Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Monitoring the Madness

Dan Wetzel
Yahoo Sports

12:30 p.m. ET – I forgot to mention at the end of Thursday's long, live column that I, of course, would return Friday for more. You know, just as a service to you the office or classroom trapped reader (or the ones that don't want to listen to CBS announcers).

It is not because I can spend another day of work in a bar watching college basketball. Really.

Actually, forget it. As I always say, this is a job but it certainly isn't work.

Today, folks, could be the wildest one of these yet. First off, we have all the NCAA games. Second, it is St. Patrick's Day. Third, the 24 Seconds sports bar here on 12 Mile Road in Berkley, Mich. outside of Detroit has enough Guinness to fill the River Liffey.

And finally, I have my father, who is known to enjoy a pint, sitting across from me for the entire thing.

It doesn't get any better or dumber than this.

So away we go. I'll try to file often, appreciate all the feedback and hopefully I'll manage to just sip a couple of Guinness and avoid the Jameson until post work. I'll try to spell correctly, no matter how late in the afternoon it gets.

If you live in the area, come on by and pay us a visit. It's St. Patrick's Day and the second day of the NCAA tournament, if there was ever a time to call in sick for the afternoon.

And since I can walk home from here, don't worry about my safety. Just my sanity.

Davidson up 7-6 on Ohio State. Should be a good one.

12:57 p.m. ET – A couple things to clear up from yesterday. Some residents of Montana took exception with my calling the state small and out of the way. OK, it is huge geographically. Try sparsely populated and out of the way.

Now, anyone who writes in and complains about stupid stuff like that, especially around 4 ET when I have had untold beer, is going to be mocked. This is a running live column. Deal with it.

Also, Scott in Butte, Montana, passed along a live webcam of the St. Patrick's Day celebration in town, including the M&M bar. There should 5,000 people out there, he promises, by mid-afternoon.

Valued reader Jo Koster of Rock Hill, S.C. says that dapper Winthrop coach Greg Marshall gets his suits at 319 in Charleston, a place that outfits a number of NFL and NBA players. Then Jo added: "Oh well, time to go drink my dinner … Killian's for St. Patrick's Day. And I will be drinking to the downfall of Tennessee as well as the destruction of Duke!"

Nice to see my readers are doing well.

And finally to Paul "Ryder" in Westwood, Mass. I'll eat Jalapeno poppers if I want. I didn't eat any yesterday, but I reserve the right.

  • 24 Seconds has a nice crowd, less "meetings" today, more apparent "focus groups" for Irish beer companies.
  • Iowa has jumped out to an early 18-4 lead on Northwestern State, using their size to force the action. Northwestern can not afford to get too far behind because Iowa can guard you.
  • The Iowa-NWSU is being played at the Palace of Auburn Hills, which painted this giant script "Oakland University" on the court. Oakland U. is in Michigan, not in Oakland, Calif. And the game on the Oakland court is in the Atlanta regional, not the Oakland regional.

Other than that it makes perfect sense.

  • I also love the gumption of Northwestern State, which believes it is so famous that it need not tell America which state it is in the Northwestern part of. I know, but I am not telling either.
  • Game of the early part of the day should be Bucknell-Arkansas, which has also just kicked off. The Bison, who I think will win, are up early, 8-4, even though Arkansas has already made some remarkably athletic plays.
  • Davidson is going to give Ohio State all it can handle. You can see that right off the bat. The game may be in partisan Dayton, but Davidson is one smart basketball team.
  • Arizona is crushing Wisconsin, 13-2. The Badgers are failing to defend the three point line and seems overwhelmed by the Wildcats team speed. I expect some Bo Ryan adjustments though.
  • The guy at the table next to us has a stack of brackets he is in thicker than the Sunday paper. He is frantically digging through it. "All for charity," he laughed. Later, I am sure he will be reading to the blind, too.
  • No update on the $1,800 Winthrop gambler from Thursday. (He would have won $1,800 had Winthrop won outright, which, of course, they didn't in a heartbreaker to Tennessee). He left the bar and no sign of him yet today.

