Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Greatest Day


I intended to post this little piece on Thursday evening, however things began to get carried away with how good the games were and how long my writing became so I had to postpone it until today.  This is supposed to serve as a bit of a running commentary similar to what Bill Simmons put up on ESPN, but mine has the benefit of hindsight and editorializing, so in the end I think it will be more entertaining.  This past Thursday was far and away the best opening day to an NCAA Tournament of all time.  The level of excitement and the number of close games was astounding - it was literally one after another.  The first day of the tournament is already one of the best sports days of all time, but this took it to another level.  Combine that with a Heat vs. Magic game on TNT that went into overtime and new episodes of the Office and 30 Rock and this was the most TV I have watched in a long time.  Needless to say, my brain was fried the next day at work (8 days left).  In any event, let's get to my log of the action.  I had a meeting in the morning, so I was a little late to the first games, but that doesn't really matter:

2:30 PM

- The early afternoon games have already been exciting. Notre Dame loses to Old Dominion. A classic 12 seed versus 5 seed upset. Villanova is in danger of being upset by Robert Morris as well in the always embarassing 15 seed over 2 seed game.

- Scottie Reynolds (Villanova) looks tentative and Villanova continues its slump. Apparently Scottie was benched for a team infraction.  Benching your star player for a tournament game because of a team infraction - unheard of! Who says college coaching is dead?

- At the three minute mark now. Nova is starting to get calls on Scottie Reynolds' drives. 2:10 left, Scottie makes two FTs to cut the Robert Morris lead to 55-53.

- Meanwhile, Florida and BYU is in OT.  They are tied at 87 and Florida has the ball with five seconds left. They run a terrible last play for a tip in off the glass and that game is going to double OT.

- Robert Morris turns it over and Reynolds gets another call at 1:48 on a reach in foul.  Reynolds makes the first FT. 11 of 11 from the line. 55-54.  He makes the second.  We are tied up.

- Robert Morris gets it across half and now Nova gets called for a foul off the ball. 1:34 left.  Karon Abraham, 85% free throw shooter misses the first shot. Classic.  He makes the second. 56-55.

- Reynolds gets a screen and drives through the lane.  He gets tied up but he flails and gets another foul call.  Reynolds goes to the line.  He ties it with the first. Misses the second. 56-56.

- On the other end, Abraham drives, cradles and pumps the ball back - beautiful layup! 58-56 Robert Morris. However, Nova comes right back down and lays it in. 58-58.

- Abraham brings the ball across half, drives and puts up a floater that misses.  Nova gets the rebound, Reynolds takes the ball cross court and calls time. After the timeout, Scottie holds the ball until there are ten seconds left on the clock.  A high screen comes, but Reynolds gets trapped.  He scrambles to drive the lane and lays the ball up only to have it swatted into the seats.  Nova ball underneath with 0.9 remaining. I start to feel guilty seeing the sun outside.

- Backside lob by Nova. Perfectly executed, but its blocked by Robert Morris! We are going to OT.  Two overtime games in the first two hours of the tournament.  This is unheard of!

- Nova strikes first in OT. 60-58.

- After a Robert Morris miss, Nova feeds it inside to one of their big men (what? I'm not an expert. I don't know everyone. That's what I don't work for ESPN apparently) for a pretty bank shot.  Nova is up 62-58.  This looks like a classic tournament "favorite was sleeping for most of the game, but woke up in the end to avoid the upset" swing.

2:56 PM:

- Meanwhile, in the Florida vs. BYU game, BYU has pulled away from Florida 97-90, which looks like it will be the final. (In hindsight, I am bummed I missed this game because I heard how BYU's star Jimmer Fridette - yes, his real name - put on quite a show, scoring 40 plus.)

- In the second slot of games, 13 seed Murray State is playing 4 seed Vanderbilt close and winning 17-16 with about 11 minutes left.  14 seed Sam Houston is playing 3 seed Baylor tight as well, leading 8-3 at the 17:20 mark.  These kind of scores happen in a 3/14 or 4/13 game.  In the first half, the lower seed surprises the favorite until the favorite wakes up and pulls way late in the first half or early in the second half.

- Back to Nova/Robby Mo.  Nova has gone up 6 after two FTs and looks like they will take the game. Then, Robert Morris makes two free throws to get the lead back to 4. They benefit from more sloppy Nova play and get the ball back with 2:19 left.  Abraham jacks a three and misses, but Nova fouls on the rebound and sends Dallas Green to the line.  He clanks the first, but nails the second. 64-61 with 1:45 remaining.

- Reynolds holds the ball and the shot clock is down to 9.  Sloppy play ensues and Redding (Villanova) throws a up a desperate pass at Reynolds, who pumps and drills a three! Just his second FG.  He is 2 of 15 for the game. Ouch. 67-61.

