Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Michigan State Spartan Fans Are Not Exactly Fans Of GuJo

Frankly, I'm shocked that AA has not picked this story up yet. Then again, I do not think I have found any blog to pick this one up, just Facebook and forums, which leads me to greatly doubt the veracity of the claim, but nonetheless, a lot of Spartans are certainly outraged by what Gus Johnson allegedly said during the Friday Sweet 16 game between Michigan State and Kansas. In fact, there is an "official Facebook group" dedicated to this that already has over 13,00 members. GuJo's fan page has pretty much been trashed by angry Spartan fans (that's how I came about this story). And now, I bring you the best source on this story I can give you.....the description from the official Facebook group and what angry posters said on his Facebook fan page!

Gus Johnson seems to think that Izzo would be better off at Arizona because he's "not appreciated" in East Lansing. We beg to differ.
Well then! That certainly tells you everything you need to know about this story! No links, no articles, no videos (or none on GuJo at least; just on how much they <3 Tom Izzo), just that. And this group has over 13,000 members and they developed 10,000 during the first 24 hours of it's creation! But, because it is always hilarious, let's delve more into this group and into Gus Johnson's fan page to see what everyone has to say to our good friend, Gus. (to protect privacy and humiliation, I am withdrawing people's names. For more, here's the link to the FB group and the GuJo fan page; and yes you need an FB account to see these). My commentary comes after the quotes.

From the group: "good example of how the media is a big pile of bullshit!" You stay classy, now!

Also from the group: "Gus Johnson you are an idiot if you think that Izzo is not appreciated here. . .even though i am a Michigan fan Izzo is an amazing coach and has resurrected MSU since he has been there. . .he will get signed to a huge deal after this year because of what he has done for that program. . .Gus Johnson, you should see an MSU basketball game and there fans before saying things like that. . ." I am almost ashamed to admit that we have the same first name...

Now we'll delve into the real fun. Here are some of the gems from the GuJo fan page.

"I am not a fan of yours and never will be. I hope you are at Detroit so you can see first hand how much Tom Izzo is appreciated in East Lansing. Go State! and thank you Tom Izzo!!" Because he won't be able to tell from watching the games on TV??? And besides, there are going to be over 70,000 fans there from 4 different schools. It will be hard to decipher who is screaming what.

"You are a piece of shit- We spartans appreciate Izzo more than anything, why the hell would our student section be named after him if we didn't appreciate him and why would we have a billboard up saying "Thank you, Tom" ? Really? Yeah you suck and the 47,000 spartans you insulted deserve an apology, asshole. " Well then! I'm sure Gus has learned his lesson from reading that. If he even said anything. I still have not found an article or a link or a video or anything that has proof that he actually said "Izzo is not appreciated".

"I'd have to say unless you publicly cleanse your mouth of the blasphemies you have spoken of Tom Izzo and his loyalty to Michigan State, this is never going to end. I suggest something involving fire. Fire always works." And may I suggest some therapy for you!

Good times going on now over at MSU........good times. On a more serious note, though, if anyone can find me a link or an article or something of credibility that backs up that Gus said this, I would much appreciate it.

These have nothing to do with these posts, but here are 2 other posts from his fan page that I found particularlly interesting....

"Hey Gus! I'm the kid in the Red Sox sweatshirt who shook your hand before the game today!" And hello to you! Somehow I doubt that Gus remembers that altercation

And lastly....

"Gus, is it true you're going to be calling Canadian Football this year? The CFL on CBS! This week's sign of the apocalypse. " Not quite sure it would be on CBS, but if FSN or someone picks him up......I may actually watch a few CFL games.

(FYI, the CONMEBOL standings have been updated. Click on the link at the side to see the updated standings).

Update: Many, many thanks to RJBO for pointing this out in the comments section. Thanks to him, I was able to look like the exact quote, and while I can't post the video from CBS (without an embed feature; I don't know how to take a video from the internet and save it and edit it so that only these few seconds play). And it appears that Gus was in part taking out of context. During the stoppage with 8:12 to go in the first half, this is exactly what Gus said. "A lot of rumors swirling around that Arizona is looking for a head coach; Tom Izzo, a possible successor. Rumor has it that he does not feel as appreciated in East Lansing as he should be." Not that the fans don't appreciate him, just that Tom Izzo feels he should be appreciated more. Big difference. Now if you excuse me, I'm going to school 14,000 Spartan fans.....

Update 2: This is what I wrote in a group discussion thread (due to space constraints, I posted a slightly shorter version of it on the wall).

"Let me just say, you guys did a great job of not citing any sources or any articles or even telling us where we should go to hear what Gus said. So, I'll do it for you.

If you go to ncaa.com and the MMOD video of the MSU-Kansas game (or assuming it works, click on this link: http://mmod.ncaa.com/video/player?ts=1238608537&t=000106b2fe8c4e8f3d2834ddb354e9e2&w=90), at the 8:12 mark in the first half, during the stoppage at that point, this is exactly what Gus Johnson said.

"A lot of rumors swirling around that Arizona is looking for a head coach; Tom Izzo, a possible successor. Rumor has it that he does not feel as appreciated in East Lansing as he should be."

First of all, Gus is citing a rumor he heard, not a definite fact. Second of all, the rumor is about how Tom Izzo feels, not how he perceived Spartan fans to feel. So nice one, not only do you not cite anyone or anything, but you took what he said out of context and changed the meaning of it so that you could get a bunch of people to join your group on Facebook. Well done!

Stay classy, Spartan fans, and next time, do your research!"

I love schooling the ill-informed like that!

The Phillies Have Named Their 5th Opening Day Starter

Just this little bit of information that I wanted to pass on to you. After months of competition and speculation, the Phillies have finally named the 5th man in their rotation. It is ex-Dodger releiver Chan Ho Park.

And thus, that leaves the Phillies starting rotation at the beginning of the year as Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton, and J.A. Happ.

And the Phillies have also released 3rd baseman, Geoff Jenkins, presumably so that they can keep Matt Stairs on the roster. 10-years from now, Matt Stairs homerun in Game 4 of the NLCS will be remembered as the homerun that broke The Curse of William Penn and set the Phillies up on their run to the World Series. Every World Series run has their defining moment, and for the Phillies it was the Stairs homerun.

If all goes according to plan, I will be live blogging opening day right here at Fire Andy Reid Now! And what a shame, Nathan, it will be back to the old-forman of using Blogger directly (as opposed to CiL), which means that you cannot impersonate other people. Bummer, dude.

Phillies release Jenkins and The Phils name the 5th member of their starting rotation (All Things Philly Sports)

Monday, March 30, 2009

The NFL Pre-Season Schedule Has Been Released

One of my favorite parts about this time of year (other than the Men's Final Four and readling all 464 of Mel Kiper's mock drafts) is the releasing of the NFL schedules, and this year's pre-season is actually chock-full of epic match-ups that most would die for. Assuming the starters played the whole game that is. I have listed below the Eagles schedule, but in case you are curious about your team or what not, I have provided at the bottom of the page the link to the entire pre-season schedule (which includes a separate section for national TV games in case you did not see them over at AA yet). So here you go. The Eagles 2009 pre-season schedule! (all times eastern)

Week 1: August 13: New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles 7:30 (ETN)
Week 2: August 20: Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts 8:00 (Fox)
Week 3: August 27: Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles 7:00 (ETN)
Week 4: September 3: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets 7:00 (ETN)

It's nice to see the Eagles are going to get some stiff competition in the pre-season, especially in the first couple of weeks. Generally the Eagles schedule teams such as the Ravens and the Bengals so this is a nice change of pace. And keeping with tradition, the Eagles and the Jets are playing each other the last week of the pre-season, which in case you're not an Eagles or Jets fan, is pretty much a tradition for these two teams. Every year you can write it in. Pre-season week 4: Eagles vs. Jets.

2009 NFL Pre-Season Schedule (NFL.com)

Update: A belated congratulations to me! It took me over 12 hours, but I just now realized that this was my 200th blog post! It won't be long until my numbers reach AA levels......

Jack Edwards Is Quite A Vengeful Man

In case you don't remember, back in October of 2007, Randy Jones leveled an albeit dirty hit on Patrice Bergeron knocking him out for the rest of that season. Well even though it is a year and a half later, apparently Boston Bruins announcer Jack Edwards still holds a grudge against Randy Jones and the Flyers, in general. First of all, in case you don't remember, here is the hit from October 27, 2007.

And now, a year and a half later, when Milan Lucic decks Randy Jones from behind into the boards last night, listen as Jack Edwards proceeds to celebrate and gloat like he just won the lottery and then laugh manically as if he is some sort of evil overlord....

Is it just me or is it the more that I listen to this clip the more that I picture Jack Edwards as some sort of hell bent mad scientist in a psychiatric ward who just came up with a plan to destroy and take over the world. Paging Dr. Freud! Dr. Freud, please!

Jack Edwards is back at it again (Awful Announcing)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Surprise Of The Century: Officer Powell Was A Douche Bag To Another NFL Player's Wife

I think we learned a whole heck about America's new least favorite police officer, Robert Powell over the Ryan Moats incident. Well, it looks like those suspicions are becoming confirmed! Why is that you ask? Well, this is not the first time he was a douche bag. And this was not the first time that he affected the life of an NFL player. It just so happened that this is the same police officer who pulled over Zach Thomas' wife a year ago.......OVER A U-TURN! Seriously. Via Dallasnews.com

Maritza Thomas, the wife of NFL linebacker Zach Thomas, saw a familiar face as she watched the video of Officer Robert Powell detaining Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats as he and his family rushed to a hospital to see a dying loved one. That face was Powell's.

On July 27, 2008, while her husband was at training camp with the Cowboys in Oxnard, Calif., Maritza Thomas was pulled over by Powell for an illegal U-turn near NorthPark Center.

Maritza Thomas was issued five tickets by Powell, four of which were later dismissed. Thomas was handcuffed, placed in the back of a police cruiser, spent about three hours in the Dallas County Jail and was threatened with the possibility of spending the night behind bars.

"This in no way compares to what happened to Ryan Moats and his family," said Zach Thomas, who played for the Cowboys last season and is now a free agent. "But we wanted to tell our story, not knowing how many others have been affected by Officer Powell. We know the vast majority of the Dallas police force are good and professional people, but this guy just seems excessive."

The charges that were dropped were failure to show proof of insurance, running a red light, having an improper address on a driver's license and not having a registration sticker on the windshield. She accepted deferred adjudication for the illegal U-turn charge, and her record will be cleared next month.

In total, Maritza Thomas, who is Hispanic, was detained roughly five hours.

"This situation never should've happened," said Maritza Thomas' attorney, Brody Shanklin. "Unless extraordinary circumstances exist, no person should be arrested for a Class C citation. In this case, it was an example of Officer Powell being overzealous and exerting his authority in a manner that he never should have
Sorry for the excessive blockquote, but it was needed so you could see just how much of a douche bag this police officer is. Unbelieveable. Talk about excessive, good lord, this guy is on a one-man power trip. And I'm not being sarcastic one damn bit!

