Bracketology 401–First Round, Day One Recap

The following is my first attempt at doing a live blog.

As fun as it was, things really got more hectic and crazy as the day went on.

I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did in taking periodic breaks to do some laundry, get my daily postal mail, and cook dinner.

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10:21 a.m. Central Time–Thursday is indeed my favorite day of the week, largely because on album rocker 93.1 WXRT in Chicago–they proclaim it as New Music Thursday.

First thing I notice scanning the overnight playlist at 4:53 is a new single by the popular Canadian supergroup The New Pornographers cool song, “High Ticket Attractions”.  Love the lyrics, but the video simply sucked.

The other reason I like Thursday so much, besides hearing new songs throughout the day before that specific artist’s/group’s EP or album is released–the 9 p.m. hour is nothing but new music with Ryan Arnold on The New Noise at Nine.

Thankfully, if I miss part of that block of new songs or somehow miss the whole hour, they have a playlist so it will be easy to catch up and either watch the videos on YouTube or listen in on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

10:28 a.m.–First Hoops Thought of the Day:

Guard play is going to be huge in these 32 games over the next two days.  The guards that take care of the ball and run the offense like a fine-tuned machine will survive and advance.  With the odds of anyone having a perfect bracket at 1 in six quintillion, it is best to focus on each individual game and how it relates to the overall bracket as we go forward.

10:55 a.m.–I miss Amber Lancaster on TPIR:(.

10:57 a.m.–Just like in 2010, Notre Dame again leads off the Big Dance.

Back then, local station WSBT in South Bend had their game in New Orleans against Old Dominion.  About 100 miles to the west, WBBM in Chicago began with the Irish, but later switched to BYU vs. Florida.  Wow, have times changed.

11:00 a.m.–CBS, You are clear for takeoff.

11:07 a.m.–Charles Barkley says, “The Pac 12 was definitely underrated this year.”

11:17 a.m.–Matt Farrell knocks down a three for the first points in Buffalo.

Notre Dame 3, Princeton 0.

11:21 a.m.–Farrell again knocks another trey, this time from the right corner.

Irish up 7-3.

11:30 a.m.–TruTV begins its’ coverage, minus the sleazy reality promos.

11:42 a.m.–After a 10-0 run by the Fighting Irish, Princeton manages to get back in the game with back-to-back threes of their own.

11:50 a.m.–Just found out on CBSSports.com, the Indiana Hoosiers fired Tom Crean as head coach.  Make that three prominent former tournament teams looking for new men–following former Purdue standout guard Cuonzo Martin leaving California to take on the reins in Missouri, while Illinois is still looking for their new man without using a search firm.  Say what you will, but these are interesting times to be a college basketball fan.

11:52 a.m.–Myles Stephens with a nice jumper for the Irish, lead back up to three at 31-28.  Just a little over two minutes to go in the first half.  Meanwhile in Orlando, we have a tie at 7 between UNC Wilmington and Virginia.

11:55 a.m.–UNCW taking charge in Orlando, leading 15-9 seven and a half minutes in the East bracket.

11:58 a.m.–Jack Nolan of Notre Dame radio mentions that the Irish have only missed two free throws in the game.  Notre Dame leads 34-28 late in the first half in Buffalo.

High Noon–Notre Dame has Bonzie Colson leading the way with 10 points and 4 rebounds as we have reached halftime in the Buffalo pod.
Notre Dame 36, Princeton 30.

(And you know what is weird, twice in 35 minutes–I have had technical problems both with my computer and my television.  Why couldn’t they pick another day when nothing is going on to go haywire, but today?!  I just don’t get it.)

12:05 p.m.–Score one in my upset specials, as UNC Wilmington is running away and hiding from the slow pokes of Virginia.  Their lead has grown to 23-11 as Ambrose Mosley has 11 points.  8:31 to go in the first half.

12:16 p.m.–UNCW still leads 28-16, 5:34 to go in the first half.

12:30 p.m.–TNT taking its’ annual break from covering the NBA, you are clear for takeoff as Winthrop tangles with Butler in Milwaukee.

12:42 p.m.–Virginia closes the first half with a 14-1 run to lead by the slimmest of margins, 30-29.  Meanwhile, Matt Farrell is taken over for the Irish and Butler is smoking hot from the field leading against Winthrop 12-5 in the Milwaukee pod.  That game has 14:42 remaining in the first half.

