Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Madness: Day One

Class? Are you serious? I'll be here all day with Greg and Aram to provide commentary on the first of four great days.

11:20: Here's what's on tap for today.

11:25: Awful Announcing has posted the announcing schedule for round one. Tim Brando and Mike Gminski will be calling Vandy-Siena tomorrow night.

11:30: Georgia has gone from disgraced to embraced, writes The New York Times' Pete Thamel. After reading this story, I have even more respect for Bulldog coach Dennis Felton.

11:40: A lot of times teams take on characteristics of their star player. Nowhere is this more true than Kansas. Everything about the Jayhawks is smooth as silk just like star wing Brandon Rush.

12:00: Wanna know when you're watching a Big 10 game? When Michigan State is up 19-15 over Temple with seven minutes to go in the first half.

12:10: Kansas looks even better than advertised, leading Portland State 49-26 at the break, while Georgia is up nine on third-seeded Xavier. So much for Gary Parrish's 10-star lock of the century...

12:20: With both Temple and Xavier losing by double-digits in the first round, it's not a good day for the A-10.

12:30: Remember the name: Sundiata Gaines. He's becoming more of a legend in Athens with each passing day.

12:47: Not much to discuss with two of the three games (Kansas and Michigan State) more or less decided. Georgia leads by 10 with 13:43 to go. The last 3 seed to beat a No. 14? Northwestern State over Iowa in 2006.

12:54: Here comes Xavier. They're down four with 11:44 to play. This has the potential to be a great one...

1:06: And you wonder why we love March? Xavier is now up 52-49 with 7:18 to go. I have class in five minutes, but something tells me I won't be going...

1:19: Whether it's Vandy or Clemson or Villanova (I'm not including Siena) advancing to the Sweet 16, they'll have a mighty difficult time beating Kansas, who has everything you want in a basketball team.

1:25: Here's a look at what's coming up next:

No. 6 Marquette vs. No. 11 Kentucky (1:30 CT)
No. 6 Purdue vs. No. 11 Baylor (1:50 CT)
No. 8 UNLV vs. No. 9 Kent State (1:55 CT)
No. 4 Pittsburgh vs. No. 13 Oral Roberts (2:00 CT)

1:33: Don't you love how CBS cuts out of the Georgia-Xavier game to show the start of Kentucky-Marquette? I know the games are free online and we're near Lexington, but can't they wait two minutes? Besides, this is Commodore country.

1:37: The slipper didn't fit for Georgia (sorry for doubting you, Gary). Or Portland State. Or Temple...

Xavier 83 Georgia 71
Michigan State 72 Temple 61
Kansas 85 Portland State 61

1:50: Time for a lunch break so I'll be back in in a bit...

2:40: I'm feeling recharged after some delicious Chinese. Unfortunately, there aren't many close games to watch. The only good one is Kentucky-Marquette (The Wildcats trail by 4 at the half). Purdue is up 16 on Baylor, Pittsburgh is up 21 on Oral Roberts and UNLV is up 31-10 (and no, that's not a misprint) at halftime. I love March Madness.

3:05: I cant remember a time when 3 out of 4 games being played featured 20 point spreads...this is really a disappointing afternoon session, but the great thing about this tournament is we have 4 more games coming up...

3:38: Want to know what game you'll be watching later? Check out the CBS coverage maps courtesy of Awful Announcing...

3:40: Hope Belmont gives Duke a fight, could be a long night otherwise because we're not going anywhere...

3:55: All the talk about Kentucky getting in is pretty meaningless now. They just suffered their first first-round loss in 20 years. Hats off to Joe Crawford though, he left it all on the floor. Too bad for Oral Bobby; I really thought that game with Pitt would have been more competitive. Pitt really looks great now that it has Levance Fields healthy again...

4:00: It's been a pretty depressing first day, but hey, it still beats class. And all it takes is one buzzer-beater to change everything. There have been no upsets through seven games.

Marquette 74 Kentucky 66
Purdue 90 Baylor 79
UNLV 71 Kent State 58
Pittsburgh 82 Oral Roberts 63

4:30: The lone game right now is Stanford-Cornell and it's not on TV, but I'm not complaining. I need a break. I'm actually heading down to Tampa tonight (12-hour drive through the night) so this will be my last post until tomorrow when I'll be blogging all day from the St. Pete Times' Forum. Hopefully there will be some better games on tonight...

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