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March Madness: Day 2…”Dance, Dance”
Yep, we’ve moved from indie techno to pop-emo themes. We’ve got a format going, let’s stick with it:
12:20pm: Missed tipoff again, but considering it’s Duke/Mercer, I’ll pass. I’d call this a snoozefest except I think we’ll witness Duke see just how much they can run up the score against these guys. They look like they want to make a statement. Right now that statement is, “We look effortless when we score, and you guys are getting lucky buckets.”
12:50pm: Working again. Somehow I haven’t quite mastered the concept of “taking a day off.”
12:54pm: I’m still loving this Chris Webber commercial. But the weird light bulb commercial that starts with, “Dear sun…” not so much. It sounds like it’s beginning, “Dear son…” and I feel like it’s some dude who’s about to make his kid feel bad.
1:05pm: Good lord the Baylor uniforms are terrible. They have blasted ahead of Albany and Oregon for the “I can’t believe anyone let you leave the house like that” award.
1:35pm: Thank God the Duke game is back. Baylor was so boring.
1:40pm: Duke just earned my first “Welcome to the Block Party” statement/tweet of the day. I don’t care if it’s over-used since 1995 – that joke never gets old.
1:48pm: Back from work-land. Mercer is legit but Duke just hit a HUGE 3 to put them back up by 2. I keep thinking that at some point Duke is going to pull away but Mercer is hanging tough. This game is amazing. I could not be any less interested in Nebraska/Baylor. Great series of offensive rebounds by Duke.
1:51pm: Crap. This day is so beautiful I’m going to have to go out for a run again after this game.
1:59pm: Duke refuses to miss 3’s – I swear that’s the first one they haven’t put down this entire half. Great play on both ends of the floor by Mercer.
2:12pm: I just did the yelling from my couch overtime rain dance. This game is amazing. Remember when I called this a snoozefest? Wish I could erase that…
2:14pm: HUGE and-1 from Mercer again. The look on Coach K’s face is priceless with Mercer leading 67-63 with 1:07 to play and a free coming to Mercer.
2:17pm: Great heads-up hustle play from Mercer. Award worthy. The lesson: do not miss the first game of the day. Period. Also, here’s the Hustle Play of the Day Award for Mercer:
2:26pm: 22.8 seconds left. Mercer miraculously recovered from what looked like a costly turnover. Seconds are passing like eternities when the clock is running. I’m on the edge of my seat. I can’t believe I wrote this game off.
2:27pm: Mercer. Mercer Mercer Mercer. Bracket buster award. As my buddy said: “When Duke loses, everyone wins.” Ok, I gotta go for a run or something. Wow. Mercer, your “Bracket Buster Award” is Buster Douglas knocking out Iron Mike:
2:46pm: Texting with my girlfriend I remarked that I don’t remember a round 1 like this. I’m not sure if it’s just a coincidence or the fact that the talent of players is rising all over the country. There are so many amazing ballers they can’t all be going to the Dukes of the world. It’s so great to watch.
3:34pm: Awesome run. Contrary to my earlier held belief, there is a world beyond my couch and TV that does not involve basketball – and it’s apparently thriving. Tennessee is dominating UMass right now. Somehow I’m not surprised.
4:20pm: I literally do not know where the last 46 minutes of my life have gone and I’m not even drinking. I’ve either achieved some kind of Zen state of sports consumption, or my body is making an executive decision to take micronaps. That, or I need to start drinking.
4:24pm: Every game is either on break or in commercial. I am a ship without a port. Can the Kansas game just freaking start already?
4:40pm: One of my brackets has Creighton going all the way.
4:48pm: Whiskey is giving me a second wind. And Kansas (my other champion) is on and poppin’…or maybe I should say Eastern Kentucky is since they’re somehow leading. This smacks of the 15 seed getting an early lead on a 2 that they won’t hold. But I have been wrong about everything so far, so why should I stop now.
4:59pm: Kansas is getting me back into this tournament. Wiggins had a monster dunk. Good steal, and then they converted the takeaway to a 3. Love it. Also, Creighton is leading by a mere point. I hate everything.
5:00pm: Just had some whiskey. I love everything.
5:18pm: Wiggins could not be any more entertaining if he tried. That kid is a monster.
I needed some thunderous dunks and he delivered easily.
When he gets some man muscles he’s going to be dangerous. Also, the “team drought” graphic that CBS uses is…heartbreaking. It pops up to show how long it’s been since a team managed a point. It should come with its own “You suck” chant.
5:23pm: Another alley-oop to Wiggins? Yes, please. I could watch this all day.
5:26pm: My jaw drops as Wiggins splits two defenders, then goes at two guys protecting the rim, jumps from maybe eight feet away, then lays it in. I am loving this kid. End of half, on to Creighton.
5:43pm: I don’t know what it is, but Gonzaga and OK State are two teams/schools I’ve never been able to care about. I’m out until the Kansas game is back. Also, this Craig Sager commercial needs to stop. As do all the Buffalo Wild Wings commercials.
6:09pm: I just realized I need to leave in roughly 20 minutes and won’t see the end of the Kansas game. Thank God for DVR. How did we live without this little gem? How do people I know live without it? And if they don’t have it, can we truly say they’re living?