12:48 p.m.–Seconds after Matt Vastoria nails a trey in Buffalo, Devin Cannady of Princeton nails a three and gets fouled.  He made the subsequent free throw as the Irish lead has shrunk to 50-45 with 8:35 to play in regulation time.

12:58 p.m.–Princeton just missing a three from the far right corner that would have tied the game.  5:10 to play, Notre Dame still leads 52-49.

1:00 p.m.–TBS, you are clear for takeoff.

1:02 p.m.–Final media time out in Buffalo.  Princeton keeps the game close, but cannot pull even.  Notre Dame leads 55-51 with 3:51 to play.

1:05 p.m.–In the Orlando pod, we have a tie at 40 between UNC Wilmington and Virginia.  Just under 14 minutes to play in regulation time.  In Milwuakee, Butler is still leading against Winthrop 28-20 with six minutes to play in the first half.

1:06 p.m.–Steven Cook drills a trey from the near left corner.  Irish lead only 55-54 with 3:17 to go.

1:07 p.m.–Bonzie Colson, huge jumper inside the paint.  Irish up their lead to three at 57-54, less than two minutes to go.  Princeton calls time out.

1:09 p.m.–Ill advised three by Princeton, results in an air ball and 30 second shot clock violation.  1:29 to play.

1:10 p.m.–Colson was fouled on the next possession, hits 2 critical free throws.  Irish lead 59-54, 1:10 to go.

Nice Princeton layup by Pete Miller, lead down to three at 59-56.  Under a minute to play.

1:12 p.m.–Still in Buffalo:   Both teams have only six team fouls, 20.4 seconds left as Princeton calls yet another 30 second timeout.

1:13 p.m.–First update from TBS in Salt Lake City, the #16 seed of South Dakota State leads top seed Gonzaga, 10-9.  13:34 to go in the first half out West.

1:15 p.m.–First coach’s review as a length of the court pass appeared to touch an Irish player before going out of bounds.  Princeton keeps the possession, 19.5 seconds to go.

1:16 p.m.–Missed three by Princeton, but a lucky tip-in pulls the Tigers to within one at 59-58.  12.8 seconds left.

1:20 p.m.–Devon Cannady misses far right on a three after Matt Farrell misses on the one-on-one.

1:21 p.m.–Seconds after another missed three that would have given Princeton a possible upset win, another missed one-and-one for the Irish leads up to Princeton’s final half court heave going awry.

Final score–Notre Dame 60, Princeton 58 in the Buffalo pod.

1:35 p.m.–South Dakota State still leads over Gonzaga, possible Upset Alert in the making…19-18 with 4:31 to go in the first half.

1:40 p.m.–Selfie Time:).

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Me during the first half of Notre Dame-Princeton. All is good here:)

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Sorry about the tight shot here, but Gonzaga is sweating it out trying to avoid becoming history. Also, the sun was heading towards my eyes–so I had to post this shot a bit quicker than usual.

1:42 p.m.–Virginia still up on UNCW, 67-64 with 3:25 to go in the Orlando pod.

1:57 p.m., just before Bucknell and West Virginia tip off in Buffalo:

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Hello lunch:). Time to enter the stomach now, yum yum.  Sorry the pic turned out a bit on the dim side.

1:56 p.m.–93XRT plays another cool hit appropriate for most bloggers and media members everywhere, with The Pretenders early 1980’s hit, “Don’t Get Me Wrong”.

1:59 p.m.–Minutes after Virginia survived an upset bid by UNCW 76-71, Gonzaga has caught up.  The Zags lead 26-22 at the half in Salt Lake City.

2:05 p.m.–West Virginia leads Bucknell in Buffalo, 10-9. 15:16 to go in the first half.

2:10 p.m.–Daxter Miles, Jr. with a nifty layup as West Virginia expands their lead to 25-12, with 12:51 to play in the first half.

2:53 p.m.–Mike “Greeny” Greenberg of ESPN Radio speaks via phone to Waddle and Silvy on ESPN 1000 in Chicago and says, “I hope this is an afternoon we as Northwestern fans will remember.  Go Cats.”

For followers of that show, they do a segment most weeks called “Would You Rather?”  I have just the perfect question for all of you game show fans out there, so look for that in a short time.

2:56 p.m.–West Virginia leads 42-33 at the half in Buffalo.  Meanwhile, Gonzaga is comfortably ahead of the Jackrabbits from South Dakota State, 60-44 with 2:14 to go.