- Robert Morris quickly makes a layup and the score is 67-63 with 52 seconds left.  Robert Morris tried to tieup Nova. One ref calls a jump, the other a foul.  Its ruled a foul and Nova goes to the line. The Robert Morris coach's head is about to explode. He actually fakes leaving the game, but comes back.  What did we do to deserve this basketball gods?  Stokes (Villanova) makes the first FT and misses the second. 68-63 Nova.

- Robert Morris takes it down and Abraham tkaes a shot through a double team and gets bailed by a foul call. He makes two FTs. 68-65. In other scores, the Baylor/Sam Houston and Vandy/Murray State games are still close at the 13 minute and 6 minute marks respectively.

-  Nova inbounds and the ball is stolen by Robert Morris!  They make the quick layup. 68-67 with 35.5 seconds left.  Robert Morris has no timeouts left. This is insane. I will need at least 60 beers today to keep pace with the excitement.

-  Nova breaks the Robby Mo press perfectly for a wide open layup for Yarou. However, Abraham chases the play down and fouls Yarou before he can convert.  Yarou makes both FTs.  70-67 with 28.8 left.

- Robert Morris inbounds and Abraham breaks the defense for an open layup but is rejected! Nova gets the loose ball and pushes the ball out to an open Redding who doesn't take the wide open layup! He chooses instead to dribble the ball and run down the clock.  Robby Mo fouls!  Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery are baffled at the commentators booth.  I haven't heard Verne this puzzled since he did play by play for Happy Gilmore's first PGA event.

- Redding misses the first FT. Classic.  He makes the second.  71-67. Robert Morris pushes the ball up court and Abraham chucks a long three.  He nails it! 71-70 with ten seconds left!

- Nova is fouled immediately and Reynolds goes to the line.  He is 2/15 from the field and 13/14 from the line.  He makes both shots. 73-70 Nova.

- Robert Morris has the final shot, but in a poorly executed final play they miss a long three.  Villanova escapes and Bill Raftery tells us that Robert Morris only lost on the scoreboard. How true.

-Meanwhile, Murrary State and Vandy are as close as it can be. Murray State is up 33-31 with 2 minutes remaining in the first half and Sammy Houston is still playing Baylor tight. Sammy Morris is up 17-16 with 8:36 left in the first.

- Sam Houston has a player on their team that wears goggles.  Haven't seen those in awhile.  In fact, his name is "Goggles" Clavell.  Goggles + Upset Special = Must Have.  Baylor ties it up with an Anthony "Tony" Jones dunk.

- Sam Houston steals, Ray Murray takes the ball down and misses a layup. Baylor with terrific ball movement and another vicious slam by "Large Pie" Tony Jones.  20-18 Baylor.

- Ray Murray clanks a three for Sam Houston.  They are 1/11 from three so far. Not a good trend.  Rebound by Sam Houston.  Brown passes to "Goggles" Clavell.  He makes the layup! And one.  21-20 Sammy Houston.  They steal the ball from Baylor and make another good pass inside. Basket interference. 23-20.

- Greg Gumble switches us to the tip of Kansas State vs. North Texas.

- At the half, Murray Brothers State leads Vandy 36-30.

- K. State is up 3 early. Pace of the game is extremely fast in the early going. 5-0 K. State after a baby hook.

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4:11:

- Oops. Took a little break to set up my pod-casting recorer.  A Tascam DR-07.  I'm going to use this thing to bring you the most innane, yet interesting podcasts invented by man.  That last phrase has probably been said by over one million idiots in the 20-50 range.  Large age range, but still. So, for an update:

           - K. State on a huge run to open up a 30-17 lead.
           - Murray State leading Vandy 51-50 with 7:56 left.
           - Baylor up 34-37 on Sammy Houst with 17 minutes left.
           - St. Mary's and Richmond have tipped off.  7 seed Richmond Spiders are up 19-17 on 10 seed
             St. Mary's. All the games so far today have  been tight. Absolutely unheard of.  It fits in with
             what the analysts said: this year's tourny would be wide open with no true dominant teams
             besides Kansas and Kentucky and even they aren't so traditionally dominant.

- K. State may be the first team to win big today.  I did not see one of their games during the year, but their guards are controlling the gaeme nicely. 15 of their 35 points coming from the backcourt.

- RepoMen.  Repossessing organs.  Forrest Whitaker and Jude Law.  "You and me, we always gonna be Repo."  I am onboard while being simultaneously baffled.

- Pullen (K. State) drives and makes a terrific pass to Kelly behind his head. Kelly can't handle and lay the ball in. Shame. Meanwhile, #17 on North Texas looks like a young Jay-Z. (Speaking of which, last night in Time Out there was a Brooklyn vs. Manhattan quiz. Who is more prototypical New Yorker? Woody Allen or Jay-Z? Come on. More choices?)

- Clemente on K. State steps back and swishes a long three. Clemente and Pullen. Important names to remember because guards make an NCAA tourny run for a team. Also good interior play, low turnovers and good defense - so really everything done well.