I do hope, sir, that you are reading what has been written about you everywhere. And I do hope, sir (if indeed you are a man), that you have listened to what these people have said. Because everyone of them that has called you a douche bag and asked for your job are absoulutely right. The law enforcement business has no business for an incompetent, selfish, egotistical, sanctimounious, non-feeling, ruthless, manical, psychotic son of a bitch such as yourself. And I am not a religious man, but, sir, I hope that you truly understand the pain that you caused the Moats family. I hope sir, that you understand what you did. I hope sir that you understand that because of you Ryan Moats never got to be with his mother-in-law for her last seconds. I hope sir, that you truly understand that it was single-handedly your fault that Jonetta Collinsworth's father was never there to watch her die. How could you truly look at yourself in the mirror? Don't you bloody well realize that that was somebody's daughter in that hospital room? And don't you realize that that somebody was in the car? The car that you pulled over? The car that you prevented from entering that hospital over the ticket that could not wait 15 damn minutes. Are you proud of yourself, Officer Powell?

Jonetta Collinsworth died in the hospital that night. She died during those 15 minutes that you pulled over the car containing her family. She died while you refused to listen to Ryan Moats' claim that she was dying. She died as you ignored his pleas. She died as you meaninglessly sought after Ryan Moats' insurance. She died as you threatened to arrest Ryan Moats over running a red light.

Sir, on all accounts, I have stopped short of calling you a racist. Maybe it's naiveness at it's best, but there's a part of me that refuses to believe that this was racially motivated. But the more I look at what happened, the more I see that it was. The more that I learn about you, the more that I understand what kind of man you truly are. And let's not forget that Zach Thomas' wife is hispanic. Coincidence? Perhaps. But the evidence is all there. This is twice, sir, that you have dished out excessive punishments to minorities.

And then there is the more that I watch the video. Why didn't you believe Mr. Moats when he told you that his mother-in-law was in the hospital dying? Why was it only until hospital staff came out that you listened? Why couldn't you understand what Ryan Moats was saying? Why could not you connect the obvious dots? Ryan Moats' wife ran into the hospital before the altercation began. Did you think it was a sham? A sham to get out of a mere ticket for running a red light? Could you not hear in the tone of Ryan Moats' voice that he was being serious?

Of course you couldn't. Because Ryan Moats is a black man. And what he did does not mean a damn thing to a white racist such as yourself. Your actions have left me no choice, sir.

What kind of man are you, Robert Powell? What kind of heart do you have? For is it common sense to you that when a man who is claiming that his mother-in-law is dying at this very moment to detain him and to refuse to let her see her family for one last time? Is that what your conscious tells you to do? Is that what the police code tells you to do? Is that what your heart tells you to do? And if indeed it is what it told you to do, then heed these words, karma has a way of rearing it's head in cases like this. And when it does show, I hope you realize the pain that you caused this family. But then again, that's assuming that you are human and you do have a family. For after what you did, I do not know how any one can look you in the eyes and seriously tell you, "I love you".

Good night and good luck.

2009 NCAA National Semifinals (Final Four) Schedule

We started with 65 and we are now down to 4. It seems like just yesterday the tournament was kicking off and now we are down to 4. Michigan State, UConn, Villanova, and North Carolina are the 4 that will be heading to Detroit for, considering the times, should be a fun day of hoops (yes, I even think that Sparty and UConn are capable of putting on a good show). And with all teams in a fairly close vicinity by airplane, Ford Field will be without a doubt one jam-packed house. So, without further ado, here is your complete schedule of events for the Final Four Saturday all live from Detroit! (all times eastern)

4:00 PM: The Final Four Show live from Detroit with Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony, and Seth Davis

6:07 PM: Michigan State vs. UConn - Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg

Approx. 8:37 PM: Villanova vs. North Carolina - Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg

Saturday, March 28, 2009


What. A. Game.

What. A. Game.

I said this in the live blog but I think it bears repeating; Villanova was overlooked in the Big East. They were hardly given any attention at all. At the beginning of the year all the talk was about Georgetown, Notre Dame, Pitt, and UConn. By the end of the year, it was all about Louisville, UConn, Pitt, and Syracuse after their thrilling 6 OT win. This whole year, Villanova was an afterthought in the Big East. Well, after thought no more. And no more will they be overlooked. Many people had Pitt winning the whole tournament. But in a classic Elite 8 match on the 17th anniversary of Christian Laettner's shot, it was a team from outside Philadelphia with Verne Lundquist on the call, winning an instant classic against their in-state rivals.

What. A. Game.

2009 NCAA Regional Final (Elite Eight) Schedule

We started with 65 teams. And we are down to 8. With that being said, here is the Elite 8 Schedule for 2009. Enjoy the games this weekend! (all times eastern)

Satruday, March 28

West Regional Final: Connecticut vs. Missouri (Glendale, 4:40 PM) - Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas

East Regional Final: Pittsburgh vs. Villanova (Boston, 7:05 PM) - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery

Sunday, March 29

Midwest Regional Final: Louisville vs. Michigan State (Indianapolis, 2:20 PM) - Gus Johnson and Len Elmore

South Regional Final: North Carolina vs. Oklahoma (Memphis, 5:05 PM) - Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg

I'll be doing the same deal with the live blogs again so I hope that you will join us. And in a little bonus coverage, I will be live blogging the Division II championship game between Findlay and Cal State Ponoma tomorrow at 1 PM. I've never heard of either school, let alone see one of their games, but I can tell you that having done a brief amount of research (i.e. glancing at the bracket), Findlay is undefeated all season and CS Ponoma was a 3-seed in their region (instead of 4 regions of 16 teams, D2 has 8 regions of 8 teams). See you then!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Greg Paulus Humped A Boy And He Liked It

I so hope that this picture is indeed an actual picture and not an all-round photoshop job. If so, then this might be one of the most hilarious and ironic things I have ever seen.

Greg Paulus wants Villanova's sloppy seconds (Brahsome)

Taking A Look At The Sweet 16, Day 2

Yesterday was a fun day of college basketball, especially seeing as Villanova creamed Duke by 23 points. And today could be just as good. Why is that you ask? Because in the Midwest region, it's the one, the only, Gus Johnson calling the games! Too bad for me though that I am stuck in Memphis with Jim Nantz on the call for both games. And while he is improving, he's no Gus Johnson, that's for sure.

The first game of the first window today is Arizona and Louisville. Arizona is the only remaining double-digit seed, but very few are actually calling them Cinderella. In fact, many feel as if it should have been St. Mary's in this tournament and many may also feel that Arizona got a real lucky draw, having to play a weak 5-seed in Utah and then 13-seed Cleveland State in the 2nd round. This is definitley their big test, though, as all of a sudden they are playing the #1 overall ranked team, Louisville. I'm not sure if I really like Arizona's chances in this one, and in fact, this could easily turn into a Louisville blowout.

Tipping off 20-minutes in the first window is Syracuse and Oklahoma. This one is certainly intriguing as we've got the Orange, who have been nothing but exhillerating to watch over the past few weeks and have romped through the tourney's first couple of games. And then on the other side, it's Blake Griffin and the Oklahoma Sooners. If there is one thing that the Sooners cannot afford, it is to get their big man into foul trouble. If so, this could be a big day for the Cuse. If not, then I think this one will be a battle to the end.

Most likely starting off the second window (there's always the possibility that Arizona and Louisville go into double overtime and that sets things off a bit), is Kansas and Michigan State. And while Michigan State is not a bad team, watching them, I do not feel like I am watching a Final Four team. I believe that they were highly overrated to begin with and that Kansas could take it to them this game. But if there is one thing we know about Michigan State, and that is they won't go down without a fight under Tom Izzo. While I more than likely think this will be a KU blowout, if Sparty can hang around and keep it interesting, there could be some GuJo fireworks going off tonight.

And lastly tonight we have UNC and Gonzaga. It was in the Sweet 16 10 years ago that the Zags pulled the upset over Florida and in doing so, gave us one of the greatest calls in college basketball history from one Gus Johnson. Now they are in Memphis playing the #1 seed North Carolina Tar Heels with Jim Nantz on the call. Gonzaga has been criticized as being too soft and that North Carlolina will most likely wipe the floor with them. But, not so fast! Even though Ty Lawson is back, it is unclear as to whether or not he really is 100% percent and is an unhealthy Ty Lawson worse than no Ty Lawson at all? Does the slipper still fit for the Zags, 10 years later? A trip to the Elite 8 in this one that is chock full of good stuff to watch for.

I'm pumped for today's action and I hope you are too. Now I'm sure some of you what on earth about Duke I hate so much? Well, I'm pretty sure this post from Rush The Court with a video from the end of last night's Villanova-Duke game will answer any and all questions. (I can't seem to be able to just embed the video. RTC must put some non-embed security on it or something, if that's even possible).

Update: I'll be back tonight for another round of blogging at Keith's Sports Journal. And S2N also said that he is going to get a live blog going tonight. And maybe even an AA open thread! I'll be everywhere tonight!

The Ryan Moats Police Video

This is about as depressing a video as I have ever seen. The title sets up everything so I'm going to put the 2 videos up and underneath I have a few things that I want to say about this.

Officer Powell is officially the biggest douchebag police officer in the world.
Did he not understand Ryan Moats when he pleaded several times that his mother-in-law was dying? Did he not remember that his wife left to go in the hospital because her mother was dying? Just an incredible amount of idiocy.

And to think that once it did get through his thick-brained skull that Moats' mother-in-law was dying, he still did not have any compassion. Instead he just had a casual conversation with someone about police chases.

And perhaps the most underlooked part about this whole thing is that not once did Ryan Moats request any special treatment or cite the fact that he was a "football player" as a means to get special treatment. And perhaps the saddest part about this whole thing is that the reason it is getting so much attention is because Ryan Moats is a football player.


"Coach Jay Outcoached Coach K"

So said Beasley Reese at the start of the CBS 3 newscast. And that's exactly what happened, 77-54, the Villanova Wildcats defeated the Duke Blue Devils in a blowout. An ass-raping. A lambasting. A wipeout. You name it, we saw it in the TD Banknorth Garden.

And now that leaves, Pitt as the only remaining obstacle to the Wildcats' run to the Final Four. And yes, being Big East rivals they played each other this year and Villanova defeated Pitt 67-57 in the last college basketball game to ever be played in the Wachovia Spectrum.

But I'll worry about Pitt later. For now, seeing as my favorite DI college basketball team just beat my least favorite, let me just let out this one, big, huge,




That is all.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thom Brennaman Just Bought A First Class Ticket To Gainesville, Florida

Actually, Thom Brennaman may not make it onto the plane. He'll probably hyperventilate and pass out before he gets on there. Why all of the excitement from Thom Brennaman? It's because Tim Tebow's speech after the 31-30 loss to Ole Miss has been immortalized in a plaque at the University of Florida! Seriously. From the AP
Meyer had Tebow's speech engraved on a plaque and placed outside the front entrance to the new football facility at Florida Field. Although it might seem like a strange move since Tebow still has one year remaining with the Gators, Meyer said he didn't want to wait.

