Saturday's March Madness Recap and Sunday's Preview
Is anybody worn out yet from the Madness? I'm getting there as the long days and the short nights of sleep are finally taking a toll. I will say the experience of watching the tournament in person is certainly something else and I hope the opportunity is there again. The atmosphere for the Duke-West Virginia game today was crazy-even louder than Thursday night's Duke-Belmont game. The WVU fans must have put away their moonshining as many fans came out of the woodwork (literally) for their big trip to the city. The basketball team didn't disappoint, beating a very ordinary Duke team and punching a ticket to the Sweet Sixteen. We missed the beginning in person, as the gridlock entering the Verizon Center was typical DC (it didn't help that we spent some extra time at Bar Louie nearby, which I strongly suggest as not only a pre- game destination, but an all occasion destination). The Xavier-Purdue game wasn't bad either, but the week had finally caught up and we departed early.
The day was fairly entertaining and interesting. The thing about seeing the Madness in person is that you miss some of the day's events. Like the Stanford coach getting tossed; lucky for them, they won hard fought and (in)tense game with Marquette. The Lopez twins are really something else; they really could make Stanford a factor next week.
There was no luck of the Irish today; they were manhandled by Washington State. Wisconsin also proved itself a team to look for in beating Kansas State, rendering frosh phenom Michael Beasley practically null and void (Lloyd Lloyd, null and void)-at least that's what the announcers were able to tell us on the way home from DC. Kansas did their thing in handling UNLV; a cinderella will await them.
Never a trust a rival to do your dirty work (Pitt; Shit on Pitt was the rally call back in the good 'ole days of the Penn State-Pitt rivalry); Michigan State goes on to beat Pitt. As regular readers should know, Michigan State has been one of those teams I haven't been able to figure out. Should it be surprise that they're now in the Sweet Sixteen? No; I think they're Four Four good. But-I would not have been surprised to see them tank in the first round. Michigan State lost to Penn State this year.
The night probably ended as it should have. My football adage goes: Offense puts fannies in the seats; Defense wins championships. UCLA uses their strong defense to pull out a tougher than expected win against Texas A&M. How many of you almost had a heart attack? This could have been a bracket busting disaster
How did Jared fare today? Not great: I picked only 5 out of 8 correctly: UCLA, Xavier, Wisconsin, Kansas and Stanford. At least my Champ and Final Four are still intact. Overall record: 28-12.
Some other observations:
-I'm starting to wonder about the so-called invincability of the Duke legend. They looked ordinary as the season wrapped up and bad in the tournament. They were very lucky to escape Belmont and looked pathetic for almost all of the second half today.
-Celebrity watches this week: We obviously saw a very involved Vince Gill with the Belmont bretheren on Thursday; I totally missed Baltimore Ravens exec Ozzie Newsome walk by us today and John Feinstein was doing his thing on the floor and in the press area.
-Lower Seeded teams were 8-24 after the first round. Today, they were just 2-6.
What will the Easter Bunny bring us? Maybe the appropriate theme should be: The day for the Underdog. We're assured of at least two #12 or #13 teams in the Sweet Sixteen. I think they will be Villanova and Western Kentucky. Hopefully, the theme does not get fully realized. Will teams like Arkansas, Oklahoma, Butler, Davidson, Mississippi State, and Miami have glass slippers in their baskets tomorrow? Hopefully teams like Tennessee will not Volunteer those slippers. Maybe my Hoya Paranoia will not be realized. In Texas everything is big; certainly a big basketful of points will be in store for the Longhorns tomorrow. Louisville will Sooner want to win than later laying an easter egg of defeat. I think UNC will "hog" their Easter basket instead of sharing it with Arkansas. Will Memphis be dogged by Mississippi State? If they make their free throws in the basket, they won't.
Enough cheesy Easter references; I might be like the Stanford coach and receive two technicals and be ejected for the rest of the weekend Madness!! If I'm able to stay in the game, I will give live updates and commentary throughout the day tomorrow. Good Night!