Yahoo! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel will be spending the second day of the NCAA tournament as everyone should: Camped in front of a wall of televisions with a cold beer in front of him. Here's his report.
12:15 p.m. ET: Welcome to Day Two at the fourth-annual (except the year my daughter was born) "man at the bar" column, where once again we'll spend the afternoon watching all the college basketball action and reporting various observations about that and everything else that goes on around here.
We are back at 24 Seconds in downtown Berkley, Mich., so if you are in the area skip out of work and come on by to watch, drink and manage your brackets. Today I will soon be joined by my freeloading father, which is always a positive.
Let's get to a couple thoughts from yesterday:
• Any time some coach who didn't get his NCAA tournament bonus because his team was decidedly average starts clamoring for an expansion of the Field of 65, just show them the games Thursday.
Too many good teams in college hoops? Try too few. It wasn't just the lack of close games that was lacking, it was quality of play. Take it from someone who watched almost all of it, there were some terrible teams and terrible games in this years tourney. Maybe I've been watching too much NBA lately, but the level of play was, at times, downright bad, and a number of name teams – Stanford, Marquette, Gonzaga, George Washington – didn't look remotely worthy of being here.
You can argue that the NCAA selection committee chose the wrong teams or you can wonder how much worse it could have been.
• Duke's loss was the most predictable "upset" in recent memory. I've been writing for weeks that the Blue Devils just aren't very good. They finished 4-8 in their final 12 games. They don't have the talent they used and their guards can't defend anyone with speed on the perimeter. Eric Maynor got to the lane anytime he wanted.
Why won't anyone on TV just admit that? Steve Lavin was the closest to get to the issue. You know, it is OK for Duke to be down every once in awhile. The Blue Devils reached nine consecutive Sweet Sixteens and then finally had an off year. It happens. There is a reason nine in a row is a remarkable run. Duke will be back. I don't get why everyone has to sugarcoat the obvious, though.
Why does every TV commentator pick Duke anyway? How did it ever get a No. 6 seed? And how does Greg Paulus, who had more turnovers than assists and couldn't guard Maynor if his life depended on it, get Chevrolet Player of the Game? Does anyone watch the game?
• I have never been more wrong about a selection than when I said George Washington could beat Vanderbilt. I knew the A-10 stunk and yet I picked a team who didn't even dominate that league? It violated the basic tenet of my beliefs. Maybe talking to Mike Jarvis got me overloaded with Yinka Dare and Shawnta Rogers memories.
• I touted Wright State on about 40 radio shows this week and that obviously didn't pan out either. I don't feel as bad about that, though. Any team that finishes 12-1 with two victories over Butler was much better than a No. 14 seed. I saw value there. Just didn't happen.
• Gator didn't even talk to the girl, so stop emailing in and asking if he got lucky. It was the 1-16 matchup of 24 Seconds.
• For those who think I should have kept writing all night, its never going to happen. I gave you 7,500-words in five hours, had two Bud Lights, saw a guy who may have lost his house betting on Davidson and watched Gator not even try to get anywhere. That's a full day of work right there.
Besides, you get what you pay for and this column is free.
The games start soon. We'll be here.
12:30 p.m. ET: I'm not the only one who had some questions about Virginia, especially at the four seed. They were a bit uneven this year, a lot under the radar and when they blew the regular-season ACC championship by losing to Wake Forest to end the year, you wondered about their toughness.
I have them winning today because I don't see Albany pulling an upset. That said and for what its worth, so far, the Cavs are looking very good.
• About the Duke loss which brought tremendous joy to many people across the country. I have to wonder if God was again at work here and, in turn, it explains the rather dull and upset-free games yesterday (a 9 beating an 8 is not an upset).
I'm fairly confident that had America been offered a deal where we would get no upsets on the first day – thus tempering enjoyment – in exchange for Duke losing in the first round, we would have taken it. In a landslide.
Yes there are Duke fans out there, but how fun are they? Rooting for Duke is like rooting for the IRS in an audit.
• UNLV just tipped off with Georgia Tech. The Rebels haven't won a NCAA tournament game since the Elite Eight in 1992. Then they lost to Duke in the Final Four, were banned from the 1993 tourney – they finished the year on a 23-game win streak – and the school ran Jerry Tarkanian out of town.
