Florida and Xavier win in routs, ACC goes 0-3 on the day

SPECIAL NOTE:  This blog is dedicated to the man who famously brought rock and roll to that holly, jolly time of year with “Run, Run Rudolph”.  Chuck Berry died on Saturday afternoon in Missouri at the very respectable age of 90.  Everywhere he went, he was idolized and he had a lot of fun performing his hits.  Along with the famous way whenever he swung his hips, he perfected the craft during a time when Americans were just getting into that true rock and roll spirit.  He will be missed.

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Very little to report outside of what the NCAA mentioned in a brief press release following the controversy in Salt Lake City that had the goaltending call that wasn’t in the cards for Northwestern.

Arizona held off St. Mary’s 69-60 and will take on the 11 seed of Xavier who whipped Florida State 91-66 in Orlando.  Trevon Bluiett led the Musketeers with 29 points.  Xavier will make their eighth Sweet 16 appearance since 2008.

Gonzaga on Thursday in San Jose will play West Virginia, who got by Notre Dame 83-71.  The Irish only shot 40 percent for the game, but their effort was still there–even with Bonzie Colson leading everyone with 29 points and 8 rebounds on Saturday afternoon at the Buffalo pod.  Florida routed Virginia 69-35 as the Gators held the Cavaliers to only 17 points in the first half.

In Milwaukee, Butler carved Middle Tennessee State like a surgeon in an operating room.  The Bulldogs cut, sliced, and diced the Blue Raiders to the tune of a 74-65 victory.  They will head to Memphis on Friday night and await the winner of North Carolina vs. Arkansas from Greenville.

The nightcap had Purdue surviving a furious rally by Iowa State to advance to Kansas City in the Midwest bracket by a count of 80-76.  Vincent Edwards came up huge for the Boilermakers scoring 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds and four assists.  For the Boilers, this will be their ninth trip overall to the Sweet 16 and first since 2010.

All the blue bloods will play on Sunday–Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, and UCLA.  Three double digit seeds are still alive, the 10 in Wichita State to play at 2:40 p.m. on CBS from Indianapolis against UK, while the pair of 11 seeds of Rhode Island and USC have some heady competition of their own.

The Rams will face off against the third seed of Oregon at the Sacramento pod.  That game will start shortly after CBS goes back to regular prime-time programming, 7:10 p.m. Eastern time on TBS.  About a half hour later, TruTV will do their final tournament game for another year as USC plays against Baylor in Tulsa.

Bottom line, none of the eight games are slouches.  There should be some top-notch competition from the early afternoon into the later part of the evening.

In my case, I will be spending the first three games mostly listening to Westwood One since my eyes still need a little break after all of the major watching from 11:15 a.m. Central time until shortly after 11:30 p.m. both on Thursday and Friday nights.  By the time the early evening rolls around, I will look forward to flipping around on the three Turner cable channels to see what is shaking at that particular time.

Illinois hires Brad Underwood

The man who helped briefly resurrect Oklahoma State is planning to work magical wonders for the Fighting Illini.  According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, the deal is worth over $3 million per year for six years to coach in Champaign/Urbana.  Every stop Coach Underwood has made in recent years, his teams have gone to the NCAA Tournament.  We will see what happens in the recruiting trail as he tries to assemble some assistant coaches in helping try to lure the best high school stars from the Chicago Public Schools, of which many key players in recent years have gone out of state to play their college ball.

Please have a good night, everyone.  Hope to see you all later on Sunday night once the Cincinnati/UCLA game ends in Sacramento.

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