Thursday, March 17, 2011

Let the Madness Begin: Thursday's Games

Well, it's one of my favorites times of the year -- the first round of the NCAA Tourney. And this year comes with even more good news: ALL the games are televised nationally. That right, no more cussing out Greg Gumble (even though it is not his fault) when your regional game is not the one you wanted. And to top it off, this year should be filled with a flurry of upsets -- like...for instance, picking 12-seed Utah State to make it to the Sweet Sixteen (not that I did that....okay yes I did).

So, let's go ahead and preview today's games (pay attention to the point spreads on these):

1. #12 Clemson vs. #5 West Virginia (-2) (12:15 CBS) -- Big matchup with UK (most likely) if West Virginia can get past this one. Clemson might be a little jet-lagged after the play-in game.

2. #9 Old Dominion (-2) vs. #8 Butler (12:45 truTV) -- Congratulations to the winner who gets to play Pitt in the second round. Also, I think Butler's coach finally hit puberty this season.

3. #13 Morehead St. vs. #4 Louisville (-9.5) (1:40 TBS) -- Insert Pitino sex-scandal joke. The selection committee had to be snickering when they created this matchup.

4. #10 Penn State vs. #7 Temple (-2.5) (2:10 TNT) -- This game may not make it to 100 points total. Borderline unwatchable.

5. #13 Princeton vs. #4 Kentucky (-13.5) (2:45 CBS) -- I heard Calipari's press conference and he said they (the UK coaches) didn't even show the players game film of Princeton....that just doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

6. #16 NC-Ashville vs. #1 Pittsburgh (-18) (3:10 truTV) -- The first sacrificial lamb of the day.

7. #12 Richmond vs. #5 Vanderbilt (-3) (4:10 TBS) -- Kevin Stallings will look to keep his streak of getting upset in the first round intact. Kevin Stallings. Kevin Stallings. KEVIN STALLINGS.

8. #15 Northern Colorado vs. #2 San Diego State (-15.5) (4:40 TNT) -- Got nothing on this one...haven't really seen either team play.

9. #15 UC-Santa Barbera vs. #2 Florida (-13) (6:50 TBS) -- It wouldn't behove me bracket-wise for Florida to lose this game...just sayin'...

10. #14 Wofford vs. # 3 BYU (-8.5) (7:15 CBS) -- Jimmer in primetime....but BYU only an 8.5 point fav...upset alert?

11. #14 Bucknell vs. #3 UCONN (-10) (7:20 TNT) -- Kemba and Jimmer going head-to-head simultaneously. Could be an interesting night.

12. #13 Belmont vs. #4 Wisconsin (-5) (7:27 truTV) -- Oh yeah...I definitely picked Belmont in this one. (BTW, how confusing is it that Bucknell and Belmont will be playing at the same time?)

13. #10 Michigan State (-1.5) vs. #7 UCLA (9:20 TBS) -- Two traditional powers...two horrendously boring offenses. Unwatchable.

14. #11 Gonzaga vs. #6 St. John's (-1.5) (9:45 CBS) -- Van Dawgin just told me St. John's has NINE commits for next season...I mean...WTF!

15. #11 Missouri vs. #6 Cincinnati (-1) (9:50 TNT) -- Missouri got screwed on the seeding for this...on the other hand...Cinci got seeded too high.

16. #12 Utah State vs. #5 Kansas State (-2) (9:57 truTV) -- Utah State to world: "SWEET SIXTEEN HERE WE COME!"

Let the game begin...

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