Thursday, March 31, 2005

The difference beteween MLB and the NFL

What's the difference between the NFL and Major League Baseball?

OK, aside from the fact that they play different sports, smartass.

The NFL knows how to handle a steroid controversy and baseball doesn't

Baseball handles a steroid problem by covering it up. By enacting weak testing policies that nobody believes will catch anyone. By letting tainted records stand. By blaming the union when the policies come under scrutiny from Congress.

Contrast that with the way the NFL handles a steroid controversy:

60 Minutes broke a story that 3 Carolina Panthers, Todd Sauerbrun, Jeff Mitchell, and Todd Steussie, recieved steroids from a Columbia, SC doctor currently under federal investigation. So what does the NFL do? They negotiate with the union to tighten the drug policy. They investigate the case. In the coming days, they will probably suspend the players.

Baseball wouldn't have done anything. Oh sure, they may acknowledge there's a problem, but they will say that it's the union's fault that nothing gets done on this front.

Tomorrow: Baseball preview (sort of)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

El Super Grandisimo Blah Blogzo!

(56K Warning: There's a video at the end of this post that may take a while to load!)

To make up for yesterday's non-post, we are having a super-sized post today!

New to the Blogroll: Betapundit

We add
Betapundit to the non-sports blogroll this week. Betapundit is a Texas Tech guy and a Mac user. While we prefer our Dell Dimension Intel Celeron PC here at Cheap Seats, we always support fellow Red Raiders. So welcome to the blogroll, Betapundit.

Where does Tech basketball go from here?

OK, The Texas Tech basketball season is over, thanks to the West Virginia Mountaineers. A great season, yes. One that will probably rank as one of the best (though I would still argue,
not the best.)

Texas Tech basketball has been to the Sweet 16 before, only to sink to the Big XII's basement. So how does Bob Knight keep the momentum going? Well, Tech needs to do 3 things:

First of all, Bob Knight needs to stop beating the bushes for recruits and land some better prospects. I'm not saying we go out and get 5 prima-donna McDonald's AAs, most of whom already have what I call "NBA syndrome" (i.e. they think they're Michael Jordan already and they won't accept any coaching) anyway. What I do want is for Tech to land better coachable prospects than they do already. We went 22-10 this year without a whole lot of talent. Imagine what they could do in coming years with talent.

Second, Texas Tech has to address it's lack of size. Darryl Dora is a nice power forward who is playing out of position at center, and while he and Devonne Giles, who has used up his eligibility, have done admirably, size has been a weakness for this Texas Tech basketball team this year. And good post players killed Tech all year: Ivan McFarlin killed Tech down low during conference, Wayne Simien had a good game, albeit in a loss, for Kansas, and West Virginia's Kevin Pittsnogle dominated the Red Raiders in the game that eliminated Texas Tech.

Granted, they beat Gonzaga, but that's because they forced a lot of turnovers before Gonzaga could get it into the post.

Third, Find another scorer who can handle the basketball, either among the players on the bench or in recruiting. Ronald Ross is graduating, which takes away almost 20 points a game.

Do all that and Texas Tech can build on this Sweet 16 season.

Meanwhile, back in Lubbock...

Now that both basketball teams are officially eliminated, the focus in Red Raider Nation has shifted to spring football practice and baseball. And since the baseball team got rained on (as in it rained over the weekend) in Austin, spring practice is dominating the headlines.

Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
pens this piece about how Texas Tech is emphasizing physical play from the safety position this year. Given that Texas Tech's defensive rankings have declined every year since Mike Leach took over, physical play from any position would be good.

Texas teams banned from BCS?

According to the Austin American-Statesman, State Senator Jeff Wentworth, a Republican from San Antonio, has proposed
a bill that would prohibit Texas universities from taking part in BCS bowls, unless that bowl is part of a playoff.

Normally, this would go unnoticed except for 3 things:

1. Wentworth has a lot of pull in the Texas Senate, or so my friends who work for the Lege tell me.
2. This bill was filed after the deadline and had to be approved by the Senate in order to be added to the calendar, which means Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and the Senate leadership are interested in this bill also.
3. Twelve other states are considering similar legislation, including California (home of national champ USC), Florida (home to 3 perennial championship contenders), North Carolina (home of the ACC), Big 10 state Michigan, SEC states Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, Big 12 states Colorado and Oklahoma, and Pac-10 states Oregon, Washington, and Arizona.

Now I know some of people out there think that the government shouldn't get involved in sports. (Unless their team needs a stadium, then most of these hypocrites want government to be very involved.)

The problem is that sports can't fix itself many times, which practically invites the government in. Witness the steroid hearings. And as long as they keep funding stadiums, governments will want more say.

As for the bill, I'd like to see something done about the BCS in our lifetime, but this isn't it. If lawmakers want the BCS to go away, they should banish bowl games from television. That would make the BCS conferences stand up and pay attention. Kill the cash cow and college football will be forced into a playoff.

Speaking of steroids...

Jeffery Flanagan of the Kansas City Star wonders why, despite golfer's larger physiques,
there's no talk of steroids in golf.

It's because they look like 100-pound weaklings instead of 90-pound weaklings, Jeff.

Seriously, most of these guys, aside from the beer guts of John Daly and Vijay Singh, are miniature clones of Shawn Bradley. Even Tiger Woods isn't that physically imposing.

Speaking of the Statesman...

The Austin American-Statesman's Kirk Bohls
wonders why Kentucky can't play this weekend. Hmm... maybe it's because they lost to Michigan State, Kirk.

NCAA Frozen Four

The NCAA's Frozen Four kicks off April 7th in Columbus. Conference rivals Denver University and Colorado College are matched up in one semifinal, and the Denver Post's Terry Frei is reporting that
neither school is happy with the Thursday afternoon time slot.

Hey, DU and CC, be glad someone is willing to broadcast hockey at all.

Avery Johnson, Mavericks Head Coach

The reviews are mostly positive for new Dallas Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson. Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes that
he's escaped Don Nelson's shadow. And the Dallas Morning News' Eddie Sefko notes that the team is picking up it's defensive intensity under Johnson. Hopefully, Mark Cuban will let Johnson develop into a head coach and not pull the trigger too quickly if things go wrong.

An Awesomely Bad Song that VH1 somehow missed

Finally, we present to you the worst song ever recorded:

(video courtesy

The party responsible for this piece of Europop crap, entitled "Dragostea Din Tei", is a Romanian group called O-Zone.

You have to admit, though, the "Numa numa yeah!" chorus is catchy.

Still makes Missouri basketball coach Quin Snyder
look like a competent singer.

Update: Lyrics (in Romanian and English) may be found here.

Tomorrow: TBA

Monday, March 28, 2005

Tournament Journal - 3/28/2005

Yes, I didn't live blog yesterday. I just watched the games. Lot less pressure.

Anyway, let's recap, shall we:


Albuquerque: Louisville 93, West Virginia 85 (OT)

Live blog

Chicago: Illinois 90, Arizona 89 (OT)

Most of the time, when a team trails 15 with 4:00 to play, you can write off that team. Illinois was not "that team." They hung tough and won it.


Syracuse: North Carolina 88, Wisconsin 82

This is the only game of this round that did not end up in overtime, but it was close until about 1:55 left when North Carolina pulled away. I had North Carolina as the champion in my pool sheet, despite the fact that they didn't show up in 2 ACC Tournament games and it turns out to be the only Final Four team I got right.

This is my first year in a pool of experts (I'm in Yoni Cohen's Blogger's Bracket) and I'm tied for 283rd (out of over 300) last I checked. I have no hope of winning.

Austin: Michigan State 94, Kentucky 88

Michigan State took control in the second overtime, ending any chance of Ashley Judd being at the Final Four. Darn. She wasn't in anywhere in Austin this weekend (apparently boyfriend Dario Franchitti had a race).

I thought about trying to get a press pass for this, but didn't know who to contact.

Regular posts return tomorrow

Tomorrow: Whither Tech Basketball/New adventures in the blogosphere.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Tournament Journal - 3/26/2005


3:00 I've tuned to KEYE's Coverage. Our schedule today: West Virginia-Louisville followed by Illinois-Arizona.

3:22 They just mentioned Kevin Pittsnogle's 3-point shooting ability. My fear with him is that because of his slim build and 3 point shooting ability, the NBA folks are going to try to make him another Dirk Nowitzki

3:27 Seth Green Says Louisville is going to win because they can hit 3's in the corner. Even though he's been wrong most of the tournament, he's right because the weak point of the 1-3-1 zone is along the baseline

Louisville-West Virginia

3:30 We go out to Albuquerque, where the over-excitable Gus Johnson, and his partner Len Elmore (who basically carries this pair) are calling the action

3:34 PSP Ad. I love the PSP. A friend of mine got his hands on one, and I got to play it. The graphics and processor are comparable to a current-gen game system. If I were a rich man (la de da de da de da de da) I'd get one

3:35 You know, Tracy Wolfson is kinda cute... Anyway, they've cut to a shot of John Belien trying to inspire his troops

3:39 Starting lineups

Louisville: Larry O'Bannon, Fransisco Garcia, Taquan Dean (I think my brother has a black belt in Taquan Dean, I'm not sure), Ellis Myles, and Juan Palacios

West Virginia: J.D. Collins, John Herber, Kevin Pittsnogle, Tyrone Sally, and Mike Gansey

3:40 And we're underway in Albuquerque as Louisville controlls the tip

3:45 It's feels like a dagger to the heart whenever Gus mentions the Red Raiders losing to West Virginia. Yeah, it was going to happen. Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.

3:48 We're at the first TV Time out, tied at 3. There's been a lot of good defense and bad shot selection on both teams so far. They say that some games are a clinic in how to play basketball, this is a clinic on how to pick bad shots.

3:52 The Mountaineers have opened up a 6-0 "run" on 2 three point shots and a lot of misses in between.

3:55 The run is now 16-2. West Virginia is settling into their offense and Louisville can't find it's rhythm on either end of the court. It would help if And Pitino just looks stunned. Wow.

3:59 You never know how tough it is to spell "Pittsnogle" until you actually try to type it.

4:01 TV Timeout: 19-7 Mountaineers.

