Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 1 of The Madness: Best Afternoon Ever?

As long as you weren't stuck in a hole yesterday for the first four hours of the tournament, you know it was arguably one of, if not the, best start to the tournament ever. Of the first five games, four of them were decided in the final 5 seconds, and had a score differential of two points or less.

First, it was the Butler doing it, making sure they weren't going home after Round 1, with their right place, right time put back by Matt Howard as time expired. Bulldogs 60 - ODU 58. Then it was Morehead taking down Rick Pitino (low blow? whoops, nevermind), with a 3 pointer in the final seconds to win 62-61. Best part of this game....we had our first "ONIONS" call from Raftery, and boy was it a good one.This was also the first game where people started ripping up their brackets.

In the battle for Pennsylvania bragging rights, Temple nails a step through jumper with .4 seconds left, to make sure that Penn State remains only a football school. Then, we all hoped that the Princeton Fundamentals would take down Kentucky. With the game tied and 3 seconds left, freshman Brandon Knight made his first bucket of the game, giving the Wildcats a win. Definition survive and advance. One more close game in the afternoon session saw the Spiders of Richmond taking down Vanderbilt. 12 - 5 upset anyone?

To the night games we go, Florida, UConn and BYU take care of business as expected. Jimmer goes off for 32 points, as expected. Belmont hung around with Wisconsin for half of the game, but the Badgers eventually pulled away to win by 14.

In the 6-11 games with Big East teams, it was a split. Cincy sent Mizzou home with a convincing win, and as predicted in this space, the experience of Gonzaga was too much for the upstart Johnnies. We did whiff on the Utah State-K-State game, as well as the UCLA-Michigan State game, although the Bruins did everything possible to try and blow a 23-point lead.

A couple of games we are looking forward to on Saturday: Huggins vs. Calipari and the youth/athleticism of Kentucky against the grind it out physicality of WVU. We'll have a Big East match up of UConn and Cincy, and an upset special with #13 Morehead St. and #12 Richmond. Last but not least, we have Butler taking on Pitt. Bulldogs find ways to win games in March, but will they be able to continue that streak against the physical Panthers.

Show Us Your Onions Update: Thanks to the 30+ entries that we received for the first annual competition. At first glance, we have a few folks that lost some of their onions with the Michigan State and Louisville losses. A complete breakdown of all the Onions will come later in the weekend, so you can see who you are matched up against.

Daily Onions is headed to watch some hoops live and in person today in Chicago. This will mark the first time we've been to an NCAA Tournament game since 2003, know, a certain team cut down the nets in New Orleans. Onions!

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