Northern Iowa wins on dramatic buzzer beater, Cincinnati misses by a half second


“Waiting Is The Hardest Part”, by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Found on many compilation albums everywhere.

I would like to start this blog with a short trivia question:

What things can you do in 3 minutes and 26 seconds?

I can think of a bunch of things:

  • Microwave a leftover that is stored in the fridge
  • Scoop up a few scoops of my favorite ice cream
  • Purchase something online
  • Blow dry my hair
  • Make a soup and sandwich for lunch
  • Grab the day’s mail
  • Scan my important email
  • Gather dirty laundry for washing

On Friday night, more history was made to close out the first round of the NCAA Tournament:

First in Oklahoma City which was seen on TBS, Texas and Northern Iowa were locked in a classic battle.  But with 2.7 seconds left and the game tied at 72, former Virginia transfer Paul Jesperson took one dribble, squared up from about half court and let it fly.

The result was as Bill Raftery would usually say, “a little kiss off the glass.”

Northern Iowa wins on their second straight buzzer beater 75-72, this time over a gamed Texas squad that was eagerly looking forward to their former interstate rivals in Texas A&M on Sunday.  The Aggies won easily 92-65 over the Horizon League champions from Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Shortly thereafter on TruTV from Spokane was just another thrilling ending–but with a different ending.  After Isaiah Miles of St. Joseph’s nailed a three to put the Hawks up by a count of 78-76, Cincinnati sped upcourt and found Octavius Ellis underneath the hoop.  The officials’ initial indication was that Ellis’ dunk was made before the buzzer.  But after several minutes of consulting the replays, the ball was still in Ellis’ hands just as the lights went on throughout the edges of the rim indicating time had ran out.  The basket was no good and St. Joe’s survives just barely and earns a Sunday match with Oregon, who creamed Holy Cross 91-52 in the earlier matchup.

As for the final preliminary winner from Wednesday, Michigan led by as many as 13 points in Brooklyn but Notre Dame got hot at the right time pulling away in the final nine minutes of action.  A three pointer by V.J. Peachem put the Fighting Irish ahead for good as Mike Brey’s bunch escaped a determined effort from Michigan 70-63.  The game featured 5 lead changes and three other time they were tied in those final nine minutes of regulation.

More new history was made with Stephen F. Austin pummeling West Virginia

The guy with the lumberjack type beard came up huge for the Lumberjacks in Brooklyn.  America, get used to Thomas Walkup after he scored 33 points to go along with nine rebounds and four assists.  He was almost a one-man wrecking crew against West Virginia.  Although both teams shot barely above 30 percent for the game, it was the scrappy hustle of Walkup and the desire from his teammates that proved to be the difference.

As for the new history…

This was the first time since the tournament expanded to 64 teams way back in 1985 that schools that were a 13, 14, and 15 seed all won in the same day.

Also, the ten double digit seed wins is the most ever for a single round in NCAA tournament history.

Elsewhere as the First Round wrapped up…

Xavier escaped any upset plans from Weber State, winning easily 71-53 while Buddy Hield scored 27 in Oklahoma’s rather impressive 82-68 win over first time participants in Cal State Bakersfield.  Also, Maryland let South Dakota State hang around until the final seconds when former Duke star Rasheed Sulaimon made a game winning steal to end the contest in the Terrapins favor, 79-74.

Thanks to Middle Tennessee, my pick to win it all went down in flames

I only picked VCU and Gonzaga as my double digit upset specials correctly.  However, I bet not too many people Hawai’i, Middle Tennessee, or Northern Iowa in their initial brackets.  If you did, congratulations.

As for Syracuse’s win over Dayton early on Friday, it wasn’t much of an upset in most media members minds.  However, it will set up quite a double digit seed showdown with the Blue Raiders for a four hour plus bus trip up the Stevenson Expressway to the United Center in Chicago awaiting the winner.

First things first, the start of the Second Round on Saturday.  Look for those TV matchup for the weekend coming up shortly, along with my revised picks for the next 16 games.



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