4:04 Louisville just had an offensive possession that sort of defines their half to this point: they did what you're supposed to against the 1-3-1. They got it inside along the baseline to Palacios, got it out to Brandon Jenkins, who was wide freaking open because the defense collapsed on Palacios, and Jenkins clanked the 3. Even when they execute perfectly, the shots won't fall.

4:08 TV Timeout with 6:48 to go West Virginia 27, Louisville 11. Anyone know what Louisville's lowest point total for a half is?

4:10 By the way, Louisville's 3-point shooting: 1-9, 11%. That's like batting .111 for all you baseball stat folks out there. Well below the Mendoza line.

4:15 Bad sign if you're a Cardinal Fan... Ellis Myles just went off on the ref for a foul call. I'm not sure if his complaints are legit because it was kind of away from the ball and I couldn't see it, but it's not good to a Cardinal player lose his head in the first half. Maybe Pitino can settle him down during the TV timeout.

4:21 Louisville goes on a 5-0 run out of the TV timeout to make the score 38-23 and John Belien wisely calls timeout before the momentum completely switches.

4:24 Ouch. Mike Gansey just hit the deck after a hard foul from Francisco Garcia. Gansey composes himself and makes 2 free throws.

4:27 Halftime. More Tracy Wolfson. Rrrrrrrrr.

Anyway, West Virginia 40, Louisville 27. Louisville's 5-0 run streched to 9-2 by halftime, but they are still down 13. I don't know how you can ever feel good about being down double digits, but at least the Cardinals are over the mental blocks posed by facing an unusual defense. West Virginia, on the other hand needs to settle down and keep making shots. It was the Mountaineers going cold in the last 2:00 of the first half that paced that run.

4:34 By the way, West Virginia's shooting percentages: 64% from the field, 71% from beyond the arc! Yikes! Nice numbers for a 3-point line/shot clock era team.

(Somewhere in this break, the second half got underway)

4:58 Sorry, stepped away to take care of my laundry for a moment and missed the first 5 minutes of the second half. Oops. Anyway, Louisville hasn't really cut into the lead at all. It's still West Virginia 52, Louisville 40 with 14:29 left to go.

5:05 TV Timeout. West Virginia went to man-to-man to give the Cardinals a different look, but the Cardinals took advantage and the lead is now 54-48 Louisville now has complete command of the game. They look confident, they feel confident, they have the momentum, and all they need now is the lead.

5:07 You know the McDonalds McGriddles commercials? You know the girl who's consoling her fellow employee by comparing women to McGriddles? How come there were no girls who looked like that when I was working at McDonalds as a teenager?

5:10 The lead is now 54-50 West Virginia on a Otis George jumpshot, and John Beilein's team looks completetly lost out there. Oh, and Tyrone Sally, WVU's leading scorer, just went to the bench with his fourth foul.

5:14 Now, West Virginia is on a 6-1 Run to extend the lead to 60-51. All that work the Cardinals put into getting back into the game will go to waste if they don't come out of the timeout and play good defense.

5:18 Ellis Myles has the classic "Who, Me?" expression as he gets called for an obvious goaltend.

5:21 Out of a West Virginia timeout Kevin Pittsnogle just got a very friendly bounce on his 3-point shot

5:22 TV Timeout. 68-58 Mountaineers. They just played Mike Krzyzewski's American Express commercial, one day after Duke was eliminated. I gleefully shouted things at the TV that I can't print here.

5:25 Taquan Dean, bad ankle and all, just hit a 3 out of the time out. Amazingly he has 20 points on that bum ankle.

5:27 Louisville goes on a mini-run and West Virginia, up 71-65, has to call timeout to stop the bleeding.

5:29 Fransisco Garcia fouls out with 4:02 to play. Wow, that was a huge loss for Louisville. He's one of their big offensive contributors. I feel for him, he fouls out and has to sit out the last 4 minutes of what might be his last collegiate game.

5:31 TV Timeout with 3:47 to go and the Mountaineers lead 72-67.

5:37 J.D. Collins and Larry O'Bannon just dove for a loose ball and J.D. Collins comes up a little groggy. Timeout 74-71 West Virginia

5:39 Otis George has pulled the 'ville within 1, and the crowd at The Pit is on it's feet...

5:40 And Kevin Pittsnogle hits a HUGE 3 to extend the lead to 4!

5:41 Timeout Louisville with 54.0 seconds to go. 77-75 Mountaineers

5:43 Larry O'Bannon ties it for Louisville!

5:44 Taquan Dean has a chance to win it, and misses! It's overtime in Albuquerque!

5:47 Tyrone Sally has fouled out. Which means both teams are now down one key offensive contributor. Larry O'Bannon makes both free-throws to give Louisville the lead. Somewhere, my friend "ctkatz" from the Avalanche Message Board is smiling.

5:49 Taquan Dean extends the Louisville lead to 4, then Louisville gives 2 of it back on a stupid perimeter foul.

5:50 And Mike Gansey makes the lay-up to tie it up! Timeout, Tied at 82.

5:55 Taquan Dean, who has been the catalyst for Louisville's comeback, came out of the game doubled over, and none of the announcers are sure what happened. Louisville is still up 1, though.

5:56 Palacios hits a HUGE layup to make it 88-83 Louisville! Losing both their leading scorers has not diminished Louisville at all. West Virginia, on the other hand, is playing like they have no energy left.

And somewhere, Kentucky fans are cursing at their TV screens at Rick Pitino. I know I'm looking ahead a bit, but how cool would it be if Rick Pitino's Cardinals stuck it to the Kentucky Wildcats and their blue-blood fans in the championship game?

6:01 West Virginia is now in a "foul and pray" situation. It's 92-85 Louisville.

6:06 It's over and Louisville is your first entrant into the Final Four. Great comeback by the Cardinals, who were down by 13 at half.


6:13 CBS now goes to Chicago for Arizona-Illinois. As expected the crowd at the former Rosemont Horizon is a sea of orange. Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas are on the call.

Starting Lineups
Arizona: Hassan Adams, Channing Frye, Salim Stoudamire, Ivan Radenovic, and Mustafa Shakur
Illinois: Dee Brown, Luther Head, Deron Williams, James Augustine, Roger Powell

6:19 Buoyed by the home crowd, Illinois jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but the pace has slowed somewhat. It's going to be difficult to tell who a slower pace favors because both teams are up-tempo.

6:22 TV Timeout. Arizona has clawed back to tie the game at 8.

6:24 And Arizona takes it's first lead of the game on a layup. They are on a 12-2 run. So much for the home crowd advantage, the Illini fans are quiet for the moment.

6:27 Luther Head makes a 3 to tie it at 14 and the crowd is back in it!

6:29 Rich McBride gives the Illini the lead on another 3-ball. Arizona needs to tighten up it's perimeter defense during this TV timeout because the 3-pointer is keeping Illinois in the game. Also the Illini are getting second chances on the offensive end. I imagine Lute Olson is telling his troops to box out.

6:35 Channing Frye just rejected an Illini shot. No soup for you! Other than that, not much happening except the teams are trading baskets.

6:38 They just showed a stat graphic showing that Salim Stoudamire is 0-1 on shots. Credit Illinois' defense for not giving Stoudamire good looks, but at some point, Salim is going to have to get involved in the offense.

6:41 TV Timeout. 26-24 Illinois.

6:47 It's bad enough that the picture went black, CBS Sportsline's game cast has gone south.

6:49 OK, my folks just invited me to go to the Cheesecake Factory, so I'm going to take them up on their free food. I'll recap after the game.

More Tournament Journal tomorrow.

Tournament Journal: Sweet 16 Roundup

Catching up on the last 2 days of action

Albuquerque Regional

West Virginia 65, Texas Tech 60

It's sad to see the Red Raiders go, but I can't say I'm all that surprised. As expected, the key player was the Mountaineers' Kevin Pittsnogle. He had 22 points and 8 rebounds to lead West Virginia.

More on where the Red Raiders go from here Monday

Louisville 93, Washington 70

Not only did the Cardinals defeat a #1 seed, they took a nuclear bomb to them. How did this Cardinals team merit a #4 seed when teams like ?

More analysis:
Sports and Bremertonians

(Regional) Final Thoughts

It's tough to prepare for that 1-3-1 zone that West Virginia uses, but if anyone has the coaching acumen and talent to beat it. It's Louisville.

Chicago Regional

Illinois 77, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 63

It was a great run for the Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers, but at some point superior talent beats a great system and that's what happened. Now hopefully Illini fans will shut up about Bruce Pearl's Iowa days.

More Analysis:
Illini Wonk

Arizona 79, Oklahoma State 78

Joey Graham finally has a good game for the Cowboys, but unfortunately Salim Stoudamire and Channing Frye were better. The Big XII is now officially done for the tournament

(Regional) Final Thoughts

Have to go with Illinois here. They are playing at home with a better backcourt and momentum. They destroyed their last opponent, Arizona just got by theirs.

Austin Regional

Michigan State 78, Duke 68

Duke was 5-1 against Michigan State all time going into this game, 4-0 against Tom Izzo, and beat the Spartans earlier this year. Duke had 6 All-Americans. Duke has Coach K. Duke gets all the calls. So who wins? Michigan State

Take that, Billy Packer.

Kentucky 62, Utah 52

Advice to Utah: If you want to get over the hump with Kentucky, make your free throws. You went 14-28 from the line. If you had gone 24-28 you would have sent it to OT.

(Regional) Final Thoughts

Kentucky, because they play all of their players, are largely anonymous, but they are all very good. I would expect them to have no trouble with Michigan State

Syracuse Regional

Wisconsin 65, N.C. State 56

NC State has had a great run since Julius Hodge got punched in the yarbles, but it is unfortunately at an end now. Wisconsin made the second half adjustments and won the game.

North Carolina 67, Villanova 66

Another great run dies in the Sweet 16, but this time a bad travelling call ruins a great game.

(Regional) Final Thoughts

Wisconsin is a slow-down zone-oriented team that North Carolina may have trouble preparing for on one day, and in March, it's easier to slow down a fast team than speed up a slow one.

Live blog later today at 2:30

Friday, March 25, 2005

Totally forgot today was Good Friday until I looked at my Calendar....

I'll recap and live journal tomorrow.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sweet 16 Preview

Thanks for all the feedback from the live blog thread. Live blogs will return Friday. Just one thing today.

