Good morning TKOT faithful. Welcome to my attempt at a live, running diary of the college basketball action that will be taking place today. After the jump, you will get my brilliant insights on the games, commercials, and any other random thoughts that pop into my head. Be sure to refresh occasionally because I'll be updating throughout the day (hence the "live" thing). Enjoy.
11:00 am--Alright, it's almost time for games to begin and I am more than ready. I have the TV on CBS, and am loaded up with two laptops in front of me (thanks Fuzz)--one to watch other games on March Madness On Demand and the other to update this site. I also have beer in the fridge and my little brother (Chosman to those of you who post on this site regularly) on his way with burgers to grill...
And there in lies our first problem of the day. We had this all planned out for a great Triple B day (burgers, beer, and basketball). But because this is Minnesota and someone is trying to ruin my day, this was apparently the perfect day for a snow storm. It has been snowing heavily ever since I got up this morning (8:30 in case you were wondering--I'm that excited) and there are no signs of it letting up. This will make for some terrible driving conditions and even worse grilling conditions. It will not deter me though, as I plan to brush off the grill and give it a go later this afternoon. We'll see how it goes.
11:10 am--So yesterday's afternoon games provided very little drama. I swear that always happens. People like me get ridiculously excited about Tournament Day and then sit through boring, predictable blow outs like "Kansas 85, Portland State 61". Oh well, at least the tournament is underway and Marquette pulled off a nice little victory over Kentucky, which pleases the DFTFC. Then the night games rolled around and everyone got to cheer against Duke. We all nearly got our wish until Gerald Henderson went in for an uncontested layup with 11 seconds left to win the game. Chumps. Then, Beasley and Mayo matched up and K State pulled off the first "upset" of the 08 Tourney. I was at Joe Sensor's in Eagan for those games--man, what a place to watch basketball. Great food, beer specials, and every game on multiple big screens. That place was made for March (and Sunday's during NFL season).
The early games for today are Tennessee-American (where the 15 seed American squad will surely hang tight for the first half, fueling speculation that we could have our first major upset on the way, only to fold in the second half and lose by 25), followed by a mid-major party: Gonzaga-Davidson, Miami-St. Mary's, and Drake-Western Kentucky. Personally, I'm looking forward to the Davidson game to watch my boy Stephen Curry light up the Zags.
11:30 am--It's worth mentioning that I have the Davidson game on the TV with Jim Nantz and Billy Packer announcing and the Tennessee game on one of the laptops with Verne Lundquist and Bill Raferty announcing. That's four of the best announcers out there giving me the insight on the first two games of the day--I'd say that's a good omen for this wonderful Friday. In honor of this quartet of announcing royalty, I think I'll have my first beer of the day (and yes, I was looking for any lame excuse to crack number one. So what?). The beer of choice for the morning games is Sam Adams. I bought one of their variety packs because I'm terrible at making decisions. For now, I'm going with the Black Lager. I feel like you need to know these things.
11:45 am--Tate just showed up with the burgers and his laptop. Of course he did. Josie of course went nuts. So now the two of us are sitting here with three computers, beer, and basketball. Good times.
Commercials that aren't going to get old--the ones where a different version of some guy shows up to say that he isn't going to answer the phone because he's an idiot for having a shitty phone service. For some reason those crack me up. Especially the one where the guy calls himself a dillweed. I haven't heard that word since 1994. Oh, and if you have no idea what I'm talking about then either I did a terrible job of explaining it or you don't watch enough TV. I'm going with the latter.
12:10 pm--Tate is hoping that Stephen Curry brings back the hightop fade in honor of his dad. Then we decided that Pat Ewing Jr. should do the same. It's a great look and we figure it is about time for a comeback.
We're also hoping the Gus Johnson announces one of the games today. Apparently he did one or two yesterday, but that shouldn't matter. Considering these are the biggest games of the year, wouldn't you want your best announcers calling as many games as possible? Fly them between two cities over the weekend and let them call two games a day. I know it would be a lot of work for the announcers, but I think this should happen.
12:33 pm--So all four of the games are at the half. Pretty close contests all around, but not a lot of excitement. Probably has to do with all of the mid-major teams playing. They just don't have the star power. Hopefully they stay close so we can finally have a little madness with a buzzer beater or late shot.