Butler has moved on to the second round, easily beating Winthrop 76-64.  Keon Johnson had 17 for the Eagles, but it was Xavier Cook’s 23 points was the game’s high scorer.  Avery Woodson had 18 to lead a balanced attack for the Bulldogs, as they await the winner of Minnesota vs. Middle Tennessee State, last year’s Cinderella Darlings.

3:00 p.m.–The first 13 minutes were sweaty, but Gonzaga makes it nine straight years winning their First Round game easily sliding past South Dakota State by a 66-46 count.

3:07 p.m.–Decisions, Decisions:

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Which package should I open first? Hmmmm.

3:12 p.m.  In tribute to Waddle and Silvy’s sometimes popular weekly ESPN Chicago radio segment, “Would You Rather”–

Would you rather see Press Your Luck or Deal or No Deal be another past game show that gets a reboot?  Each game requires a lot of luck, skill, and daring.  Going back over a quarter century ago, the formerly weird Whammy dominated screens via animation and taking people’s money away in the 1980’s.  And of course, it was the Briefcase Gals holding anywhere from one million dollars down to our lowest denomination of one Lincoln penny.  Tough call, but we will see if ABC or another network one summer decides to give either show a reboot. In the meantime, is anyone ready for The Gong Show?
3:17 p.m.–In Orlando, Florida leads ETSU 33-32 at the break, while Minnesota races out to a quick 7-0 lead over Middle Tennessee State at the Milwaukee pod 16:42 to go in the first half.
3:38 p.m.–Bryant McIntosh scores the first ever Northwestern NCAA Tournament points on a back-door layup.  It is decisively a pro-Northwestern crowd with Doug Collins, Michael Wilbon of PTI fame, Brad Hall, and yes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus in full purple gear rooting the Cats on.  Even TBS showed a taped message prior to tip-off from 1966 graduate Stephen Colbert from his Late Night studio, very nice.
3:44 p.m.–Bryant McIntosh scores his 9th point, with the Wildcats leading 11-5 five minutes into the game.  McIntosh is 5 for 8 from the floor to go along with one assist.
3:50 p.m.–There’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus smiling from ear to ear after Isiah Brown converted on a layup.  Northwestern off and running with their offense leading 12-5 with 12:29 to go in the first half.  Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew had no choice to but call time out as the Commodores offense is mostly out of sync against this stingy Wildcats defense.
3:54 p.m.–More replays of Elaine from Seinfeld fame showing off different faces.  TV time out in Salt Lake City, Northwestern still leads Vandy 14-8 with 11:53 to go in the first half.  The Cats are shooting 6 for 11, while Vanderbilt is an ice cold 3 for 12 from the field.
And for the record, I chose the 2 pack of Reese’s, and it tasted really good.
4:02 p.m.  In Milwaukee on TNT, Middle Tennessee State is surprising Minnesota 36-31 at the half.  On CBS in Buffalo, Bucknell came close to catching up with West Virginia but missed a few layups with under 4 minutes to play.  The Mountaineers appear they will be locking horns with Notre Dame, leading 78-72 with exactly one minute to play in regulation time.
4:05 p.m.  In Salt Lake City on TBS, Vanderbilt has roared back to within 17-14 with 7:31 left in the first half.  In Orlando on truTV, the Gators are chomping their way through Orlando with a 59-45 lead with 8:13 to go.  Florida has held East Tennessee State to only 13 points thus far in the second half.
4:15 p.m. It is a final in Buffalo, as West Virginia holds off Bucknell 86-80.  The Mountaineers will next play Notre Dame in the second round on Saturday.
Final update until tonight from me, as Northwestern continues to lead Vanderbilt in Salt Lake City by a score of 27-24 with 2:48 remaining in the first half.  Scottie Lindsey scored on a nice bucket a few minutes after Vanderbilt got within striking distance.
Going forward…
If there any major upsets, I will blog about it immediately.
If not, expect to read my token blog late tonight and once each in the afternoon and evening on Friday.  I hope my live blog was both enjoyable and fun, taking things to a different level than during the early 1990’s when Southern Illinois was the only game on in Sacramento during the 4 p.m. hour while every other CBS affiliate went to news or other programming (this was before the creation of CSTV, later CBS College Sports).
Please continue to enjoy the games, and I will hope to see most of you back here later on tonight.  Enjoy the rest of your day.
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