Preview: West Virginia-Texas Tech

In many ways, this West Virginia is like the opponent Texas Tech faced in the last round, Gonzaga, with Mike Gansey is playing the role of the Adam Morrison sharp shooter and Kevin Pittsnogle and D'Or Fischer in the Ronny Turiaf and J.P. Batista roles. West Virginia also runs a 1-3-1 zone, which Gonzaga played in stretches against Tech and numerous other Big 12 teams have tried from time to time to prevent the Motion offense, so its not like Tech is a stranger to the system.

The problem is Pittsnogle and Fischer, both of whom log significant playing time for the Mountaineers, are much taller than Darryl Dora and Devonne Giles. Don't get me wrong,
defending a taller post player can be done, but they didn't do it very well in the first half of last game, and Darryl Dora and Devonne Giles played most of the game with fouls, which limited their effectiveness. I think they got lucky that Turiaf and Batista disappeared in the second half, and I don't think the West Virginia players will do same.

Granted, the ball has to get in to their hands first and Ronald Ross, Jarrious Jackson, and Martin Zeno are tenacious perimeter defenders who force a lot of turnovers. What the Raiders can't do, however, is get out-rebounded. Gonzaga did that in the first half last game and the Raiders were down a lot at halftime.

On the offensive end, someone other than Ronald Ross has to step up for this team if Texas Tech is to advance, because you know West Virginia, zone or not, is going to focus it's efforts on stopping Ross. This is a team, after all that came in to the tournament with 4 players averaging 10 or more points per game. Last game, all four (Ross, Jackon, Zeno and Giles) all produced. They need to produce again.

As for the intangibles, neither of these teams has quit, as evidenced by the run of both to their respective conference championship games.

Overall, as much as I'd like to see Texas Tech in the Sweet 16, I think this is the game where their lack of size catches up to them.

Tomorrow: So where does Tech Basketball go from here?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Attack of the Clones

This one's for the girls.

Despite the great ESPN promos with peppy Martina McBride music, I've missed most of the Women's NCAA Tournament. The first round, of course, conflicted with the men's second round, and on weekdays, except for tuning into Jim Rome is Burning (more on him later), Around the Horn, and PTI, I've been away from the TV. Which is sad, because the Lady Raiders have played hard and made the Sweet 16 in the Philly Regional.

Unfortunately, their opponent, the Lady Vols of Tennessee, is one of the best basketball teams on the planet, coached by the women's all time leader in oak plaques and cut nets, Pat Summit. And Tennessee always beats the Lady Raiders in March.

Oh, well better luck next year, ladies.

Scoop Jackson tells you
why you should watch the women's tournament.

Say Good Knight to Indiana.

Even for a die-hard Texas Tech fan, it's difficult to defend Bob Knight sometimes. He takes Texas Tech to the tournament in his first year, then he sues Indiana over his firing and gives Mike Davis the silent treatment as Davis takes the Hoosiers to the Final Four. Knight takes a team to the NIT semifinals, then he goes off on Chancellor David Smith at
Market Street, Lubbock's upscale grocery store/cafe (ironically, located at 34th St. and Indiana Avenue).

Now that Knight's Red Raiders have gone to the Sweet 16, he's gone off again. This time he stated that had he stayed on, he would have fired Mike Davis at season's end.

Coach Knight, we love you in Red Raider Nation, but please let the Indiana feud go. First off, you can't go back. Second. the person who fired you, Myles Brand, is no longer at Indiana. Third, every time you sue or comment about Indiana, it takes attention away from what you are accomplishing at Texas Tech.

The Clones smell Conspiracy.

I was listening to the Jim Rome Show today, and the dominant topic of discussion among "The Clones" is Barry Bonds and how he may be out for the season with a knee injury. And, when they weren't telling Barry "Don't let the BALCO door hit you in the [rear quarters] on the way out" (as one Clone put it), the clones by in large thought that the knee injury is a convenient excuse to for Barry to drop 40 pounds to avoid public scrutiny and drug tests, and get off "the clear" and "the cream" at the same time. While it's a plausible explanation, it's still just a theory. But Jim Rome still has a certain influence on perception in sports (O.J. Simpson, a frequent target of the both Rome and the Clones, is still viewed as a murderer despite his acquittal*) and it wouldn't surprise me if sports fans across the country start viewing the knee injury with suspicion.

My take: I think the knee injury is legit, and if he is stopping, there could be other reasons involved other than avoiding suspicion.

We know one of the side effects of steroids is that users have frequent soft tissue joint injuries because, for whatever reason, steroids don't help you gain the necessary soft tissue to handle the increased muscle. Ken Caminiti, an admitted steroid user, spent many days on the disabled list because of soft tissue injuries late in his career. As did Jose Canseco, another admitted user.

So is he quitting "the clear", something all the public scrutiny has failed to do at this point, to keep his knees from completely giving out on him? Maybe. We'll never know. But it's just as plausible as any other explanation.

Tomorrow: Texas Tech-West Virginia preview.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Feedback: Tournament Journal.

Dear Readers,

I need need your input on something.

If you've been following this blog regularly, or you have been reading my diaries at
YoCo :: College Basketball, you know that I tried to do a live journal for the first two rounds of the tournament, along the Bill Simmons' journals for At first it was kind of fun as the adrenaline rush of Thursday's games helped carry me through the first day. The whole live blog thing was great for a day and a half, then it just started to be draining trying to keep up with four games at once. By the time Texas Tech beat Gonzaga on Saturday, I was worn out. Plus the Austin area weather didn't cooperate by throwing a huge lightning storm my way that forced me to shut down my computer and the TV.

Also, the end product of the first 2 days and 1 game looked more like a play-by-play account and it wasn't nearly as witty or entertaining as I hoped it would be, and certainly not on the humor level of The Original Sports Blogger.

Plus, I wasn't getting much feedback or trackback.

So by Saturday night, I changed the Tournament Journal format to a kind of "notebook piece" that
other bloggers have praised me for.

And that's the way I was going to do it, until a check on Technorati turned up a link to the journal on
ACC Basketblog (added to the blogosphere as of today). And they thought well enough of the journal to put up a link.

So now I'm torn. Do I keep doing a live blog or do I just do recaps?

If you haven't seen the Articles yet, here's the links to them:

Live Journal
Afternoon Evening
Afternoon Evening
Texas Tech-Gonzaga


What do you guys think I should do? Live Journal or Recaps? Leave feedback in the comments section


P.S. I may not get to do a live blog on Thurday Night because of my social calendar, so any live blogging for the sweet 16 will have to start Friday. (Hey, I have a life outside the blogosphere too!)

Tomorrow: Say Good Knight to Indiana.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Wayback Machine

Darvin Ham smashes the backboard
Darvin Ham breaks the backboard against North Carolina.
(Sports Illustrated Cover, March 25, 1996. Photo:Joel Washington/Washington Post)

Who is your favorite school's "best team ever"? If you're favorite school is North Carolina, Duke or Kansas, this question gets a bit complicated as you have multiple championship teams to pick from. If you're a fan of UCLA, you could debate for hours whether Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Bruins or Bill Walton's Bruins were better.

Now, in case this is your first time at Cheap Seats, I'm a Texas Tech guy. We haven't won any national titles in the revenue sports, so it's a little easier to pinpoint a best ever Texas Tech men's basketball team. We have fewer candidates to choose from.

Most pundits probably think this year's team, which on Saturday beat Gonzaga to make the Sweet 16, is the best. However, Bobby Knight's current group, while they have made great strides over the dark days of Tech's Big XII existence, isn't the best ever. At least not right now.

For the best team in Texas Tech history, you have to go back to 1996. Back when the mainstreaming of "alternative rock" was nearly complete. Back when the best players in college hoops were Tim Duncan and Marcus Camby. Back when Michael Jordan was leading the Bulls to the first title of their second three-peat. Back when
The Holywriter was just a high school newspaper columnist telling "Nothing But The Truth."

Texas Tech has never been a basketball powerhouse. Prior to 1996, Texas Tech only had a grand total of 2 tournament victories (not counting a regional consolation win in 1961): a win over the Air Force Academy in 1962, and a win over Syracuse in 1976, in Jim Boeheim's first season. After 1976? First round losses to Boston College in 1985. Georgetown in 1986, and St. John's in 1993.

Nobody knew who these guys were. Granted, The 1995-96 Red Raiders, coached by James Dickey had a good nucleus of Jason Sasser, the second leading scorer in school history and Wooden Award finalist in 1996, and Tony Battie that was complemented by Cory Carr, Darvin Ham, Koy Smith, and Stan Bonewitz. But when they tipped off their season, their last in the Southwest Conference before they would be absorbed into the Big XII, they were largely off the national radar screen.

Then they did the unthinkable. They dropped only one game out of conference (to Eastern Michigan in a tournament in El Paso), finished a perfect 14-0 in SWC play, won the Southwest Conference Postseason Classic (and the automatic bid), and garnered a #3 seed in the East regional, still their highest seeding ever.

It was the first weekend of the tournament, where the Raiders really shined. After an easy first round game against Northern Illinois, they took down Dean Smith's North Carolina Tar Heels, breaking a backboard in the process, and made the Sweet 16 for the first time since the advent of the 64 team field. They also garnered another prestigious honor: the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Sadly, the SI cover jinx kicked in and Allen Iverson's Georgetown team buried the Red Raiders with his 32-point performance. And despite SI's contention that Texas Tech was a breakthrough program, the Red Raiders were unable to capitalize on the momentum of that one great year and sunk into the Big XII cellar until Bob Knight arrived to turn the program around. (Although in fairness to Sports Illustrated, even if Texas Tech had beaten the Hoyas, John Calipari's UMass Minutemen probably would have finished off the Raiders in the next round, and the step up from the Southwest Conference to the Big 12 probably would have hurt the Red Raiders anyway.)

Texas Tech's tournament run also launched the NBA Careers of Jason Sasser, who went to Sacramento in the 1996 NBA draft, Darvin Ham, who won a ring last year as a bench player with the Detroit Pistons, and Tony Battie, who spent most of his Celtics career as a target of Bill Simmons before winding up with the Magic last year. The pro-caliber talent on the 1996 Sweet 16 team is what separates it from the 2005 Sweet 16 team.

