March Madness Blog – Thursday Night Games

March Madness Blog – Thursday Night Games

Welcome back for part two of the March Madness blog.

7:00 – While Kentucky is under way with their game, we decide that it’s time to shoot more basketball outside. My buddy Eric used to play basketball with some of his not so athletic friends back in high school. They would call themselves “And None.” And One was the talented group of basketball players who traveled the world and play an entertaining form of streetball. And None is what you think it is: terrible basketball. That label definitely applied to our game of 21 today.

7:50 – Come back inside to see that Kentucky will not be involved in a close one like Syracuse. Even if the refs helped out Western Kentucky, it wouldn’t make a difference.

8:10 – VCU has a nine-point halftime lead. I really wanted to pick them in my bracket, but I also wanted to pick Wichita State. It’s just too bad this matchup happened in the first round, both of these teams have Sweet 16 potential, and I feel Wichita State could go even further. VCU’s defense is relentless.

8:42 – A Subway commercial with the new Chicken Parmesan sandwich comes on. In case you are wondering, I’ve had it, and it’s delicious.

8:46 – Dinner’s ready. All of my friends have wives and now have babies on the way, leaving my single self way behind, but when you hang out with married people, they fix dinner for everyone, which is awesome. Us single people don’t always think of others first. Hopefully I can learn from that.

8:49 – Gonzaga is putting the conspiracy theory to shame that West Virginia got a home game by playing in Pittsburgh up 52-29 in the 2nd half. Speaking of Gonzaga, anyone remember this Gonzaga moment?

9:17 – Wichita State and VCU has been the game of the day. Trading buckets back and forth, great coaching adjustments throughout the game and a one-point game with a minute left.

9:21- Darius Theus hits a big shot for VCU to give the Rams a three-point lead. Wichita State calls a timeout with 12 seconds left in the game.

9:24 – Stutz gets the final shot from three and bricks it. Disappointing end to the season for Wichita, but a great win for Shaka Smart and VCU. Can VCU pull a Butler and get to the Final Four two years in a row? I know I’m not picking against Coach Smart again.

9:43 – Michael and Sam work in finance, and they are talking finance. I have no idea what they are taking about. Completely over my head. I guess that’s just life in Charlotte, the banking capital of America (after New York City of course).

9:46 – It’s too bad South Dakota State seems to be running out of energy down the stretch. If they would’ve beat Baylor it might be one of the biggest sports moments in the history of South Dakota. Eat more lettuce!

9:51 – Didn’t mention it earlier but it’s hard to believe that this was Vanderbilt’s first NCAA tournament win since 2007. Especially since they’ve been a top-25 program the past few years. It’s good to see them get over the hump.

9:54 – It’s tough to kill a rabbit. South Dakota State has brought it back to four with 1:13 left to play.

9:55 – Saw a tweet from ESPN’s Andy Katz that said he was calling the Baylor Bears the Highlighters tonight. Seems appropriate. Their jerseys are BRIGHT!

10:00 – When I see basketball players crying on the sideline I’m always reminded of A League of Their Own.There’s no crying in baseball, but there’s plenty of it in college basketball.

10:07 – It’s too bad North Carolina and Indiana are on opposite sides of the bracket. It would be cool to see the Zeller brothers play each other. The only way they will is if they make the championship game. North Carolina definitely has a good chance to make the final game, but Indiana would likely have to beat Kentucky again on the way there. I just don’t see that happening twice in a season.

10:52 – Driving home I was listening to the Indiana-New Mexico State game. I wish I was watching it with Sports Spectrum staff writer Stephen Copeland, just to see him squirm. IU leads 35-28 at the half.

11:00 – I’ve definitely missed hearing Gus Johnson call the games this year. Nobody brings as much enthusiasm to the broadcasting table like Gus, except for maybe Dick Vitale. But we don’t get Vitale in the tournament either…which kind of brings me to my main complaint about college basketball’s tournament coverage. All season long ESPN covers the college game like no other, and you get used to the TV personalities/teams like Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes, Dan Shulman and Vitale, and hearing color analysts like Stephen Bardo, LaPhonso Ellis, and Hubert Davis. Since CBS/Turner has the tournament, we get announcers pulled from everywhere: NBA guys, Fox Sports Regional announcers, and everywhere else. And a lot of the broadcasting teams don’t have that great of chemistry on air. That being said I love the combo of Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery. They are the best. (Who doesn’t love the “Onions!” call from Raftery?) And I do like Clark Kellogg with Jim Nantz.

11:13 – Speaking of Clark Kellogg, I wonder how many times he will use the word “spurtability” tomorrow when calling the North Carolina game…

11:14 – UConn may not be a great cohesive unit, but since Calhoun came back to the sidelines, they have played hard and a little bit better. Once a 22-point lead for Iowa State, the deficit is now down to 9 with 5:20. Let’s see if this can get interesting…

11:33 – No, no it did not. UConn finished. This team was ranked in the top 5 to begin the season, yet couldn’t win a tournament game. Having Calhoun miss a lot of games on the sideline were a factor, but it was still a colossal waste of supposed talent.

11:35 – These UPS “Logistics” commercials are silly. Trying to compare Grant Hill’s pass to shipping.

11:45 – I see UNLV’s Brice Massamba is rocking a James Harden beard. By the way, Harden’s beard has reached Brian Wilson levels of thickness and ridiculousness.

12:08 – Colorado’s fan base traveled well to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Its often sounded like a home game for the Buffaloes.

12:30 – With the furious comeback, it now sounds like a UNLV home game. Buffalo fans are stunned as UNLV has gone on a 22-4 run to only trail two points with about four minutes left. The defensive intensity really picked up for the Runnin’ Rebels as they have played up to their name.

12:41 – Colorado hangs on and gets their first win since Chauncey Billups played for them 15 years ago. It looked like they might do it there for a second, but UNLV just couldn’t hit enough shots to complete the comeback. But at least it wasn’t due to horrible officiating like the UNC Asheville game. I feel real bad for those guys. Need to sleep on that one.

See everyone tomorrow.