March 18, 2010

Day one of the Madness

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

Here are some of RTP’s thoughts about the opening day of the NCAA tournament. And please don’t call the play-in game the first day, it’s a glorified pity game for two weak teams.

By the way, by liveblog, I really meant more like “sporadic thoughts with timestamps by them.”

11:07 – Love to say I could go for the rest of the games, but this is it. Unless Kansas can’t beat Lehigh that is. Could you even imagine the chaos that would ensue? Would Obama call for a do-over to save his bracket and the NCAA’s credibility? It’s not out of the question.

9:32 – Scratch that, I had Georgetown beating BOTH Ohios. It always sucks to lose an elite eight team on the first day.

9:30 – As you can tell by the time, once the beer starts flowing, less posts are made. But hjow about Georgetown falling to an Ohio that’s not the Buckeyes? I had Georgetown falling to State, not here. BIG upset.

8:25 – Can’t decide whether or not to like the weird stripes on the sides of Marquette’s uniforms. Could they at least change the highlighter yellow though?

8:01 – Ohio’s hitting threes like crazy and knocking down everything. Sadly, this looks like one of those games that could have the underdog start flailing after the half, allowing the stronger team to come through in crunch time, but we’ll see…

7:53 – Georgetown down by 5 and looking rattled? There’s something with these low seeds today. Very frisky.

7:47 – Not to sound racist or anything, but what kind of pitch would you give when you’re trying to recruit any black player to play at Northern Iowa? Is there anything other than: “You’ll be the best player here by default?”

7:43 – Is it just me, or is it hard to get fired up for any 8 vs. 9 game, regardless of the score?

7:40 – Nice inbounds play by Georgetown to hit a wide open three in the corner.

7:35 – After a bit of a slow start, Kentucky has started the crsuhing of East Tennessee. If they keep showing this game over a surprisingly close Georgetown-Ohio, CBS are idiots. After the way that 13s and 14s have played today, all of those games should be watched.

7:08 – What a poor, poor second half combined with a great half by Butler. Two trains rolling in opposite directions.

6:36 – Butler up by 10. This might be getting out of hand really quick. Looks like this was one 5-seed who knew how to avoid the upstart 12s.

6:33 – Butler comes out of the half on a huge run. Three-point shooting can kill a big team and that’s what the faves are doing. BTW, It’s dinner time at the RTP household.

6:04 – The big lull is here. Halftime of the only game that’s on. At least the schedule makers picked a decent game to throw on at 5 with no one else going. UTEP looking like the can upset perennial underdog Butler. We’ll see how that  goes.

6:01 – I’m starting to get really annoyed with the Alex Trebek DirectTV commercial. How could you not notice that the DirectTV admits that their package costs more? If you don’t want a channels like AMC and Animal Planet, they’re basically conceding you to their competitor.

5:44 – Quick question: Whose draft stock is worse after today? Luke Harangody who killed Notre Dame’s chances with his two-point choke job, or the 28-year-old Scottie Reynolds who was 2-for-15 from the field?

5:42 – Does a point guard really require the offensive lineman’s mouth guard like the kid on St. Mary’s does? Just an odd looking fellow.

5:25 – St. Mary’s running away with it. Looks like I’ll get my first correct upset pick of the day.

5:13 – With UTEP-Butler starting, there’s finally an intriguing game to watch. Looking for the classic 12-over-5 upset and this Caracter is sure going to play a part in it.

5:00 – For the first time today, I couldn’t be less interested. K-State killing North Texas and Richmond-St. Mary’s aren’t getting more than one win in this tourney. Sure, it’s a close game, but doesn’t seem exciting.

4:57 – Sam Houston couldn’t roll with the punches. Pencil in a check mark next to Baylor’s name.

4:54 – Just saw a shot of the upper deck of the Baylor-SH game. How is there nobody up there? In defence of staying home, you can’t watch every game all day when you’re at one. In defence of attending, wouldn’t you regret missing the games we saw earlier if you had a chance to be there live?

4:52 – Kansas State is showing Villanova how a No. 2 is supposed to perform. They’re up 20 against overwhelmed North Texas.

4:50 – And now onto a 3-14 seed matchup that has been tied 14 times. Man is Day One great. Baylor leads by two.

4:42 – BUZZER BEATER! Murray State stuns Vanderbilt. Two Vandy defenders collide on without a screen. Big upset.

4:40 – I was completely unaware that you could call a timeout to ice a free throw shooter. Too bad it didn’t work out for Murray St. What an early day of games.