1:09 p.m. ET – If these TV networks really wanted to draw in ratings they should have "alternate announcers" who would provide more "real" commentary. Two guys who would say things that people really say, wise apple stuff, Fred Willard in "Best in Show" stuff.

I'd even pay a little extra to hear a couple of guys make fun of the uniforms, haircuts and declare the obvious, "That forward is awful, he should never, ever shoot," or "John Brady must be the worst game coach in history, thank God he has talent," or "My goodness, what is that young man thinking with that haircut."

This would be especially fun during Duke games. ESPN showed the Duke-Carolina game on about 17 networks a couple weeks back but failed to provide the option of listening to Duke-hating announcers and Carolina-hating announcers. It would have been great.

This PC stuff is terrible.

  • Wisconsin does not seem capable of scoring a basket on a regular basis, which tends to hurt you in basketball.
  • Northwestern State, meanwhile, has hit a couple of threes and at least aren't getting humiliated anymore – down nine to Iowa.
  • Davidson has the pace of the game the way they want it – slow. They are hitting backdoor plays. And they are getting back on defense.

That's pretty much the triple crown recipe for an upset. If they can get one guy really hot in the second half, Ohio State, who is actually playing pretty well, could be in trouble.

  • Usually, when the head coach of your in state rival is fired it is a good day. You get to taunt everyone at your office and wallow in the negative press. So this should be a good day for Iowa, what with Iowa State brooming Wayne Morgan, possibly in part due to a scheduling scandal.

But really, if you are a Hawkeye fan, wouldn't you rather have Wayne Morgan there for life? There is almost no way the Cyclones don't upgrade here.

  • Bucknell-Arkansas – 11-10 Bison with nine minutes left in the first half – may end 37-36. At least Henry Iba would love it.
  • A couple "licensed carpenters" are headed back to work after "lunch" at the 24 Seconds. I'm sure those nails will be going in real straight this afternoon.

Erin Go Braugh.

1:21 p.m. ET – My father was trying to claim that Northwestern State could be in any state; his theory being every state, technically, has a northwestern part to it.

I contend, however, that neither Hawaii nor Idaho have a northwest. So Northwestern State could only represent 48 members of our fine union. He will concede that Hawaii is unlikely, although possible. But not Idaho.

"Technically they can," he said. "Northwest Idaho and Northeast Idaho exist, they are just a mile apart."

And we are still on our first beer.

  • No matter what the state, Northwestern State put together a 14-0 run and shut out Iowa for 10 minutes, allowing just five shots (great execution). These guys will get after you defensively. They are now up on the Hawkeyes, 21-20. Once they got over their case of nerves they are just swarming Iowa.

My father has become a huge fan of Northwestern State. He may donate 20 bucks to the school when all is said and done.

  • For the record, Northwestern State is located in the Louisiana town of Natchitoches, which is Native American for "middle of freakin' nowhere."
  • My father, on his trip to Ireland last summer, ran into the Bucknell basketball team at the Waterford Crystal factory. He said the coaches and their wives were inside looking at the crystal and learning things while the players were out in the parking lot playing touch football.

Who knew my father would offer such insight? He won't admit he went out for a pint with Pat Flannery. But I suspect it probably happened.

1:40 p.m. ET – Iowa finally started scoring and retook the lead on Northwestern State, 28-24 going into the half. The Hawkeyes are going to have to be efficient in the second half or the much faster Northwestern State kids are going to pull off the upset. These guys are pretty good, a very tough 14 seed.

  • Bucknell takes a four-point lead into the break on Arkansas and the most striking thing is that, at least in terms of starting fives, the talent level between the two teams is very, very even. Bucknell is also more experienced. The Hogs are going to have to step it up big time.
  • Arizona is up 12 on Wisconsin, which has begun playing a little better. Arizona has been impressive. The thing with Lute Olson teams is they are either really good in the tournament or really bad. After just 20 minutes of play I am beginning to think this could be one of those really good years.