One year after they named a road outside the Thomas & Mack Center Tarkanian Way. "They ran me out on it," laughs Tark.
The Shark says there is no jinx, no hex. He regularly attends Lon Kruger's practices and games and has made amends with the school. But someone should check with Moses Scurry, just in case. I'm not sure he's forgiven.
12:45 p.m. ET: Georgia Tech has a ton of young talent, none better than Thaddeus Young. They finally got it together down the stretch, so you wonder if they are like a No. 6 seed in 10-seed clothing. Or if they are just hopelessly inconsistent.
The Rebels are up 11-8 and their defensive quickness is notable.
This UNLV-Tech game should be quite enjoyable except for two words – Billy and Packer.
• UNLV reserve Joe Darger of Utah is the son of a polygamist. Where else but March Madness can you write that and not even be surprised. His dad has two wives. His family section is monstrous. When he was being recruited, it's a wonder assistant coaches didn't go bankrupt buying everyone in the family cars.
• The novelty of March Madness – and perhaps the lack of good games yesterday – has kept the crowd here down to the die-hards – die hard fans, die hard gamblers, die hard (or die soon) drinkers.
But I have a feeling it will get ramped up strong later. Friday afternoon and all.
• Virginia is obliterating Albany. This will not rattle my statement that the ACC is weak and my prediction that only UNC will get out of the first weekend. I will stick by those statements until proven wrong. But I'm a bit skittish right now.
• North Texas Mean Green 17, Memphis Calipari's 11. We're dreaming of a game.
1 p.m. ET: Drexel assistant coach Tony Chiles checked in – for everyone worried about the Dragons, he was out in New York recruiting, so the future will be fine in Philly. He said this about VCU's Eric Maynor: "He's going to be a pro. He gets better every game." Just ask Duke.
• Valued Reader Email concerning whether Oral Roberts the preacher should have signed a national letter of intent to Oral Roberts the school and the 900-foot Jesus he once saw.
Thinking more of the 900-foot Jesus. Assuming the proportions to be the same and the relative quickness to be the same (big men are usually slower than smaller guys), Jesus' arms would still be 610 feet from the ground, causing him to have to bend over to defend shots only 10 feet in the air.
This is all irrelevant being that his feet would be longer and wider than the entire court. He might be OK on defense, but would always be out of bounds on offense!
Michael Snodgrass, Ames, Iowa
• Memphis probably leads the NCAA tournament in tattoos.
• With St. Patrick's Day Saturday, I'm noticing an increased number of pints of Guinness here at 24 Seconds.
• Virginia-Albany is a blowout. UNLV is up double digits (21-10) already on Georgia Tech. So we are relying on the Mean Green hanging with Memphis for there to be any excitement during the early day session. I'm fearful.
• Fortunately my father finally arrived and placed an order for the first black and tan of the day. He's a huge Memphis fan. Or Calipari fan. So he may need it.
1:15 p.m. ET: Already a calamity for my father. He left his bracket back at home. "How will I know who I am rooting for? I might root for the wrong team."
He's not happy. "I know I picked Memphis." No kidding.
• Meanwhile, Steve "Bracket Boy" Polliti, who writes columns that Tony Soprano reads, is bragging that he went perfect yesterday. He has a website, bracketboy.net. He's not sane. Someone talk Izenberg out of retirement.
• The first running of the Hooters "Oh, Dick" commercial. Nice.
• The Dannehey family of Virginia really gets into the spirit of the tournament by opening a private "bar" in their house. The hours are easy to remember: "If they're playing, we're pouring." I suspect Susan Knox will testing that theory.
• Valued Reader Email:
Was Gator the 1 or the 16?
Greg, Morris, Ill.
He was Albany.
• The only good game right now is the Mean Green hanging on 26-23 with Memphis. Johnny Bullet Jones, the UNT coach, was once Memphis' interim coach. I'm sure he got the same package as Calipari.
• They cut to the UNLV cheerleaders. Should we alarmed some of them are wearing stiletto heels? Are they all named after cities in Texas? They just did a two-song number to "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and "The Thong Song."
