The Basketball Tournament Round of 32 Coverage

By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)

A day after battling in the opening round of the Basketball Tournament, 8 teams in the Northeast Regional were back to play for the right to advance to the Super 16 in Brooklyn. After winning Sunday, the remaining teams will be just 4 wins away from their share of the $2 million prize money.

Read Saturday’s Round of 64 coverage

FCM Untouchables 91, Paul Champions 57

The Paul Champions, who fought hard in the Jamboree to grab one of the final 4 spots in this tournament field, then pulled out a close victory against the Talladega Knights, finally met their match against the Untouchables. One of the favorites in the tournament, the Untouchables dominated the action from start to finish. They forced 19 Paul turnovers (while committing just 11 themselves), creating a lay-up line of easy buckets in transition. The Paul Champions couldn’t buy a bucket in the first half either, shooting just 25.9% from the field in the opening frame as they fell behind by 25 at halftime.

Former St. John’s star Marcus Hatten dropped a game-high 25 points, hitting 7 of his 12 attempts from downtown. Mike Green, who was conference player of the year in his 2007-2008 senior season at Butler, recorded 13 points and 7 assists. The Untouchables became the first team to advance to the Super 16 in Brooklyn, where they’ll face Team FOE.

Team FOE 82, Sideline Cancer 75

Something about trailing in the second half just seems to bring the best out of Team FOE. After coming back from a double digit deficit Saturday, the Morris twins-coached squad trailed Sideline Cancer 60-52 with just under 11 minutes remaining. Once again, spurred on by a loud, local contingent of fans, Team FOE ratcheted the defense into another gear and went on an 18-5 run to take command of the game.

Five Team FOE players finished in double figures, with Vincent Simpson leading the way with 15 points. Ex-Kansas Jawhawk Tyshawn Taylor had 13 points and 5 assists and former Drexel Dragon Scott Rodgers added 10 points. It was a strong effort by Sideline Cancer particularly former St. Joe’s Hawk Aaron Brown, who led all scorers with 21 points.

Boeheim’s Army 106, Gael Nation 100 (2OT)

It will probably go down as the most exciting game of this entire tournament. Of course, it didn’t look like it when Boeheim’s Army opened up a 22-point lead in the second half. But then, Gael Nation’s Steve Burtt, who had hit the game-winner a day before, went absolutely Super Saiyan. Burtt hit 4 three-pointers in under a span of three minutes, part of a 20-2 Gael Nation run to climb back into the game. He finished with a game-high 34 points.

Knotted at 84, neither team was able to score in the final minute of regulation. In the first overtime, an alley-oop to Donte Greene (team-high 32 points) and an open corner three from Eric Devendorf (23 points, 10 rebounds) gave Boeheim’s Army a 5-point lead and looked like it might end things. But Burtt hit yet another three and D’Angelo Harrison sank a runner with 19 seconds remaining to send things to a second extra frame.

Finally, in the final minute of the second overtime, Boeheim’s Army was able to put the game away for good. Rick Jackson scored inside to put them ahead, and as Burtt and Harrison both missed three-point attempts, Devendorf and Greene finished the game at the foul line. I would say it was the craziest game some of these Syracuse guys have ever been a part of, but that would ignore Devendorf and co. playing in a 6-overtime game against UConn back in 2009. Let’s just call it the craziest game of TBT 2017 and call it a night.

Team Fancy 82, SuperNova 74

SuperNova entered the tournament as one of the clear favorites to win it all. And why not? They’re a group of Villanova alums used to playing with each other, with Final Four and even National Championship experience. So it was perfectly reasonable that when the reporter sitting next to me came back from interviewing the Syracuse guys saw a 19-point lead on the scoreboard, she asked, “I assume SuperNova is winning?” Actually, no.

Nova trailed by as many as 21 points, shooting 11-34 (32.4%) from the field in the first half. On the other sideline, Team Fancy was doing a terrific job attacking the basket, a perfect 13-13 from the foul line (they finished 25-26 on the game). Former Rhode Island Ram Delroy James was incredibly impressive throughout the game, finishing with 21 points and 8 rebounds. The 6’8″ forward has a strong inside-outside game, knocking down 3 of 6 threes, and relentlessly getting to the rim.

The talented SuperNova squad finally got some shots to fall in the second half. Corey Fisher and Malcolm Grant combined to make 5 of 10 threes, each recording 15 points. They chipped away at the lead, eventually cutting to deficit to 4 inside of a minute left. But Grant’s three was slightly off and Maurice Sutton’s putback attempt didn’t fall, as Team Fancy held on. Fans are denied an old school Big East battle between the former Syracuse and Villanova guys, but Team Fancy will surely put up another good fight.

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