If they advance to play Villanova, don't underestimate the Wildcats, even if the game is in Philly.

  • Usually when a lot of people are at a bar in the afternoon they are coming in for a beer or two, a quick lunch, whatever. Not here at 24 Seconds on St. Patrick's Day, you can tell they are settled in for the long, long haul.
  • Speaking of bars and St. Patrick's Day, a certain New York Times basketball writer I know was very worried earlier this week that he wouldn't be able to properly celebrate the great day because he is Salt Lake City covering the tourney. But he is a very resourceful person and I steered him to the Dead Goat Saloon downtown.

So if you see him, make him buy you a pint because the New York Times has a lot of money for him to commit expense account fraud.

  • Remember Thursday when I said Winthrop-Tennessee had the feel of a March classic? Ditto for Davidson and Ohio State. This one is going to have a great ending. I just feel it.

2:01 p.m. ET – A guy in full Irish dress with a bagpipe and a woman dressed similarly with a drum just arrived unannounced into 24 Seconds and made a lap while playing a song. Then after about 24 seconds, they left. Just a quick visit, a quick song. Everyone cheered. Good times.

  • A couple people have emailed me asking if I am related to Bob Wenzel, who is broadcasting some games for CBS and used to coach Rutgers. Well, considering our names are spelled differently, I can't imagine it is a shock when I say no. But I do like the guy.
  • Ohio State is beginning to assert itself, especially on the offensive glass and Davidson is going to have to deal with a very pro-Buckeye crowd in Dayton. Not that Davidson isn't still in it, 49-46. Their big center, Ian Johnson, keeps throwing in lefty hook shots pleasing my old school father to no end.
  • How quick are Northwestern State's hands? Iowa had a three on one break and the one Northwestern kid stole it. I love these guys. They attack the rim on nearly every possession. Still, Iowa up five, 33-28.
  • Valued reader "Terrible" Terry McCormack wrote to complain that I shouldn't have said he looked like Gerry McNamara in my Thursday column. According to Terry, I "jinxed the 'Cuse and Gerry Mac, by comparing [him] to a short, fat 48-year-old Irishman now living in Massachusetts. Hell, I know I could have gone oh-for-six.”

Watch out, Terry, you say Gerry is overrated and Boeheim will kick your ass.

  • This isn't an Irish bar, but they do know how to pull a nice pint of Guinness and they aren't serving green beer. That's all I ask, really.
  • Bucknell is going to win if they can find someone to cover Ronnie Brewer. Easier said than done, of course. But all I have to do is say it.

2:14 p.m. ET – Iowa's Greg Brunner went with the shaved head look and it really isn't becoming on him. As a result, he looks like he's 40. And no, I am not just bitter that the Hawkeyes are beginning to hand it to Northwestern State, thanks to Brunner pounding people in the lane. NWSU has cooled considerably on the offensive end. This one probably won't even be close.

  • As long as Davidson keeps draining threes, they are in it with Ohio State. But I am not sure they'll have enough to win. The Buckeyes are an excellent club, very balanced offensively.
  • Do you think when Coach K buys a Chevy Truck he puts it on his AMEX. Life is more than just a game, you know.
  • Does anyone believe Coach K would drive a truck? He's a sedan guy if I've ever seen one.
  • Trouble with the big screen here at 24 Seconds. The picture was a little messed up so they brought in a repair man who promptly got it to appear perfectly clear, only upside down. Now he is looking at the thing in bafflement.

I kind of like it. Nothing like having Greg Gumbel and Clark Kellogg talk to you while standing on their heads.

  • Wait, he got it fixed. Nice job Mr. Big Screen TV Repair Man. Now he'll concentrate on turning his beer bottle upside down.
  • "The New Adventures of the Old Christine" looks like CBS's version of "Emily's Reasons Why Not". I hope everyone associated with the show got paid up front.

2:31 p.m. ET – In the least surprising upset of the day, Ed, who joined us for the action here at 24 Seconds yesterday, has returned today for more. Something tells me he would have been here regardless.