1:30 p.m. ET: "If Memphis loses this game, Cal is going to need a heart replacement to go with his hip replacement," my father said. Now he is trash-talking his favorite coach. "What happened to his line about, 'play like you are going to the electric chair?' "
I always thought that phrase was meant for post-career advice.
• Memphis seems to have warmed up. They've got about 10 guys who can absolutely fly and an alley-oop pushed them out to a 37-29 lead. And they are playing defense.
Apparently that electric chair line struck a nerve. Surprise, surprise.
• Is there anything dumber than having the Goodyear blimp show the outside of a basketball arena? What is the purpose of that?
• It's halftime of all three early-early games and the closest game is UNLV by 7. Can someone please play a close game?
• Has Sisqo done anything since "The Thong Song"? I don't know, and I don't want to say until I do. I claimed Prince wasn't big anymore at the Super Bowl and every purple lover on three continents wrote me hate mail.
Anyway, a few years back I saw Sisqo on MTV Cribs and he had a house worth about $15 million. I'm thinking that if he hasn't had a hit he might be struggling to meet that ticket every month.
• The legal dream team, surprise, surprise, has returned. At least half of them. They do claim to be discussing a "case." Case of beer, we're sure.
1:45 p.m. ET: My father is already worrying about when he can take a nap so he can stay up and watch Holy Cross tonight. Nap? He's half a black and tan into the day and he is already talking nap?
"You have to play like you are going to the electric chair," I told him.
"Good point," he said. "You don't think they'd throw me out if I dozed off right here for a minute?"
March Madness. Putting people to sleep.
• To all the Albany students who are skipping class to watch their team play? Go to your lecture. There is nothing to see here.
• Kentucky, among other schools, offers scholarships to their cheerleaders. I'm wondering if UNLV offers work-study options at the Crazy Horse Too.
• How bad is the action? A five-man table near me is erupting into an argument about Michigan and Notre Dame football.
Where have you gone, Bryce Drew?
1:50 p.m. ET: Some Arkansas fans are pointing out the ridiculousness of my prediction that Kevin Durant would score 50 on the Hogs and big man Stephen Hill if the two schools meet in the second round. They are pointing out that in their meeting in December Durant only had 28 points and 13 rebounds.
Good point. You really had the kid contained.
• You may prefer Coach K to Coach Jay, but at least Coach Jay might recruit some guards to defend Eric Maynor. Actually, by Coach K standards, that commercial is decent.
Can you imagine the pitchman meltdown if Coach K and Peyton Manning ever did a spot together? Might be the seventh sign.
• My father has switched to Bud Light, which should please our valued reader Gayla Daugherty at the A-B mother ship in St. Louis.
• How bad are the games? I just got a pang of regret when it was announced "Judge Joe Brown" won't be seen today. Really? Can't we at least get a look-in?
• The Mean Green is hanging around and G-Tech has stormed back to force a 40-40 tie. We are no longer mentioning Virginia-Albany. That game is dead to us.
2:15 p.m. ET: UNLV has opened up a seven point lead courtesy of a Michael Umeh three-pointer. The Rebels haven't even gotten either Kevin Kruger or Jo'Van "Wink" Adams going. For some reason, Wink gets his nickname in the official Yahoo! box score. I'm not sure why. You'd think if you already have an apostrophe in your name, you don't also get a nickname. It's one or the other.
• We had a quick debate on whatever happened to Kevin Pittsnogle. In case you were wondering, he's with the Pittsburgh Xplosion of the CBA. I miss that guy.
• The Mean Green were just teasing everyone by staying within 10 of Memphis. I just can't see this one happening. Scary thing about Memphis is they might be one year and one Derek Rose away from being truly great. And they are pretty good right now.
Tigers up by 14, my father the only one happy about Cal's success.
2:30 p.m. ET: One thing about this tournament, every single point guard has got a nasty crossover and can get to the lane. This is truly the Iverson generation. Guys didn't grow up learning the triple threat, they figured out how to break ankles.
That's why having speed in the backcourt is absolutely essential.
