- By Seth Thompson
- Mar 18 2011
- Volume/Issue: 2/28
Day one of March Madness is indeed crazy
Editor’s Note: BRsq’s sports writer Seth Thompson has been doing a heck of a job covering March Madness. This is a blog from Seth written late last night after the first day of the basketball calamity began.
After my bracket started out 1-3 in the start of March Madness, I thought that I knew two things: this season was as full of parity as advertised (and it’s going to be a great tournament as a result), and my bracket was in serious trouble.
Lucky for me, the first thought was right, but the second one is still up for debate. As it sits now, I’m 11-4 and there’s still one game going on. Unfortunately, St. John’s just lost, so my Final Four just got busted.
But back to the first thought; this tournament has been a thriller so far! I’ve seen nine of today’s 16 games, and five of those were decided on the last play of the game. I’ve been going nuts over teams that for most of the year, I don’t even notice.
They call it March Madness for a reason.
If I had to pick the most surprising outcome of today’s games, it’s hands down Louisville’s loss to Morehead State. What. A. Game.
Morehead jumped out to an early lead, but Louisville managed to chip away at it and tied it back up by halftime. So I kept watching Clemson-West Virginia, figuring the Cardinals would pull away in the second half.
Long story short, they didn’t, West Virginia did, and I changed channels. Next thing you know, it’s in the final seconds of the game, Morehead State is down by 2 points, and they have the ball.
So when senior Demonte Harper jacked up a 3-pointer with 4 seconds left on the clock, I was stunned. No overtime, just do or die. And Morehead State did it.
The shot fell, the crowd went nuts, I went nuts, and even though my pick was wrong it was still a great moment.
And honestly, that’s how most of the tourney has been so far for me. I may have missed a few picks, but several of them turned out to be exciting games. Old Dominion-Butler turned out to be another great one, again coming down to the last shot. Same with Penn State and Temple.
Oh, and three close ones that I got right—UCLA over perennial powerhouse Michigan State (the Spartans had a furious comeback but fell short in the end), Richmond over Vanderbilt, and Kentucky over Princeton. My point: there have been plenty of close games.
Another close one in the books, as Kansas State beats Utah State by 5 points. I guess I’ll end the day 11-5 with my picks.
I’ll admit it—I take my bracket a little too seriously. But honestly, I think that’s what makes the tournament so great. No matter how little I paid attention to some of these teams during the season, every one of these games means something to me at this point.
This tournament belongs to the coaches and players and schools that are in it, but it belongs to the fans too.
Today was a good day. I spent it absorbed in basketball—which many will argue is just a game—but I spent it happy and expect tomorrow to be more of the same.
As the second day kicks off, it looks to have plenty of close games as well. Michigan and Tennessee will face off in an 8 seed- 9 seed matchup, as do Illinois and UNLV. And if it’s upsets you’re looking for, Memphis-Arizona could be a good one to pay attention to.
Hopefully I’ll come out of the second day with a decent bracket—after getting my Final Four busted so soon, I can’t survive another big bust—but whatever the case, it looks to be a great month of basketball, and I’ve got a full-blown case of March Madness.