"I'm not interested in 10 years from now because who knows if we're — I might be toes up somewhere," Meyer said Wednesday as Florida opened spring practice. "I'm not a big fan of, 'Hey, let's wait down the road.' It was a speech that everybody in Gator Nation has a right to see on the side of the building."

Tebow's speech was an emotional promise he made after the Rebels upset Florida 31-30 on Sept. 27. Fighting back tears, Tebow vowed that no one would in the nation would work harder than him and his teammates the rest of the year. The Gators responded by running the table and beating Oklahoma 24-14 to win the program's second national title in three years.
And always remember, if you spend 15-20 minutes in Gainesville worshipping this plaque dedicated to Tim Tebow, your life will be better for it!

Taking A Look At The Sweet 16, Day 1

I for one could not be more pumped for this year's Sweet 16! Say what you want about the first couple rounds of the tournament this year, but this Sweet 16 is chock full of juicy matchups that I can't wait to check out. And it appears as if 49er16 will be in and out at best for today's live blog and Mookie will be joining us at around the time for the 2nd set of games, which means that yours truly will most likely be doing the blogging work for the majority of the evening. Yes, the same yours truly is working off of 4.5 hours of sleep from the night before and any 30-minute catnap he has time for.

Now as far as what games I am getting, well, I've got 3 words for you. East and South. Yep, I've got both games from those regions (East on Thursday and South on Friday, obviously).

Now let's take a look of the games of the day, starting in the East Region.

In the early slot, we have got Pitt vs. Xavier. While it seems like it might be the donut of the day, with the way Pitt has been playing, I would not be so fast to crown this a 20-point blowout. Xavier has overachieved and Pitt has underachieved thus far as far as performance in the tournament goes (remember: Portland St. vs. Xavier was a lot of people's pick for big first round upsts). While I would not necessarily pick Xavier over Pitt, I think this one may end up being closer than a lot of people might think.

Staying in the East, we have, in my view (and I'll admit to being just a tad bit biased on this one), the game of the tournament thus far. It's the Villanova Wildcats vs. the Duke Blue Devils. What a game. And the irony of this match is all there. Gerald Henderson nearly went to Villanova, but instead he ended up "pitching a tent in Krzyzewskiville". This should be an exciting up and down and back and forth, extraordinary game that could very well come down to the last minute.

Moving over to the other featured region of the day, the West region being played at University of Phoenix Staduim. And given the location, literally anything can happen tonight when March Madness comes to Glendale. Opened on August 1, 2006, check out the list of dramatics this venue has already seen in its short history.
  • The Boise miracles at the 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
  • The Giants upsetting the then undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII
  • WVU upsetting OU in the 2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
  • The thrilling ending to the Texas-OSU 2009 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
  • The Cardinals winning their first playoff game since the age of the dinosaurs
  • The thrilling NFC title game between the Eagles and the Cardinals

So you know this place as seen the dramatics. And tonight we have a couple interesting games that could prove exciting. Purdue may be a Big 10 team but it is not out of the realm of possibilities that they can take out UConn tonight. They are definitley hot at hte right time and they seem to be that anamoly of a Big 10 team that can play the more up and down style (I'm yet to be sold on Sparty; we'll learn a lot about them tomorrow). Hummel is a flat out man beast for them and they could give the UConn Huskies and Hasheem Thabeet, all 9'8" of him, a run for his money.

And we've got Mizzou and Memphis in the later slot. Even though I did not have Memphis beating Maryland, I see Mizzou advancing to the Elite 8. I think this Memphis team, more so than others, benefitted from an easy schedule and are no where near the powerhouse that they were last year. They are a good team, no doubt about it, but I do not think that they will truly be up to the task against Missouri, their first real formidable opponent from a power school since the beginning of the year (sorry Twerps fans, but you failed to impress me as someone to be reckoned with in this tournament).

If AA has open threads, I will also be commenting there as well and leaving announcing quotes and so on and so forth. I am jacked for tonight. This one should be a blast.

FYI, for those not sure of what games you are getting, SSR has put together the coverage maps for today's games, and may I say, he did an excellent job in doing so.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tomorrow Is Going To Be Quite The Epic Day For Yours Truly

You know how there is always that one day every once in awhile where you have so much going on that it makes your head spin. Well, tomorrow is going to be that day for me.

I have a speech to give tomorrow at 8 AM for my Public Speaking class. Which means that I will be up until the crack of dawn tonight into tomorrow morning finishing, rehearsing, and perfecting the speech. And then subsequently, I will have to get my arse out of bed at that subsequent crack of dawn. Yay, little sleep for me!

And then I have another class at 11 and then at 2 I have a very important meeting with my academic advisor. As someone who is a double major and knows that he will have to take some very tough and/or time-demanding courses in the future, it is imperative that I schedule smart now so that I am not f-ed up the arse with 3 difficult and time consuming courses all in one semester.

And there is the possibility that our league will be having a wiffleball game at around the hours of 5-7. That will in all likelihood depend on whether or not we play today and how much and that is very much up in the air at this point.

Oh yeah, I nearly forgot, my favorite college basketball team, Villanova, is playing the college basketball that I despise the most, Duke in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The last time I was this jacked for a sporting event was the Eagles' NFC Title game (because I thought they had a real chance of winning) and I do not know if I've ever been this pumped for a basketball game in my life!

And if the plan from last week is still in tact, 49er16, Mookie (SSR), and myself will be doing the live blog again.

Good times coming tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Eagles Thinking Of Moving Up In The Draft?

Apparently that may just be the case. Seeing as the Eagles got their fullback in Leonard Weaver, there is no longer a great need to settle for Chris "Beanie" Wells, so with a multitude of draft picks and cap room, the Eagles could end up being the big wheelers and dealers at this NFL Draft.

The Eagles' two first-round selections will be the 21st and 28th overall.

"Throw in the 12 picks, and we can do anything we want," Heckert said. "We can probably get up as high as we want or we can sit there and pick who's there, but we have enough ammunition to do anything we want."

Heckert believes the Eagles may be able to forge their way into the top five if that's the direction they want to go, but trade discussions have not heated up.

Speculation that the Eagles will make an attempt to trade for Arizona Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin does not figure to go away any time soon. A league source said yesterday that the Cardinals plan to have another round of contract negotiations with Boldin's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, in the near future, and if they don't go well, the team may be willing to deal the unhappy wide receiver.

If the Eagles don't make a trade for Boldin or Cleveland's Braylon Edwards, who reportedly is also available for the right deal, they could use their combination of 12 picks to move up on draft day.
We'll see what's in the works come draft day! If the Eagles use Leonard Weaver right, there is no need to take a running back in the first round, but if he is just going to be blocking, then they might need to draft Beanie Wells and NOT Knowshon Moreno. The guy is a good running back no doubt about it, but he is just another Brian Westbrook and he does not have any skill set that Westbrook does not.

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's Report Card Time

Well, it's that time of year again, and this always seems to be one of the most common times to do a review of the announcers, so I figured why not put my own thoughts and insights into how each announcer pairing did this weekend. Some people like to separate the analyst from the PbP man when they do this, but I sometimes feel like it's a group performance and the performance of one often has an affect on the other so it can be very difficult and sometimes unfair to judge the performance of one without looking at the other. The grades are listed in descending order from best to worst. So without further ado, here is your 1st and 2nd Round March Madness Announcing Report Cards!

1. Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery - A: It certainly helped them tremendously that they got the games of the tournament, but even then, you can get the best games of a tourney and fall flat on your face (see Tim Brando last year). However, that did not happen with this group. They were more than up to the task of calling the big games and brought a great enthusiasm to the game. I often read that Verne Lundquist is past his prime and he is developing a Dick Enberg-esque senility, however, I disagree with that assessment. Uncle Verne still has it in him and let's face it, his partner his the best in the business. ONIONS!

2. Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel - B: There is definitley a drop off this year between the best and the rest. Lundquist and Raft were the best, and after that, there is, in my view at least, a clusterfuck of announcers in this whole B/C range and the next 4 or 5 could easily be switched up in any order. That being said, I am a big fan of Ian Eagle and his interview On The DL only made me like him more. Eagle and Spanarkel work really well together and I always enjoy listening to their broadcasts. That being said, however, nothing really stuck out, positive or negative about them, and I got a lot of their games, which is a rarity for me. Having seeing more of them this year than in years past, I had high expectations of an A, and I feel somewhat let down.

3. Kevin Harlan and Dan Bonner - B: Personally, I am not a huge fan of Kevin Harlan. There are some people that love him to death, and I respect your opinion, but often times I just cannot get past that raspy voice of his. Seriously, if I listen to him for a longtime I end of with a headache. That being said, though, announcers should be judged by how well they perform, not the size of the headache the voice gives me. And Harland and Bonner performed well. For me Dan Bonner is just there, he's solid but he does not wow me as an analyst, and Kevin Harland was great on the WKU-Gonzaga game. If not for that, the voice, combined with the lack of time I saw him, may have been too much to overcome and this grade would have dropped to a C.

4. Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg - B-: As I said before, this is the most I have ever enjoyed Jim Nantz in my life, and yet, I still do not love the guy as an announcer. Having an excitable analysis like Clark Kellogg is clearly helping him a lot, and personally, even though he was far from perfect, he was one million times better than Billy Packer. Yes, he did have mistakes and had odd sayings at times (i.e. spurtability), but they have finally found someone that in my opinion, that can work with Nantz. I'm not sure how Clark Kellogg would fare with other partners and we saw what happened with Nantz and Packer, but together, these two can make a decent lead team for CBS' coverage of March Madness.

4. Gus Johnson and Len Elmore - C+: I did not get a whole lot of GuJo this year and he definitley did not get a lot of exciting games. Supposedly, there were moments during the USC-Sparty game where Gus Johnson was back to the old GuJo going crazy, but of course, my affiliate was not on that game at the time. But maybe it was the frustration with the lack of dramatic games or some fall out over his altercation in Memphis. This grade is based on the fact I would like to say that his peformance at the end of the USC-Michigan State game overcame the demons of his altercation in Memphis, a poor performance in the first round, and the error of reading the wrong score, something that could drop him into D category, although I would like to believe that he was reading from something and they fed him the crew sent him the wrong information. And while seemingly addicted to valium, Len Elmore is a good analyst and I think he works really well with GuJo.

6. Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas (with Carter Blackburn) - C: This one is hard because I feel obiligated that I should judge Carter Blackburn and I did not hear Carter Blackburn for more than 5 minutes, but judging from what I did hear of him this year and last, this kid may have a future in calling college basketball games. I'm seriously considering going to MMOD and going back and listening to one of the games he called because I want to hear more of him. This kid has a future. Why bring it up? Because the 5-minutes that I heard of him improved this team from a C- to a C. I have frequently read that Enberg improved this year over last. While I can't recall his exact performance last year, his performance this year was not good. The man is a legend there is no doubt about it, but he can no longer keep up with the pace of basketball and it seems like he struggles to keep up with his analysis. Maybe it is just me, but the old legend should not be paired with a stuck-up, know-it-all like Jay Bilas. My biggest gripe with Bilas is that he comes across as such and it brings down the team and his partner, which with Enberg does not help him at all. Enberg is completely lost and he can't keep up with the game anymore. He's a legend, he used to be one of my favorites, but he needs to retire before he becomes a punchline like Dick Stockton has.