There is just no place for a slow-defending guard. Look at the ending of the Xavier-BYU game where Musketeer coach Sean Miller smartly handed the ball to water bug point Drew Lavender and let him whip by Cougar guards and hit floaters. He didn't need to design anything fancy, he had speed on his side. Ditto for VCU on Duke.
Even the Mean Green has a guy like this. And the speed in the UNLV-Tech game is terrific. The game is good, too, 57-56 heading into the final TV timeout.
• The debate at the bar now is whether Michigan will finally fire Tommy Amaker. The consensus here is Michigan fans hope so, Michigan State fans hope not, they like having an underachieving Wolverine program. So at least Amaker has the Izzone going for him, which is nice.
• Long Beach State almost in the house. The game with Tennessee is about to tip and we couldn't be more excited about the chance for some fresh entertainment.
2:45 p.m. ET: With 36.6 seconds left and a two-point lead, UNLV's Gaton Essengue grabbed an offensive rebound. Instead of kicking it out to kill clock and get a guard fouled, he went back up for a shot, missed, got his own rebound, shot again and was finally fouled.
It didn't appear he had any idea how much time was left.
"They don't have clocks in Vegas," my father said.
Essengue hit his free throws to save himself. UNLV hit all its free throws to hold on, 67-63. The Rebels were extremely poised down the stretch to end the Tark Jinx. Everyone chomp on a towel.
• Reason No. 1 to love Long Beach State. They refer to themselves as "The Beach!" What's better than that? Who doesn't want to go to the beach? And who doesn't want to go to a school with an exclamation point in its name. As an employee of Yahoo!, I'm all for this.
The Beach is just being honest. It's not trying to put on airs like "The Ohio State University." It's The Beach!
• Reason No. 2: The cheerleaders. Needless to say, you can recruit a good crop when you call yourself The Beach!
• A Tennessee cheerleader just got some air time and blew a kiss to the camera, which nearly caused half of the crowd at 24 Seconds to fall off their bar stool.
Things are picking up nicely.
• One suggestion for next Michigan coach: Pokey Chapman. "We shouldn't ostracize this woman, we should celebrate her behavior," one Michigan "fan" said.
3 p.m. ET: Albany didn't fare well but we imagine everyone is having a good time at McGeary's, the great downtown Albany Irish bar anyway. They can drown your tears over there.
• Great stuff from the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion Ledger sent courtesy of Valued Reader Bijal Patel of Florida. Here's the link.
The highlights are 16-seed Jackson State's downright trash talk of No. 1 and defending national champion Florida. Assistant coach Anthony Boone and point guard Catraiva Givens were watching film of the Gators while letting loose:
"You know, (Florida) doesn't get back on defense very well – I think we can hurt them in transition," Boone said. "And look at (Florida's Joakim) Noah – he can't make a shot outside of 5 feet to save his life. Keep him off the block and we'll be fine."
Then there was:
"Look at (Florida's) Corey Brewer – he's a great athlete, but he likes to gamble," said Givens. "You've got to make him pay for that and go backdoor a few times and keep him honest."
Considering no 16 team has ever won a game, I love this. Be bold. Be confident. Be outrageous. The meek thing hasn't worked. I just became a huge Jackson State fan.
• I sent my father on a recon mission around the bar. Here's what he came up with:
There is a Tennessee fan in the house dressed in all Orange and drinking a Manhattan straight up – which means bourbon, vermouth and cherries. "Not your typical game-watching fare," noted my father. "I thought they took bourbon seriously in Tennessee, none of that sweetening it up."
Great, now he is bad-mouthing other guys' drinks. And the legal dream team has left. This could break bad for us.
Then he figured, "Gator scared that girl away yesterday because there isn't any good-looking women in here other than the waitresses." That's 43 years of marriage right there.
• Both Notre Dame-Winthrop and The Beach!-The Mountains! have a chance to be good games, although the favorites can both shoot and that isn't going to help.
3:20 p.m. ET: The poor guys from The Beach! are getting drubbed. They must be freezing in Columbus. A bad draw for these guys. They needed someplace warm. The Mountains! are crushing them.