- Peter Venkman State still  up on Vandy and Sammy Houston takes takes a 42-40 lead on Baylor with 14 minutes left. Back to K. State and North Texas, Clemente nails another three.  K. State is hot.

*Side note: how good was Dan Akroyd at making up names for movies.  Ghostbusters has a slew of amazing names and Spies Like Us is a clinic in hilarious named characters.  Look up movies Akroyd has written and you will find amazingly named characters.  It is a dying art in comedy and movies.

- Watching Sam Houston  play Baylor, I have to wonder why there is no BBQ chain called Sammy Houston's.  Couldn't you see a Sammy Houston's in Times Square next to a store selling Heath Ledger Joker shirts, or on an Interstate 10 rest stop? No?

- K. State takes a 41-25 lead into the half on North Texas.  Pullen and Clemente have 11 apiece.

- Undercover Boss is just a sorry replacement for the seminal TV reality show, My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss. Ah, 2004. Simpler days.

- And Lamar Odom is everywhere. He wins a ring with the Lakers, marries a Kardashian and all his endorsment offers come in.   I always liked the guy.

- We're back in New Orleans watching Sammy Houston's Baby-back Ribs take on the Baylor Thoroughbreds - er, Bears. Sorry, the colors confused me.

- Ladders.com commercial.  I know a dozen people who got jobs at the Ladders in the golden employment age of 2007.  Sadly, I was not hired when I applied in the fall/winter of 2007. Sadly?

- Baylor hits a long 2. Tied at 46.  Two minutes left and Peter Venkman State is leading Vandy in San Jose.

- Festus Ezeli misses two FTs with Vandy trailing 62-60.  Murray State misses a layup and Vandy gets the rebound. They call a TO with 1:55 left.

- Tony Easley on Murray State gets called for a block and fouls out. That puts Vandy star player A.J. Ogilvy on the line.  He hits the first and misses the second. 62-61. Murray State calls TO with 1:36 remaining.

- Shot clock winding down and Murray State's Danero Thomas makes a clutch fadeaway jumper. Vandy answers immediately with a nicely executed Ogilvy layup.

- Meanwhile, Baylor has pulled ahead of Sammy Houston's Slow Cooked Brisket, but Sammy comes back with another order of Pork Belly. 50-49.

- Murray State 64. Vandy 63. 49 seconds left. Murray State is moving the ball to run down the clock.  Shot clock at 10.  Dribble drive by Isacc Miles (Murray State) and a baseline pass is intercepted by Vandy.  Timeout with 22 seconds left.  As Verne Lundquist would say, "Oh my!"

- Vandy sets up a perfect backdoor through Ogilvy. He dishes it to Jermaine Beal who goes for a dunk and is fouled. No basket. Beal makes his frist. 64-64.  Murray State tries to freeze Beal with a timeout.  Meanwhile, Murray State's team name is the Racers.  I like it.

- Beal sinks the second. 65-64 Vandy. 12 seconds left. No timeouts for Murrary State.  They bring the ball down and miss a long three.  The ball bounces off Vandy.  Murray State ball with 4 seconds left.  Timeout Vandy.  Murray State will take the ball out underneath.

- Murray State inbounds the ball. Isacc Miles gets it.  He trips up on the dribble and passes it to Danero Thomas who takes a dribble and step in, pulls up and NAILS IT AS TIME EXPIRES! 66-65 Murray State.  The upset. The Murray Brothers are going to the second round, even the brother who played Freddy Rumsen on Mad Men! Jesus, another great ending.


-Back in New Orleans there is 3:20 left and Sammy Houston and Baylor are tied at 55-55.  Sammy Houst has the ball. They spread the Baylor zone and miss a jumper.  Baylor comes back with a nice pass to the interior for a dunk. 57-55.

- Sammy Houston loses it at the other end.  Baylor comes back and Lacedarius Dunn makes a turnaround jumper.  Gotta love Lacedarius! 59-55.

- Sam Houston makes a bad decision to go for a long three that clanks off the rim.  1:24 remaining.  They foul Baylor and they miss at the line, but Sam Houston throws the ball away. Lacedarius Dunn comes back with a dunk. 61-55.  Sammy Houston misses another shot and fouls.  The wheels may be coming off here. Dunn makes two FTs. 63-55 Baylor with a minute left.

- Quick pass underneath for Sammy and a layup.  But Baylor comes right back and Dunn is fouled.  Dick Enberg (the legend) tells us that "Goggles" Clavell had a great game.  Dunn makes both FTs. 65-67 with 46.6 left.

- Clavell picks up a miss and makes the layup. He is fouled! And one chance. Lacedarius fouls out. Clavell misses the FT and Sammy fouls immediately. 65-59 with 30 seconds left.  Will there be BBQ in round 2? Baylor makes 1 of 2 at the line.

- Crow on Sam Houston misses a 3. Baylor fouled. 66-59 with 21.4 left. Baylor makes both. 68-59. Sam Houston misses another three and Baylor dribbles out the clock.  68-59 final.

