The Sweet 16 is all set
Each of the losing teams on Sunday night hung around for a half, but just too much tournament experience caught up respectively for Oregon (again), Northern Iowa and the Larry Bird MVC Player of the Year in Seth Tuttle playing his final game in a Panthers uniform, Maryland closing out a memorable debut season in the Big Ten, Iowa, and 2014’s Cinderella darlings of Dayton. The clock finally struck twelve on the Flyers.
What stuck out to me most on Sunday was Wichita State’s overall togetherness in shooting a remarkable 51 percent from the floor.
Everyone had a starring role:
Tekele Cotton paced the Shockers with 19, while Fred Van Fleet had 17 and Ron Baker chipped in with a cool 17. Evan Wessel had four three-pointers to finish up with 12 and finally, Darius Carter had 10.
For Kansas, Perry Ellis III led the team in scoring with 17 while Wayne Selden, Jr. did not dent the score sheet once except for grabbing one rebound.
The scene shifts with two venues on Thursday and Friday nights
Here is your complete TV schedule. Again, on radio–Westwood One on their website and on their TuneIn radio app will carry every game from start to finish. If you are listening on terrestrial radio, whiparound coverage will continue both on Thursday and Friday night to where the game action is the hottest.
The full schedule with All times p.m. and Eastern.
THURSDAY–MIDWEST AND EAST REGIONALS
7:15, CBS at Cleveland: No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Wichita State (Albert/Webber/Elmore/Sager)
7:47, TBS at Los Angeles: No. 1 Wisconsin vs. No. 4 North Carolina (Harlan/Miller/Bonner/Nichols)
Approx. 9:45, CBS: No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 5 West Virginia (Albert/Webber/Elmore/Sager)
Approx. 10:17, TBS: No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 6 Xavier (Harlan/Miller/Bonner/Nichols)
FRIDAY–WEST AND SOUTH REGIONALS
7:15, CBS at Houston: No. 2 Gonzaga vs. No. 11 UCLA (Nantz/Raftery/Hill/Wolfson)
7:37, TBS at Syracuse: No.4 Louisville vs. No. 8 NC State (Lundquist/Spanarkel/LaForce)
Approx. 9:45, CBS: No. 1 Duke vs. No. 5 Utah (Nantz/Raftery/Hill/Wolfson)
Approx. 10:07, TBS: No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Michigan State (Lundquist/Spanarkel/LaForce)
Two final tidbits I will take away from the last time we will ever call this weekend Rounds 2 and 3:
Coaching in difficult times
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey lost his mother at age 82 on Saturday morning due to a heart attack, but he was still in Pittsburgh coaching his team to an impressive overtime win against in-state foe Butler.
And by the time you read this, Georgia State coach Ron Hunter is no doubt probably going through more crutches than your typical NFL quarterback making sure the laces on the footballs have the accurate air pressure. No controversies here, just a great feel-good story. Sure hope once his daughter ties the knot later this spring, I hope to see a report online during the off-season when the crutches finally come off and he can walk normally again.
Call it cheesy or peculiar, but I hope one sideline reporter simply took things in stride
As we all know, sideline reporting is not just a skill young ladies are looking into. Looks are huge, but they should not distract from getting down to the source.
On Saturday afternoon after UCLA outdistanced UAB in the Louisville pod, Tony Parker (no relation to the star guard of the San Antonio Spurs) took some time to complement CBS sideline reporter Allie LaForce and what bracelet she wore to the game.
I saw a picture that she tweeted on the Bleacher Report site on Saturday night and really didn’t understand why social media would blow this story up.
Guys, Allie is happily married–since January to L.A. Angels relief pitcher Joe Smith. Sure hope that jewelry company is raking in more business, so get that bracelet while it is hot (even though the Midwest will be getting some more snow on Monday morning, just like New York did on Friday afternoon).
Should be some interesting matchups, but the games to watch according to this blog reporter are both early games on CBS. Can Wichita State keep their marvelous run going against another battle tested team in Notre Dame? Meanwhile, on Friday–Gonzaga looks to get revenge from a 2006 Sweet 16 encounter out in the West Regional in Oakland. As we all recall, the ‘Zags held a double digit lead before the Bruins made a comeback for the ages. The play we all remember so vividly was seeing All-American Adam Morrison turn the ball over in the final seconds and weeping sadly off the old Oakland Alameda County Coliseum court in tears.
See you all later in the week. Time to get some much needed rest and unwind with my other passion, Brazilian jazz. Take care, everybody.