  • Up 11 with a little over a minute remaining on the game clock and 20 seconds on the shot clock, Ohio State takes a three-pointer and misses. Do these kids ever listen to their coach? Any of them?
  • Not that it matters. The Buckeyes advance with a good, spirited victory. They look capable of a nice run.
  • Why WXYT radio's Mike Valenti ever picked Arkansas to the Sweet 16 is beyond me. Bucknell is the better team, now up 46-38. And I doubt either team will be able to handle Memphis.
  • Arizona is wailing on Wisconsin, who have to be disappointed with this NCAA tournament performance. We aren't even watching this game much any more, so apologies for the lack of updates.
  • We haven't stopped concentrating on Guinness though. So don't worry about that.
  • My boss, Dave Morgan, has declared that, "I think Disney is going to sue 24 Seconds, because based on the bag-pipe lap, that place clearly is the happiest place on earth."

I feel obligated to not just print that, but laugh also because he is not only my boss but also a boss who allowed me to pull off this stunt for the last two days. God bless than man.

  • Valued reader emails:

Why couldn't Northwestern State (Hawaii) be in Kauai?

Dennis Vanairsdale
Honolulu, Hawaii

Because then it would be called State of Paradise.

As for Northwestern St. – Looking at the U.S. map, I think you could rule out Florida, Oklahoma, and Kentucky too. I grew up in the north part of Western Kentucky, but I never heard anyone call it Northwest Kentucky, just Western Kentucky.

Terry W.
BF, Ind.

Florida and Oklahoma clearly have a northwestern parts, they are considered panhandles though. Good point on Kentucky though, Northwestern Kentucky is Southern Illinois. Mainly, however, I like talking geography with someone from "BF," Indiana.

  • Northwestern State (of Louisiana) has hit a couple threes and gotten it down to nine with just under seven minutes left. So this is still a game. Arizona and Ohio State have won (or will).

Other than that, the afternoon session is all about a very good Bucknell-Arkansas game.

2:54 p.m. ET – My father, ever the front-runner, is wearing his Alabama hat and declaring that Coach Gottfried would be pleased with him. He said the reason he wasn't wearing it yesterday, when 'Bama actually played, was because he forgot and that win or lose he would have worn it today. Yeah, sure.

He may order a Northwestern Whatever State hat online tonight.

  • Northwestern Somewhat State's Clifton Lee has Ben Wallace hair, which is good since they are playing on the Pistons' home court.
  • Bucknell is so money at the line. Of course, it would be a surprise if they weren't.
  • Final minute of both games: 57-55 Bucknell, 63-62 Iowa.
  • The Newwark Star Ledger's Steve Politti should be scouting for storylines and interviewing people right now.
  • Northwestern Somewhere State just won it by one with this all-time great, desperation three from the corner with 0.5 seconds left. I don't even know who shot it because the bar went nuts when it went down.

They'll be showing it forever. Great, great stuff.

  • One guy at the bar declared that his sister-in-law picked Northwestern Somewhere State even though, "she's never watched a game in her life."
  • My father is now claiming he has always been a Northwestern Somewhere State fan and knows the coach well.
  • Bucknell missed three late free throws to give Arkansas a chance. What is the world coming to when not even Bucknell can hit free throws?

3:01 p.m. ET – Solving the Bucknell free-throw shooting woes was Ade Badmus, who knocked down two big ones to ice the game for the Bison, 59-55.

  • It was Jermaine Wallace from Northwestern Somewhere State who nailed the game-winning three and will never again pay for a meal in Natchitoches, La., or its greater metropolitan area.

Of course, he almost blew it when he hugged a teammate to celebrate his good fortune, allowing Iowa to get off a last-second prayer that just missed.

  • That's two more mid-major victories for Billy Packer to consider. Of course, it is not his job to know all the teams, you know.
  • Gee, I wonder why CBS tried to get Dick Vitale to call the Final Four. If it was up to me, Sean McDonough and Bill Rafftery would do it.
  • Is the pin-striped suit the official uniform of CBS Sports? Not even Gumbel shook things up today, going with a more conservative look. And why is no one wearing any green? Do these guys think we tune in to actually hear what they have to say? If we did, they'd hire more interesting commentators.
  • My father is now in full Memphis Tiger fan mode because he loves John Calipari.
  • By the way, I'll bet Dave Morgan's salary that Cal is wearing a pin striped suit.