This seems like as good of time as any to let you know that besides writing this diary, I'm also constantly monitoring the comments section. So if you're reading this and feel like chipping in your two cents or have a question, just make a comment and I'll respond. End shameless plug.
12:46 pm--Some odd and ends for you: While watching Gonzaga's game, Tate wondered if Josh Heytvelt is high. I told him it's not a matter of "if", but "what" he's high on. That's gotta be a great recruiting/PR tool for the Zags. Come the Great Northwest--we have Shrooms!
Another commercial series that's not getting old any time soon: the Bud Light "Dude" commercials. Those are absolutely hilarious. They've even changed the "dude" guy for the latest batch of them (but definitely tried to make him look like the original guy, like we wouldn't notice). Doesn't matter, they're outstanding.
American is hanging tough with Tennessee as the score is tied at 40 with 11 to play. Maybe that second half blow out I predicted wasn't the best call...
12:54 pm--Nike has a commercial with a bunch of footage from famous Tourney games in the past (Jordan, etc.). I'm assuming it's supposed to be inspirational, but the tag line at the end reads "There are no Cinderellas"--what the fuck does that mean? Just another odd commercial in a series of them from Nike lately. According to the Swoosh, Cinderella's don't exist and their better is better than your better. Right...
Curry has scored 11 straight for Davidson to pull them within 4 of Gonzaga. Uh oh.
I think I'm going to attempt to grill at this point. I have a feeling that getting read for grilling will take longer than the act itself. I can't say I've ever had to shovel and brush 4 inches of snow off of the grill in order to cook some meat. I guess I can check that off of my personal bucket list.
1:27 pm--So to the shock and surprise of pretty much no one, the grilling adventure was a complete failure. I went through all of the work of shoveling and brushing and preparing, only to find out that we're out of propane. Obviously. Definitely should have seen that one coming. I thought about running to the store to get a new tank, but I thought it would look nuts to be buying a propane tank during a snow storm.
In basketball related action, Tennessee has pretty much wrapped up their game, winning by 15. Miami is holding a double digit lead over St. Mary's with just a few minutes left in their game. Western Kentucky is pulling off the typical 5-12 upset as they lead Drake by 8 with 4 and change to play. And in the big matchup, Curry just hit a 3 with a minute to play to give him 27 points...in the second half! Davidson by 3...
1:35 pm--In the Davidson game they just panned to a shot of a depressed Adam Morrison. Wow, what a freak. His trashy hair is now down below his shoulders and he's still rocking the trailer park 'stache even though he hasn't been on TV in 2 years (I always assumed the reason for growing it was to get some television exposure). What a tool.
Curry, who looks like he's 12 years old by the way, finishes with 40 points (30 in the second half) for the game as Davidson beats Gonzaga 81-76. Told ya bitches.
1:48 pm--Somebody forgot to tell Drake that, as the 5 seed, they're supposed to get upset. They were playing the role of losers until the last 2 minutes of the game. That's when they realized that they are better than Western Kentucky and finally started playing like it. Now we get to watch bonus basketball and there is a small chance that my bracket isn't completely fucked afterall.
Oh, and the burgers are now being made on the skillet. Not quite the same but it'll do. I know, you care.
2:13 pm--Ooooooooooooohhhhhhh!!!!! The Hilltoppers with the game winner at the buzzer! Now that's what I'm talking about. I don't care that I picked Drake. This is what the Tournament is all about.
Time to eat--a decent little delay is possible.
2:48 pm--Ok, that was delicious and now it's time to do some hardcore basketball watching again. What's on tap for this afternoon? Oh. Butler-South Alabama, Georgetown-University of Maryland Baltimore County, Texas-Austin Peay, and Connecticut-San Diego. Well, at least that UCONN game might be close.
I know the NCAA does this to people like me on purpose. They put all the shitty, boring games on in the afternoon because they assume people actually work during the tournament. It makes sense, I know, but help a brother out here and get me a better game to watch. I'm tired of watching mid-majors run around and miss open shots and turn the ball over.
(Yes, I know it's ridiculous that I'm complaining after the endings to the Davidson and Western Kentucky games from this morning. Short term memory.)
3:12 pm--This is getting a bit boring. Three of the four games have leads of 15+ at the half. UConn-SD is the only close game as they are knotted at 20 with 7 to play. This seems like the appropriate time to end this live blog. I figure most of you out there reading will be leaving work relatively soon, so I'd have no audience. Thanks for joining me today and keep reading.