Saturday, March 22, 2008

NCAA Tourney: Arkansas 86, Indiana 72

Arkansas broke their NCAA Tournament losing curse Friday night on the back of a 31-point career night by Sonny Weems. What a game is all I can say. Arkansas had several chances to blow the leads they built on the Hoosiers but managed to man up each time and go on runs that kept them up by several possessions.

Darian Townes and Steven Hill harrass Big 10 player of the year D.J. White.

Charles Thomas is fouled under the net by D.J. White. The Hoosiers' big man got into foul trouble early and wasn't the prescense on the court everyone expected. He still finished with 22 points.

Coach Pelphrey draws up a play during a timeout. Pelphrey was his usual self during the game. He almost drew a technical foul, but I don't think the referee heard exactly what Pelphrey shouted at him. I heard it.

Patrick Beverley manufactures a turnover.

Darian Townes celebrates in the waning second of Arkansas' victory. The Hogs will really need to dig deeper and bring it all tomorrow if they want to have a good chance of pulling off the upset over No. 1 tournament seed North Carolina. They do have a chance, but they'll have to play the Tarheels like they did against Tennessee.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Atlanta Tornado

The Atlanta tornado happened last Friday night. I've been busy traveling and covering Arkansas basketball, and resting on the day and a half I had off between the SEC Tournament and traveling to the NCAA Tournament regional in Raleigh, N.C. So here I am finally posting these pics on my blog. I hit the streets the next day after the tornado hit the ATL. I had a limited amount of time to shoot before having to get ready for Arkansas' game that day at Georgia Tech. I stumbled across the lead photo while rounding a corner on my way back to my hotel. The guy is a security guard who was busy gawking at the damage done to a building adjacent to his.

Kentucky fans didn't have much else to do since they were shut out of the Wildcats' game against Georgia on Saturday so many took to the streets before and after the game touring the damage sites. What better way to skip out on shelling out $40 for the Georgia Aquarium than walking around checking out tornado damage. "Stop yer wining kids, this is a "nature" tour."

A worker cleans up debris at Centennial Park next to one of the fallen Olympic torches.

The tornado-damaged facade of the CNN building. I heard Wolf Blitzer was carried several blocks by the tornado and was found naked sitting on a barstool at the downtown Atlanta Hooters.

The tornado-damaged Westin Hotel tower.

The tornado-damaged Westin Hotel tower reflected in one of hundreds of pieces of broken glass littering a nearby sidewalk. There were dozens of people, mostly tourists with cameras checking out all the damage, walking around me as I shot this photo. Some thought I was crazy, some thought it was a "great angle" and one woman thought I was crazy for laying my other camera body, my 20D with 70-200, on the sidewalk next to me as I shot this photo. "Nah, I'm not crazy." I replied. "I'm from Arkansas."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

SEC Tourney Final: Georgia 66, Arkansas 57

Somtimes things just aren't meant to be. Arkansas lost to Georgia for the second time this season in the SEC Tournament championship game. It was actually quite sad considering they had just knocked off powerhouse Tennessee the night before. Georgia has a 17-16 record and didn't even qualify to get into the NCAA Tournament or the second-class NIT Tournament. Well now they do. Thanks to Arkansas the Bulldogs get an automatic bid into the "Big Dance." Happy Birthday Georgia.

Pelphrey for a good part of the game did a lot of cheering for his team. The Razorbacks fell behind by 19 points in the first half (just like in January in Athens) and scrapped back to get within 3 points, but it just wasn't meant to be. I swear it was like deja vu in Athens. Now the Hogs are looking ahead to the first round of the NCAA Tournament where they will face Indiana. And if they manage to beat the Hoosiers they will face No. 1 North Carolina in Raleigh. Seems like God has it out for the Razorbacks right now. Fate just ain't on their side. As for me I get to have two days at home and it's back on a plane to Raleigh. Never been there before.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

SEC Tournament: Hogs 92, Vols 91

Arkansas' win over Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference Tournament's semifinal came on the shoulders of two unlikely heros Saturday night at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Steven Hill scored only two points against the Volunteers, but it was probably the biggest two points of his college career. It truly was an amazing shot.