3:14 p.m. ET – After the whole Northwestern Somewhere State drama, I am too exhausted to pay much attention to what may turn out to be a pretty good Northern Iowa-Georgetown game. (The entire bar seems a bit drained.) My cousin Bill Knox will be angry about this. I think he is counting on me. He really just wishes he was reading the New York Post right now.

  • Northern is up 17-12 on the Hoyas.
  • Who knew Iowa had a Northern?
  • You remember earlier when I said I wouldn't drink any Jameson until after I was done writing this column?

Yeah, well, don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

  • Ed is little upset that he can't stick around for much longer because he has to help his girlfriend's 12-year-old daughter buy a bathing suit. If you know Ed, you would be pretty certain he doesn't know much about such things.

In protest of the whole thing, he has switched to Coke.

3:30 p.m. ET – The more we watch these Coach K Chevy truck commercials, the more baffling it gets. You know how you are supposed to never say never? Well Coach K is never driving a $22,000 Silverado by choice. Never.

This has to be the worst choice of a spokesman imaginable. I like Krzyzewski. This isn't a shot at him. He's smart, a tough guy and a West Point grad. He just isn't a pickup truck guy. No one associated with Duke is.

It would be like Schwinn hiring Rick Majerus as a pitchman.

Chevy should have called Don Haskins. He's been driving a GMC truck for 45 years but he would have switched if the number was right. Like $100 and a fresh bottle of El Señor.

And we wonder why the U.S. auto industry is in trouble. Who at Chevy thought this was a good idea?

  • The best thing about the start of the Monmouth-Villanova game? Allan Ray is on the court and seeing fine.
  • Pittsnogle.
  • It's almost as much fun to write as it is to say.
  • For those of you in need of a Pittsnogle recap, he grew up in a West Virginia trailer park and developed a great outside shot because his court was gravel and he couldn't dribble.

Wise guys would say "West Virginia trailer park" is redundant, but not me. I love West Virginia. It is clearly one of our 50 greatest states.

  • Poor Bill Knox (an adjective never before used to describe my Hoya cousin, by the way) – Northern Iowa, or No Iowa as we like to call it, look for real. They can shoot, they are patient and they are not intimidated by Georgetown.
  • Calipari is not wearing a pinstriped suit. Fortunately, gambling is illegal in America, so that part about me betting on it was, of course, just a joke.

If not even Cal would wear a pinstriped suit, what does that say about the CBS studio crew?

3:58 p.m. ET – The West Virginia Pittsnogles are up 18-14 on Southern Illinois, a game that will probably become a very, very good game. This looks like two pretty evenly matched clubs. Both shoot well to boot.

  • Nova-Monmouth is 10-6 Wildcats after 13 minutes. Boy, hope you took the under.
  • Meanwhile, Oral Bob is giving Memphis a good game thus far, 24-18. As regular readers know I surmised earlier this week that if it would take an act of God for a 16 seed to finally beat a one seed (0-85 all-time) than at Oral Roberts, the person, has spoken with God. So that's something.

But maybe Rodney Carney will have too much to say here.

  • Valued reader email:

Having lived in the panhandle of Florida, I don't think you can call it Northwestern State either. If anything, it would be called Baja Alabama State.

Beth
Redwood City, Calif.

Actually, only Alaska does not have a northwestern corner … because the westernmost coastline of the state is actually in the eastern hemisphere, making it the most eastern territory of all states in the U.S.

Wane
Indiana

  • The sister Sarah, retired bartender, present-day librarian, who, like Jim Calhoun, is just a humble employee of the state of Connecticut, wrote in to complain about her father and I pulling this scam off. "The image of you and Dad in a bar watching basketball and trying to pawn it off as any type of workday was just too hilarious! Other than the bartender who is obviously actually working pouring all those beers, how many others in the crowd are supposed to be 'working' "?