For right now, the 1996 Texas Tech Red Raiders are the best in school history. Bobby Knight's crew must beat West Virginia and launch a new crop of Red Raider alums in the NBA in order to surpass it.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Tournament Journal: Sunday Recaps

11:00 - NC State 65, Connecticut 62

Too many 3s for NC State. It also didn't help UConn that Charlie Villanueva had no impact despite NC State not really game planning to stop him

Sadly, Duke's legacy as the last team to go back to back is secure for another year. Although to be fair, it's impossible to expect a team to have to replace people like Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor and expect them to be national champions again.

NC State plays the Wisconsin-Bucknell winner next.

2:15 - Villanova 76, Florida 65

Once again Billy Donovan's club disappoints the people who expect it to get to the Round of 16. I was surprised that they lasted one round longer than they did.

If you had told me at the beginning of the season that Villanova and West Virginia would be the standard bearers for the Big East going into the Sweet 16, I would have said you were crazy.

That said, Jay Wright's club has beaten some pretty good clubs over the course of this year, including an upset, or so we thought at the time, of Kansas. So it is really no surprise to see 'Nova advancing this far

Villanova now plays the North Carolina Tar Heels next

2:20 - Oklahoma State 85, Southern Illinois 65

Give the Salukis a lot of credit for putting Oklahoma State, the best overall team in the Big 12, on the ropes. What they couldn't do, though, is knock them out. The other thing the Salukis couldn't do: Stop Ivan McFarlin, who scored 31 points and is making a serious early case for the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Next up for the Cowboys: Arizona

2:30 - North Carolina 92, Iowa State 65

Iowa State's had a great season considering that the long shadow of scandal still hangs over this program. They beat a lot of teams that made this field of 64. However, expecting them to beat a UNC team that is this loaded was probably too much to ask.

2:30 - Michigan State 72, Vermont 61

This was a setup. Michigan State had floundered all year in the maligned Big 10, and Vermont had a great season that included an upset of Syracuse. Vulnerable, inconsistent major vs. good mid-major. Upset city, right?

Nope. Tom Izzo had his team ready to play. And the Spartans win. Now they get Duke

3:45 - Georgia Tech vs. Louisville

Rick Pitino's Cardinals had 4 starters in double figures, led by Freddy Garcia with 21.

Georgia Tech played it's way into the tournament, but played its way out in this game.

3:50 - Bucknell vs. Wisconsin

Wisconsin is one of those teams that is tough to prepare for if you have only one day to do it, so the fact that they were able to keep it as close as they did for as long as they did is saying something. Unfortunately, a moral victory in March still means you are going home.

Mike Wikinson, Alando Tucker, and Zach Morley just proved to be too much for the Bison.

4:00 - Mississippi State vs. Duke

Don't get me started...

Tomorrow: The Wayback Machine.

Tournament Journal: Saturday Recap

It's been computer problems on top of electrical storms on top of general fatigue from doing live journals for 2 1/2 days. Now we're rested and ready to go for today

So anyway, Recapping all the other action:
  • West Virginia 111. Wake Forest 105 (2OT) - In a day that saw 4 top 4 seeds get knocked off, this probably qualifies as upset of the day. West Virginia went to a half-court trap at halftime and Wake couldn't handle it. I think one of the storylines of the year has to be how far Wake has fallen. From preseason #1 to this... Not good.
    Credit West Virginia, though, for not giving up. This is why they went to the tournament final in one of the nation's deepest conferences.
    West Virginia now takes on Texas Tech, who beat Gonzaga today (you can read my game journal to find out more on that).
  • Utah 67, Oklahoma 58 - A big upset led by a big man. I'll admit to being very wrong here, I thought OU had big men who could contain Andrew Bogut, but Bogut isn't your average big man.
    I didn't get to see much of the game, but I hope for Bogut's sake that the excitable Kevin Harlan didn't use the phrase "Thunder from Down Under" on one of his dunks.
  • Wisconsin-Milwaukee 83, Boston College 75 - I have, to this point, hesitated to call either of Milwaukee's victories as upsets. Why? Well, they haven't really played a team better than them yet. Alabama and BC have both been hyped a lot and neither one was even a quarter as good as their billing.
  • Illinois 71, Nevada 59 - Considering that many other top seeds have fallen by the wayside, I think Illinois deserves a lot of credit for just taking care of buisness.
  • Kentucky 69, Cincinnati 60 - This is the one upset a lot of people thought was going to happen today, but it didn't. After all the postseason disappointments Bob Huggins has had over the years, you'd think the people who are supposed to know better would....
  • Washington 97, Pacific 79 - Today was not a good day for CBS's Seth Davis. He said Gonzaga was going to beat Texas Tech, even said at halftime that there was no way Tech was going to come back. That didn't happen. He also said Cincinnati was going to beat Kentucky. That didn't happen. He tops it all off by leading off the telecast by boldly predicting a Pacific win and saying Washington was the most vulnerable #1 seed. Neither have turned out to be the case.
    If Seth Davis picks your team, you should be worried. He's becoming the Barry Melrose of college basketball
  • Arizona 85, Alabama-Birmingham 63 - Lute Olson's club put on a clinic on how to play offense against a pressure defense.

More Cowbell tomorrow. Or maybe more Taco Bell. How about more blog? That sounds better.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Tournament Journal - 3/19/2001 (Afternoon Games)


11:00 AM CBS starts it's tournament coverage

11:02 Seth Green, SI columnist, is calling a Pacific upset over Washington. Great. I think Lorenzo Romar's bunch deserves a little more credit.

11:03 I can't find the schedule for KEYE's Games, but I'm going to take a wild guess and say we're getting Oklahoma-Utah at 3:40. Everyone's going to see Texas Tech-Gonzaga first at 12:10 PM

11:19 Nice replay of the final seconds of Vermont's upset win over Syracuse. Also known as the moment that my bracket went down in flames. And the moment when Duke was practically handed the Austin Regional.

11:29 The CBS theme music never gets old.

11:31 Interesting piece on Marvin Williams, Sports and Bremertonians' hometown hero, and the guy who could lead North Carolina to a national title. Apparently he had this old "North Carolina System" tape made by Dean Smith and Roy Williams and that's how he got interested in Carolina all the way in Bremerton, Washington. Marvin's dad is also proud that he's his kid's idol over Kevin Garnett. I say he's one of the lucky few parents who's kid looks up to the parents rather than a basketball player.

11:39 The CBS folks are interviewing Bucknell's coach and Chris McNaughton, the guy who hit the game winning shot.

11:45 25 minutes to tip

11:50 20 minutes to tip. Blogger Yoni Cohen, in his column on Fox Sports, states that Tech will have to shut down Derek Raivo in order to keep pace with Gonzaga. After shutting down Jordan Farmar yesterday, this shouldn't be a problem for Ronald Ross or Jarrious Jackson. Shutting down Turiaf and Batista will be a bigger problem for Texas Tech because Darryl Dora and Devonne Giles don't have the size to defend anyone.

Seth Green thinks Texas Tech needs to feed Ronald Ross the ball. Except that's not how Tech's offense works.

11:55 15 minutes to tip. Interesting piece on the Ohio U player who was stationed in Iraq and came back to watch his team play in the NCAA tournament. It was really nice of his buddy to let him switch leaves with him so he could see them play.

12:00 10 minutes to tip. The experts are picking Gonzaga. I can't disagree, but I am comforted in the knowledge that the same "experts" picked UCLA to beat Tech also.

Texas Tech-Gonzaga

12:05 Out to Tucson for the game and Kevin Harlan and Dan Bonner to call the game

12:10 (20:00) We're underway and Darryl Dora tips the ball out of bounds. Hope this isn't a bad sign.

12:10 (19:18) Erroll "Flynn" Knight draws first blood for Gonzaga.

12:13 (18:53) Devonne Giles puts the first points on the board for Tech.

12:15 As expected, Gonzaga is pounding the ball inside against Darryl Dora.

12:19 (15:54) TV Timeout. 12-7 Gonzaga. Not a good start for Texas Tech.

12:21 (15:39) Gonzaga goes to a zone, and Martin Zeno makes them pay on the drive

12:22 (14:45) Zeno scores, then commits a defensive foul on the other end.

12:24 Texas Tech getting killed on the glass. Gonzaga has 11 rebounds to Tech's 3.

12:26 (13:00) Jackson converts a 3 point play to get the margin back within 2.

12:27 (12:10) Ronald Ross took a long 2 and back-rimmed it. Adam Morrison converts on the other end.

12:18 (11:46) TV Timeout. Gonzaga up 20-16. Tech can't keep trading baskets, they've got to get a run going.

12:32 Zeno gets assaulted down low and no call.

12:33 (9:55) Jarrious Jackson hits a 3 to make it 24-21

12:36 (7:06) TV Timeout. Tech has beaten zone teams before. They are not being aggressive enough off the dribble to beat this zone.

12:40 Texas Tech's Suljagic gets mauled on the inside. No call.

12:42 Timeout Texas Tech as Gonzaga goes on a run to make it 30-23. The problem with being the first game on Saturday is that the viewers are going to have to watch all the carnage.

12:44 Texas Tech calls a 30-second timeout.

12:45 Gonzaga gets a good defensive stop out of the timeout and converts on the other end. There are words that describe Texas Tech's performance right now. Unfortunately none of them are printable.

12:48 11-2 run for Gonzaga and the lead is 9 points.

12:52 (1:27) TV Timeout. The lead is 10, but the fight is clearly gone from Texas Tech.

12:56 (0:00) Halftime 38-29 Gonzaga. Probably Tech's worst half of basketball this season. 41% from the field, 40% from the free-throw line, 1-5 from beyond the arc, outrebounded 27-12, only forced 6 turnovers.

I think Turiaf is having a big impact on the team because he's grabbed 9 rebounds and has given Devonne Giles problems on the interior.

1:18 (20:00) We're underway again

1:21 Texas Tech briefly got my hopes up with a 7-0 run, but Gonzaga has hit a few to bring it back to 10

1:22 Jackson for three... good! And the lead is 5

1:27 The lead has vacillated between 5-7 points for most of the half. Tech needs to make another move soon.

1:30 (12:08) And the run is on! A 6-0 run created mostly by turnovers makes it 54-52 Gonzaga. Come on, Tech!

1:31 Timeout Gonzaga. Smart move on their part. The last thing they need is for the Red Raiders to build momentum.

1:34 (11:55) TV Timeout after an offensive foul on Gonzaga.

