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Tennessee must somehow stop Ohio State without touching them

Rocky Top Talking Points for 3/23/10:

  • Remembering the details: That Alamodome game against Ohio State in the Sweet Sixteen in 2007? It was largely about the Buckeyes' comeback in the second half, but what was the real story? Trips to the free throw line ($?):

    In the 2007 contest in San Antonio, the Buckeyes came out of halftime down 20 points and immediately attacked Tennessee in the paint, earning more than 28 trips to the foul line, which in the end proved costly for the Volunteers.

    "Ohio State got to the rim and the foul line [in 2007]," Pearl said. "I don’t need to worry about saying this, because I know it’s going to be the case. Thad [Matta] is going to get those guys to put the ball down the floor and go to the rim. We have to stop them without fouling them. How many free throws did Ohio State shoot in the second half of that game? Twenty-eight or twenty-nine…pretty tough. In the second half."

  • John Pennington has the most humorous take on John Calipari losing another Final Four appearance to vacation:
Calipari Looking For Thir. . . Sec. . . First Final Four
Nice. And he doesn't stop with the headline, either:
This is the second time that Calipari has had a Final Four stripped from his record. His 1996 UMass club was also forced to forfeit its victories (and tournament run) because of Marcus Camby’s dealings with an agent. That means that this season Coach Cal is looking for his first Final Four trip. Again.
  • How are we going to guard Ohio State's Evan Turner? With J.P. "Huge Alien Head" Prince. And Scotty Hopson and Cameron Tatum. And maybe some Bobby Maze and Melvin Goins. Shoot, let's throw Steven Pearl at him, too.
  • Bruce Pearl is a finalist for the 2010 Red Auerbach College Coach of the Year Award, which is given to the nation's top Jewish college coach. Really, is there any question here?
  • Pearl's return to the Sweet Sixteen this year has Dave Hooker listing the four best coaching jobs in Tennessee history. He spreads the love among football, men's basketball, and women's basketball, but it's a bit odd that Pearl's run this year didn't make the list that it prompted.
  • Wow. According to the Times Free Press, of the 4.2 million entries in ESPN's bracket contest this year, there are no perfect entries remaining, and only 56 were perfect after the first day.