Well, the guy at the table next to me is working on about his 15th Guinness, does that count?

  • Bob from Chrysler stopped by and declared I was a bad (or good) influence for enticing him to go out and watch the games. Although, he noted, that with the Palace of Auburn Hills five minutes from Chrysler world headquarters, the entire place at emptied about 11 a.m.

Don't worry, at least you guys didn't think Mike Krzyzewski was the kind of manly man who could sell trucks.

  • The funniest part of that Chevy Truck commercial is that Coach K is selling the Silverado in his blue suit. It would have been classic if they had him cutting wood and putting rocks in the back … in his blue suit.

"Notice they never show him driving it," my father noted.

4:05 p.m. ET – One guy at the bar is "cornering the market" on the new Heineken Light, which isn't in stores yet. He loves the stuff. "Yesterday, I had two Long Islands and five Heineken Lights and woke up the next morning, no hangover."

"It cures your hangover while you're drinking it," said my suddenly intrigued Dad.

Oh, brother.

  • Valued reader email:

Do you think Iowa State got rid of Morgan to take a shot at UNI's Greg McDermott before Iowa gets the chance once Steve Alford (hopefully) leaves? Oh, and watch the Panthers game for me, please!!! I'm going to be stuck in a departmental meeting for the bulk of the game.

T.W. Ross
Washington, Iowa

If they did, it was one smart move.

  • CBS has abbreviated Southern Illinois to So Ill. Nice. Then there is No Iowa. Oral Bob, which is actually Oral Roberts, is O.Rob. Monmouth is MONM. And as Bob from Chrysler pointed out, Texas A&M was TAMU. By the end of the tournament you can call yourself bi-lingual, English and college hoops.

Plus you know now where Northwestern Somewhere State is located.

  • Supposedly, the aforementioned Steve Politti and Jeff Shelman, another sportswriter of questionable repute, are seated right behind Billy Packer and Jim Nantz and are getting lots of face time. Fortunately I have been looking away when they are on.
  • Monmouth finally got to double figures with two minutes left in the half. Bob from Chrysler noted, “some 16s are 16s.” Yeah, Billy Packer was right about that one.
  • Then again, 16 seed Oral Roberts (who are so good they too would kick Monmouth around) just threw down an alley-oop to go up four on Memphis. Four on Memphis. The 16-1 intrigue is on. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

4:21 p.m. ET – Apparently, Big John Thompson is calling the Georgetown-No Iowa game on the radio. Next up in this week in journalistic integrity, George Stephanopoulos hosts the even-handed political show "This Week." Oh, wait.

  • By the way, the game is tied and has the look of another really good one.
  • Meanwhile, Memphis has begun pulling away on Oral Roberts, a quick spurt giving the Tigers a 12-point lead heading into halftime. Earlier in the week, Calipari called ORU the best 16 seed of all time, and he was probably correct. Which doesn't mean they can really beat a 1 seed. Maybe no one ever can.
  • My father, in his infinite loyalty to John Calipari, is the only person at 24 Seconds rooting for Memphis. That is actually somewhat impressive.
  • So Ill and the Pittsnogles are at the half, West Virginia is trying to restore some glory to the Big East with a 12-point lead.

4:28 p.m. ET – People are wandering into 24 Seconds with the look of half past midnight. "Definitely not their first stop of the day," said Bob from Chrysler. Definitely not their third.

  • Three games at halftime at the same time. Awful. Only watching one game at a time – No Iowa-Georgetown – suddenly seems so dull. And then they had a big string of commercials. The pace of the day has slowed for a spell here.

As for the game, Georgetown by one.

4:43 p.m. ET – All four games are back up and running, so the energy in the bar is back. The only problem is that Villanova and Memphis are walking away with easy victories and the Pittsnogles are up 13 on So Ill.