6:14pm: Any time Wiggins has the ball or is even remotely close to a play I drop everything I’m doing.
6:20pm: HOW DO I HAVE TO LEAVE THIS GAME? Jamari Traylor just had a MONSTROUS block at the other end of the floor, then a put-back dunk on a free throw.
Followed all that by a rebound on a missed Eastern Kentucky shot and then Wiggins taking it to the rack and getting the foul. This team is so ridiculously fun.
6:29pm: I feel comfortable walking away from this with Kansas having a 7-point lead…this is the part in the article where I will probably have to look back and say, “I am an idiot.”
8:53pm: Back. I DVR’ed the game but after looking at the final score, I won’t be watching unless I need some dunks to carry me through. Glad I got one thing right.
9:10pm: UNC is doing everything short of putting the ball in their own basket to give this game away.
They’re only down 1, but with 6:30 left to play it feels like a much bigger deficit. This team has been so frustrating all year – also, an amazing attempt at a long pass athletically intercepted by Providence.
Roy Williams looks like he wants to send some of these kids to bed without dinner.
9:34pm: The UNC game was…I don’t even know. I don’t think anyone wanted to win that game. Really hoping Kansas St./Kentucky will be worthwhile.
10:21pm: I get scolded by my buddy @JesseLSiegel on Twitter for welcoming Coastal Carolina to the block party. I don’t think I should have to apologize for Akil Mitchell getting his grown man on.
Also, I don’t care that 1995 wants its joke back – some things never go out of style. Like bolo ties and fedoras (amiright??). All the same, I decide to save myself the further embarrassment and switch to Kentucky/Kansas State.
10:41pm: I tuned into the Stephen F. Austin/VCU game because I saw something on Facebook about it. I can’t even describe what I just witnessed. I wrote this game off a while ago and started writing – proof that you can’t take your eyes off the TV during The Madness.
Makes me pay a little more attention to all the other games. Even though it’s the end of the night and I’m fading like Providence down the stretch.
11:09pm: Quicken Loans emailed me to let me know there are zero perfect brackets let. In other news, water is still wet. With all the upsets, if anyone did have a perfect bracket, I’d be calling shenanigans.
11:27pm: A buddy of mine in college and I had a big debate one year about the NCAA Tournament. His argument was that the games don’t matter until the final three minutes.
I fundamentally disagree, the same way that I believe baseball games lost in May for stupid reasons are just as important as games lost in August and September for the same reasons, but as I’m losing steam I see his point.
We’re pretty early in the half for all these games and I’d mostly like to just fast-forward to the 3 minute mark and see if this is going to warrant my attention.
11:31pm: Completely forgot about Tulsa/UCLA. I desperately need a Red Bull after all this whiskey. Good lord – how am I ever going to make it to Sunday, let alone through it?
11:36pm: I blinked and Kentucky’s back up 9. Gotta get my head back in the game.
11:41pm: Iowa State up 15, UVA up 6 (and pulling away is my guess), and Kentucky up 8. I don’t trust the Wildcats – I’m keeping an eye on them. Meanwhile, my liver is quietly weeping, “Why can’t we just go to bed?” Because I said so, liver. Because I said so.
12:10am: All this attention I’ve been giving Kentucky has been…mildly warranted. At the end of the day UVA turned it on and completely embarrassed Coastal Carolina. Iowa State scored 93. And Kansas State?
Well, though they’ve only got 43 right now, I enjoy the audacity with which one of their players just threw it done. That’s one thing I love about basketball – when your team’s getting easy buckets at the end of the game, they at least get them with authority.
12:33am: Kentucky/Kansas State wasn’t even close. UCLA/Tulsa is my last hope – but I’m not sure for what. The exhausted side of me wants UCLA to blow this game open, the sports fan is pulling for Tulsa. The good news is that tomorrow, when anything turns into a snoozer, I can just ignore it.
12:47am: It’s clear there is going to be very little to talk about in the UCLA game, so let’s start looking to tomorrow. Upset predictions: I could see North Dakota State getting by San Diego State, but that might be wishful thinking. This smacks of a let-down game.
There’s no way Rick Barnes With or Without Kevin Durant is getting by Michigan to the Sweet Sixteen. I don’t think Oregon has the horses to get past Wisconsin. Ditto on Harvard/Michigan State.
The only games I’m looking at are Dayton/Syracuse (only because I’ve been watching ‘Cuse fade down the stretch), UConn over ‘Nova (because is Nova really that good?), and St. Louis over Louisville (which is barely an upset, but I think Louisville’s gonna be exhausted). I won’t even dignify Pittsburgh/Florida with a hint of analysis (which means that’s where you’ll probably see an upset). Also – UCLA is up 12.
Yeah, I know what happened in the SF Austin/VCU game, but I’m gonna call this and start editing.
1:11am: Editing is over. UCLA is up 13 though I think it was down to 5 at one point. Holding on but I have no early idea why.
1:18am: Oh lord – UCLA is up 18. Time to call it a night. See you all tomorrow. Though you can’t count on anything in this year’s tournament, you can generally count on me writing about it, and also being wrong.