1:37 (11:19) Devonne Giles hits the deck hard and may be out for a stretch.

1:38 (10:34) Zeno on the line to tie it. Third foul on Batista

First one goes in...

Second one rattles out! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!

1:40 (9:46)Dora puts Tech in the lead!

1:42 (9:18) Adam Morrison hits 1 of 2 to tie it. Third foul on Devonne Giles.

1:43 (8:31) Martin Zeno by Turiaf! But Gonzaga turns it over on the other end.

1:44 (7:49) Devonne Giles gets the lead back for Tech! TV Timeout! 57-55 Texas Tech!

1:48 Morrison Ties it at 57. Now Gonzaga's on a run

1:49 Morrison, who is taking Gonzaga on his back, scored and converted a 3-point play to make it 60-57 Gonzaga. Morrison has 20 points

1:52 (3:41) Zeno scores to cut it to one, but Morrison, who is just on fire, answers on the other end.

1:55 (2:28) TV Timeout. Gonzaga leads 64-63. Tech needs to comeout of the time out, play good defense, and get on another run. Dora and Giles both have 4 personals and Tech can ill-afford to lose either.

1:57 (2:14) Ronny Turiaf hits one of 2. 65-63 Texas Tech.

1:58 (1:52) Devonne Giles hits 2 to tie, but Turiaf converts on the other end

2:00 (1:07) Ronald Ross for 3.... GOOD! Tech's in the lead! Timeout Gonzaga!

2:01 (0:50.0) Turiaf bricks the front end of a one and one! Tech has the ball!

2:03 (0:27.1) Jarrious Jackson makes 1 of 2 free throws to make it 69-67 Timeout Gonzaga.

2:02 (0:12) Morrison bricks a 3! Texas Tech has the ball after Giles calls timeout!

2:06 (0:08.0) Tech inbounds the ball and Gonzaga fouls Ronald Ross. Bad move, Ross is Tech's best free throw shooter.

And Ross hits both 71-66 Tech.

2:10 Raivo hits a 2 and immediately fouls Tech defensive replacement LucQuente White.

2:12 White Bricks it! Morrison heaves it from 3/4 court! NO GOOD! RED RAIDERS WIN!

2:14 In all fairness, Texas Tech stole this game. Gonzaga outplayed Tech until about the 12:00 mark of the second half and then Tech tightened up on the defensive end, which created everything for Texas Tech.

I am completely spent. I am going to take the next round of games off. Catch you all later.

UPDATE (3:50 PM): There is a lightning storm currently in Austin, and I'm going to have to shut down the computer, which means no more journal today. Sorry.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Tournament Journal - 3/18/2005 (Evening Games)

Updates from earlier: Villanova over New Mexico, UConn over Central Florida, North Carolina over Oakland, and SIU over St. Mary's of California.

Early Evening Games

6:10 Vermont and Syracuse tip off from Worcester. This could be a close one, I expect CBS to provide frequent live look-ins.

6:13 Taylor Coppenrath scores the first points of the game.

6:18 TV Timeout. Vermont is now leading 6-4, but no one is running away with it at this point.

6:20 5 minutes until we switch to the tip of Duke-Delaware State.

6:23 Len Elmore just compared Coppenrath to Larry Bird. Is there an unwritten rule that every white U.S.-born college star has to be compared to Bird?

6:25 CBS switching to Charlotte, site of Duke-Delaware State. Calling the game, of course, are Jim Nantz and Billy PACCer.

6:26 (20:00) and we're underway

6:27 (18:53) Duke gets the first basket on a goaltending call. The officials aren't helping Duke out again, are they?

6:30 (17:30) Duke is using pressure defense over the first 3 minutes of the game, trying use their athletic edge. 8-3 Blue Devils.

6:32 (15:59) TV Timeout. 12-5 Duke. they switched away from the UNC game at the 4 minute mark in the UNC Game. Let's see if Duke beats it.

6:40 (13:29) Amazingly, Delaware State has cut it to 2 points.

6:40 (13:14) Jascha Bluntt scores to tie it for Delaware State! I figure that's as close as it's gonna get to the Dookies losing this game, so I guess I should enjoy it while it lasts. At least we don't have to endure Billy PACCer talking about how great Duke is for a while.

6:45 (12:43) Bruce Davis gives Delaware State the lead! I give it 2 more minues before Duke gets its act together.

6:47 (11:37) TV Timeout, and it couldn't come any sooner for Duke. 16-13 Delaware State, and they still have a free throw to shoot after Duke fouls the Hornets' Aaron Fleetwood.

6:49 I noticed the Delaware State fans have really shown up in bunches because they are as loud as the Dookies.

6:50 (10:27) Daniel Ewing hits back-to-back baskets and Duke is back on top.

6:52 (9:28) Tracy Worley ties it back up at 20 for Delaware State.

6:53 Can we go for one minute without Bill PACCer saying that Mike Krzyzewski is a great basketball mind? We know he is, he's a Knight guy, but you don't have to keep repeating it.

6:54 Duke leads 22-20 but Shelden Williams has picked up a second foul.

6:55 (8:27) News flash: A charge was called on J.J. Redick! Usually that's a block call on the other guy.

6:57 (7:36)TV Timeout. Duke leads 26-22. Also very close: Louisville and their strong starting 5 are only beating Louisiana-Lafayette 33-30.

7:01 Delaware State is "iso"ing the guy whom Shavlik Randolph is guarding and dribbling past him. I don't know how long they are going to get away with this before the officials step in and call an offensive foul on Delaware State when Randolph's feet are moving.

7:04 Sure enough, Offensive foul, Delaware State.

7:05 (4:06) Timeout Delaware State. Duke went on a mini-run after the offensive foul and made the lead 34-28.

7:08 (3:00) TV Timeout. Still 34-28 after an ugly stretch of basketball.

7:10 (1:53) The officials help out Duke once again by calling Bruce Davis out of bounds.

7:12 (1:12) Timeout Duke.

7:14 (0:49) Redick tries one from NBA range and doinks it.

7:15 (0:00) Halftime: Duke 36, Delaware State 28. I guess the challenge from Delaware State is over.

7:25 Live Look-in: Vermont is now leading Syracuse 30-27. Syracuse better pull this out because if they lose, Duke is going to have a free ride to the Final Four.

7:31 Louisville and Louisiana-Lafayette are tied at 40 with 15:36 to play in the game.

7:32 Wisconsin having no trouble with Northern Iowa down in OKC.

7:35 (20:00) Second half underway back in Charlotte

7:39 Duke leads 30-37 Shelden Williams, who can't afford to foul out for Duke, picks up his third

7:40 Now Shavlick Randolph picks up his 3rd. It's amazing to see Duke in foul trouble at all, let alone have Randolph and Williams in foul trouble.

7:41 (16:52) Four fouls on Randolph. He goes out

7:43 (15:34) Lee Melchionni scores to increase the Duke lead to 9

7:44 (14:55) Intentional foul on Bruce Davis. Nice gift to Duke from the refs. TV Timeout.

7:47 Randoph hits one of 2 to give Duke a 10 point lead.

7:49 Live Look-in: Vermont is leading Syracuse 41-36 with 5:50 to go.

7:50 Gerry McNamara scores to bring Syracuse within 2. Timeout Vermont.

7:52 Germain Njila jams it home to make the lead 45-41

7:54 McNamara hits 2 to make it 45-43 Vermont with 4:09 left.

7:55 (3:18) Warrick ties it, but Coppenrath answers.

7:55 (2:51) TV Timeout. Foul on Njila of Vermont, so 'Cuse shoots 2 once play resumes. For those still interested in the other game. Duke is now running away with it 42-37.

7:58 Northern Iowa has pulled within 3 of Wisconsin.

7:59 Syracuse hits 2 free throws to tie it.

8:00 (1:34) Warrick slams it home to get the lead, the Njila ties it up with a slam of his own,

8:01 (0:30) Tied at 51, when Hakim Warrick committs an offensive foul. Vermont ball.

8:02 (0:15.1) Timeout Vermont. They've got the basketball with no shot clock.

8:03 (0:03.7) Njila steps on the line and Syracuse has a chance. I think we're going to see OT unless McNamara can get involved.

8:04 (0:00.0) Overtime in Woo-stah!

8:05 Other scores: Wisconsin 51, N. Iowa 48, 3:40 to go, LA-Lafayette 55, Louisville 54 4:03 to go.

8:07 (4:15 OT) We're underway in OT and Vermont draws first blood.

8:08 (3:28) but Syracuse scores 2 straight to take the lead 55-53.

8:09 (2:20) Tie-up. Arrow to Vermont

8:10 (2:10) Germain Njila scores the 3. 56-55 Vermont.

8:11 (1:47) Hakim Warrick turns it over. Possibly very costly.

8:11 (1:17) T.J. Sorrentine converts the turnover into 3 points. 59-55 Vermont. Syracuse needs to get a shot quickly

8:13 (1:01) Josh Pace hit a shot to get it within 2. Timeout Vermont, which gives Syracuse an opportunity to set up the press.

8:15 (0:15.9) Gerry McNamara crosses the timeline, and then loses the ball back over the timeline. One of the Syracuse players picks it up for the Over and back violation.

8:17 (0: 13.0) Foul on Syracuse. Martin Klimes hits 1 of 2 and Vermont leads 60-57.

8:19 (0:03.0) MCNAMARA MISSES! THE BALL GOES OUT OF BOUNDS THE OTHER WAY! All over but the shouting now

8:19 (0:00.9) Vermont inbounds the ball and it's all over. Vermont wins 60-57 in OT. The people at the game will tell their kids. "It was a wicked awesome game."

8:20 Live Look in: Louisville in a fight with LA-Lafayette. 65-62 Louisville with 41.0 seconds to go.

8:23 The Ragin' Cajuns wait too long to foul and it's now a 2 possession game with 0:14 left. They have to play "foul and pray" because they are out of timeouts.

8:26 Rick Pitino's Cardinals survive. Louisville 68-62.

8:27 Wisconsin has managed to survive Northern Iowa 57-52. Duke, of course, beat Delaware State a long time ago.

In-between games

8:30 Scores and highlights and yadda yadda.

