Joe Yanarella here, Editor-in-Chief of Bleacher Report and College hoops fan extraordinaire. For the next 12 hours I'll be blogging about everything March Madness-oriented, as I give you my own unique insight into the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Let the Madness begin!
If you were around yesterday, you saw my two blogs for day and night.
FINAL SCORES FROM TODAY'S DAY GAMES
No. West Virginia 77, No. 15 Morgan State 50
No. 6 Xavier 65, No. 11 Minnesota 54
No. 12 Cornell 78, No. 5 Temple 65
No. 4 Purdue 72, No. 13 Siena 64
No. 10 Missouri 86, No. 7 Clemson 78
No. 4 Wisconsin 53, No. 13 Wofford 49
No. 3 Pittsburgh 89, No. 14 Oakland 66
No. 8 Gonzaga 67, No. 9 Florida State 60
No. 1 Duke 73, No. 16 Ark Pine-Bluff 44
No. 10 Georgia Tech 64, No. 7 Oklahoma State 59
No. 2 Michigan State 70, New Mexico State 67
No. 1 Duke 73, No. 16 Ark Pine-Bluff 44
No. 1 Syracuse 79, No. 16 Vermont 56
No. 2 Ohio State 68, No. 15 Cal-Santa Barbara 51
No. 8 California 77, No. 9 Louisville 62
No. 4 Maryland 89, No. 13 Houston 77
12:44 So that's a wrap for today with Maryland winning easily. So after two days and 26 hours of basketball spanning 32 games, I'm signing off. There's still Corona in the fridge and maybe a chicken wing or two, but now it's time to put the computer down and ice down my fingers. Thanks for taking the time to read my NCAA Tournament blog.
12:34 Looking ahead to tomorrow, it wouldn't surprise me to see Villanova, Butler or New Mexico lose. All of them are high seeds but either aren't playing well or are susceptible to matchup problems. St. Mary's can score with Nova but not sure if they can match up physically, Murray State can cause Butler problems with their pressure and Washington could easily outscore New Mexico. Thomas and Pondexter are an awesome 1-2 punch for the Huskies.
12:24 Big East 8 teams in the NCAA Tournament. 3 wins. Pac-10 2 teams in the tournament. 2 wins. And 2-0 head to head with the Big East with Washington topping Marquette and Cal over Louisville. My take is that the Big East was top heavy with a lot of depth. Syracuse and WVU should still make deep runs but Nova looks primed to be shown the door. Not sure if St. Mary's has the athletes to keep up with Nova but if Mickey McConnell gets hot from three point range (and he doesn't even have to get that hot since he leads the country shooting 50 percent from trey land), look out.
12:17 I'd like to play one-on-one against Cal's 7-3 center Max Zhang. It'd be fun to see exactly how long his reach is. I'm sure I could dribble around him but he'd probably be able to block the shot from like the foul line. And I know I could steal the ball from him. I mean, he can't dribble. I guarantee you if I can't beat him that B/R's Community Coordinator Dave Morrison can because he's really, really good at hoops.
12:11 a.m. The best two days of the tournament are almost done and I would give it a solid B+. It could've been an A with a strong day today but we had very few competitive games outside of Michigan State, Wisconsin and Georgia Tech. No last-second shots all day and no memorable performances (outside of Cornell and Ryan Wittman). Average margin of victory for the 14 finals today is nearly 14 points and the two games being played both are 10-point spreads right now.
12:06 Louisville closes to within four and Cal drains a three. They seem like a cat playing with a toy just batting it about, like they can do what they want when they want but only when they need to. The kid on Louisville Buckles has made 10 of 11 shots and the rest of the team has 14 of 42. That's a nice night in the tourney for a freshman.
12:01 Louisville keeps looking like they're going to creep back in the game but can't get over the hump. They just don't have enough scorers on this team. Down 6 with 8 minutes left, this is as close as they've been in a long time.
11:52 Well so much for the one close game. I tuned over to Maryland-Houston and the Terps go on an 8-0 run to build an 11-point lead. And that's the closest game left on the board. Might be time to go back for another Mike's Hard.
11:44 I'm glad to see my boy TP, Tom Penders back in the NCAA Tournament. All he does is win wherever he goes. TP was the coach at Fordham when I was there in the 1980s and he led the team to 5 NIT trips in six years before heading off to Rhode Island, then Texas and George Washington and now Houston.
11:36 Will we get any buzzer-beaters tonight? I don't think so. And unless Houston can take down the Turtle, we won't see any upsets tonight either. You get on such a high after an opening day like yesterday and then you just sit around and watch for the next thriller and it doesn't come. A little bit of a letdown.
11:24 I didn't realize that Kris Joseph has a brother who plays fir Vermont. Syracuse's Joseph had a fast-break dunk and his brother Maurice got out of the way before he got posterized. Smart move. You wouldn't have lived that down at the dinner table.
11:10 Check that. Randle fires one in from about 35 feet at the halftime buzzer to give Cal an 11-point lead. That's a tough dagger for Louisville, especially after they could've held for the last shot of the first half and missed a 3 that would've put them down 5.
