points, nine rebounds vs. USC
The Longhorns went out with a whimper in the second round after Trojans guard Gabe Pruitt shut down Durant's freshman sidekick, D.J. Augustin. But Keb-Keb -- who was deprived of much-needed touches early in the USC game -- still turned in two monster performances in his one and only NCAA tournament.
Sixth Man: Nick Young, G/F, Jr., USC Stats: 5-of-13 shooting, 20 points, seven rebounds vs. Arkansas; 8-of-13 shooting, 22 points, seven rebounds vs. Texas
While Pruitt was the Trojans' hero on D, Young was the leader of a balanced scoring effort against Texas that saw all five USC starters finish in double-figures. He said he's never been to New Jersey, but he'll no doubt make some noise there.
Second Team: G: Aaron Brooks, Sr., Oregon G: A.J. Graves, Jr., Butler G/F: Derrick Byars, Sr., Vanderbilt F: Julian Wright, Soph., Kansas C: Roy Hibbert, Jr., Georgetown Sixth man: Ron Lewis, G/F, Sr., Ohio State Late addition: Virginia guard J.R. Reynolds -- a worthy All-Weekender -- was left off the original list. When you're embedded at first- and second-round sites, as I was in Buffalo and Chicago, it's possible for brilliant performances elsewhere to slip your mind. And what Reynolds did, with 54 points over two days, certainly qualifies as brilliant.