• Winthrop coach Gregg Marshall completely outdressed Notre Dame's Mike Brey, who seems tie-phobic. At least Winthrop has that going for them.
Winthrop got down early but took a lead at 32-28 going into the half. These guys are good. Everyone should have read my Championship Week tour. I gave you VCU, Butler and Winthrop and that Duke wasn't any good. (We won't mention Wright State, OK?)
• Valued Reader Email:
You sat all afternoon in a bar yesterday and only had two Bud Lights? Get with the program son and start pounding them down!
Otis Campbell, Mayberry
As far as my bosses know. For you, all I can say is don't believe everything you read on the Internet. And my regards to Barney and Opie.
• TAMUCC is coming up – The Lettermen. Absolutely fantastic that a school called Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi is in this tournament. TAMUCC has more letters than some players in this tournament even know.
Previously there wasn't much to say about Corpus Christi except it once got devastated by a hurricane and it has nice sunrises. Now, TAMUCC.
3:35 p.m. ET: The TAMUCC Lettermen jumped to a 10-0 lead on Wisconsin, which means no matter what happens from here, the school has the cover photo of next year's media guide all set. Snap it and save it, you never know what's going to happen.
Still long odds the Lettermen hold the lead, but Wisconsin is not what you'd call an explosive offensive team. The Badgers like winning games in the 60s, not the 80s.
• In other good news, The Beach! has rallied to keep it competitive on The Mountains! The Vols are playing very well, however. Since both teams like to push it up court, this is an entertaining game.
• By the way, we are unabashed fans of UT coach Bruce Pearl, if only because he doesn't act like college basketball is the Bataan Death March. Too many of these coaches are miserable control freaks, at least Pearl is having fun.
It is also great to see him succeed if only because back in the 1980s he turned in the University of Illinois for cheating – he taped a recruit detailing an offer. While his methods were a little sketchy, he was at least trying to keep things honest. The establishment crushed him. Dick Vitale said he "committed career suicide." And in many ways, he did.
He had to spend years winning big at Division II Southern Indiana (where he won a national title) before getting a break at UW-Milwaukee (which he took to the Sweet Sixteen) and now UT. Suicide, I guess not.
It's funny but they are saying the same thing about the LSU women's assistant coach who turned in Pokey Chapman's indiscretions. And they said the same thing about the one-time Baylor assistant who revealed Dave Bliss' plot to frame a murdered player as a drug dealer so scandal within the program didn't leak out.
Only in college hoops can doing the right thing end your career. Think they'll mention this stuff on CBS? Billy Packer likes to pretend he is the conscience of the game, but only if defending the status quo and ripping mid-majors qualifies.
So Pearl is having fun. He's basically the modern Jimmy Vee.
3:50 p.m. ET: Winthrop isn't just beating Notre Dame, they are laying a smack down on the Irish, up 18, 52-34. I wrote this in the Championship Week Tour but the Winthrop has three players – Craig Bradshaw, Torrell Martin and Michael Jenkins who are all getting interest from the NBA as second-round picks.
That is insane talent for a Big South program. Notre Dame can't keep up.
If this was any worse for Notre Dame, you'd think was a bowl game.
• Kelley from Arkansas wrote in to defend the Hogs and then went on to describe himself as a "great big 'ol Ozark Mountain hillbilly no shoes wearin' outhouse usin' inbred hog fan!!!" Got to love it.
Valued Reader Email:
I just wanted to remind you, the Beach!'s baseball mascot is the "Dirtbags" in case you don't keep up with college baseball. It's the real thing.
Even better someone wrote in with a website recommendation: www.beachpride.com.
• Then there are the Lettermen, who are up a remarkable 23-7 on Wisconsin. The Badgers couldn't look slower if they were playing with snow shoes on. This is the tournament for speed and if you don't have it, you aren't going far.
• Meanwhile, the bar is getting crowded and a bit rowdy. It's on now.
4 p.m. ET: Four games at once right now, so things are moving quickly. Nevada-Creighton looks evenly matched, two solid mid major programs going back and forth. Creighton seems to be doing a good job early keeping the ball away from Nick Fazekas on the offensive end.
