Huck's Corner
Basketball 2013-14

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  Ed "Huck" Palmer is a headliner among our trusty statmen/observers. He is not to be confused with Tom "Puck" McKenna. (Huck is normal. Puck is not even close). He will make reports on games he sees. You may contact him at Twitter . . . @HuckPalmer. 

Follow Huck on Twitter . . . @HuckPalmer.

(Posted at 5:55 p.m.)
  My predictions on the NCAA brackets . . .
  UPDATE . . .
Huck went 67-for-68! Matching the performance of the famous Joe Lunardi. (Joe had every resource in the world. Huck's only "help" came from his 3-year-old son, Jack, who kept darting around the basement -- smile).
  Huck's predictions were exact on 35 teams:
Florida, Albany, Mount St. Mary's, Colorado, SF Austin, UCLA, Tulsa, Ohio St., E. Kentucky, Arizona, Gonzaga, Okla. State, N. Dakota State, Nebraska, Louisville, Oregon, Wisconsin, American, Wichita State, Cal Poly, Texas Southern, Kansas State, Manhattan, Tennessee, Duke, Mercer, Michigan, Virginia, Coastal Carolina, Harvard, Delaware, North Carolina, Iowa State, Saint Joseph's, Villanova. (Lunardi had 39.)
  He missed by one seeding spot on 24 teams:
Va. Commonwealth, Dayton, Syracuse, W. Michigan, Stanford, Kansas, Weber, Oklahoma, San Diego State, New Mexico State, Baylor, Creighton, Xavier, Iowa, Texas, Arizona State, Wofford, Memphis, George Washington, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Providence, N. Carolina Central, Milwaukee. (Lunardi had 21.)
  He missed by two seeding spots on seven teams:
Pitt, New Mexico, BYU, St. Louis, Louisville, UMass, UConn. (Lunardi had six).
  He missed by three seeding spots on one team:
Kentucky. (Lunardi also had one).
  He missed completely on one team:
NC State. (As did Lunardi.)
  He had one team in brackets that didn't make it: Southern Methodist. (As did Lunardi.)

2014 NCAA Field of 68: (Projected) 
Teams Ranked 1 thru 68   *Conference Winners 
  #1 Seeds   #2 Seeds   #3 Seeds   #4 Seeds
1 Florida* 5 Michigan 9 Iowa St.* 13 Creighton
2 Arizona 6 Wisconsin 10 Kansas 14 Syracuse
3 Wichita St.* 7 Villanova 11 Michigan St.* 15 Cincinnati
4 Virginia* 8 Louisville* 12 Duke 16 UCLA*
  #5 Seeds   #6 Seeds   #7 Seeds   #8 Seeds
17 New Mexico* 21 North Carolina 25 St. Louis 29 Texas
18 SD State 22 Ohio St. 26 Pittsburgh 30 Gonzaga*
19 UConn 23 Oklahoma 27 Baylor 31 Colorado
20 Kentucky* 24 VCU 28 Oregon 32 UMASS
  #9 Seeds   #10 Seeds   #11 Seeds   #12 Seeds
33 Kansas St. 37 St. Joe’s* 41 Arizona St. 46 No. Dakota St.*
34 Memphis 38 GW 42 Tennessee 47 BYU
35 Okla. St. 39 Iowa 43 Nebraska 48 Dayton
36 Stanford 40 Providence* 44 Xavier 49 SF Austin*
        45 SMU 50 Harvard*
  #13 Seeds   #14 Seeds   #15 Seeds   #16 Seeds
51 Delaware* 55 N. Mexico St.* 59 E. Kentucky* 63 Wofford*
52 Tulsa* 56 Mercer* 60 UNC-Central* 64 Coast. Carolina*
53 Manhattan* 57 LA-Lafayette* 61 American* 65 Albany*
54 W. Michigan* 58 Milwaukee* 62 Weber St.* 66 Mt. St. Mary’s*
            67 Texas Southern*
            68 Cal Poly*
  Next Last 4 In:   Last 4 IN:   First 4 Out:   Next 4 Out
  Iowa   Xavier   Minnesota   Missouri
  Arizona St.   SMU   Florida St.   Toledo
  Tennessee   BYU   NC State   California
  Nebraska   Dayton   So. Miss   St. John’s
  Play-in games:            
  #16 Cal Poly v. #16 Albany        
  #16 Texas Southern v. #16 Mt. St. Mary’s         
  #12 Dayton v. #12 BYU         
  #11 SMU v. #11 Xavier         