8:43 Yeah, yeah "Coach K has more tournament victories" Whatever. Coach K won 2 more tournament games a year against teams that couldn't even get in when John Wooden was coach. Besides, Wooden still has the oak plaques on Krzyzewski.


8:52 We go back to Oklahoma City, where the Jayhawks are taking on the Bucknell Bison.

Starting for Kansas: Michael Lee, Christian Moody, Wayne Simien, Aaron Miles, and J.R. Giddens
Starting for Bucknell: Kevin Bettencourt, Charles Lee, Chris McNaughton, Darren Mastropaolo, Abe Badmus

8:53 (20:00) We're underway from OKC.

8:54 (19:10) KU opens the scoring with a 3 point play by Michael Lee

8:55 Michael Lee is on a personal 5-0 run.

8:56 Kevin Bettencourt converts the rare 4-point play to pull within 1.

8:57 (16:47) Wayne Simien makes his presence known with a dunk

8:58 (15:59) TV Timeout. Jayhawks lead 7-6

9:00 (14:54) Bettencourt hits a 3 to tie it

9:04 (14:19) Charles Lee hits a 3 to put Bucknell in the lead! Kansas needs to put Langford in there now to give this team a spark.

9:06 (12:32) Donald Brown with the flush! Time out, Kansas. Bucknell leads 18-12.

9:09 Quick check of the other games: Georgia Tech 13, George Washington 8; Old Dominion 22 Michigan State 17; Stanford 18, Mississippi State 16.

9:11 (12:08) Langford clanks his first shot, but showing no ill effects otherwise.

9:12 (11:41) TV Timeout. Still 18-12 Bison.

9:14 Live Look-ins: ODU 24, MSU 17; Georgia Tech 16, George Washington 13; Stanford 24, MSU 18.

9:15 (10:26) Back to Kansas-Bucknell. Charles Lee goes to the line and makes 2. 19-12 Bucknell.

9:16 (9:36) Wayne Simien scores. We all knew he'd show up to play, but the rest of the Jayhawks need to get on track.

9:18 (9:34) Kansas's Jeff Hawkins committs a foul on the perimeter and Bettencourt hits 3.

9:19 (8:46) Simien hits a shot and rips a defensive rebound on the other in.

9:24 (7:13) TV Timeout. Bucknell leads 22-19.

9:25 (6:15) Wayne Simien continues to keep Kansas in the ballgame 24-21 Bucknell.

9:28 (5:26) Chris McNaughton misses the free-throw but has scored the Bison's last 4 points.

9:30 Bob Wenzel: "The Patriot League has never won a tournament game." Well, when you're a non-scholarship league and your teams are usually 15 or 16 seeds, that's what happens

9:32 (3:43) TV Timeout. Bucknell still leads 28-23.

9:35 Miles hits both free throws and makes it 28-25.

9:35 (3:02) Christian Moody cuts the lead to one with a layup

9:36 (2:30) Miles bricks the potential go-ahead shot and Bucknell gets the rebound. Timeout Bucknell.

9:37 (1:58) Michael Lee follows up his miss and puts the Jayhawks up 30-28 after converting a 3-point play.

9:39 Kansas has played better perimeter defense. Bucknell has not hit it's last 15 or so 3 point chances.

9:41 (0:24.1) The best play in basketball: Everyone hitting the deck for a loose ball. Three white jerseys and 3 orange jerseys collided to try and get the ball.

9:42 (0:00.0) Halftime: Kansas 31, Bucknell 28.

9:46 Live Look-in: Georgia Tech leads George Washington 32-28 with 2:49 to go.

9:48 Also at halftime: Mississippi State leads Washington 44-43; ODU leading Tom Izzo's Michigan State club 42-37.

10:07 (16:17 2nd half) Kansas leads 37-35. (Sorry, I was heating dinner and missed about 5 minutes of the half. Hey, I gotta eat also).

10:07 (15:48) TV timeout, Kansas

10:12(15:33) Bison's Charles Lee ties it with 2 free throws

10:14 (14:31) Bettencourt gives the Bison the lead back on a 3 pointer.

10:15 (13:30) TV Timeout, Bucknell leads 44-40.

10:19 (11:58) Wayne Simien makes it 44-42. TV Timeout.

10:23 (11:00) Kevin Bettencourt is on fire. I know, I know it's an overused cliche but what else do you call 19 points in 30 minutes against a team like Kansas?

10:25 (9:30) Wayne Simien cleans up Aaron Miles's mess and pulls KU within 1.

10:25 (9:25) Timeout Bucknell 47-46 Bison

10:29 (7:11) Teams trade baskets, and the lead. 49-48 Bucknell. TV Timeout.

10:30 I'm struggling just to keep up with this game. It's really close and really exciting.

10:33 (6:48) Foul on Simien. Chris Niesz makes 1 of 2 to make it a 2 point game.

10:34 (5:48) Simien hits 2 free throws. It's tied at 50 and the partisan KU crowd is on it's feet

10:35 (5:29) Charles Lee hits a huge 3 for the Bison. 53-50 Bucknell.

10:36 (4:19) Simien hits 2 more foul shots 53-52 Bison.

10:37 (4:09) McNaughton hits 2 foul shots at the other end to make it 55-52 Bison.

10:40 (3:11) TV Timeout. Kansas has 2 shots coming out of the break....

10:43 ...and Miles hits them both. 55-54

10:44 (2:49) Chris Niesz makes it 58-54 Bucknell on the 3-ball.

10:45 Kansas is shooting 78% from the line, and that's what's keeping them in the ballgame

10:46 (1:56) Timeout Kansas 60-56

10:47 Craig Bolerjack: "The last first round loss by Kansas was 1978 to UCLA." Yeah, except there were 32 teams in the field that year, and that would be equivalent to a second round game now. And UCLA was UCLA then.

10:48 (1:08) Bucknell leads 62-59. Kansas is playing like they did during the second overtime of the Texas Tech game.

10:51 (0:54.0) Intentional foul on Bucknell on a breakaway. Michael Lee hits both free throws. and Kansas has the ball.

I don't know about that intentional call either, but unlike the one in the Delaware State game, this one doesn't appear to be affecting Bucknell's composure at all.

10:55 (0:26.0) Foul on Bucknell. Keith Langford has 2 shots to tie...

First one goes in...

Second one is made also! 63-62 Kansas.

10:56 Chris McNaughton hits probably the biggest shot in Bucknell history 64-63 Bucknell.

10:57 (0:03.5) John Griffin bricks the front end of a one-and one. Timeout Kansas

10:58 (0:02.4) Inbound to Simien... AND IT'S MISSED! Front rimmed! Bucknell knocks off the Big XII co-champs!

11:00 Bolerjack: "And we have a stampede of Bison!" Classic.

11:01 Live Look-in: Michigan State leads Old Dominion 81-77 with 1:35 left. I guess Vermont used up all the upset karma in the last game.

11:02 Other games: Georgia Tech 71, George Washington 60 3:02 to go. Mississippi State beats Stanford 93-70

11:04 Michigan State is now leading 84-77 and ODU is down to "foul and pray"

11:10 MSU finally wins 89-81.

11:11 CBS goes to another live look-in: Georgia Tech is having no trouble with George Washington.

11:12 And Georgia Tech wins.

Well, They're wrapping up and so am I. My bracket's thoroughly busted, how's yours?

Tournament Journal - 3/18/2005 (Afternoon Games)

Before I get started today, I want to point out this article in the Kansas City Star where Keith Langford says he's going to give it a go today for Kansas

Oh, and Steve, 63-61 West Virginia.


11:00 Local News right now. Not Surprising, the Longhorns' defeat is top story. Despite the loss, The Big 12 is acquitting itself well as Oklahoma and Texas Tech won. At least we're not the SEC.

11:05 Clear and in the 60s here in Austin.

Today's KEYE Tournament Schedule: Oklahoma St-Southeast Louisiana(will probably get a lot of look-ins at Iowa State-Minnesota as well), North Carolina-Oakland (lots of live look-ins there), Delaware State-Duke (ditto), and Bucknell-Kansas(which could actually be a good game).
11:10 CBS'5 minutes until the first games tip off, 20 until OSU-Southeast Louisiana. I asked my brother, who goes to Southland Conference rival Texas State, what he knew about SE Louisiana. He said, "Who's that?"

Oklahoma State-SE Louisiana

11:15 We're underway in Worcester and Julius Hodge hits the first points for NC State. 15 minutes to OSU's tip.

11:19 Charlotte jumps out to a 10-4 early lead.

11:22 Timeout NC State. Charlotte has increased the lead to 13-4. Herb Sendek is now officially coaching for his life.

11:26 Just realized that UNC and Duke are both playing in Charlotte today. You know there's going to be a lot of dirty looks and awkward silences on the arena concourse when the UNC fans clear out and the Dookies arrive.

11:29 We are switched to Oklahoma City for our game. The announce team in OKC: Craig Bolerjack and Bob Wenzel. 1 minute to tip.

Starting Lineup for the Cowboys: Ivan McFarlin, Joey Graham, John Lucas, Daniel Bobik, JamesOn Curry

11:30 And we're underway in the OSU-SE Louisiana game. Ivan McFarlin gets the first points for OK State.

11:33 (18:33 1st Half) JamesOn Curry is rejected by 6-10 Nate Lofton. Who knew the Lions had frontcourt guy over 6-8? Tied at 2

11:35 (17:32) Curry hits a 3 to tie it at 5. OSU can't afford to let this team hang around.

11:37 (15:45) OSU Switches to a half-court trap and they force a turnover.

11:39 (15:23) TV Timeout. OSU leads 10-5. In the other Big 12 game, Iowa State trails Minnesota 5-4 with 15:46 to go.

11:41 (14:48) Out of the timeout, SE Louisiana's Ricky Woods makes the bucket.

11:42 (14:19) Woods makes his second straight basket and converts a 3 point play.

11:44 (13:04) OSU converts 2 straight baskets.

11:45 Bob Wenzel just referred to SE Louisiana's coach, Billy Kennedy as "Billy Gillespie." Bob, you're about 100 miles off.

11:46 (12:12) Timeout SE Louisiana. OSU leads 19-9

11:50 (11:51) TV Timeout. OSU forced a turnover, only to turn it back over to Southeast Louisiana.

11:51 The Cyclones have now pulled ahead of the Golden Gophers. Yah, you betcha!

