ARE WE NOT ENTERTAINED! & so forth.
The first round was a thrill ride - was it six overtime games? This intrepid chronicler is way too tired. And VCU, plucky VCU, pulling an NC State and not closing out the game late. We have to give much credit to this tournament for teams that scout their opponents well and refuse to give up, refuse to stop trying, refuse to take an L in a gentlmanly fashion.
Props to Bryce Cotton, going out like a boss, leading an always-undermanned Providence Friar squad. 36 points, 8 assists, and just a few bounces from upsetting North Carolina. Way to make it back into the Tournament, Providence, you've done us all proud.
Can the Billikens, left for nearly dead coming into the Tournament, surprise everyone and knock off one of the stathead's tourney favorites, Louisville?
Can the Dayton Flyers cure us all of our Syracuse Orange problem?
Will the Wisconsin/ Oregon game be the most exciting thing we see all day?
Can Villanova dispatch old Connecticut and make a deep run that makes the Big East look impressive, in the wake of two first-round losses and news of departure of Marquette coach Buzz Williams (to lowly Virginia Tech, of all places)? In the narrative of the sports world, the Big East could use some positive news.
Also: Georgia Bulldogs and Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are playing at 11:00 AM on ESPN and ESNP3; it will confuse announcers AND be a good game. Go watch.
And on the announcing side, can Allie LaForce find one more story to make our eyes get all dusty? She and Raftery and Lundquist will be covering the "Big East Invitational" of sessions - three former Big East teams and Dayton, a school that would sell its mothers to get into the Big East.
|South||Pittsburgh Panthers (9) vs. Florida Gators (1)||Amway Center (Orlando, FL)||12.15p||CBS||Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner//Kristine Leahy|
|MidWest||Saint Louis Billikens (5) vs. Louisville Cardinals (4)||Amway Center (Orlando, FL)||2.45p||CBS||Anderson/Bonner//Leahy|
|MidWest||Texas Longhorns (7) vs. Michigan Wolverines (2)||BMO Harris Bradley Center (Milwaukee, WI)||5.15p||CBS||Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel//Lewis Johnson|
|West||North Dakota State Bison (12) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (4)||Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA)||6.10p||TNT||Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio|
|South||Dayton Flyers (11) vs. Syracuse Orange (3)||First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)||7.10p||TBS||Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery//Allie LaForce|
|West||Oregon Ducks (7) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (2)||BMO Harris Bradley Center (Milwaukee, WI)||7.45p||CBS||Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel//Lewis Johnson|
|East||Harvard Crimson (12) vs. Michigan State Spartans (4)||Spokane Memorial Arena (Spokane, WA)||8.40p||TNT||Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Jaime Maggio|
|East||Connecticut Huskies (7) vs. Villanova Wildcats (2)||First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)||9.40p||TBS||Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery//Allie LaForce|