- Back to Providence. St. Mary's and Richmond. St. Mary's 41, Richmond 40. 16:51 left. We are with Raftery and Lundquist, which is a great commentator pairing.

- St. Mary's takes a 43-40 lead. Gonzalvez (yes, correct spelling) on Richmond with some nice dribbling, gets inside and makes a tough layup.

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7:11:

- Back from the News Break between early sessions and the late sessions as well as some dinner.  Missed the ending of the St. Mary's and Richmond game, but I heard that St. Mary's was extremely impressive.  A team to watch for in round 2.

- Now we get UNLV and Northern Iowa who are underway and tied at 8.  A classic 8 vs. 9 matchup between two historical rivals.

- Northern Iowa is setting the tone early for some offensive glass dominance.  10-10 as CBS takes us back to Providence for Georgetown vs. Ohio. I caught a couple Georgetown games this year and they have looked either dominant or terrible.  It hinges on Greg Monroe, the talented and enigmatic center.

- Ohio moving the ball well and Tommy Freeman from Muncie, IN makes a 3. Ohio 3, G'Town 0. Julian Vaugh on G'Town answers with a nice post move and lay-in. 3-2. Basset of Ohio nails a jumper. 5-2. Freeman misses for G'Town and Ohio pushes it. They move the all around the point and find an open shot. Miss. They look extremely sharp, though.

- G'Town throws away an inbounds pass. Basset with a breakaway layup. 7-2 with 16:30 left. G'Town misses again. They do not look good at all.

-8-2 with 16:00 left and Wright on G'Town makes a 3. 8-5. That might wake G'Town  up.

- A couple of sloppy possessions by both teams. G'Town in transition. Wright bobbles it but pushes the ball to Monroe just in time. Monroe makes a layup and is fouled.  He misses the and one and Ohio comes back with a 3. 11-8 with 14:30 remaining.

- Monroe posts up and spins baseline for a reverse layup.  Very pretty move. 11-10 Ohio.

-G'Town inbounds and Hollis Thompson makes a corner three. 13-11 Georgetown.

-Meanwhile, UNLV is holding off Northern Iowa 24-20.  That may be a close one as well. Kentucky already has a 15 point lead on East Tennessee State University. Over.

- G'Town comes back with a transition layup by Wright and then Ohio executed a picture perfect baby hook.

- Back from break, Wright has the ball and Georgetown is in transition. Ohio defender strops him  but then leaves his assignment. Wright takes the long, open three. Nails it. Ohio moves the ball, winding clock down. They find an open man and nail a three. 20-18 Ohio. 9:30 remaining.

7:49:

-Ohio's ball movement is excellent and it results in another open shot.  22-18 Ohio. 8:23 remaining.  Georetown with another turnover.  Ohio takes possession again finding the open man. Freeman for three. Nails it. 25-18. Ohio. Timeout.

-After the timeout, Monroe with a great drop step and spin layup. On the other end Ohio turns it over.

8:27:

-After I doze off for a few minutes (sorry, post-dinner food coma) its G'Town down 48-36 at the half. UNLV is up 36-35. CBS has put Marquette vs. Washington on. Marquette is up 31-30.

- Isiah Thomas for Washington (nope, no relation) nails a three. 33-31 Huskies.

-CBS shows us clips of Armon Basset's excellent play in the first half.  Very few Armons out there. The last one I heard of was Armon Tanzarian and his reign of terror in Springfield.

- Back to G'Town and Ohio. Ohio continues its terrific ball movement. Open shot. 50-36. G'Town follows that with a turnover. However, they recover with a steal and dunk by Jason Clark.

- Monroe is stripped by Ohio who takes the ball the length of the court. Foul on Georetown underneath. 17:52 remaining.

- Kentucky is giving us the obligatory 1 seed vs. 16 seed blowout.

- Cooper of Ohio steals the ball from Wright. Cooper takes it down and delivers a beautiful alley oop. The crowd is up and is definitely pro-Ohio.  53-38.  The ugly G'Town has definitely showed up tonight.

- Back at the G'Town/Ohio announcers booth, Lundquist sells a Raftery joke. Sometimes these guys like each other a little too much.

- Wright (Georgetown) steals the ball, fast break, layup  by Freeman. 53-42 Ohio.

- Switching channels during commercial and watching clips of Heat vs. Orlando on TNT.  "The magnificent" Dwyane Wade says Doug Collins.  You know times are tough when it appears that Wade's  best friend on the team is Quentin Richardson.

- Second half underway in the No. Iowa and UNLV game.  Northern Iowa up 45-43.  Washington and Marquette are tied at 41 with 46 seconds left in the first half.

- Big call in the Ohio/G'Town game.  Monroe makes a bucket and there is a whistle.  Offensive foul on Monroe.  G'Town is down 13.

- Basset comes the other way and nails a step back three. 58-42 Ohio.  They look good as Raftery skats, "a rat-a-tat-tat."

