Well that was certainly a crazy day 1 first let's talk about the teams that pretty easily dispatched their foes before we discuss the craziness that was a record four overtime games in one tournament day. Pittsburgh rocked Colorado by 30 points. San Diego St. had a few hiccups against New Mexico St but managed. Florida was also iffy at times before pulling away from #16 Albany. Syracuse was fine, Oregon held their own, Wisconsin cruised as did Michigan State. Louisville was fine, Villanova was peachy, and Texas and Michigan both pulled off their wins. For the most part yesterday, higher seeds looked just fine.
As for our Big Ten brethren 3 of the 4 did exactly what they were supposed to do. Wisconsin absolutely crushed American after starting off slow. Around the 10 minute mark of the first half the Badgers were down 18-19. They finished the game on a 57-16 run. So... yeah... they handled it just fine. I believe American scored 13 points in the second half on their way to a .6 point per possession output. Wisky looked good.
Michigan struggled a bit more but not by much. Their defense was on point, but the offense had its issues. Still the Wolverines cruised to a 17 point win over Wofford. The game never really was much of a competition as Michigan's minimum win probability was 87% when they were trailing 4-0 early in the game. Overall another very good showing for the Big Ten.
Michigan State dispatched Delaware with few problems as Adreian Payne shot his way to 41 points. That's the most in a tournament game in quite some time. I heard someone say exactly how long last night but I don't recall. Just know it's been several years. Everyone else looked pretty healthy as Travis Trice came off the bench to contribute 19 points. That's some great sixth man production.
Finally we come to Ohio State. Oh, Buckeyes. You guys. An Ohio State University fell to THE Dayton University yesterday in a back and forth contest that ended with giving up the go ahead bucket and missing the winner at the buzzer. Thus ends the tyranny of Aaron Craft. Not with a bang, but with a wimper. The Dayton newpapers are rubbing it in as they should and OSU nation is in mourning. For anyone wondering this Dayton win is like Indiana losing to Indiana State in the first round of the tournament. We'd never hear the end of it from Terre Haute. Alas, Dayton is the only remaining team from Indiana, Illinois or Ohio in the tournament.
Outside of the Big Ten we had a record setting four overtime games. North Dakota St gave up a lead to Oklahoma and then got it back in overtime to walk away winners. I have a feeling that the Bison are going to be America's sweetheart this year if they can continue to play hard. They now have a tough but very winnable match-up against San Diego St. on Saturday.
Jimmy Crews and his St. Louis team showed a ton of fight after the game being essentially over. They were down 16 with under 12 minutes to play before NC State shot less than 50% on their free throws. The Billikens stormed back and took the lead early in overtime where they never relinquished it. It was quite possibly the ugliest game in the history of basketball but to the victor goes the spoils. St. Louis moves on.
UConn and St. Joe's was the other super intriguing game of the day. The Huskies really showed some struggles to consistently hold it all together, but they were able to hit back at the Hawks when it counted. Once they hit overtime the game felt over. St. Joe's was running out of players due to foul trouble and Shabazz Napier was doing Shabazz Napier type things.
On the whole, the day was pretty fantastic. There was drama. There was action. There was even a TV interview with a four year old. It was certainly a great day of basketball. Let's hope that today can even come half as close. Stick around to see what happens.
|MidWest||Mercer Bears (14) vs. Duke Blue Devils(3)||PNC Arena (Raleigh, NC)||12:15p||CBS||Kevin Harlan/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller/Rachel Nichols|
|West||Nebraska Cornhuskers (11) vs. Baylor Bears (6)||AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)||12:40p||truTV||Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craigh Sager|
|South||Stanford Cardinal (10) vs. New Mexico Lobos (7)||Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO)||1:40p||TBS||Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony/Tracy Wolfson|
|West||Weber State Wildcats (16) vs. Arizona Wildcats (1)||Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl (San Diego, CA)||2:10p||TNT||Andrew Catalon/Mike Gminski/Otis Livingston|
|MidWest||Iowa Hawkeyes/Tennessee Volunteers(11) vs. Massachusetts Minutemen (6)||PNC Arena (Raleigh, NC)||2:45p||CBS||Kevin Harlan/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller/Rachel Nichols|
|West||Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (14) vs. Creighton Bluejays (3)||AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)||3:10p||truTV||Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craigh Sager|
|South||Eastern Kentucky Colonels (15) vs.Kansas Jayhawks (2)||Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO)||4:10p||TBS||Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony/Tracy Wolfson|
|West||Oklahoma State Cowboys (9) vs.Gonzaga Bulldogs (8)||Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl (San Diego, CA)||4:40p||TNT||Andrew Catalon/Mike Gminski/Otis Livingston|
|East||George Washington Colonials (9) vs.Memphis Tigers (8)||PNC Arena (Raleigh, NC)||6:55p||TBS||Kevin Harlan/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller/Rachel Nichols|
|MidWest||Cal Poly Mustangs/ Texas Southern Tigers (16) vs. Wichita State Shockers(1)||Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO)||7:10p||CBS||Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony/Tracy Wolfson|
|East||Providence Friars (11) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (6)||AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)||7:20p||TNT||Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craigh Sager|
|South||Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (12) vs.Virginia Commonwealth Rams (5)||Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl (San Diego, CA)||7:27p||truTV||Andrew Catalon/Mike Gminski/Otis Livingston|
|East||Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (16) vs.Virginia Cavaliers (1)||PNC Arena (Raleigh, NC)||9:25p||TBS||Kevin Harlan/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller/Rachel Nichols|
|MidWest||Kansas State Wildcats (9) vs. Kentucky Wildcats (8)||Scottrade Center (St. Louis, MO)||9:40p||CBS||Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony/Tracy Wolfson|
|East||NC Central Eagles (14) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (3)||AT&T Center (San Antonio, TX)||9:50p||TNT||Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craigh Sager|
|South||Tulsa Golden Hurricane (13) vs. UCLA Bruins (4)||Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl (San Diego, CA)||9:57p||truTV||Andrew Catalon/Mike Gminski/Otis Livingston|