• TAMUCC's coach, Ronnie Arrow, won a couple junior college national titles at the immortal 1980s/1990s hoop factory San Jacinto JC in Texas. That place was Oak Hill before Oak Hill really got it going.
Unless you went to UW or this is going to crush your bracket, hard to imagine anyone isn't a TAMUCC fan right now.
• Bo Ryan went with the school color blazer, made popular again by Bruce Weber (Illinois), Pearl (UT) and most recently Sidney Lowe (NC State). We like this. We like the idea that in 15 years this will provide great comedic fodder for viewers of ESPN Classic.
• Shelley Smith at ESPN is a great journalist and I am fan of her work through the years. But who at ESPN decided that an All Access look at Wisconsin basketball would be interesting. Have you seen this thing? Dreadfully boring. There is just nothing interesting about this team.
Wisconsin is a nice program with nice kids and nice coaches. Badger fans should be proud. But who else finds that entertaining? They've done features on a guy getting game tape from FedEx, for crying out loud.
Come on, give me all access with Jackson State. Those guys, we now know, will say something.
• If you are at work – or school – now would be a good time to skip out. At last there are some really good games and potential upset specials. Tennessee may wind up with 120 points on The Beach!, who are pretty good but can't keep up.
4:20 p.m. ET: Notre Dame has mounted a serious comeback to close to one point at one point. (Get it?). Tremendous game. Notre Dame can score in bunches which saved them here, but Winthrop's senior dup of Craig Bradshaw and Torrell Martin have combined for 37 points and seem capable of getting a basket in crunch time. Should be fun.
• 24 Seconds is going wild because there is healthy number of Notre Dame fans and then everyone else rooting for the underdog and/or against the Irish.
• We've fixed the Bataan Death March reference. It's spelled correctly now.
• Value Reader Emails:
Corpus Christi also produced Eva Longoria, and has a lot of fishing, cheap beer, and a lot of girls who look almost as good as her. Do you really need anything else?
Court, Seattle, Wash.
I think I need a grad school application.
Bourbon is from Kentucky and Tennessee has Whiskey. Here is an article for you to read during these games. Yawn!! Actually glad I am working and didn't take the day off to watch them. Even the upsets are blowouts. Go Lettermen!!
All these years of drinking and my dad screws that up? "I have no excuse," he said, humbly.
• Intrepid reporter Jeff Shelman checked in from Joe Senser's in Plymouth, Minn., where he is reporting on nothing right now expect his quickly accumulating bar tab.
• Here's the good news for The Beach! They get to go back to the Beach!
4:21 p.m. ET: My dad is firmly in the pro-Irish camp (all native New Yorkers his age are closet ND fans). He is even raising his arms to signify three pointers and is set to begin chest bumping with some of the other guys.
He better behave or I told him I am calling my mother.
4:35 p.m. ET: Big-time win for Winthrop, which in its seventh trip to the NCAAs in nine years finally gets over the hump with a victory. Look out for these guys, they have talent, speed, size, depth and great coaching. They also have confidence. When Notre Dame made its comeback, Winthrop never even thought about folding. They just got tougher.
This is a terrific team.
• To say they are celebrating at Scandals in Rock Hill right now is an understatement.
• Questionable blocking call in the final two minutes of the Winthrop-ND game, and the ref with the worst view made it. You can argue either way, but what isn't a surprise is that if one official was going to make that call, insert himself into the game, who else would it be than Ted Valentine?
He's like Billy Packer: Why is he still working?
• If someone doesn't drive a Brinks Truck down to Rock Hill, S.C., and grab Gregg Marshall now, I'm not sure I'll ever understand college ADs. Of course, these are the people who pay Dana and David Pump to find them a coach rather than doing the job themselves.
I think any athletic director that uses a "search firm" to conduct a coaching hire should automatically be fired. That's your job.
• The athletic director at TAMUCC is Brian Teter. He was one of the best sports information directors I ever worked with when he was at Conference USA and Cincinnati. Nice to see.
All I can say is if TAMUCC wins this thing, they are going to be drinking on the athletic department tab pretty hard tonight.