11:53 (11:12) McFarlin converts a basket right out of the Timeout. If they can hang on to the basketball, Southeast Louisiana doesn't stand a chance, but they keep turning it over.

11:55 (9:22) Thomas Woods just blew an easy layup for SE Louisiana. Time Out OSU. Eddie Sutton wants to settle his team down.

11:58 (8:28) The Lions' Johnathan Patton hits a 3 to cut the lead to 7. 21-14 OSU. John Lucas was pulled during the Timeout.

11:59 (8:02) OSU goes man press and SE Louisiana almost converts a easy deuce.

12:00 PM (7:42) TV Timeout. Let's see if OSU puts Lucas back in the game.

12:03 (7:42) Lucas is back in for Curry after Curry converts 2 free throws.

12:05 Iowa State is leading Minnesota 20-15 with under 7 minutes to go.

12:06 (6:41) Lucas hits 2 free throws to increase the lead to 10. OSU needs to put this one away so we can get a look at other games.

12:07 (5:55) Timeout SE Louisiana. At Halftime: Charlotte 36, NC State 29.

12:09 (5:34) Johnathan Patton hits a 3 to make it OSU 27, SLU 22.

12:14 (1:51) Oklahoma State goes on a mini-run of 4-0 which degenerates into a period where neither team can hit a single shot. TV Timeout. 33-26 OSU.

12:15 Iowa State leads Minnesota 31-23 with 1:45 to go. Florida leads Ohio at the half 36-28.

12:17 (0:40.0) Ugly possession for SLU.

12:19 (0:19.0) Ivan McFarlin, the difference in this ball game, hits a turnaround jumper to make it 35-26 OSU.

12:20 (0:00.0) And that's the margin at halftime as SLU's Scott Roninger misses a buzzer-beater. SE Louisiana is game, but they clearly don't belong on the court with OSU in terms of talent or coaching.

12:22 Also at the half: Iowa State 33, Minnesota 23.

12:24 Live Look-in: Charlotte leads NC State 41-35 early in the second half and the Wolfpack look out of synch.

12:29 Curious. The court in Worcester has NBA court markings along with the collegiate markings, but there is no NBA team in Worcester... Hmm... wonder if Worcester is applying for an NBDL franchise.

12:34 Charlotte is leading by 9 when they take a break so they can send us back to Oklahoma City.

12:40 Bob Wenzel thinks SE Louisiana can stay with the big boys. I want to know what he's basing this on, because I don't see it.

12:41 Start of the second half. Joey Graham turns the ball over twice and is immediately yanked for Terrence Crawford.

12:43 (17:53 first half) Ricky Woods converts an offensive rebound into points and SLU has cut the lead to 35-28.

12:44 Timeout OSU.

12:47 (17:21) Out of the timeout OSU gets a basket from Ivan McFarlin. Timeout SLU.

12:48 Minnesota has closed the gap on Iowa State to 39-30 ISU.

12:49 (16:16) SLU goes to a zone and Graham, back in the game for Bobik, makes them pay with a good perimeter shot.

12:50 It bears repeating: if OSU can quit turning it over, they could put this team away now. They are even in turnover differential.

12:52 (15:01) TV Timeout. Florida leads Ohio 47-34

12:56 (13:26) OSU jumps out to an 11-point lead on a Lucas jumper. The partisan Oklahoma State crowd is ecstatic.

12:59 Ugly stretch of bad shots, but SLU does chip away at the lead.

1:00 (11:03) TV Timeout. OSU leads 41-35.

1:03 Live Look-in: NC State and Charlotte are tied at 59

1:04 (9:53) After the timeout, SLU scores 4 unanswered points to cut the margin to 3...

1:06 (9:31) ..but Joey Graham hits 2 free throws to make it 5 again.

1:08 (7:50) TV Timeout. There was a SE Louisiana player who hit the floor hard, we'll see what the deal is after the timeout.

1:13 (7:46) The SLU player is apparently OK. Joey Graham picks up his fourth, and Johnathan Walker hits 2 free throws

1:15 (6:05) Ricky Woods hits a layup to make it 47-43

1:16 (5:34) and then Ivan McFarlin answers. 49-43 OSU.

1:18 (4:14) The teams trade baskets. 51-45 OSU.

1:21 (3:44) JamesOn Curry makes a 3 pointer to make it 54-47. Timeout SLU.

1:22 (2:59) TV Timeout. OSU is hitting 66% of it's 3 pointers compared to 30% for the Lions.

1:25 (3:02) John Lucas makes 2 free throws to get the lead back up to 9. (56-47)

1:27 (2:26) OSU takes a quick timeout to change strategy. I think they are going to slow it down on SLU, who need break out of their deliberate pace if they want to win.

1:28 (1:49) SE Louisiana is going to "foul and pray." OSU's free throw percentage for the game: 76%

1:30 (1:08) They are handing out players of the game already. Naturally, it's McFarlin for OSU with his 18 points.

1:32 Crowd shot: Daniel Bobik's wife

1:33 Live Look-in: Ohio and Florida are tied at 60, but the Gators have the ball...

1:34 ...and Florida converts a 3 point play....

1:35. ...and Ohio turns the ball over after a short timeout. NC State has upset Charlotte.

1:37 (0:00.0) While we're looking at Ohio-Florida, the game is over in OKC: OSU 63, Southeast Louisiana 50.

1:39 It's now a 2 posession game as Florida's Anthony Roberson hits 2. 0:25 left.

1:41 And Ohio can't get a good shot. Billy Donovan is the luckiest coach in America.

1:42 And the SEC saves face by improving to .500. Florida 67-Ohio 62.

1:43 In the other Big 12 game, which we never got to see because OSU never ran away with their game, Iowa State beat Minnesota 64-53.

(Taking a quick lunch break, be back in a bit.)

Late Afternoon Games

1:53 The UConn-Central Florida game has tipped off. Central Florida, while a 15 seed, is moving up in conference next year to Conference USA.

1:56 UConn has jumped out to an 8-3 lead and are playing really tight defense at the moment.

1:57 Josh Boone just dunked the ball. They're not booing him, they're saying "Booooooooooone!"

2:00 TV Timeout at 14:32. UConn is already up 14-5. I suspect that when they switch games, this will be the last we will see of this game.

2:06 Central Florida has brought it back to 17-12 as we switch to Charlotte and Jim Nantz and Billy PACCer calling the UNC-Oakland game.

UNC Starting Lineup: Rashad McCants is back along with Sean May, Jawad Williams, Jackie Manuel, and Raymond Felton.

2:08 (20:00) We're underway in Charlotte.

2:10 (19:29) Williams slams it home to bust the Oakland zone.

2:11 (18:13) Raymond Felton hits the 3 to make it 5-1

2:14 Oakland has not hit a shot yet. We may be going to other games shortly. UNC apparently has learned from it's Clemson loss and is not going to let this team hang around.

2:15 (17:13) Timeout Oakland. According to Jim Nantz, Oakland is in Rochester, Michigan and is near the old Pontiac Silverdome.

2:18 (16:51) Oakland hits it's first basket.

2:19 (15:17) TV Timeout and not soon enough for Oakland. UNC on an 8-2 run. The Tar Heels right now are trying to outrun these guys.

2:27 (12:15) North Carolina still on a run. They are shooting 81% from the floor

2:27 (11:57) TV Timeout. UNC leads 25-13.

2:30 (11:36) After the time out, Jawad Williams hits a shot to make it 27-13

2:31 Tar heels on another run.

2:32 (10:05) Time out Oakland It doesn't matter what defense Oakland uses, North Carolina still hits its shots. 33-17 UNC.

2:33 (9:18) Marvin Williams is in the game and hits a 3, to the delight of the Sports and Bremertonians folks. He has 8 already.

2:37 (7:39) Marvin makes a tremendous dunk. Timeout Oakland. Can CBS switch now, please? Before Billy PACCer starts gushing?

2:39 Connecticut is leading Central Florida 47-31 at halftime. New Mexico is down 23-6 to Villanova halfway through the first. and SIU is leading St. Mary's of California in a battle of mid-majors.

2:45 (5:57) We've hit a rough patch in the game where no one is hitting a shot.

2:48 Live Look-in (finally): Southern Illinois is having no trouble With St. Mary's. 32-22 SIU

2:55 Halftime in OKC: SIU 35, St. Mary's 26. Halftime in Charlotte: UNC 59, Oakland 33.

2:59 Live Look-in: Villanova 34, New Mexico 10 with less than a minute to go. New Mexico's previous low for a half is 22. Yikes.

3:05 Live Look-in: UConn-Central Florida. UConn is still up by a lot. Charlie Villanueva is just dominating this team. Of course when you're 6-11 and the other team's tallest player is 6-8 these things happen.

3:12 KEYE decides to switch to SIU-St. Mary's rather than go back to UNC-Oakland. Good call. That one actually has the potential to be interesting.

3:17 (20:00) Second Half underway in Oklahoma City.

3:17 (19:07) St. Mary's hits the first shot of the second half to make it 35-28

3:18 (18:31) Timeout SIU. Paul Marigney of St. Mary's makes the layup to make it 35-30.

3:20 This latest batch of David Spade Capital One commercials isn't funny at all. This thing Jumped the Shark at "Saint Thomas? Saint happening."

3:22 (17:34) SIU turns it over out of the timeout. Not the way you want to play out of the timeout.

3:24 (17:22) SIU takes a timeout for strange and unknown reasons. No field goals in 5 minutes for the Saluki's

3:26 (15:49) Darren Brooks snaps SIU's drought with a layup.

3:26 (15:22) Stetson Hairston hits a 3 to extend SIU's lead back to 10. St. Mary's really needed to hit more shots in that 5 minute period where SIU went scoreless.

3:29 (15:00) TV Timeout.

3:34 (13:38) After another ugly stretch, Matt Shaw dunks to make it 42-30 SIU.

3:36 There's no other game CBS can switch to at this point. UConn-UCF is not close, UNC-Oakland is no longer competitive and Villanova is leading New Mexico by 19.

3:43 Clank, clank, clank. A rough stretch for both teams.

3:44 the game is bad when Bob Wenzel is talking about the promo

3:44 Live Look-in: The UConn-UCF game has surprisingly become competitive. It's 68-60 Uconn with 4:10 left in the game.