7. Craig Bolerjack and Bob Wenzel - C-: This one was tough for me. I was definitley torn between a C and a D for these two so, in the end, I settled with the middle of the road. I like Craig Bolerjack as a PbP guy, probably more so than both. I think he brings great enthusiasm to the game. However, he is paired with arguably the worst analyst covering a major sports event for a TV network. Wenzel is AWFUL! The man speaks in fragments, is sometimes oblivious to the rules of basketball, and no Bob, the shot clock is not 36 seconds. So the question I was faced with, does Bolerjack overcome the atrocities of his partner? And the answer, I think, is yes. I come to that answer by thinking of the end of dramatic games. Can I look forward to the end of a game that he is doing expecting a good, dramatic call that I can remember? And Bolerjack gives me that. If you were to pair Craig Bolerjack with an analyst who is stuck with a horrible PbP man (see below), I think he would be much better and he would be received as such. And I think I may have just the man who you can pair Bolerjack with.....(see below).

8. Tim Brando and Mike Gminski - F: I was going to give this team a D, but then I remembered Gminski's tie on Saturday and that alone dropped them a letter grade (I never actually saw Elmore's tie yesterday so I can't comment on it). Tim Brnado does not belong anywhere near a broadcast booth. He does not bring excitement, he makes mistakes, and his puns are downright the worst in the world. And that brings me to his partner, Mike Gminski, who dare I say, is probably one of the better analysts CBS has. But yet, it's almost hard to tell because Brando is so bad. I think that if you were to switch things up, and pair Craig Bolerjack with Mike Gminski, I think that could end up being a solid B team. Seriously. And no, Brando is so bad that Gminski's performance is not enough to elevate the team to a good grade. Sorry, I can't give any team with Tim Brando in it a passing grade. It just does not work.

Agree with me? Disagree with me? Think I'm a douche bag who knows nothing about what good announcer is? Let me know in the comments section! I am curious as to what other people feel about this, and especially my idea of Bolerjack and Gminski.

Jim Nantz For President!

Okay, so he's not running for President yet, as I was perusing the506 last night looking for the announcer schedules, the link to the confirmed schedule for the Sweet Sixteen led to a USA Today column by Michael Hiestand and that column was not just on the announcers and th Sweet 16. Apparently our friend, Jim Nantz, has some political aspirations! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Jim Nantz for public office! Hello, friends!

CBS' Jim Nantz, in an interview with CBS' WANE affiliate in Fort Wayne, Ind., suggests he eventually might run for public office. "Someday if I could run for mayor of my little town or city councilman or state congressman or U.S. congressman … I think that would be really neat. I really do."
I can see the campaign slogan now: "Hello, friend! Vote for Nantz!"

In all seriousness, though, I am starting to come around a bit to Jim Nantz. First of all, there is little doubt in my mind that he is nothing but a stand up, classy guy and I have always recognized and acknowleged that about him. My gripe about Nantz is that he is, in my opinion, rather monotonous and drag some of the excitement out of the game. I don't expect every announcer to be like Gus Johnson, but sometimes I just feel like the enthusiasm is not there for him. Maybe it's the analysts that have been dragging him down. I mean, for goodness sakes, the guy has been stuck with Phil Simms and Billy Packer for numerous years (I don't watch golf so I can't comment on his work there), but now that he has been parntered with Clark Kellogg, he has been coming out of his shell a bit, seemingly. I will say (and I will have a whole announcing review later for the first round later on today) that this is the most I think I have ever enjoyed listening to Jim Nantz.

Back to politics though, I wonder what ideology Jim Nantz is...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

2009 NCAA Regional Semifinal (Sweet Sixteen) Schedule

I actually think I have beaten AA to this! The506 has already provided a list of what they apparently have been given information to as the confirmed CBS announcer schedule for the 2nd week of tournament action. The schedule of games has already been provided by CBS, but here are the announcers, and again, there are little surprises here. Actually scratch that. I can't figure out for the life of me why Gus Johnson is not in Memphis.....All jokes aside, here's the Sweet Sixteen schedule! (all times PM eastern)

Thursday, March 26

Connecticut vs. Purdue (Glendale, 7:07) - Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas
Pittsburgh vs. Xavier (Boston, 7:27) - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery

Memphis vs. Missouri (Glendale, Approx. 9:37) - Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas
Duke vs. Villanova (Boston, Approx. 9:57) - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery

Friday, March 27

Louisville vs. Arizona (Indianapolis, 7:07) - Gus Johnson and Len Elmore
Oklahoma vs. Syracuse (Memphis, 7:27) - Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg

Michigan State vs. Kansas (Indianapolis, Approx. 9:37) - Gus Johnson and Len Elmore
North Carolina vs. Gonzaga (Memphis, Approx. 9:57) - Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg

And for those who have brain freeze at the moment and can't matchup the city to its respective region name, here is the breakdown by region name of what announcing team is going where so you don't have to think!

Midwest (Indy): Gus Johnson and Len Elmore
West (Glendale): Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas
East (Boston): Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery
South (Memphis): Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg

With the exception of today, this tournament has been mainly lackluster thus far with a lot of predictable results. Let's hope things get shaken up a bit this week of the tournament!

Update: Assuming everything is accurate (and everything given makes sense and would seem to be right, althought the times given by the506 look like they might be off a couple minutes from what CBS gave earlier, although I do not have the mental capacity to recall from those 5-second graphics or what it was exactly in years past), for once, I have beaten AA to an announcing schedule!!! Sorry, it's a pride issue.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bring It On, You North Carolina Snobs!

And it's on! Villanova vs. Duke! Losses hurt, but let me tell you what, if Villanova loses, there is a good chance that I may jump off a cliff. I cannot stand Duke! Worse so than North Carolina!

Go Villanova!!! Go Wildcats!!! Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let Duke beat you! And besides, that picture is the board we have on the front of our door (personally decorated by me). I'm putting that you there for everyone to see! Villanova better win this!

Friday, March 20, 2009

2009 NCAA Second Round Schedule

Great thanks to Awful Announcing for compiling these together! This is the schedule for Round 2! And as soon as I receive confirmation on what CBS 3 Philly and CBS WYOU SWB is showing (in other words, what I am watching), I will pass it along to you here.

Saturday, March 21st

Villanova vs. UCLA (Philadelphia, 1:05pm)- Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas

Memphis vs. Maryland (Kansas City, 3:20pm)- Tim Brando/Mike Gminski
Connecticut vs. Texas A&M (Philadelphia, 3:35pm)- Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas

Purdue vs. Washington (Portland, 5:40pm)- Kevin Harlan/Dan Bonner
North Carolina vs. LSU (Greensboro, 5:45pm)- Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg
Oklahoma vs. Michigan (Kansas City, 5:50pm)- Tim Brando/Mike Gminski

Gonzaga vs. Western Kentucky (Portland, 8pm)- Kevin Harlan/Dan Bonner
Duke vs. Texas (Greensboro, 8:05pm)- Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg

Sunday, March 22nd

Syracuse vs. Arizona State (Miami, 12:10pm)- Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel

Wisconsin vs. Xavier (Boise, 2:20pm)- Craig Bolerjack/Bob Wenzel
Kansas vs. Dayton (Minneapolis, 2:30pm)- Gus Johnson/Len Elmore
Cleveland State vs. Arizona (Miami, 2:40pm)- Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel
Oklahoma State vs. Pittsburgh (Dayton, 2:50pm)- Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery

Missouri vs. Marquette (Boise, 4:50pm)- Craig Bolerjack/Bob Wenzel
Michigan State vs. USC (Minneapolis, 5pm)- Gus Johnson/Len Elmore
Siena vs. Louisville (Dayton, 5:10pm)- Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery

Update: Here is the slate of games I am getting for Saturday.
UCLA vs. Villanova (Philadelphia - Enberg/Bilas)
Texas A&M vs. UConn (Philadelphia - Enberg/Bilas)
LSU vs. UNC (Greensboro - Nantz/Kellogg)
Texas vs. Duke (Greensboro - Nantz/Kellogg)

Well, at least I'll have a pretty strong rooting interest in all 4 games...

Update 2: Here is my slate of games for Sunday. And once again, I predicted it exactly correct.
Arizona State vs. Syracuse (Miami - Eagle/Spanarkel)
Oklahoma State vs. Pittsburgh (Dayton - Lundquist/Raftery)
Siena vs. Louisville (Dayton - Lundquist/Raftery)

The Eagles Have Actually Done Something Right This Off Season!

Seahawks fans are currently shedding tears right now because they just lost one of their more valuable players. So why is this getting a spot on my blog (other than to laugh at SSR)? It's because he signed with the Eagles! And who exactly is this player? Why, it's none other than Leonard Weaver! Seriously....the Eagles signed Leonard Weaver. Seriously, the Eagles actually made a good move this off-season! Via CSN Philly

After it appeared that he would sign elsewhere, Weaver on Friday agreed to a one-year deal with the Eagles that can be worth up to $2.5 million.

The Eagles tried a litany of fullbacks last season, from Jason Davis, Jed Collins and Luke Lawton in the preseason to Tony Hunt, Dan Klecko and Kyle Eckel in the regular season.

“No. 1 for me was opportunity,” Weaver said. “I looked at Philly as a great opportunity for me as a fullback to play a position that was well needed.”

In addition to considering a return to Seattle, where he had spent all four of his NFL seasons, Weaver was also talking with Tampa Bay, Houston and Minnesota.

However, the Eagles not only would give him a chance to start but also do so in the familiar West Coast offense. The 26-year-old Weaver had spent his entire career playing for Mike Holmgren.

“My thing was, when I looked at Philly, was the type of offense they run. In free agency, a lot of guys look at the money. For me, that wasn’t really the case,” Weaver said. “I looked at more the opportunity.”
And as if it was not enough for the Seahawks and other teams interested, he was actually willing to take less money to come to Philly. And now, for the first time since the age of Jon Ritchie, THE EAGLES HAVE A FULLBACK! THE EAGLES HAVE A FULLBACK! THE EAGLES HAVE A FULLBACK!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Madness Simulated: The Final Four and National Championship

The moment you've all been waiting for! The simulated Final Four is here! I did the Duke-Gonzaga game and Mookie from SSR did the Louisville-UConn game.

Here they are! Enjoy!

