Friday, March 21, 2003

As you might have guessed, I'm not going to specifically blog the evening games of the tournament. I'm a fan first, and intend to spend the nights in a cozy tavern, watching as much of the happenings as possible in the company of my dear, loyal friend, Sierra Nevada. Last night it was the Sherman Oaks Lounge, which is still suffering through growing pains as a sportsbar (I had to tell the manager that there were four games going on at once, and the game being broadcast locally would not be available through the DirecTV package). To recap last night's games, Duke and Kansas had unexpectedly difficult first round games, with the Blue Devils only pulling away in the last minute after Colorado State blew an opportunity to tie the game at the free throw line, and Utah State forcing the Jayhawks to defense two last trey attempts for the tie. Tulsa pulled off the least unexpected 13-4 upset in the history of the tournament, sending Dayton home with a powerful effort in the first half. Central Michigan maintained the legend of the MAC, moving out to a 26-point second half lead over Creighton, then holding off a furious rally to prevail. Arizona State had a surprisingly easy time with Memphis, and may be a tough second round opponent for Kansas, particularly if Tommie Smith presents as much of an offensive presence to compliment his defense. In the two 5-12 match-ups, Big 10 regular season champion Wisconsin and Big East underachiever Notre Dame combined to screw up my brackets. Illinois beat Western Kentucky, ending the season for perhaps the guttiest team in America.


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