11:05 Randle has gone cold and Cal has scored about 4 points the last 10 minutes. The Golden Bear look like they were gonna score 100. Now they'll be lucky to hit 70 for the game.
10:53 Maybe I was a little too quick to write off the Ville. Cardinal goes on a 12-0 run to cut the lead to six before Cal responds with a basket. Sosa picks up his third foul in the first half on an awful charge call that wipes out a basket and might really turn the tide of this game.
10:50 Score check. 9 Coronas and 2 Mike's Hard. Boy the Mike's Hard go down easy.
10:47 I want to see the 7-foot-3 guy from China play against the 7-foot-5 guy from Gonzaga. It sure wouldn't be a foot race but it'd be fun to watch. Side note: Houston is beating Maryland 12-11. I don't know if you're sweating because of your bracket but Gary Williams is. But Gary was probably sweating profusely in warmups.
10:45 Interesting tidbit: Two of Clark Kellogg's sons will be playing at Ohio University next year, the team that knocked off G-Town. One's a transfer from Providence and the other is a high school point guard. Send it in Big Fella.
10:42 Syracuse starts halftime about 10 minutes too early and Vermont goes on a 15-2 run to end the half. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. I'm sure Jim Boeheim is up in their grill at halftime.
10:32 I think you can cross Louisville out of your bracket right now. You don't see many teams called for an intentional foul six minutes into the game. Cal out to a 22-4 lead and doesn't look like they're going to look back. And they aren't afraid to shoot it from deep. I guess this signals the end of Edgar Sosa's 7-year career at Louisville. At least it felt like that.
10:26 Things are getting ugly in a hurry. Orange out to a 34-10 lead and Scoop Jardine just put a nasty crossover move on some poor Catamount or Crusader or whatever Vermont's nickname is. I'll just call them the Coppenraths. Cal out to a 12-rock lead over Louisville. Wonder if Rick Pitino's tarditional white suit is soiled yet.
10:17 Time to zoom in on my Orangemen. I'm nervous about the team with Onuaku hurt. I'm hoping they can hold him out and cruise past Vermont and then get past Gonzaga but the Zags are big enough that SU will need the big man to beat Gonzaga. But I've loved the Orangemen back to the ’70s Cohen-Heads, the backcourt of Hal Cohen and Marty Head. I was also a big fan of the Louie and Bowie with Louis Orr and Roosevelt Bowie with that bad-ass big fro he had. I know, that makes me old. But I loves me some Orange.
10:04 After 9 Coronas, I've switched over to a Mike's Hard Lime. Oh, the sweet taste of victory. Those over 12 bettors in the Corona pool might be in trouble. Got a sixer of Mike's that might take me home the last few laps in the drinking relay race.
10:03 Winner winner, chicken dinner. Sparty moves on. Time to start figuring out who to play in the knockout pool. All selections must be in by tomorrow 12 noon ET.
9:59 Of course as soon as I get preoccupied with Katherine Heigl's wardrobe, New Mexico State whacks a 3. Raymar Morgan responds with a pair of FTs after a lane violation (ouch! Did the ref really call that?).
9:56 Nothing like fumbling away the rebound that would end the game. NM State down 4 with 20 seconds left and the ball. During the time out, ponder Katherine Heigl's wardrobe malfunction at Sho West.
9:53 Offensive rebound up 3! Awesome. Young fouls out. Shooting 2. It must be real hot in this arena because a lot of guys are cramping up.
9:51 Raymar with the follow dunk! Yes. Four-point lead.
9:49 2:17 left and a two-point lead for Sparty. Can I just survive this game? All I need is one break and a few missed FTs and I've got two entries into the next round of the knockout pool. Blow this one and all of my pools are offiically up in smoke two days into the tournament. Ugh!
9:38 My Michigan State knockout pool is not looking good. Kalin Lucas hurt and Sparty down 2. I'm not happy. Time to grab another Corona. 9 in the books.
9:18 Upset Alert! Michigan State is now losing! They blow this one, I won't have to worry about who I'm picking in the next round of any knockout pool.
9:15 I wish CBS would stagger these games better so they would end at different times. I have four little squares on my TV and the Zags are up 6 with a minute left and G Tech is tied with 2:45 left. I can't switch to either game for fear of missing something big.
9:11 p.m. I'm in hour 22 of 26 hours of watching college hoops and I just saw my first promo for Late Night with David Letterman. Don't they like him anymore?
9:08 Ian Eagle is a local guy who used to work at WFAN in NY and used to announce New Jersey Nets games but I don't need him jinxing Georgia Tech by talking non-stop about how many FTs they've made in a row. Of course, after 14 in a row, they missed one and cling to a 2-point lead.
9:05 In the blink of an eye, everything has gotten real interesting. Gonzaga has seen its double-figure lead trimmed to five with 4 minutes left, Michigan State's double-figure halftime lead is down to 2 while G-Tech clings to a 1-po