Semifinal #1
#4 Gonzaga vs. #2 Duke: A crazy up and down first half has led Duke to a 2-point lead over Gonzaga at halftime in the Final Four. But in the second half, it’s Gonzaga who jumps out to an 11-point lead. Duke won’t go down easy, though, and with 4:06 to go they have tied it at 74. They proceed to make a run and go up 83-77. But wait, the Zags won’t go down. After a 2-1 exchange of free throws in favor of the Bulldogs, GRAY HITS A 3 FOR GONZAGA! AND THEY’RE WITHIN 2 WITH 15 SECONDS LEFT! Henderson is fouled. He makes his first! BUT MISSES THE SECOND! REBOUND GONZAGA! 13 SECONDS LEFT! 3-POINT LEAD! Daye gets the ball AND HE BURIES A 3 TO TIE IT WITH 4 SECONDS LEFT!!! ONIONS!!!!! HENDERSON A CHANCE FOR THE WIN…..OFF THE MARK! WE’RE GOING TO OVERTIME!!! 85-85! Gonzaga starts the OT with a 7-0 run! Could it be? Could it be that the Zags are going to a National Championship? Duke is roaring back! Singler hits a 3 and it’s a 4-point game! Gonzaga responds with a basket. It’s Duke’s turn with 1:32 to go trailing by 6 and Williams it’s the perimeter jumper AND-1! The freebie is good. 1:25 to go. Heytvelt misses badly for Gonzaga BUT HE CORRALS HIS OWN REBOUND! The pass is PICKED OFF BY JUKE! CHANCE TO TIE WITH 52 TO GO! NO GOOD! REBOUND GONZAGA! 94-91 THEY LEAD WITH 51 SECONDS LEFT! They let some time run out. Shot clock down to 5 and HEYTVELT HITS A JUMPER!!!! 5-POINT LEAD!! 20 SECONDS LEFT!! IS THAT THE DAGGER?!? DUKE NEEDS A BASKET AND THEY NEED IT IN A HURRY! SINGLER FROM 3……NOOO!!!!! THOMAS THE REBOUND!!! TIME’S TICKING!! THOMAS THE 3…..NOO!!!!! REBOUND GONZAGA AND THERE’S THE BUZZER!!!!! ……………..GONZAGA’S GOING TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!! THEY’VE BEATEN DUKE 96-91 IN OVERTIME!!…UNBELIEVEABLE!! ONIONS!!

Semifinal #2
#1 UConn vs. #1 Louisville: The rematch between two Big East rivals for the right to face Gonzaga in the title game. Last time these two faced UConn dominated Louisville at Freedom Hall. This time around, Hasheem was held to just 12 points, although he shot 5-7 from the floor. It was a tight first half, neither lteam leading by more than 8. A Kemba Walker shot cut the Cardinals lead to 40-36 at the half. There were 3 lead changes in the 2nd half but the game remained tight. However, Hasheem Thabeet was in foul trouble and couldn’t afford to foul out. Louisville’s bench outscored UConn’s bench 32-22, and it was bench player Edgar Sosa who scored on a layup to give Louisville a 77-76 lead with 2:37 to go. With :14 left and the game in favor of the Cardinals 79-77, Samardo Samuels stepped up to the line for two crucial free throws. Samuels hits the first free throw! If he hits the second then he may have won it!! HE HITS BOTH!! IT IS 81-77!!! LAST CHANCE FOR UCONN!! AUSTRIE FOR THREE!! NO!!! THABEET THE REBOUND!!! THEY’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!! THABEET FOR THREE!!!!! NO!!! REBOUND BY TERRENCE WILLIAMS AND TIME EXPIRES!!!!!!!! LOUISVILLE GETS REVENGE ON UCONN AND ADVANCE TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME TO FACE GONZAGA!!! A THRILLING 81-77 WIN FOR RICK PITINO’S SQUAD!! THERE WILL BE NO THIRD MIRACLE FOR THE HUSKIES!!!

And now the national championship game, courtesy of Mookie from SSR.

Gonzaga’s road to the national championship game was a shocker. They plowed through Akron but won a nailbiter over Illinois 70-67. North Carolina proved to be no match for the Zags and they lost 83-69 in the Sweet 16. They beat Cinderella team Clemson in the regional final to advance to the Final Four, where they beat Duke in OT 96-91. A lot of close games, but these Bulldogs have been through it all.

Louisville on the other hand breezed to the Final Four. Blowout wins over Morehead State and Siena, followed by a late run to beat Wake Forest, culminating in another blowout over West Virginia in the regional final. Samardo Samuels hit two huge free throws in their national semifinal win over UConn, 81-77.

Many matchups to look forward to. How will the Cardinals stop Jeremy Pargo? Will the Zags have the size to compete for rebounds underneath and be physical? They’ve been called “soft” by most critics, but they’ve gotten this far.

Finally, Rick Pitino and Mark Few, two of the best coaches in the game today, face off for the first time in their illustrious careers.


1st Half
From the opening tip it was a fast paced game with very few stoppages. However, it would be Gonzaga that went ahead by double digits on a Josh Heytfelt bucket with 6:46 left. The deficit for Louisville was 10, their biggest in the entire tournament. The Cardinals would close out the half outscoring the Zags 11-6 to close the gap to 36-31 at halftime. Both teams shooting very well from the field, and they would continue that throughout the game.

2nd Half
A key moment in the 2nd half came at the 11:15 mark. Will Foster tied the game at 47-47 for Gonzaga, but moments later Louisville’s Terrence Jennings was fouled by Austin Daye. That was Daye’s 4th personal foul already and had to be careful. Amazingly, Mark Few took the gamble and kept him on the floor until the 9:22 mark, when Matt Boulding came in. The fouls kept piling up for Gonzaga and Heytfelt picked up his 4th foul with 1:50 to go! Earl Clark hit both free throws and Louisville was up 75-72. With :58 left, the fun began…




Amazginly, with an extra 5 minutes the game was tight enough and free flowing there were no fouls called. Earl Clark tied the game at 90-90 with :37 left. Last chance to win it in the first OT….


With 1:41 left in the 2nd OT, Foster was called for a charge and became the 3rd player to foul out for Gonzaga. Moments later…..


After a Williams shot for Louisville went off the mark, Gonzaga had one last chance….



Earl Clark was named Most Outstanding Player, and he was outstanding in this game, scoring 30 points and grabbing 10 rebounds and 4 assists, and hit the winning free throws for the Cardinals.

In the end, Gonzaga had their key players foul out, Louisville did not have any player hit the 5 foul limit. Gonzaga’s depth was tested and they did well, only to fall short.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Allison Abbott Is Not A Fan Of March Madness

Now whenever there is a cult phenomenon in this country such as March Madness, there are bound to be detractors who do not follow the crowd. It's natural, it happens. Look at American Idol and Dancing With The Stars, for example. But I am not sure if I have ever seen an article so degrading and so mean-spirited to college sports than the one I just read. Meet Allison Abbott, a Comcast.net Sports Contributor. She does not like this March Madness of which we speak. And I was all set to just leave her opinion alone until I stumbled upon what may be one of the dumbest things I have ever seen in a sports editorial.

Selections, stats, scores, schedules, and snores galore.

The word “bracketology” and the American public’s obsession with it makes me want to yawn and curl up in a corner somewhere. I cannot believe that grown human beings spend a month hunched over their desks at work writhing with excitement over a bitty piece of paper with some lines on it.

These drones log in every day to view their online bracket, they print out copies of their work bracket, they call their friends about their fantasy bracket. Honestly people, find another three-week hobby (might I suggest a jigsaw puzzle?).

And no, I will not join your office pool or help you think of a witty name for your bracket like “Members Only Bracket’” or “My Morning Bracket.” Go burn your $20 playing online poker somewhere and fetch me my pillow.

And the teams on these brackets … seriously? Who are these guys? Is anyone really rooting for Stephen F. Austin and Robert Morris? Are they even schools? Or are they just two dudes playing one-on-one? Is it a wrestling match?

And the athletes? Good grief they’re boring. Where’s the star? Where’s The Answer? Where’s Shaq Fu?

These college basketball guys are a herd of underwhelming cattle. No one stands out from the group … I need a star … screw it, I’ll say it: college basketball has too much team mentality. Plus, you know it’s bad when you’re less interested in the players and the game than you are in a fight between two mascots. Maybe that’s the reason why so few of these players actually get drafted into the NBA: The franchises are afraid too many of them will dull the American people into a sleep-induced coma.
"college basketball has too much team mentality."

Obviously she's entitled to her opinion about March Madness, and that's not what I am after, but to say that a sport has too much team mentality is one of the dumbest things I have ever read in a sports article. The team mentality is what makes the sport great and what makes you fall in love with some of these teams and the sport in general.

Going back to her comment though, hence the caption underneath the title of my blog.....Idicoy truly does have no limits!

March MadneZZZZZZ (Comcast.net)

March Madness Simulated: The West Region

Here it is, the final region simulated of March Madness. This one was done by Mookie of Stupid Sideline Reporters! Enjoy!

Here it is. The final simulated region post is here! We’ve seen Gonzaga, Louisville, and Duke make their way to Detroit. Who will leave Glendale as West regional champions? Find out after the jump…..

#1 UConn vs. #16 Chattanooga: UConn has had troubles with a #16 seed team before. They were down by double digits to Albany before rallying to win 71-58. Yet again they were in trouble and led only 9-8 in the half and fell behind 44-42 at the end of the first 20 minutes. Chattanooga threw everything at UConn and it worked! They still were up 67-63 with :29 to go, history was in the making and just :07 remained. AJ PRICE HITS THE JUMPER!!! It’s a 2 point game with :07 left!! They foul Khalil Hartwell with :04 left! A one-and-one for Chattanooga! They’re just 10-21 from the free throw line!!! HARTWELL MISSES THE FREE THROW!! JEFF ADRIEN THE REBOUND!!!! LETS IT GO FROM BEYOND HALF COURT FOR THE WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!! HE SCORES ON A PRAYER AND UCONN HAS WON!!!!!!!!! A 68-67 THRILLER FOR THE HUSKIES AND THERE WILL BE NO #16 SEED WINNING THIS YEAR!!!! REMARKABLE!!!

# 8 BYU vs. #9 Texas A&M: The Aggies weren’t bad. Not at all. They lost because BYU shot 54% from the field and couldn’t miss! BYU put up 50 in the first half and never looked back. Something clicked for the Cougars and cruised to victory 83-65 in a game that got boring from the 2nd half onwards.

#5 Purdue vs. #12 Northern Iowa: In one instant, tip-off in Portland between Purdue and Northern Iowa. Moments later, it’s 15-1 Purdue. The Big Ten side hit 8-12 from downtown and the rout was on. Once the Boilermakers started they were never threatened and won in blowout fashion 68-47.

#4 Washington vs. #13 Mississippi State: Jarvis Varnado recorded 3 blocked shots and the Bulldogs beat up on Jon Brockman. The All-Pac-10 first team star was held to 2-9 shooting, but did pick up 10 rebounds. It was a close game throughout, but Washington went on an 8-0 run in the final 2:36 to beat eliminate Mississippi State 77-67. That’s right, MSU went cold when it mattered and are out.

#6 Marquette vs. #11 Utah State: The loss of Dominic James has led to the collapse of the Golden Eagles. They were dominated on the boards and the bench contributed little. Despite all of that, they hung around with the Aggies, who were looking to pull off an upset. A jumper from the perimeter by Lazar Hayward cut Utah State’s lead to 66-64 with 5:36 to go. Wesley Matthews scored the next 2 points for Marquette……with 1:29 left. By then it was too late and Utah State pulled away for the 81-72 upset.