The "Manimal" was unleashed Saturday night. Charles Thomas scored a career-high 24 points against the Vols and had 10 rebounds.

The whole team pulled together and played a truly unforgettable game in the middle of a very crazy weekend. Tornados (there was another tornadic storm that passed through downtown Atlanta again today), a change of venue that limited fan attendance and a rematch with the team that handed them their worst point loss of the season. The Hogs play Georgia, who beat Mississippi State, tomorrow night in the championship. The Hogs have a really, really good chance of bringing a SEC Tournament trophy back to Fayetteville come Monday.

Friday, March 14, 2008

SEC Tournament: Hogs 81, Vandy 75

Arkansas moved on in the Southeastern Conference Tournament today with a win over Vandy, their second time to beat the Commodores in two weeks. All that really means to me is I won't be going home now until at least Sunday.

The Hogs play Tennessee tomorrow in the tournament's semi-final. If they win that one I won't be home til Monday. Then I get to pack up again and hop on a plane to wherever USA on Tuesday or Wednesday for Arkansas' appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Don't know where that location is as of yet. The term March Madness is beginning to make a lot of sense to me now.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Elvis Sighting

The King is alive and well folks and apparently he's an Auburn Tigers fan. Too bad they were eliminated by Vanderbilt in the first round of the SEC tournament today. Sorry Elvis. Back to the Heartbreak Hotel, or the Marriot, or Hyatt or whatever sad seedy motel you may be staying in tonight.

Chick-Fil-A Blimp

I'm in the ATL for the SEC Tournament. The Chick-Fil-A blimp was flying around dropping little parachuting cows into the crowd between games. Now if only there was a High Life blimp up there doing the same. That would be cool.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hawgs Illustrated Vol. 17, Issue 4

Finally getting around to posting this issue. It's been out for a couple of weeks now — I'm actually in the office right as I type this working on gathering art for the next issue. The kids on the cover are Arkansas' big-time recruits Joe Adams and Cruz Williams. Adams is the receiver Petrino stole away from USC. Hopefully these kids will be a big deal in a couple of years.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Arkansas 77, Auburn 64

Not much of a game on Saturday really. Beverley scored 27 points.

Thomas turned into the "Manimal" at least two times in the game.

Oh, and Pelphrey still got mad and broke some stuff. Great game!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sahar On The Runway

Sahar participated in her second BHS DECA Prom Fashion Show on Wednesday night. The event was originally scheduled for Tuesday when I was in Oxford, Miss., covering Arkansas' baseketball game with Ole Miss. As luck would have it school was canceled Tuesday and the event was pushed back an evening. I got back in town just in time to catch the show.

Of course Sahar was thrilled I was able to attend the show. Not necessarily for the sake of me getting to see it. No, she was worried I wouldn't be able to make it and take photos of her and her friends strutting their stuff on stage. Oh the fun of being the professional photographer in the family.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A couple of Nutts

I can name a couple of people who enjoyed watching Arkansas lose 81-72 to Ole Miss last night in Oxford, Miss. He received a standing ovation from fans last night when his image was shown on the big screens above mid court. It was hilarious, yet sad in a sick Jim Jones sort of way. They don't even know what they've got coming to them in Oxford. Hotty Toddy!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Arkansas 78, No. 14 Vanderbilt 73

More photos from Arkansas' big win. Beverley was beside himself after the buzzer sounded.

Vincent Hunter is fouled while jumping for a rebound.

Darian Townes jams a dunk after finding an open lane to the basket.

John Pelphrey continued his love affair with the SEC's officiating crews.

Patrick Beverley picks up a foul while fighting for a loose ball.

Sonny Weems and Patrick Beverley feed off the UA student section after their win over Vandy.

Arkansas Beats No. 14 Vanderbilt....

...and I was there. Look at that concentration. More images to come later. Thanks to Jason Ivester for lending me the photo of me.

Smart Chicken

Haven't seen a chicken tic-tac-toe game since my younger days at the Tulsa State Fair. This chicken was schooling pretty much everybody brave enough to face being humiliated by tomorrow night's dinner. The bird would just sit there and stare down his competition for a couple of minutes and let them sweat it out before ducking behind his blind and working his skills. Guess what lady? You just got clucked!