4:50 p.m. ET: The TAMUCC Lettermen are going toe-to-toe with Wisconsin, which is what is going to make this interesting. It's one thing when an underdog gets hot and knocks down a bunch of threes. But they never blow out a seed as high as No. 2. How they handle the ebb and flow of this game and the relentless push of Wisconsin is going to decide it.
The Badgers are shooting much better (they started 3 for 24) which is essentially the key to their entire offense.
• I'm sure the Creighton-Nevada game is not being shown anywhere but Reno and Omaha, but it's a really good game. There were so many dog performances yesterday by major conference teams and these two are solid, crisp and smart. Currently anyone's game, but I'd like to see Fazekas get more than the eight shots he currently has.
• UT scored 121 to send The Beach! back to the beach. Bruce Pearl will now go paint the town orange.
• It’s nice to see the Winthrop fans and Notre Dame fans make peace over multiple drinks. See, this is a sign of a football school. A team gets knocked out of the NCAA tournament and the fans stick around to drink anyway. I can’t imagine that happened after the Sugar Bowl.
5:10 p.m. ET: My dad is now a Creighton fan ("I'm going with the Jesuits") and, of course, a fan of the Lettermen.
• Some Wisconsin fans are here now and making a racket when the Badgers do something good. Which is angering everyone else who want the upset. It may get ugly. Don't mess with Texas – or TAMUCC.
The Badgers suddenly can't miss, though – UW took its first lead with nine minutes left. So they keep having something to shout about.
• With the after-work crowd coming in, the shots are starting to fly. "They aren't in it for the long haul," my dad said. "They'll never make it to the Holy Cross game."
I have a feeling that isn't a concern.
• Creighton-Nevada tied with two minutes remaining. Wisconsin by 2 with 7:30 remaining. This is going to b a fun 20-30 minutes.
• Everyone emailing into tell that TAMUCC is actually "the Islanders." I know. Lettermen is a joke.
5:20 p.m. ET: Overtime for Nevada-Creighton, which works for us – additional March Madness. Both teams blew chances to take the lead in the final minutes.
• A guy fell off his bar stool in excitement over the Nevada-Creighton game. "He was the guy ordering the shots," my dad noted.
"I wouldn't want to get into a fight with that guy," he added. No kidding, dad. Not to mention you are 70.
And people wonder why I don't keep doing this at night.
• I fear Wisconsin is going to pull away for good on the Lettermen. Meanwhile, Oregon and Miami (Ohio) has started, but I'm not blogging through that game. At the end of Wisconsin-TAMUCC and/or Creighton-Nevada, this blog will go dark until next March Madness.
• Valued Reader Email:
What could be better than sitting in a bar all day, watching ball games, scouting for pretty girls, and drinking beer with your Dad? I wish I could do the same. Alas, my Dad doesn't drink. Can I borrow your Dad next year?
Steve, Fort Worth, Texas
He's available for everything from bar mitzvah's to bachelor parties.
Farrah Fawcett was born and raised in Corpus Christi. Go Islanders!!!
Laura Stumpff, Jamestown, Pa.
Please note a woman sent that in.
5:40 p.m. ET: Nevada got it rolling in overtime to advance past Creighton. Marcelus Kemp came up huge with 27 points to carry the day when the Blue Jays did a pretty good job containing Nick Fazekas.
The tough deal for Creighton is that it was better than half the winners yesterday. That's a really good team that drew a really good team.
• Good day for the state of Nevada – UNR and UNLV win. And quite likely no team from New York will make it to the second round – Niagara is the flag bearer. You have to love the absurdity of college sports when a state that is 98 percent desert is better than one full of ballplayers.
• Meanwhile, Wisconsin flexed its muscle and wiped out TAMUCC in the end, wining by 13 and saving itself from the eternal embarrassment of losing as a No. 2 seed. If I am a Badger fan, I'm pleased with the determination, but little else.
• OK. That's going to be it from the "man at the bar" blog. Thanks for reading and driving enough traffic that my bosses consider this somehow, someway, a success. Anything that allows me to hang out and watch hoops with my dad is a good thing.
Enjoy the rest of the tournament. And get out and enjoy it a bit. It's more fun with a crowd. Unless you actually like listening to the CBS announcers.