#3 Missouri vs. #14 Cornell: The Ivy League school actually led most of the first half, and by as many as 8 points. Missouri would bounce back from a slow start and take a 37-32 lead into the locker room. In the 2nd half the Tigers blew the doors off of Cornell and won 79-60. Mizzou shot an astounding 55% from the floor and the bench contributed 29 points.

#7 California vs. #10 Maryland: Greivis Vasquez was held to 16 points on 6-17 shooting, a huge factor was taken out of Maryland’s offense. The Terps however would not prove to be a one man show. Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes helped get their side to within striking distance against the Berkeley school. In the end though, it’s another game that won’t go down to the wire. The huge difference was free throw shooting. Cal shot 19-21 from the stripe, while Maryland was a poor 19-21. The 74-69 scoreline in favor of the Golden Bears is deceiving, as Cal was up by 11 and Maryland hit a three at the end of the game.

#2 Memphis vs. #15 Cal-State Northridge: A dismal first round in the West region was capped off with another blowout win. Like the majority of #15 and #16 seeded teams in the tournament, CS-Northridge hung around in the first half only to get wiped out in the second half. A 75-58 win for the Tigers, whose defense forced 20 turnovers and 7 blocked shots.

2nd Round
#1 UConn vs. #8 BYU: Once again the Huskies got off to a woeful start in the first half. BYU took a surprising 41-31 lead into the break, and looked to do what Chattanooga couldn’t do and finish them off. Unfortunately, they lost their lead late. AJ Price, who led all scorers with 23 points, hit the go-ahead three to make it 62-59 with 2:52. Back and forth they went and UConn held a slim 66-65 lead with :11 left. Price goes to the line. He hits the front end of the one-and-one. Hits the back end. It’s 68-65! BYU WITH ONE LAST CHANCE!!!! JACKSON EMERY FOR THE TIE!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!! IT IS TIED AT 68-68 WITH :06 LEFT!!! UCONN PUSHES AHEAD!!! PRICE AT THE BUZZER!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!! CONNECTICUT WINS AT THE BUZZER AGAIN!!! AJ PRICE HITS A THREE FROM THE LEFT WING AND THE HUSKIES WIN IT 71-68!!! HEARTBREAK CITY FOR BYU!!!

#4 Washington vs. #5 Purdue: Purdue was unable to handle the fast pace of the Washington Huskies for the full 40 minutes. The Boilermakers played their style of basketball and took a 37-32 lead into halftime. However, Washington but up 50 in the 2nd half and Darnell Gant’s jumper with 9:35 left gave the Huskies a 56-55 lead. They never relinquished their advantage and won 82-73.

#3 Missouri vs. #11 Utah State: You aren’t going to win with a -17 rebound differential. Missouri’s lack of a strong rebounder killed them in the 2nd half. A torrid first half saw them lead 42-41, but too many second chances for the Aggies and one-and-dones for the Tigers meant another upset! Utah State beat Missouri 81-71!

#2 Memphis vs. #7 California: Cal never led in this game, had a -16 differential in the boards and the game was over by halftime. A comfortable 82-59 win for Memphis means they advance to the Sweet 16.

Sweet 16
#1 UConn vs. #4 Washington: Well, at least my Washington Huskies went further than JFein’s Villanova Wildcats! The third time in a row these teams face off in the regional semis, and this time there would be no dramatic finish. Five UConn players finished with double-digit point totals and won 87-78 over U-Dub. A 12 point lead for UConn at the break was too much for Washington to overcome.

#2 Memphis vs. #11 Utah State: Unfortunately, the Aggies would not have a third straight upset. As was the theme of the simulated tournament for most of the regionals, a close game broke open when one team forgot to score points in the clutch. A 64-62 lead for the Tigers turned to 73-62 with 2:46 to go and they won the game 79-70. This sets up the highly anticipated matchup between UConn and Memphis.

Elite Eight
#1 UConn vs. #2 Memphis: What? Another blowout? UConn wins 66-52 over Memphis. While the outcome may not be a shocker, the score was surprising. It was a regional final to forget for the crowd in Glendale and the millions watching on TV. It was however an impressive display by the Huskies, who advance to the Final Four.

What will happen in the Final Four when Louisville takes on UConn and Duke takes on Gonzaga? Find out later tonight or tomorrow!

March Madness Simulated: The South Region

This one, like the East Region was done by me. While I am yet to read Mookie's West Region, I must say, this one is my personal favorite. Enjoy some of the craziest finishes in March Madness history!

1st Round

#1 North Carolina vs. #16 Radford
Radford actually took the early 2-0 lead but North Carolina would try to beat them down a bit. But Radford always had a response, down 27-17 they came back to lead 35-34 at one point in the first half! The halftime score would end up being 45-40 UNC on their literal heals against Radford. Fast forward to the second half where once again UNC built up a 10-point lead but once again Radford battled back. THEY WERE WITHIN 2 WITH 1:11 TO GO! But in the end, Thompson hit a dagger floater for the Heels that put them up 4 and Radford was subsequently unable to mount anymore serious threats to the Tar Heels. 89-84 North Carolina survived!

#8 LSU vs. #9 Butler
LSU completely took control of the Butler Bulldogs, leading them 37-26 at halftime. But the tables would be turned in the second half and Butler completely dominated the Tigers. A 22-2 run by the Bulldogs capped off one of the more anti-climatic 11-point comebacks you’ll ever find. Butler 71, LSU 58 the final from Greensboro.

#5 Illinois vs. #12 Western Kentucky
This game does feature a Big 10 team (not to mention a Big 10 team that was on the losing end of a 38-33 game), so naturally, the first half was low scoring and boring. 31-25 Illinois at halftime. The 2nd half starts with Illinois jumping out to a 10-point lead, however, Western Kentucky would battle back and tie the game at 50 with 9:36 to go. Illinois would take the lead back and continue to hang on to a slim margin until TRENT MEACHEM DRILLS A 3 TO PUT THE ILLINI UP BY 6! The Illini are going to finally bury the Hilltoppers. But wait! WKU continues to battle and Steffphon Pettigrew hits a 3 with 8 seconds left! 66-64 Illinois leads! WKU fouls Frazier who makes his first freebie. 3-point lead. THE SECOND ONE IS NO GOOD! Rebound by Sergio Kerusch of WKU and he LAUNCHES A 75-FOOTER AT THE BUZZER………OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!! IT’S GOOD!!!!!!!!!!! WKU’S TIED IT AND WE’RE GOING TO OVERTIME!!!!!!! UNBELIEVEABLE!!!!! Into overtime we go and both teams have trouble scoring early on. The first points come from a Meacham 3 for Illinois! Another minute half goes by without a point and McCamey then knocks down another Illinois 3! 6-point game but WKU would continue to battle! A Pettigrew 3 put the Hilltoppers within 2 with 11 seconds left!!! Ensuing Illinois possession, McCamey is fouled, makes both free throws and that puts away this thriller! 78-72 Illinois in OT! Unbelieveable!

#4 Gonzaga vs. #13 Akron
Gonzaga controlled this game from the opening tip and except for a brief period of time where Akron led 11-10, the Zags led the entire game, thoroughly dominating the Zips, 70-50.

#6 Arizona State vs. #11 Temple
It started out as an exciting back and forth run, but midway through the first half, the Temple Owls decided that that would be a good time to open up a can of whoop ass on the Arizona State Sun Devils. ASU would not get close again and the Temple Owls thoroughly handled them, 77-65, leading by as many as 17 at one point.

#3 Syracuse vs. #14 Stephen F. Austin
Maybe all of those overtimes in the Big East Tourney took something out of the Cuse after all. They were locked in a back and forth battle with the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, making their first NCAA tournament appearance of all time. The Orange led by just 5 at halftime. They continued to trade blows in the 2nd half and SFA had a 2-point lead with 9:28 to go! But the Cuse would stick with it and despite coming close several times, they would never relinquish their lead, beating SFA 71-67 in a close and entertaining game of basketball.

#7 Clemson vs. #10 Michigan
A lot of the talk surrounding the game was that of welcoming Michigan back into the tournament. Well, Clemson did exactly that. They welcomed Michigan in with open arms and then proceeded to kick them right back out. 77-60 Clemson and I think that final score says more about this game than I ever could in this summary.

#2 Oklahoma vs. #15 Morgan State
As punishment for the Illinois-WKU thriller, all other games must be blowouts. That is the motto that this region goes by. 80-57 OU over Morgan State and to slightly alter a Tim Brando quote, “That’s why you’re Morgan State”.

2nd Round

#1 North Carolina vs. #9 Butler
This game started out back and forth, but 10-minutes in, the Tar Heels just proceeded to take this one over. Butler would make a run in the 2nd half cutting the lead to 8, but that would be all as the Tar Heels kicked some Butler behind in this one, winning 96-74.

#5 Illinois vs. #4 Gonzaga
This one started out as a Gonzaga blowout, up 21-10 early on the Illini but they came roaring back, pulling to within 4 at halftime, 33-29. Zags build their lead back up in the second half, but again Illinois comes back and leads 48-44 midway through the second half. Back and forth they go for the rest of the half. 51 seconds left in the game and McCamey pulls the Illini to within 1! Zaga ball. Up by 1 with 51 seconds left. They left the clock run down. AND PARGO NAILS A 2-POINT JUMPER WITH 19 SECONDS LEFT! IS THAT THE DAGGER? Illinois has one last chance! AND THEY TURN IT OVER! Illinois fouls Josh Heytvelt with 9 seconds left! AND HE MISSES THE FRONT END OF A 1-AND-1! MIKE DAVIS GETS THE REBOUND FOR THE ILLINI! ONE MORE ONE LAST CHANCE FOR ILLINOIS TO TIE THE GAME DOWN BY 3! DAVIS FOR 3 AND THE TIE!.......NO!!! AND THAT’S IT! GONZAGA SURVIVES AND ADVANCES, BEATING ILLINOIS 70-67 IN A THRILLER!

#3 Syracuse vs. #11 Temple
Naturally, if there was a team that would go the entire distance in this game without trailing it would be Syracuse, but that was not the case! Upset City in Miami! The Temple Owls took it to the Orange in a game where Syracuse never threatened to tie or take the lead. 74-62, the Temple Owls upset Syracuse and advance to the Sweet Sixteen! Unbelieveable!

#2 Oklahoma vs. #7 Clemson
The blowout upsets continue in the South Region! This time it is Clemson taking out Oklahoma. They led dominated the game, led 53-38 at halftime, and never looked back en route to a 93-77 triumph over Oklahoma. And this one was ugly. And yes, this does mean that Temple is playing Clemson in the Sweet Sixteen.

Sweet Sixteen

#1 North Carolina vs. #4 Gonzaga
An entertaining start to this one in Memphis! Back and forth and back and forth this one went for the first 20 minutes of play, as Gonzaga and North Carolina played one entertaining half of basketball. Gonzaga led 41-40 at halftime. However, the Gonzaga Bulldogs opened the second half with a 12-1 run and the Tar Heels could never recover from that. And 10 years later, the slipper still fits for Gonzaga! They beat North Carolina 83-69!

