Unless you were an extremely lucky bastard and didn’t have to be at work yesterday, then most likely you missed a big chunk of yesterday’s round one games. Luckily, I have an amazing ability to gleam all sorts of information by “watching” ESPN’s GameCast (Yes, I am aware you can watch moving pictures of the games online, but my computer doesn’t enjoy activities that require a high rate of processing. Flip books show better moving pictures than the dinosaur I’m on.) and, combined with what I was able to watch last night, can discuss what was learned from each game yesterday.
LSU 75, Butler 71
Even if you are well-coached (and better coached), have basketball-smart players and play really well together it’s not enough to overcome superior athleticism and Marcus Thornton, who broke the 30-point barrier for the seventh time this year. That has to be a little depressing.
Memphis 81, CS Northridge 70
ATTENTION FUTURE MEMPHIS OPPONENTS WITH MORE TALENT THAN CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE: You have been given a blueprint on how to beat Memphis. Do not ignore this as UCLA’s Ben Howland did in last year’s Final Four. That is all.
Texas A&M 79, BYU 66
The Second Annual First Round Aggie-Cougar Classic ended the same way last year’s version did. Here’s to hoping this matchup becomes a new Tournament tradition.
Purdue 61, Northern Iowa 56
I emailed one of my friends yesterday to inform him that I didn’t know it was possible a team could make “watching” a GameCast game more boring than it already was. Congratulations, Purdue. You achieved what was thought to be unachievable. Now go die a slow, painful death in the second round.
Connecticut 103, Chattanooga 47
Even without their coach, the Huskies managed to destroy Terrell Owens’ alma mater. I think this score will also accurately describe the final score of Owens’ cancerous acts versus the number of defenses of said acts from Bills' fans.
Maryland 84, California 71
I don’t even remember this game happening.
North Carolina 101, Radford 58
The Highlander(s), unlike the movie, were not the greatest basketball team ever made.
Washington 71, Mississippi State 58
So, apparently playing four games in four days and flying across the country just four days after that does hurt your chances of winning a game. Another factor that hurts your chances of winning a game is if you play in the SEC.
Texas 76, Minnesota 62
This score will be the favorite topic of discussion among Kentucky fans before their second round NIT game.
Michigan 62, Clemson 59
What I personally learned from this is that picking Clemson to win anything is literally the dumbest idea a human being can conceive. Seriously Clemson, would it kill you to win one FREAKING GAME IN YOUR MISERABLE LIFE? I hope you win the NIT for the next 10 years.
Villanova 80, American 67
I’ve never had a panic attack so I can’t say what they feel like, but when I saw American had a 14-point lead, I thought I learned what a panic attack felt like. If I had lost an Elite Eight team from my bracket on opening night, my panic attack would have been followed by blind rage.
Gonzaga 77, Akron 64
Duke 86, Binghamton 62
Still looking for this Tournament’s most annoying commercial. Right now, the onslaught of Cingular spots is the early leader in the clubhouse, but I don’t think Chili’s or Applebee’s has gotten cranked up yet. If they show up to play, America will hate them more than ever by Sunday.
Oklahoma 82, Morgan State 54
The video of Blake Griffin getting flipped by Ammer Ali (which is a fantastic name) reminded me of one of those weird games they play at the Scottish Highland Games. Something about seeing how far you can throw someone. In fact, wasn’t this one of the games that adult William Wallace and his friend played in Braveheart? If not, it should have been.
UCLA 65, VCU 64
A Ben Howland coached team can’t put away a team with two players capable of consistent offense? Surely you jest. I said it last year after he refused to play zone against a Memphis team that simply isolated its best players (Derrick Rose and Chris Douglass-Roberts) and sent them one-on-one at the Bruins (and destroyed them). And I said it this year after watching an undermanned Michigan team bewilder Howland with that 1-3-1-ish thing they do. Howland may be a good recruiter, but he stinks as a game coach.
Western Kentucky 76, Illinois 72
I could not be more pleased with myself after I changed this game minutes before the first game yesterday. This type of Thursday big headedness usually results in a Friday debacle.