4:37 – Amazing. Big interception by Vandy to get the last possession with 20-something seconds left. That Murray State player must feel like Brett Favre. Also, Murray State sounds a lot better than Southwest Kentucky State, where they’re from. Good call.

4:33 – With Murray State-Vandy and Baylor-Sam Houston infinitely more exciting, why the heck is CBS shoving this St. Marys-Richmond game down my throat?

4:29 – A kid named Festus from Vandy just bricked two free throws… This game is going right down to the wire, but I couldn’t tell you who was going to take it if I had a gun to my head.

4:24 – Vanderbilt on the comeback trail, now leading Murray State. Can the underdog keeping throwing haymakers with the faves?

4:10 – Vandy’s A.J. Ogilvy has the “best” college ’stache since Adam Morrison.

4:07 – Baylor down at the half to Murray State and Vanderbilt trailing with 10 to go. This would absolutely crush the Intern’s bracket. Also, McCain’s mini pizzas from the oven = awesome. Well worth the extra few minutes to cook.

3:40 – Sam Houston State’s Gilberto Clavell has 17 in the first half. That’s higher than his season average. Plus, he’s rocking goggles like it’s nobody’s business.

3:31 – I hope that Baylor’s Lacedarius Dunn is drafted just so that name can stay in our lives. Sam Houston State doing a good Robert Morris impression right. Can Baylor avoid Nova’s faults?

3:28 – CBS just showed some scenery shots of New Orleans, including a bar with a sign reading: “Home of the hand grenade.” I need to know what that is, even if I have to drive there overnight.

3:21 – I feel bad for this second round of game. It’s like having the Beatles as your opening act.

3:19 – After that opening slate of games, I might need a Red Bull to make it through the night. Not that I’m tired, but these close games are emotionally sapping.

3:17 – Wow! What an amazing start to the day. An upset to lead things off, a favourite needing double overtime to make it through and one of the No. 2 seeds in the tourney needing overtime to take down a fiesty No. 15. Robert Morris should be proud.

3:16 – Horrible play to end the game for underdog extradonaire, Robert Morris. No screens? Come on.

3:10 -  What a killer steal by Robert Morris on the inbound play. Villanova HAS to be more careful with the ball. If you had Nova against the spread, you’ve ripped up your ticket already, right?

2:51 – What a block by my favourite Robert Morris player, Dallas Green. Hello Overtime!

2:42 – Note to Robert Morris: Don’t foul the guy who hasn’t missed a free throw all day when there’s no need to foul. Amateur stuff. This is why they were a 15 seed.

2:40 – There’s nothing like a double overtime game to lead off the day. This BYU-Florida shootout will push back programming for the rest of day.

2:28 – If Nova’s Reynolds had any hopes of being drafted, they are very quickly disappearing with this performance.

2:20 – When your best player gets his first two points of the game with only 12 seconds remaining in the second half, well that’s how you get upset in March Madness. Notre Dame’s Harangody just plain blew it this afternoon. First game of the tourney, first upset, oh the Madness.

2:09 – I’m starting to care less and less about Villanova losing. This game is just too incredible. Now, a chance for a four-point play to put Robert Morris up eight with 11 to go.

1:56 – If I were in a suicide pool for the tourney – the Intern apparently doesn’t even know how to play one – I’d be going with New Mexico today.

1:55 – Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds now 1-for-7 from the field. Maybe that benching to start the game wasn’t a great idea coach.

1:32 – How can you not love a player with the name Jimmer Fredette?

1:25 – Which is uglier? The decision to bench two starters by Villanova or Robert Morris’ band? Both were hideous sights.

1:08 – Is anybody else getting scared about Villanova yet? Down nine to a No. 15 seed doesn’t bode well for my projected regional winner.

1:03 – Do you ever think that Florida coach Billy Donovan watches the Orlando Magic play and sighs now that the players that made him look like a great coach – Joakim Noah, Al Horford, etc. – are gone? Maybe he shouldn’t have opted to stay in school and should have came out early. He would have absolutely fallen in love with Dwight Howard.

12:36 – I’ve got to admit: Everytime I hear about Robert Morris’ Dallas Green, I can’t help but think about the singer/guitarist from Alexisonfire trying to play basketball. It’s the brightest spot of the day for Robert Morris, you know other than Villanova benching its two starting guards.

12:20: It’s begun! With the tipoff of Florida-BYU, we’re under way. In case you were wondering, here is the official RTP bracket.

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