#7 Clemson vs. #11 Temple

A very entertaining first half of basketball in Memphis. It started out with some good back and forth action but then Temple got out to a 9-point lead. Clemson would not be fazed, though, they pulled within 4 going into the break, 34-30 Owls. Clemson finishes their comeback but Temple won’t be denied in this one, they jump right out back to an 8-point lead and the Tigers come back from that! Owls now down by 5 with 50 seconds left. INGE HITS A 3 FOR THE OWLS! Clemson has it now. They let some clock run out. 22 seconds. RIVERS MISSES A JUMPER! TEMPLE REBOUND! Time ticking for the Owls! INGE PUTS IT HOME FOR THE OWLS! WE’RE TIED AT 62 WITH 4 SECONDS LEFT! Timeout Clemson. The inbound to Sykes AND HE SCORES A JUMPER! CLEMSON LEADS WITH 1-SECOND LEFT!!!! Temple’s only hope is to inbound it and hope for a Laettner-esque miracle. THE DEEP INBOUND…..CHRISTMAS WITH THE CAAAAAAATCH……FOR THE TIE….YES!!!!!!!!! WE’RE GOING TO OVERTIME! UNBELIEVEABLE!! However, there would be no such drama in the OT period. Temple only scored 2 points in the period and could not make a shot for the life of them and the Clemson Tigers win a thriller by a score of 78-68!

Elite Eight

#4 Gonzaga vs. #7 Clemson
The Big 10 would have greatly enjoyed the start of this game. Very slow start, but it did pick up. They may not have been projected to get this far, but they traded body shots as if it was a heavyweight fight. It just has that big game feel to it. 33-29 Clemson led at halftime. The second half started similarly. This one has classic written all over it. But wait, someone is finally emerging from the fight! It’s Clemson, they lead by 10 with 6:18 to go! Not so fast though, Gonzaga pulls within 1 with 1:31 to go! Clemson responds with a Booker basket AND-1! He converts. 4-point lead, 1:08 to go. Gonzaga has it. Bouldin makes a turnaround 2 from the left corner! 2-point game! 54 seconds left. Clemson is letting sometime run out AND BOOKER MISSES A JUMP HOOK FOR CLEMSON! REBOUND BY PARGO OF GONZAGA! 2 to tie and 3 to win for the Zags! What will they do? Time ticking……Brown has it….passes to Gray……HE SINKS A 3 FROM THE CORNER!!!!!!! GONZAGA LEADS BY 1 WITH 8 SECONDS LEFT! LAST CHANCE TO DANCE FOR CLEMSON! AND THEY TURN IT OVER!!!! THERE’S THE BUZZER! AND GONZAGA!!!!!!! HAS DONE IT!!!!!!! THEY’RE GOING TO THE FINAL FOUR!!!!! WHAT A GAME!!!! WHAT A GAME!!!! WHAT A GAME!!!

Well, that was fun! Hopefully the West Region and the Final Four will be up by the end of the day (because Mookie has the West Region, and part of the Final Four, I won't be able to get them up until he posts them.

The Games I'm Saddled With For The First Round

I am indeed rather impatient when it comes to what games I am getting, so I have done the research and have found that even though I get 2 different CBS Stations, they will be showing the same games (CBS 3 Philly and WYOU Wilkes-Barre Scranton), at least on Thursday, WYOU has not released their Friday schedule yet, although I have no reason to believe that they would be different.

Anyway, here is my schedule for watching games (this is the Philly schedule for both days; I plan on using this channel more because it will have constant feeds for Nova/Temple and it's the channel I am used to when it comes to this; only when I am given the virtual middle finger will I switch over and hope for luck)

Day Slot 1: LSU-Butler (Greensboro)
Day Slot 2: UConn-Chattanoogo (Philly)
Bonus MMOD slot: Washington-Mississippi State (Portland)
Night Slot 1: Villanova-American (Philly)
Night Slot 2: Duke-Binghamton (Greensboro)

Syracuse-Stephen F. Austin (Miami)
Arizona State-Temple (Miami)
Louisville-Morehead St. (Dayton)
Ohio State-Siena (Dayton)

See the pattern? With the exception of the afternoon west coast game that is only available in certain markets and MMOD (and seeing as I would place that one on upset alert, I will be watching it through MMOD), I'm stuck in 2 cities for both days! And worse, NO GUS JOHNSON! Of course, you all know what this means; Minneapolis will be the place for drama. What makes me so sure, well last year I had 2 games with Gus in the first round and we all know how boring Denver was last year. But on the plus side of things, I hardly ever get a decent dose of Ian Eagle and he's one of my favorites, I get to see my beloved Wachovia Center twice, but most of all, unless I'm flexed there during halftime or a close game, I WON'T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH TIM BRANDO DURING THE FIRST ROUND!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March Madness Simulated: The Midwest Region

Once again, if this looks familiar, it's because this is being simulpost over at SSR. Anyway, the Midwest Region was Mookie's and here is his simulation of it! (with accurately play-in game included!)

We have to start off with the play-in game first!

Morehead State vs. Alabama State: Not much to talk about here. Morehead State had a +12 rebound advantage and really were not in much danger of letting Alabama State rally. Once the Eagles got the halftime lead they rarely looked back and put the game away late with a 69-60 win. Phil Simms’ school will play Louisville in Dayton, OH.

#1 Louisville vs. #16 Morehead State: Louisville actually trailed by 1 point in the closing minutes of the first half, but took the lead at intermission 28-26. But too much of the Cardinals eliminated all hopes of a #16 beating a #1 seed. Terrence Williams hit a dagger three to put Louisville up 64-47 and cruised to victory. Some late garbage points from the Eagles made the final score 70-58.

#8 Ohio State vs. #9 Siena: Another close game is eventually salted away. The Saints went on a 9-0 run to make 54-49 lead a 63-49 cushion with 3:05 left. Down goes our first Big Ten team. Siena wins it 67-57.

#5 Utah vs.#12 Arizona: A back and forth first half saw Arizona close out the first 20 minutes with an 11-1 run to rally to take a 34-29 lead. Arizona was looking to show the committee that they didn’t make the wrong decision to inexplicably put them in the tournament again. Neither team led by double digits and a grandstand finish was in store. Shawn Green, FOR TWO!!!! GOOD!!! 65-61 UTAH WITH 18 SECONDS TO GO!! SURELY IT IS ALL OVER NOW! Chase Budinger…..RESPONDS WITH A THREE WITH :12 LEFT!!! They foul Carlon Brown with :08 to go and it’s a one-and-one. He hits both! Utah up 67-64. One last chance for Arizona, BUDINGER FROM THE LEFT WING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!! HE FORCES OVERTIME AS TIME EXPIRES!!!!!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! Unfortunately, Arizona never took the lead in OT and their rallies were answered by Utah. The Utes advance 85-77 over Arizona in overtime.

#4 Wake Forest vs. #13 Cleveland State: We have not had an upset so far. Is this our time? With Cleveland State up 39-28, Norris Cole hit a buzzer-beating three at halftime to take a shock 42-28 lead over the Demon Deacons! With the help of Jeff Teague, Wake Forest quickly cut the lead to 44-42 and it looked like the the Vikings would get blown out. Instead of folding, Cleveland State held on to their lead and and were up 65-63 with 2:14 to go. James Johnson HITS THE BASKET AND ONE!!!!!! WAKE FOREST CAN TAKE THE LEAD!! JOHNSON HITS THE FREE THROW!!! At the other end, Cedric Jackson is fouled! Cleveland State gets the lead back! Teague FOR THREE!!!!!!!!! IT IS GOOD!!! 69-67 WAKE FOREST! Chris Moore is fouled by LD Williams! He hits both free throws and ties it at 69-69! James Johnson is fouled! More free throws and Wake Forest leads 71-69 with :47 left! Last chance for Cleveland State, D’Aundray Brown has the ball……and it’s TAKEN AWAY BY AL-FAROUQ AMINU!!! They’ll let the clock run down, shot clock at 4 and AMINU HITS THE JUMPSHOT!!! :06 LEFT AND WAKE FOREST SURVIVES!!! 73-69 Wake Forest advances with a dramatic comeback.

#6 West Virginia vs. #11 Dayton: West Virginia took a 27-22 lead and made it 35-22 by halftime and cruised to victory in a relatively boring game. The sexy pick to be the next Cinderella gets wiped out in the 1st round. A 70-54 win for Bob Huggins’ side.

#3 Kansas vs. #14 North Dakota State: The game was over midway through the 2nd half and the defending champs pull off a really easy victory. Kansas 81 North Dakota State 64

#7 Boston College vs. #10 USC: The Eagles held the Pac-10 tournament champions to 32% shooting from the field, including 2-10 from downtown, and won in a blowout. Joe Trapani’s 20 point performance on 7-12 shooting complimented Tyrese Rice’s 23 points (7 rebounds and 5 assists) in their 73-55 win.

#2 Michigan State vs. #15 Robert Morris: It was supposed to be a walkover, but the Spartans found themselves tied 36-36 with lowly Robert Morris at halftime. Jeremy Chappell hit 5 of his 7 three-point shots to keep the Colonials in the game. With the outcome too close to call, it came down to who could shoot better in the clutch. Bateko Francisco, GOES FOR THREE!!! YES!!! THE COLONIALS LEAD 73-66 with 1:32 TO GO!!! After some free throws were made…..Durell Summers hits the three at the buzzer but it’s all over!!!!!!!!!! ROBERT MORRIS HAS PULLED OFF ONE OF THE BIGGEST UPSETS IN THE HISTORY OF MARCH MADNESS!!! THEY KNOCK OFF MICHIGAN STATE 81-75 IN A SHOCKER!!

2nd Round
#1 Louisville vs. #9 Siena: The 2nd round began with another blowout. Siena only had the right to say they led 2-0, because after that they got wiped out. Siena was down by 11 at the half and only got within 8 and that was it. Louisville goes to the sweet 16 with an 82-63 romp. The Cardinals shot 53.3% from the field and had 5 players score in double figures.

#5 Utah vs. #4 Wake Forest: Despite Jeff Teague scoring just 6 points, he dished out 7 assists and helped Wake Forest throttle Utah 64-54. The score is deceiving, as Wake Forest was up 55-38 and went into cruise control from that point. The Utes did cut it to 55-49 but it was too late, they had nothing left, and Wake Forest advances.

#6 West Virginia vs. #3 Kansas: Only one team led in this game. Once up by as many as 20, and hit half of their shots……and WEST VIRGINIA KNOCKED OUT KANSAS! Bob Huggins knocked out Duke last year and now Kansas this year. The Mountaineers led 80-60 before Kansas score 7 meaningless points late. De’Sean Butler scored 25 points, hit 3-3 from downtown, and shot 10-13 overall. His side advanced to the Sweet 16! Final Score: West Virginia 80 Kansas 67

#7 Boston College vs. #15 Robert Morris: The Colonials once again played an even first half of basketball, and actually lead 33-31 at the break. Boston College lost in the rebound department, -7 differential, huge in the outcome of the game. It’s an offensive rebound and a 2nd chance opportunity was converted by Dallas Green. A 63-52 lead for Robert Morris wit just 3:49 to go? Could it be? The score 68-63 after the Colonials had their lead trimmed with :24 gave BC one last chance. Here’s Rice for three!!! OFF THE MARK!! RAKIM SANDERS WITH THE REBOUND!!! THEY HAVE TO GET THE SHOT AWAY!!! RICE!!!!!!!!! YES!! A 68-66 GAME WITH :07 LEFT!! HANG ON! JEREMY CHAPPELL FOULED WITH :03 LEFT! HE MISSES THE FIRST!! MAKES THE SECOND! ONE LAST CHANCE FOR BC!! IT’S RICE FOR THE TIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! CINDERELLA HAS A NEW NAME!! AND IT’S ROBERT MORRIS!!!! THEY KNOCK OFF BOSTON COLLEGE 69-66!!!!