  • Then there is the No Iowa-Georgetown game, which is competitive (Hoyas by 6), but it isn't pretty. No one can hit a shot and turnovers are rampant. At 2for 17 from the field in the second half, the Panthers are putting the No in No Iowa.
  • If you want to keep dreaming, Monmouth, the warriors of the Jersey shore, have cut the 'Nova lead to nine with 14 minutes left. But that is just a dream. No way, no how Villanova losses.

5:01 p.m. ET – Georgetown held off No Iowa by making all the right plays at all the right times. This is why I have always been so high on John Thompson III, his teams just know how to play. They never panicked, hit their free throws and survived one ugly game against a really good mid-major. It was kind of uneventful the way they did it.

The Hoyas have a tough draw getting Ohio State in Dayton, but they'll come ready to play.

  • Valued reader emails:

Hey, Dan, you know why Coach K is in those Chevy commercials? It's because General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner is a Duke alum, and supposedly played some hoops there.

What better way to support your alma mater without spending a nickel than to make your public company pay for ads with a guy who's probably never even been in a pickup truck!

James Holden
San Diego, Calif.

Gee, I can't imagine how GM lost two billion last quarter. What next, J.J. Redick selling industrial dump trucks to the blue collar man?

Not only is there a "Northern" Iowa, but there's an "Upper" Iowa (Division II), as well. It's just a little bit north of Northern.

M.A. Hunt
Macomb, Ill.

  • Monmouth and Oral Roberts are hanging around (around 10) with Villanova and Memphis but I fear the 16 seeds are about to lose a couple more. Meanwhile West Virginia (and yes, I did misspell Pittsnogle earlier, my apologies) is having no trouble with So Ill.

5:09 p.m. ET – 'Nova missed 12 of 13 shots and Monmouth, which couldn't throw it in the Atlantic (and their campus is right by the Atlantic) slowly eased its way back to within seven. The game is still in question, although this would be the shock of all shocks. Still, it is the only thing worth watching, as the second half of the day sessions didn't deliver near the action and excitement of the first one.

  • Best Monmouth pop culture reference ever came in "Clerks". Might have been the only one, too.
  • If Monmouth wins, Politti is going to have a lot of work to do for tomorrow's Star-Ledger.
  • Email: OK, by my count the number of family members mentioned is 5 and I am waiting for my mention.

Alice Ann Wetzel
Christchurch, New Zealand

You know, my cousin, I am a professional and as a professional I would never use this column just to mention my relatives.

5:30 p.m. ET – As we suspected they would, Memphis and Villanova wore down Oral Roberts and Monmouth, both of whom played hard but just weren't good enough. The good thing is it allowed everyone here at 24 Seconds in Berkley, Mich., to enjoy St. Patrick's Day (code word: drink more). So that is always a good thing.

  • Why is the Chevy Player of the Game award still only worth $1,000 to the school's general scholarship fund? One grand is nice and all, but Chevy has been giving the same $1,000 per game for about 30 years. Ever heard of inflation you cheap skates? Are your cars still priced like 1977?

If Chevy had any heart, they'd give out at least $2,500 per player of the game. I am sure Clifton Lee would appreciate that extra money to Northwestern Somewhere State.

Of course, they probably can't afford it. They spent too much money on Coach K.

  • We won't allow a relatively uneventful second session of games to ruin the memory of a great couple of days. There was Northwestern State, Milwaukee, Montana, Bucknell, Wichita State, and the Winthrop-Tennessee game, all sorts of great action and upsets that make these two of the greatest days of the year.

Not to mention bad jokes, dumb comments, Billy Packer jabs, commercial criticism and obscure Don Haskins references.

(If you want more of this kind of foolishness, check out our guy Deadspin Will at, go figure, Deadspin.com. He always cracks us up.)

The fact we got to experience all of it from a bar, hanging out with our dad, meeting all sorts of readers and (hopefully) entertaining you along the way is just gravy. Thanks for reading along.

The 16 seeds may never win, but they keep on trying. And next year, when they try again, we'll be back to write about it again. Cold beverage within sight.

Until then, enjoy the rest of the madness.

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