- Magic-Heat. 56-54 Miami in the third. Underrated story this year: Dwyane Wade is an excellent passer.  Very much ignored.  His season this year is like 2005-2007 Kobe, except he can pass.

- Wade posts, draws double, spins baseline, drives in traffic and dishes to Arroyo for an open two. He gets it.

- Switch back.  Foul on Georgetown underneath.  Ohio headed to the line. G'Town looks disinterested.

- Monroe slashes nicely for a big man, dishes to Wright for an easy layup. 59-44 with 14:20 left.

-Marquette up 43-42 at the half and just as I am thinking it, CBS switches to the UNLV/No. Iowa game. 50-48 Northern Iowa. UNLV is pressing No. Iowa. I can feel the old blisters forming on my feet. What?

- Northern Iowa with some great ball movement and an open 3.  Their fans are holding up giant heads of one of their players who look like Bobby Boucher from The Waterboy. I like it.

- UNLV breaks a trap, but Chase Stanback is fouled by Kerwin Dunham. Which one of those guys is black?

- UNLV steals from No. Iowa. They launch a three. No good. 53-49 Northern Iowa with 7:49 to go.

- Back to Miami and Orlando. The Magic have taken the lead 67-60. Of course.  Beasley with a miss. What can you say about him? Terrible.

8:55:

-Coming to a critical period with no TiVo. New Offic starts at 9:00.  I think D-Wade may suffer tonight. Tonight (shock!) priorities go: NCAA Hoops, comedy, NBA. Normal priorities: 1. Writing/beer, 2. NBA, 3. Comedy.

- Northern Iowa with a steal and Adam Koch with a layup and the foul. Northern Iowa on an 11-1 run. 6:49 left.

-Northern Iowa is playing tremendous defense, but UNLV gets a putback and then a steal. Chase Stanback (black or white?) nails a three. 58-54.

- The Office is on. It may be jumping the shark this season.

- UNLV gets the halfcourt trap and Northern Iowa has to call timeout.

-UNLV on a 7-0 run now as Stanback gets white-hot. 58-56 with 5:09 left.

9:07:

-Kwadzo Ahelegbe on the line for Northern Iowa.  He makes both FTs. 60-56. Timeout UNLV with 5:03 left.

- UNLV has cut the lead to 62-61 as Stanback continues his hot hand. UNLV are using the press very effectively. Northern Iowa is flustered. They lose the ball, get it back and there is a tie-up. Possession goes to UNLV.

- Back in Providence, Georgetown has cut the lead to 7. 81-74 with 4:35 left.  Basset misses a long three. G'Town gets the rebound and brings the ball down and they are fouled.  However, the one and one misses.

- Cooper makes a three for Ohio.  They have 13 threes in the game.  The lead is ten. Foul on Ohio and we go to timeout.

- One of two freethrows made. 9 point Ohio lead with 3:30 to go.  Cooper drives for Ohio and makes a terrific one-handed scoop.  86-78 Ohio. 2:00 left.

- Georgetown has to foul Cooper. He makes two. 88-78. Georgetown misses and it looks like Ohio is going to take the game.

- We switch to UNLV/No. Iowa.  66-63 Northern Iowa leads with 1:09 remaining.  Shot clock violation against Northern Iowa. 57.2 seconds left.

- UNLV ties it with a three by Belfield who then makes the steal but goes out of bounds. No timeouts left for Northern Iowa. 35 seconds left.

- Northern Iowa will hold it for the last shot.  UNLV can't foul.  Northern Iowa is backed up near half court, but Ali Farokhmanesh nails a long three! 69-66 Northern Iowa.  UNLV takes it down court and it is tapped out. Officials are trying to figure out how much time to put on the clock. They decide on 1.6 seconds.



- As we are in timeout, Marquette has opened up on Washington, 60-47 with thirteen minutes left.

-UNLV inbounds. Three point attempt is too late. No good anyway. Northern Iowa advances.

- We're back in Providence. Ohio is up 93-80. Georgetown brings the ball down and travelling is called on Wright. Georgetown is going to play the foul game with 56.2 seconds left and down 13.

- Washington has cut Marquette's lead to 8.

- Switch to 30 Rock. Liz Lemon making some great Philadelphia Eagles snowball throwing references.

-"This is for you, Don Goose" - Jenna on 30 Rock.

-Switch back. Washington makes a three. 62-58 Marquette is barely hanging on.  Washington with a steal and it is tied-up. Jump ball, possession stays with Marquette. Marquette with a crazy shot off the glass. Butler with the putback. 64-58. Washington at the other end - a three! 64-61. Eight three pointers for Washington.

- Haywood for Marquette with a catch and shoot. Drains it. Very pretty shot, very tough.

- It is strange hearing Isiah Thomas' name being repeated over and over.  Washington nails a long jumper. 66-63 Marquette.

- Marquette has missed a few layups and Washington comes back down the floor. Thomas to Pondexter. Layin. 66-65 with 6:43 left.

