Around the blogs and back on Thursday's first round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament ...
• Dell Curry's Kid Is Good, Darryl Strawberry's Is Better. It says something about the letdown of these first eight games of the NCAA Tournament that my favorite story of the day is a humble one, and it even comes at the expense of my own team. It's all about Stephen Curry, Dell's kid, a 6'-nothing shooter who looks too young to be a college freshman and got spurned by every single ACC school (even Va. Tech, where he would have been a legacy). Ol' man Curry shot 40% from 3 over 16 NBA seasons. So he went to Davidson instead and put up 20 points per game all season long before getting a shot at revenge in the form of Maryland this afternoon. The North Carolina kid came out on fire: making it pour from downtown, getting to the rim and even dropping a beautiful bounce pass on the break. I was a believer by halftime. Well on his way to 40 and an upset victory with 15 minutes left, Gary Williams shut it down by sicking defensive stopper and all-around sparkplug D.J. Strawberry on him. From then on out it was all Terps (whew), but the point was made and a budding star was born. [Mr. Irrelevent]
• March Madness Day 1 Announcing Recap. So without further ado I give you Day 1....in quotes...... "They had a four hour mechanical with their aircraft"- Kevin Harlan; "Louisville looks to advance if they can hang onto this one"- Gus Johnson, The Cardinals were up 26 with 2 minutes left; "He loves to take you back-door after the timeouts"- Jay Bilas; "You'll find out why TV Guide calls Patrick Warrrrrrbarton hilarious"- Dick Enberg; "It's like your playing your dad in the driveway the way they get those 2nd chance points"- Jay Bilas; "We might be a couple of seconds as they wipe up the drops of hemoglobin"- Dick Enberg; "Jones is their best stroker from deep"- Bob Wenzel; "And our second player of the game is Carl Elliot with 8 points"- James Brown; "Coach K saw what we did, Paulus needs a blow"- Bob Wenzel; "There is Greg Paulus, he has met his banging quota for the night."- Bob Wenzel; "Another limb has spawned from the coaching tree of Billy Donovan."- Len Elmore; "Aaron Gray is a great player and a great academician."- Bob Wenzel. [Awful Announcing]
• UNC Vs. Eastern Kentucky Live Blog. 10:53 pm: At halftime, UNC leads 47-35. UNC has a double-digit lead at halftime of an NCAA Tournament game. And yet I'm really really mad at how the Tar Heels played. They really mentally left the building after gaining a quick 25 point lead. And as you can plainly see, when we mentally check out, almost any team can compete with us. This game should already be over, but we have allowed the Colonels to hang around. UNC needs to make some serious adjustments in the second half. [Tar Heel Mania, Saved By The Blog]
• Still Waiting For An Upset. #5 Butler 57 #12 Old Dominion 46: This was the consensus "12 over 5 upset" this year but it wasn't meant to be for the Monarchs. The Bulldogs (wearing their home uniforms for the first time at the NCAAs!!!!!!!) took control in the second half, outscoring ODU 38-26. They were led by AJ Graves, who scored 18 points. Another thing I noticed from Graves: he may soon challenge Lorenzo Mata for ugliest SOB in the country. Butler will face Maryland on Saturday. A very solid effort from the Bulldogs, a team that received some criticism after losing to Wright State in the Horizon Tournament. Good teams step up in the second half and Butler did just that. [Sportable]
• We Got NeXt. The playground saying holds true, we got neXt. Literally. Both Ohio State and Xavier won their opening round games of the NCAA tournament, giving way to a pivotal intrastate match-up. Let the storylines and melodrama flow for the next day or so. We all know the condensed story. Thad Matta used to coach Xavier and he left for Ohio State under scrutiny for being less than forthcoming about his interview with the Ohio State athletic department. Xavier fans to this day are hurt by the move and, I imagine, some of his former players are too. It's that simple. Lastly, before I count sheep, is is possible for a memo to be sent on the pronunciation of "Xavier"? All announcers should be required to know Xavier is not pronounced X-Xavier or ex-Xavier. Let the "Z" buzz off your tongue. Quickly, two of the more popular Xavier sites: Musketeer Madness and Xavier AOL Fanhouse. [Buckeye Commentary]