FEB. 12
West Catholic 48, Lansdale Catholic 45
(At West)
  What are the chances? That a team can drop two ultra-competitive games to the same opponent on buzzer-beaters. Within the same same week, no less. Has to be rare, right? This past Friday the Crusaders took a major kick to the gut when West’s jr. 6’4” F Stefan Jones deposited a shot from 10-feet as the horn sounded, thus giving the Burrs an exhilarating 63-61 win. Tonight, the stakes were much higher in this win-or-go-home preliminary playoff played at the Burrdome. So, when jr. SF Jahmil Harris, who was brilliant throughout, connected on a trey from the top of the arc, the kick to the gut this time just had to feel that much more painful. Ok, let’s set the stage. With just a smudge under two minutes left, Jones (3 blocks) made a shot from a difficult angle to cut LC’s lead to one at, 44-43. From here the Crusaders methodically moved the ball between teammates around the perimeter. With West defending moderately, more or less just trying to keep the guy with the ball in front them, the Crusaders were able to take the game clock under a minute. At about this time, sr. WG Andrew Riviello saw a crease from the left wing and let go with a running, 8-foot floater that misfired off the glass. Sr. WG Jalen Roberson-Cosby claimed the rebound. As West came downcourt Harris was fouled as he spun into the lane. The lefty knocked down both the front-end of the one-and-one and the bonus at 46.3, giving the Burrs a one-point lead. After a LC timeout, the Crusaders drew a play up for sr. CG 6’4” Brian Rafferty, who in turn was fouled on a hard drive from the right side. His first shot missed, but he calmly sank the second to knot things up again at 33.2. After West came across midcourt they called time out with 23.4 left. Following the timeout, Harris, jr. PG Devonta Peterie, and Roberson-Cosby took turns handling the ball just above the foul line. With about 11 ticks left Harris took command and after a couple of side-to-side dribbles let go with a three from just to the right of the top-of-the-key. At first, I thought Harris was too off-balance for it to go, but in flight it just kept inching closer and closer before splashing through. Of course, mayhem ensued, as multiple spectators stormed the court thinking the game had ended. Ultimately, the referees put 1.3 seconds back on the clock. After a LC timeout the Crusaders never did get a shot off. Riviello caught the inbound pass going from right to left. As Riviello crossed over halfcourt, jr. 6’4” SF Brandon Cole reached in and poked the ball away. However, it did appear that Cole at least got part of Riviello’s wrist. Not sure if he actually got into shooting motion, though. So, the horn sounded and the referees departed up the steps despite the wrath of some angry LC fans. I think a few may have even given chase. With the triumph the Burrs not only reached the PCL quarterfinals, but also wrapped up a spot in the state playoffs due to Conwell-Egan losing to McDevitt in the other preliminary. It’s a nice little achievement by the program and 1st-year Head Coach Jasmine “Jazz” Williams. The Burrs went winless in league play a year ago and were only able to grab a pair of wins overall. In this one, Harris was tremendous. The Burrs made 18 baskets in the game, and Harris contributed directly on 16 of them. He shot 9-for-15 (2-for-4 on 3’s) on his way to a game-high 23 points. He also dealt 7 assists. For good measure, he added 6 caroms and a pair of steals. Harris notched 11 of his points in the final quarter. At least two or three of his baskets in the final stanza were contested drives where he used the glass to convert. Cole (5-for-8 FGs) made his first four shots and scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half. West played without soph. 6’5” F Josh Townsend (school issue). For LC, Rafferty (6-for-8 FG’s, 4-for-5 FT’s) led the way with 16 points and 7 rebounds. I like this kid and I think he’d be a good get for one of the local D-3 programs. Sr. 6’4” F Kyle Pavlik was next with 12 points (4-for-6 FG’s, 4-for-4 FT’s). Riviello (7 points) hit a huge three midway through the 4th quarter to give his team the lead, but for the most part struggled to get clean looks. He finished just 3-for-11 (1-of-7 on 3’s) from the field. Sr. G Tommy O’Connor provided solid effort off the bench with 6 rebounds and two assists. Kudos to Burrman, who made an appearance tonight. Jr. Ahkil Crumpton, a promising football player, donned the goofy costume tonight. His best moment was helping restore order after the fans rushed the court. Who needs to pay security, when you can just utilize the volunteer services of Burrman. Smile!