Sweet 16
#1 Louisville vs. # 4 Wake Forest: A close game throughout between two of the top teams in the nation. When it looked like Louisville had put the Demon Deacons away up 60-51, the ACC side stormed back to cut it to 60-59. In the end however, Louisville knocked down two three-pointers (both from Jerry Smith) and took over down the stretch. The Cardinals staved off Wake Forest’s rally and won 77-71.

#6 West Virginia vs. #15 Robert Morris: Cinderella once again played a superior opponent close, and were up 33-30 at halftime. Unfortunately, there would be no third straight improbable win. The Mountaineers seized a 57-47 advantage over the Colonials and never looked back. When Robert Morris had one last chance to pull off a comeback but failed to score in the final 3:31 and fell 71-63. An all Big East matchup in store for the Midwest Regional Final.

Elite Eight
#1 Louisville vs. #6 West Virginia: Blowout. Louisville comes out of Lucas Oil Stadium champions of the Midwest!!! They advance with a comfortable 82-55 wipeout of their conference rivals. Not exactly the close finish in the East regional, and it was a game to forget for West Virginia. They got killed on the boards, couldn’t shoot to save their lives, but failed to play defense and out the door they go. Louisville will face the winner of the West region.

So in the Final Four we know that it is Duke and Louisville. Will they be joined by conference rivals, UNC and UConn, respectively? Or will there be some sort of shocker in the works. Find out tomorrow when the West and South Brackets are revealed!

March Madness Simulated: The East Region

With the help of Mookie from Stupid Sideline Reporters, we have simulated the entire NCAA Simulation using WhatIfSports. These will be simulpost on both of our sites with the East and Midwest Regions being reavled tomorrow and the South and West Regions being revealed tomorrow with the Final Four and National Championship being posted before the real fun begins. We've written recaps so you can read a short summary of what happened and in case of dramatic endings, it will be just like having Gus Johnson call the games! (Hey, we try!) So now, without further ado, the East Region of the NCAA Tournament!

1st Round

#1 Pitt vs. #16 ETSU
From Dayton, Ohio, it’s #1 Pitt against #16 East Tennessee State. The first half was actually fairly close. Everything that Pitt dished out, ETSU had an answer for and at halftime it’s a 5-point game, 34-29 Pitt. However, the 2nd half is a different story. Smith hits a 3 and ETSU has a lead 4-minutes into the 2nd half! ETSU continues to hang tough, surviving a run from Pitt that gave them back the lead. Will this be the biggest upset in tourney history? No. ETSU continued to hang tough, and were even with in 4 with 4:18 to go, but in the end, Pitt was just too much and they pulled away for a 77-64 final score.

#8 Oklahoma State vs. #9 Tennessee
From Dayton, a typical 8-9 back and forth battle in the first half, with Oklahoma State taking a 37-32 lead into halftime. The second half would be just as exciting. Okie State would extend the lead to 8 early on in the second half and survive numerous runs from the Vols to keep the lead up until 2:16 to go when buried a driving attempt from the paint to give the Vols the 71-70 lead! The Cowboys would take the lead back with a freebies! Back and forth. Smith a jumper for Tennessee with 48 seconds left! Eaton a jumper for the Cowboys with 27 seconds left for the Cowboys! Last chance for Tennessee…..3 SECONDS LEFT!....SMITH FOR THE WIN!......NOOO!!!!!! COWBOYS WIN!

#5 Florida State vs. #12 Wisconsin
From Boise. Another close game. However, it was very Big 10ish. The only drama in the first half came as the Noles hit a buzzer beater to tie the game at 28 at halftime (don’t be deceived by the score, I’m pretty sure more points were scored in the last 2 mintues of that half than the rest of the half. Yawn). FSU would take a 9-point lead midway through the half and would survive a late Wisconsin run to win 62-58. Don’t be deceived by the score, though, there was little drama in this game and the majority of it was played at a snail’s pace.

#4 Xavier vs. #13 Portland State
A tale of two halves in Boise. Portland State jumped out to a 13-3 lead and had a 10-point lead even at 25-15, however, Xavier roared back. They pulled within 5 before halftime and in the second half, they blew Portland State out of the water who could not keep it up for 40 minutes of hoops. 70-60 the final in this one.

#6 UCLA vs. #11 VCU
Philadelphia. And we have our first upset of the tournament! Virginia Commonwealth beat UCLA. Actually, scratch that, they did not beat them, they mopped the floor with them. UCLA had the lead for the first half of the first half, but after that, VCU took the lead and they never looked back, beating the Bruins 73-59.

#3 Villanova vs. #14 American
American University was close to a big upset last year, and they showed that it was no fluke! They jumped out to a 10-6 lead and were either ahead or tied for most of the half. 24-24 at halftime and my Wildcats are in trouble! The second half does not fare much better for the Wildcats, even though they led for most of the 2nd half. It was not by much and American tied it at 51 with 1:14 to go! My Wildcats…..THIS IS NOT GOOD! Anderson gives them the lead by connecting 2 freebies. A 3-second violation on Simon of American and FISHER MAKES THE JUMPER WITH 32 SECONDS LEFT TO PUT THE WILDCATS UP BY 4! American would not come closer for the rest of the game and the Wildcats, somehow survived, beating American 57-51. Phew!

#7 Texas vs. #10 Minnesota
HISTORY IN GREENSBORO!! FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, A BIG 10 ACTUALLY BLEW SOMEBODY OUT!!!!!!!!!!!! Minnesota absolutely killed Texas, 74-56. It was ugly.

#2 Duke vs. #15 Binghamton
Greensboro, NC was the site of yet another blow out in the East Region. As expected (although not by me) the Dukies thoroughly routed Binghamton, never trailing, as they beat up on them by a final score of 78-61.

2nd Round

#1 Pittsburgh vs. #8 Oklahoma State
A good one in Dayton. Back and forth battle in the first half that consisted of the largest lead being 6 for Okie St., however by halftime it was only a one point game. And the 2nd half is just as exciting! This time however the Cowboys would find themselves with a 8-point lead with 2:15 to go. However the Pitt Panthers would battle back. What a finish this one was. Having pulled to within 4 with jumpers and free throws, DIXON MADE A 3-POINT SHOT TO PULL PITT WITHIN 1 WITH 42 SECONDS LEFT! And here we go from Dayton! 15 seconds left, Eaton misses a step back jumper for the Cowboys! BLAIR GETS THE REBOUND! 14 SECONDS LEFT! COWBOYS LEAD BY 1! PITT WITH THE BALL! They let some clock run….5 SECONDS LEFT….FIELDS THE DRIVE…..NO GOOD!!!! REBOUND OKLAHOMA STATE! THERE’S THE BUZZER! COWBOYS UPSET #1! 73-72! UNBELIEVEABLE!

#5 Florida State vs. #4 Xavier
Somebody apparently forgot to tell Xavier that they were on the decline and that they were supposed to suck this tournament. Xavier had the lead for most of the game and while Florida State often battled back and was close for parts in the 2nd half they were never able to catch them and the game never felt like that they would. What was a 33-29 halftime lead for the Musketeers exploded into a 72-59 game by the end of it all, sending Xavier into the Sweet Sixteen to play Oklahoma State.

#3 Villanova vs. #11 VCU
A back and forth first half from the Wachovia Center saw VCU leading by 3 right before the half ended. That is when MAYNOR SUNK A 3 AT THE BUZZER! VCU 36-31 at halftime. That was not the end of the game though, Reynolds gave Villanova the lead with 6:22 to go! 58-57 Villanova led then. However on the ensuing possession a 3 by Rodriguez gave VCU the lead right back and that drained all of the air right out of Villanova! VCU went on to dominate the 3 seeded Wildcats from that point on and it was indeed upset city in Philadelphia! 75-66 VCU advances to the Sweet Sixteen over the heavily favored Wildcats!

#2 Duke vs. #10 Minnesota
There is a reason why the Big 10 has a bad reputation and this game is it. Duke took control of the game early and often, building up an 8-point lead at the half. And while the scoring was fairly even in the second half, Minnesota never came close to challenging Duke’s lead, losing 73-64 to the Blue Devils in a game that was a seemingly bigger blowout than the score indicated.

Sweet Sixteen

#4 Xavier vs. #8 Oklahoma State
The first half featured some exciting action between the Cowboys and the Musketeers. Back and forth and a fair amount of points in this one. 38-36 Okie State led Xavier at halftime. However, in the second half, THE COWBOYS ABSOULUTELY TOOK OVER! How sweet it was for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, who in the 2nd half developed a lead as big as 15 en route to a 82-69 win and a trip to the elite eight.

#2 Duke vs. #11 VCU
Duke is seemingly unstoppable. While there was a little back and forth in the first few minutes, Duke seized control from there. They led the VCU Rams 40-30 at halftime and they never let up in the 2nd half. VCU would never get within 6 of Duke and they basically blew them out. 76-58 Duke wins and that one capped off a rather uneventful Sweet Sixteen in the East Region.

Elite Eight

#2 Duke vs. #8 Oklahoma State
The first half of this game was rather interested. It started out with the Cowboys chasing the Blue Devils in points but they never really had a big lead until they got on a 9-0 run, putting their lead up to 12. But the cowboys immediately answered that with a 7-0 run themselves and they pulled and a Brown jumper at the buzzer brought Okie. St. to within 3 of the Blue Devils at halftime in the TD Banknorth Garden, 39-36 The Cowboys start the half with a 5-0 run and they lead the Devils! Can the 8-seed make the Final Four? Duke quickly responds with a 5-0 run themselves and are back up by 3 with over 15 to go. The Cowboys tied it at 44 and we go a few minutes without any points. Duke then goes on a run and develops a 58-47 lead with 6:57 to go! But wait!! The Cowboys won’t go away! They battle back and a Muonelo tip in makes it a 4-point game with 1:59 to go!! Can they pull off the comeback? It’s difficult. Duke keeps responding, now it’s a 6-point game with 18 seconds left. But wait again! MUONELO FROM 3! THE COWBOYS ARE WITHIN 3! Zoubek is fouled with 16 seconds left and he makes a free throw. 4-point lead….ANDERSON HURLS UP A 3!.... NO GOOD! REBOUND BY ZOUBEK OF DUKE AND HE IS FOULED! He’ll make his freebies and that’ll do it! The Duke Blue Devils advance to the Final Four but what a gutsy effort by the Cowboys!