- 30 Rock back on. Frank is rocking a Pumps t-shirt.  Maybe repping the sleazy Williamsburg strip club on Grand Street?

- "I got a lot of flack for playing the pig that ate Babe," - Jenna.

- Marquette inbounds. Hayward witha  tough bank. 71-69 with 5:41 remaining.  Marquette with a miss. Thomas buries a three for Washington! 72-71.  Marquette loses the ball. Timeout with 4:59 left.

- 30 Rock: Settling soul mates. Some classic lines. "I've played Monopoly alone." "You can make me look less gay at work functions."

- Good defense by Marquette. Steal, drive, dish for an open three! Nailed! 74-72 Marquette. Marquette continutes to play good defense.  It looks like they make a clean block, but are called for the fouk.  4:15 left. Quincy Pondexter at the line.  He makes both freethrows. 74-74. 4:11. Marquette works the ball inside. Shooting foul on Washington.

- Switch back to 30 Rock. "Its a Lizaster." "At one time my obituary was going to say, 'Young CEO dies in casino orgy fire.'"

- Marquette  at the line. 3:54. Jimmy Butler makes both. 76-74 Marquette. 3:52 left.

- Isiah Thomas goes for a nice reverse layup, but its blocked out of bounds. Washington ball.  Washington with several offensive rebounds but can't make the follow-up.  Butler with a rebound, he slips. Travelling called. Washington ball. 3:12.

- Pondexter working for Washington, misses, follows his own shot. 76-76. 2:34.

- Marquette has the ball. Acker drives and is fouled.

- We may need Isiah Thomas in this tournament so that announcers can oversay his name for nostalgia.

- Acker makes both FTs. 78-76 Marquette. 2:26.  Marquette presses. Foul.  Washington makes both FTs. 78-78 with two minutes remaining.

- Hayward with a long three for Marquette. Misses. Washington has the ball with 1:40 left. Marquette strips it! Tieup. Jump ball to Marquette. Marquette turns it over on a missed pass! 59 seconds left.

- Isiah misses the long three. Rebound Washington. 30 seconds left. Washington to hold. Seven seconds on the shot clock.  Pondexter with a herky jerky move. Banks it in! 80-78 Washington with 1.7 seconds left. This is getting ridiculous today!

- Kansas down 0-2 with 17:32 remaining!

- Marquette misses the last second shot. Huskies win 80-78.

- Miami and Orlando are in OT. 101-100 Orlando.  Wade takes a three and misses. Carter posts on Dorrell Wright and makes the turnaround with the foul. 104-100 Orlando.

-Lehigh is leading Kansas 10-4. Slightly surprising with 14 minutes left.  Carrington of Lehigh with a beautiful bank shot. 12-4.

- Back to Heat/Orlando. Wade drives, gets fouled and almost makes the shot. Wade has 35 tonight. Makes both FTs. Heat follow that up with good defense, but Lewis gets to the corner and makes a 3.  That puts the nail in the coffin.

- Back to the tourny.  Tennesse and San Diego State are in a close one. Tennessee is trailing.

- Collins with a three for Kansas. Miss. KU is cold.

- Maurice Morris knocks down a three for KU. Morris follows that with some good defense. He knocks the ball away. Tie up. Lehigh ball.  KU keeps up pressure. Lehigh throws it away. KU makes the layup. 12-9 with 12:20 left. Lehigh works it in. Offensive foul.

- KU works it inside to Aldrich.  Aldrich makes the layup and is fouled.  Chance for a three point play.

- Aldrich completes it.  Morris and KU are coming alive. 17-16 with Kansas looking good, this could get out of hand.

- San Diego State and Tennesse are embroiled at 14-11.

-Xavier Henry makes a three for KU.

-Collins drives in and makes a floating layup. KU up 21-14 with 8:10 remaining. Lehigh is going cold. They can tell Kansas is ready.

-Tennesse and SD State are at 22-21 with 6:14 remaining. CBS wants us to have a long look at KU, though.  Lehigh is just losing it. Amazing how fast Sherron Collins is.

- Tayshawn Taylor with a steal and a nice soaring dunk.

- Finally Lehigh makes a three. Foul on Kansas. 5:45 remaining. 25-17.  Lehigh with a long two. 25-19. Another offensive foul on Kansas. That's two on Cole Aldrich.

- Carrington makes an awkward hook. 25-21 Kansas.  But a foul on Lehigh. KU misses both shots.

- Carrington with another great move and a nice fadeaway jumper. 25-23.

- Scoreboards: Texas and Wake tied at 30 with 2:00 minutes left in the first half.  Tennesse up on SD State 30-21 with 2:10 left.

- KU makes one FT. 26-23. Travel on KU. Long two from Lehigh. 26-25.

-Xavier Henry throws it away for KU. Lehigh answers with a turnover.  Collins drives and is fould by John Adams. Gotta love the Patriot League.

- Collins makes 2.  28-25. KU with a strip on Lehigh and Collins makes a 3. 31-25 KU 1:35 left in the half.  Lehigh needs a bucket and they get a tip in by McCullem off a Carrington miss.

