The first set of today's games are being hosted right here at BON, so y'all join me here as I and my SBN cohorts around the country live blog the action. On tap for this morning:
11:15 a.m. (4) Virginia vs (13) Albany
11:25 a.m. (7) UNLV vs (10) Georgia Tech
11:30 a.m. (2) Memphis vs (15) North Texas
We'll be moving things over to Carolina March for the 1:30 games, but this is your headquarters for the early slate.
I'll start the party with some score predictions.
Georgia Tech 89
North Texas 79
Your own thoughts?
10:43 The morning wait for these games to tip is always excruciating, but I'm not gonna lie: seeing a little Price Is Right for the first time in years is invigorating. For one thing, Bob Barker is going to live forever. For another, they just keep churning out those lovely product models (not all safe for work). And third, some dude just spun the showcase showdown wheel, hit the $1.00 on the button, and jumped around the studio like a kangaroo for four minutes. Good times.
11:02 One more thought on Maynor, whose picture is everywhere this morning, for obvious reasons. One thing I just thought about: all game long, when Paulus was guarding Maynor too tight, I kept saying, "Paulus should really back off an extra foot, take the space, and keep Maynor in front of him - let him shoot that ugly jumper." And yet, oddly enough, as Maynor rose to take that shot with 2 seconds left, there was no doubt in my mind it was going in. You just knew he'd hit the big one for the game winner.
11:17 And we're live! Immediately after the announcer says that Albany matches up well with Virginia, the Cavs pound it inside to exploit a size mismatch, then stuff Albany's first shot attempt on the interior.
11:27 And today picks up where we left off yesterday - favorites trouncing the little guys. Albany looks like a junior varsity team, while Virginia comes out of the gates blistering. 13-2 Cavs already.
11:35 Mean Green, bitches! UNT takes a 2-0 lead and our first upset special is brewing! (Premature? Maybe, but we're desperate for some upset action, now aren't we?)
11:38 UNT may blow at football these days, but these hoopers sure look great early on. 10-5 North Texas with the lead, in a game with a fast and furious pace.
11:50 If you're not reading the comment section of this post, you probably should be. We just had the first authentic "ca CAW ca CAW" war eagle call in live blog history. Greatness.
11:55 And we get our first bit of announcer euphemism on the day, as Raff notes that the players were "getting a little chippy" after that last hard foul. You can go ahead and safely translate that to: "dudes were talking mad shit."
12:00 In case you weren't planning to never go to Hooters again because of the bad food and overrated women, you now have a third reason to avoid it like the plague: Dick Vitale as company spokesman. Hooters seriously needs to fire their director of marketing. What a horrible match. Bald, crazy drooling old guy with the busty young purty things who are supposed to be the main draw? Really?
12:24 Memphis on a little run here and up 33-26 just before half. I have to bow out for 20 minutes on an errand that can't wait. See everyone here for the second half; in the meantime, carry on in the comments.
12:59 And we're back! For once, I'm pleased to be back with the television announcers and rid of the radio guys. The Westwood One duo calling the UNT-Memphis game is unbelievably bad, lowlighted by this felony pun as I pulled back into my driveway: "And the 'Bell' just tolled right there!" This, referring to UNT player Ben Bell's hard foul. Seriously, can we just ban pun attempts from sports broadcasting? Please?
And speaking of things that should be banned forever, and in tribute to our friend WacArnolds, who took time this morning to diss Duke fans, I nominate this for permanent banishment from human society:
(Hat Tip to Bear Meat)
1:08 So this is why they're a #15 seed. . .
1:22 Challenge for the readers: name the last good McDonald's commercial to hit the airwaves. Hint: it's been a looooong time.
1:33 Under a minute to go now and Georgia Tech trails by two with the ball. We need a classic finish here.
1:34 The Yellow Jackets turn it over on a five second count(!), giving UNLV the ball back. They'll have to shoot, so GT will get the ball back. I'll just call it now: we're headed to overtime. This tournament is due for a wild one.
1:36 I jinxed it, damnit. UNLV gets fourteen offensive rebounds, gets to the stripe, hits 'em both, and leads by four with 36 seconds left. Yellow Jackets need to go for the quick two here. PLENTY of time left. Get smart, score fast, go for the quick steal, and if you don't get it, extend the game.
1:40 Georgia Tech fails to score, UNLV heading back to the line with a four point lead, and this one's all but over.
For what it's worth, bamfor correctly identified the last good McDonald's commercial:
1:46 Not sure that Carolina March is quite ready for us to move things over to his site, so we'll stay here until he is. ND-Winthrop is underway in Spokane.
1:47 Also, since I'm putting all my picks on the record: ND over Winthrop 70-66, Tennessee over Long Beach State 80-76, Wisconsin over Texas A&M-CC 60-59, and Nevada over Creighton 71-65.
1:53 The worst part about all these favorites winning? The d-bag in your pool who always refuses to pick any upsets each year because he wants to have the best shot of winning the pool is now the favorite to take home the winnings.
2:00 And we're done here, dudes. Head on over to Carolina March for the afternoon fun.