- Texas and Wake at 38-35 with 1 minute left.

-Tennessee and SD State 32-26 with 52 seconds left.

-Lehigh gets the ball down to Carringon who makes an outside drop step and makes a sneaky layup.  31-29 Kansas. Collins answers with a drive and a perfect reverse layup.

- Off a Lehigh miss, Collins drives and dishes for a KU layup.  35-29 Kansas at the half.

- We switch to Tennessee and SD State. Prince with a strange pump bank shot but he makes it. Tennessee up 34-26 with 2.2 left in the half.

- Texas up on Wake 38-37 at the half.

- Draper is doing Mercedes commercials.  Soothing until Mad Men Season 4.

- New Mexico and Montanat. 17-17 with 8:54 remaining. Two states I have spent time in. I almost camped right next to a prison in New Mexico, but my friends and I decided against it. The uniform matchup here leaves a lot to be desired though.  Almost made me forget that it was a 3 seed vs. 14 seed matchup tied at 17.

- Back from the half to Lehigh and KU.  Kevin Harlan gives us a litany of stats where KU is outplaying Lehigh, but Lehigh remains within 6.

- Collins in to Aldrich. Layup. 37-29. Watch for Aldrich.

- Bad baseline pass by Lehigh picked off by Xavier Henry. Collins with a nice crossover but misses the layup.

- 3 pointer by Lehigh, but Maurice Morris answers with a layup. 39-32 KU.

- Harlan asks, "In the tournament you have to have urgency don't you?"

- Xavier Henry gets a rebound and goes to coast to coast. 41-32 KU. They are pulling away quickly.

- Wake up on Texas 44-38. Tennessee up 37-28 on SD State. Montana up 22-17 on New Mexico.

- Lehigh misses and KU takes it down and Xavier Henry makes a pretty floater in the lane as Harlan and partner talk up his skills.

-Lehigh makes a pair of FT. 43-34. 16:55 remaining. Travel on Xavier Henry. Chance for Lehigh here, but they almost turn it over. Long three from C.J. McCullen for Lehigh. Aldrich answers with a dunk. 45-37.

- Missed 3 by Lehigh. Tap in by McCullem. 45-39.

- Collins answers with a three. 48-39.  Tough inside pass by Lehigh. Kansas steals and Xavier Henry lays down an NBA drunk in the lane. 50-39. Lehigh follows with a three. 50-42. KU turns the ball over and Lehigh makes a layup. 50-44.

11:21:

- Wake pulling away from Texas 54-42. Tennessee and SD State are tight. Tennessee is up 39-37. Montana up 28-27 on New Mexico at the half.

11:39:

- Tyrell Reed nails a three for Kansas. 56-44. I always like Kansas because of their UNC connections.  This year they seem extremely deep (Ed note: Clearly this was written on Thursday. Oh what a difference two days make in the NCAA Tournament.)

-The superior athleticism of Kansas is starting to show at the 10:25 mark.  But Lehigh nails a three. 58-49.

- Morningstar nails a three for KU. 61-49.  Collins is showing his ability to get wherever he wants to on the court. He dishes to Reed who nails another three. 64-51. 9:19 remaining. KU looks in control so we switch back to Providence where Tennessee is up 44-43 on SD State. 9:44 left.

- SD State takes the lead. "They are back back up!" exclaims Verne Lundquist.  You can tell that he loves this time of year - maybe too much.

- Tennessee takes the lead as J.P. Prince makes two FTs. 46-45 Tennessee.  Offensive foul on SD State as Prince takes a vicious elbow to the face.  In a funny moment, Wayne Chism "kicks" Prince on the floor.

- Is RepoMen going to be good? No, right?

- This SD State/Tennessee game is hard to watch. I have seen a few Tennessee games this year, but it seems like they always play games that finish with a score of 60-52. They also always have really athletic and long players that play very loose and sloppy.

-Nice inside pass by Tennessee ino Chism for the layup. 48-45 Vols. Hopson nails a three. 51-47 Tennessee. 4:21 left.

- Gay on SD State with the lefty layup. And one.  He makes the FT. 53-50 Tennessee. 4:08.

- Tennessee is at the line with two FTs. Another questionable loose ball call called. Tennessee 55-50 with 3:20 left.

11:58:

-Wake leads Texas 68-62 with 2:10 left and New Mexico has taken the lead on Montana 38-32.  Tennessee gets called for an offensive foul. 55-52 with 2:38 left.  SD State travels. Tennessee inbounds to Chism and Chism loses the ball by making a terrible behind the back dribble decision.

- All of a sudden, we are switched to Wake and Texas. Wake is up 67-64.  Brown of Texas hits a three. 67-67. 49.3 seconds left.

- Back to SD State and Tennessee. 57-54 Tennessee. 57 seconds left.

12:04:

-Foul on Tennessee.

- Back to Wake an Texas. Wake is up 68-67. Texas drives and there is a dish for a layup, but its blocked. Tieup. Wake ball.

- Back to  Tennessee and SD State. Tennessee is up 57-56. Prince misses a FT but Chism with the rebound. 30 seconds left.  Tennessee moving the ball.  12 on the shot clock. Ball movement to Goings who makes a three! SD State comes down and Tennessee fouls on the three point shot! Wake is going to the line to shoot three free throws. 9.5 seconds left.

- Gay makes the first. "He's a net guy. He doesn't touch the tip." Vaguely erotic.

- 13.6 remaining in Texas vs. Wake.  Wake turns it over on the inbounds pass.

- SD State makes two of three FTs. Tennessee and SD State. 60-59 Tennessee.

- NM has pulled away from Montana.

- Back to Texas and Wake. Damien James drives and there is a blocking foul on Wake.  9.9 seconds left. James makes the first FT. Tie. James misses the second.  Wake drives down and loses the ball. Texas picks it up. Half court shot. No. Another overtime.  I can barely write or think anymore.

- In Tennessee/SD State, Chism makes two FTs. SD State with three seconds left goes for the three to tie.  No! Tennessee winds.

- Texas and Wake in OT. Wake misses a floater. Texas works it inside.  Ragged baseline jumper is good. Wake comes back with a three. Miss. Tip back. Miss. Texas gets the rebound and works it down inside on the other end for a layup. 71-68.

- Texas steals the ball and Jordan Hamilton hits a three. 74-68. Texas steals the ball immediately. Damien James for a dunk and is fouled. 3:04 left. James makes both FTs. 76-68 Texas.

- Wake converts a follow-up dunk. 2:43. Texas misses a three and there is a loose ball foul. Wake Forest makes the first of the one and one. They make the second. 76-72 Texas.

- Brown makes a long jumper for Texas. 78-72. 1:49 left.  Wake can't get going on offense. Loose ball picked up by Texas.  1:25 left. Texas has the ball, but Brown is called for a charge.

- Wake shoots a three. Misses but the follow up is good. 78-74 Texas.

- Texas misses two FTs. 78-74 with 49 seconds left.  Wake misses a three. Damien James grabs the rebound with 35.4 left.  From what I have seen, this has been a sloppy game. Wake  fouls Texas. First FT is made. 79-76. Second FT made. 80-76. 28.2 seconds remaining.

- Wake takes the ball down. Open 3 by Wake's Gay. Nails it. 80-79 with 15.9 remaining.  Dick Enberg says, "Oh my! Overtime!"

- Wake fouls Texas with 10 seconds left.

- Meanwhile, Montana has crawled back to 53-52. One after another with these ridiculously close games.

- Texas misses both FTs and Wake comes back and nails a three! Unbelieveable. 82-80.  Texas for the last minute shot. No good. Jesus, let me sleep.


- The Montana/New Mexico game has sucked me in like this is Godfather Part III.  New Mexico 57, Montana 54. 1:50 left.

- Montana misses a layup. Out of bounds to Montana. Inbounds, baseline jumper is good. 57-56 with 1:25 to go.

- Montana commits a blocking foul with 1:22 left. New Mexico at the line. Dariese Gary makes the first. He makes the second. 59-56.

12:38:

- Montana is moving the ball side to side.  The ball is almost stolen and then actually stolen by New Mexico with 52 seconds left.  Timeout, New Mexico.

- Montana fouls New Mexico with 42.4 seconds left. Dariese Gary misses the first. He makes the second. 60-56 with 30.4 left.

- Montana inbounds the ball. They drive and drop-off for the layup. The shot misses, but there is a foul. Two shots. 22.4 seconds to go. One of two free throws are made. 60-57. Montana fouls before the ball is inbounded. Dariese Gary for New Mexico misses both FTs! Montana drives down at the other end, but they miss the layup.  They have to foul New Mexico with 13.5 seconds left.

-Roman Martinez at the line for New Mexico.  He makes both FTs. 62-57 New Mexico.

- Montana takes the ball in.  They attempt a three. Miss. Second chance. Miss. New Mexico winds.  Dear Lord what a day. Can it be this good again?


I exhausted myself scribbling out those notes and I just exhausted myself typing them up. Of course, Friday was a solid day of action and then yesterday we had two big upsets with Villanova and then Kansas both getting upset.  This tournament is really wide open at this point as the main storylines become:

1. How mediocre the overall competition is, which breeds all of these exciting games; and

2. John Wall vs. Evan Turner. Who will be the #1 pick in the draft? Depending how well each of these guys play in the tournament could decide who is picked first.  Kentucky is extremely talented and could take the entire thing at this point from what I have seen of them. I haven't seen Ohio State in the tournament yet, but you can't rule out Evan Turner.

Anyway, that's my take on the tournament for now. I am going to try to enjoy the beautiful weather today and the games later on.  I'm going to get the first podcast up this week and then try to do one every week going forward.

Just stay with me here.

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