3:50 Now UConn appears to be getting a handle on things. It's now 72-62.

3:51 Central Florida hits a 3 to make it 72-65, and they go to the full court press.

3:53 Now Central Florida has gone to "foul and pray" CBS sends us back to OKC and Southern Illinois and St. Mary's which is now 47-47.

3:54 (5:55) Stetson Hairston hits 3 free throws. 50-47 SIU.

3:56 (5:00) Hairston hits a 3 to put SIU up 6.

3:57 (4:38) St. Mary's Daniel Kickert makes 2 free throws. 53-49 SIU.

3:59 TV timeout. St. Marys has suddenly gone cold. 57-49 SIU.

4:00 Live Look-in: UConn-UCF. UConn up 75-71 with 9.4 seconds to go.

4:03 Final: UConn 77, Central Florida 71

4:04 Live Look-in: Villanova is still leading New Mexico in a low-scoring affair, 46-36.

4:06 Billy Raftery, on a Villanova basket off the window: "The little kiss, from the little guy!"

4:07 (1:59) Back to Oklahoma City. SIU leads St. Mary's 61-54.

4:08 (1:33) Kickert back-rims a wide open 3.

4:09 (1:08) E.J Rowland hits a jumper to make it 61-56 SIU

4:11 (0:51.1) Gaels have gone to "foul and pray"

4:12 (0:41.0) Kickert clanks another open 3. It's pretty much in Southern Illinois' control now. SIU will take on Oklahoma State Sunday.

Blog you later!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Tournament Journal - 3/17/2005 (Evening Games)

Still at home.


6:00 PM We're finally getting an early game, no need to watch 30 minutes of BS before they get out to the game

6:09 Jay Bilas says "Daniel Gibson leads Texas in scoring" One problem: P.J. Tucker actually leads the Horns in scoring. And he's suspended.

6:10 And we're underway

6:14 (18:07 1st half) Brad Buckman hits a 3 to take a 3-2 lead

6:16 (16:18) Teams trade baskets, and the lead, until Jason Klotz misses a jump shot

6:17 (16:01) TV Timeout. Nevada leads 6-5.

6:20 (15:16) Buckman scores to tie it at 9.

6:22 Lots of shots clanking off the rim

6:24 (12:43) Brad Buckman, one of Texas's two pasty white toothpick figures, scores to put Texas ahead 11-9. Buckman has been surprisingly dominant in the early going

6:25 (12:05) Daniel Gibson finally gets on the scoresheet. 14-9 Texas.

6:27 (10:33) Bilas: "Nevada is giving up too many offensive rebounds." Um yeah, that and they aren't playing very good zone offense, which you were too busy talking about to notice.

6:27 (10:12) TV Timeout. Texas up 16-11.

6:31 (9:52) Kevinn (with 2 "N"'s) Pinkney completes the 3-point play to make it 17-13 Texas.

6:33 (8:34) Controversial Call: Jermaine Washington hits what he thinks is a 3, but replay shows it was a 2 and they make the change at a dead ball.

6:34 (7:55) TV Timeout. Longhorns lead the Wolfpack 19-16.

6:38 Live Look-ins: Gonzaga is losing to Winthrop 13-10; Chattanooga leads Wake Forest 15-12; Utah State is tied with Arizona 12-12.

6:40 (6:22) Buckman now has 12 points and 4 rebounds

6:42 (5:19) Kevinn Pinkney runs the floor, gets the easy bucket, and puts Nevada up 22-21

6:43 (4:39) Brad Buckman commits a dumb over-the-back foul and gives the ball back to Nevada.

6:40 (4:00) The 4:00 TV Timeout happens right at the 4:00 mark! It never works out like that!

6:45 Monday on CBS: Comedies no one wants to watch and CSI:Miami

6:49 (3:15) Timeout Texas. Amazingly, Gibson has 3 points. And Paulino, the "sparkplug off the bench" has provided no spark. Zero points.

6:54 (1:40) Dick Enberg: "Only 2 field goals in the last 9 minutes."

6:57 (0:35.0) Nevada committs a dumb 3-shot foul on Syndmill Harris. Harris makes all 3 and Texas takes the lead.

6:58 Halftime: Texas 24, Nevada 23

6:58 Live Look-in: Chris Paul hits a 3-ball to pull Wake Forest within 3 of Chattanooga at the half

7:00 Live Look-in: Utah State leads Arizona with 0:40 to go Timeout Arizona.

7:03 Mustafa Shakur misses a half-court shot and Utah State is up on Arizona 29-26 at the half.

7:07: Live look-in: Gonzaga is losing to Winthrop 32-29.

7:09 Gonzaga takes the lead 33-32 on an Adam Morrison jump shot.

7:13 Winthrop takes the lead.

7:18 CBS throws us back to Indianapolis, but according to the web, Winthrop is leading 35-33

7:20 Second half of Texas-Nevada is underway. Nick Fazekas has been quiet in terms of scoring, but other guys like Kevinn Pinkney have had career games.

7:21 Crowd Shot: Indianapolis Colts' head coach Tony Dungy.

7:23 (17:46 2nd Half) Jason Klotz hits a hookshot to cut the lead to one.

7:25 (16:34) Nevada now has a 5-point lead, the biggest by either team, after Mo Charlo hits a jump shot in the land.

7:27 (14:49) Kenny Taylor, another offensive option suddenly gone cold for Texas, hits a 3 to tie it at 33-33. TV Timeout.

7:28 No one is in serious foul trouble at the moment. Kevinn Pinkney is the only one with 3 fouls.

7:30 (14:14) The Wolfpack's Jermaine Washington breaks the tie out of the timeout.

7:32 Bilas notes that Texas went to man-to-man on the last posession. Texas can ill-afford to stay in that set because Fazekas will get off shots easier.

7:33(12:48) Kenny Taylor is heating up. He's hit Texas's last 2 shots. Tied at 38.

7:35 (11:51) Texas collapses the zone and Fazekas makes them pay. 41-38.

7:36 (11:31) Brad Buckman, a non-factor since his surprising first half, hits the bucket and has a chance to tie it on a free throw after a TV Timeout....

7:38 (11:31) ...and Buckman bricks it. So do the Wolfpack on the other end.

7:39 (10:22) Kenny Taylor hits the shot. 3 straight baskets for him, Texas leads 42-41

7:40 (10:07) Nick Fazekas makes them pay again. 44-42 Nevada

7:42 (9:36) There was a Longhorn getting medical attenion on the sidelines, I think it was Syndmill Harris.

7:44 (8:08) Timeout Nevada. The Wolfpack lead the Longhorns 45-44. There were 2 fouls on Texas, one on the defensive end and an offensive charge, that were not called on the previous sequence.

7:48 (7:22) Nevada goes on a 4-0 run out of the timeout, prompting Rick Barnes to call timeout. You think Virginia's gonna want Barnes if Texas loses?

7:50 By the way, Nevada is outrebounding Texas 33-23

7:52 Crowd shot: Nevada assistant AD Cindy Fox, wife of Nevada coach Mark Fox, and their baby.

7:54 (5:58) Jason Klotz's basket pulls Texas within 1. Whatever Barnes called during the timeout worked.

7:55 (5:21) Klotz gives Texas the lead 53-51

7:56 (4:14) Timeout Nevada.

7:57 (3:33) TV Timeout. Texas leads by 4, their largest lead. Neither team is lighting things up. Texas is shooting 37% and Nevada 35%.

8:00 Klotz has a career high 20 points.

8:02 (1:28) Mo Charlo converts the 3-point play to to cut the Texas lead to 57-56. Texas allowed about 3 offensive rebounds on that sequence.

8:05 (0:44.0) Mo Charlo gets another hoop to put Nevada in the lead, but bricks the free throw. 58-57 Nevada

8:06 (0:21.0) Daniel Gibson misses and Texas is now playing "foul and pray".

8:11 Game over. Nevada wins 61-57. Mark Fox and family are happy. Rick Barnes looks despondent.

8:12 Live Look-in: Gonzaga leads Winthrop 63-60. And my bracket is safe for the moment.

8:13 None of the other games are close at the moment. Wake Forest and Arizona have both come back to dominate their games

8:16 Gonzaga hits a 3 to make it a 6 point game.

8:20 Just ordered a pizza.

8:29 Winthrop is now playing "foul and pray," and Gonzaga is hitting it's free throws. Which means the winner of UCLA-Texas Tech gets Gonzaga.

Texas Tech-UCLA

8:45 PM Illinois' game with Farleigh Dickinson has tipped off. Texas Tech's game tips off after 9:00.

8:48 Illinois naturally jumps out to the lead.

9:00 Creighton-West Virginia and LSU-UAB have both tipped off

9:02 Texas Tech's starting lineup: Devonne Giles, Darryl Dora, Martin Zeno, Ronald Ross, and Jarrious Jackson

9:03 And we're underway. And both teams brick their first shots.

9:04 (18:50) Ross draws first blood for Texas Tech!

9:07 Tech has gone on a 9-0 run to start the game

9:08 (16:37) Josh Shipp makes UCLA's first points, a 3 pointer

9:09 (16:00) TV Timeout. They show the Burger King commercial with Darius Rucker from Hootie and the Blowfish singing a jingle in a ridiculous looking cowboy outfit. Hootie and the Blowfish were great when I was in college. Have they fallen that far?

9:14 (14:15) Texas Tech has expanded the lead to 14-5. Dan Bonner remarks that UCLA is playing like they did in the Pac-10 Tournament loss to Oregon State. I don't know how they played, but I hope they keep playing like it.

9:16 (13:28) Time out Texas Tech. They turned the ball over on the previous possesion, which led to a layup, which could have sparked a rally. Good Timeout.

9:18 (13:14) And out of the timeout, Ross hits a jumper. 16-9 Tech.

9:19 (11:30) Bad shot selection and bad perimeter defense by Tech have let UCLA tie the game. Credit Dijon Thompson though for finding the holes in the "D". TV Timeout.

9:24 (10:22) UCLA and Tech Trade baskets, then trade misses.

9:27 (7:59) UCLA simply has no answer for Ronald Ross. He just hit a 3 to make it 27-23.

9:28 (7:52) Out of the time out, UCLA's Thompson throws an illegal screen. TV Timeout.

9:30 Surprisingly absent: UCLA's Jordan Farmar who has no points and 1 assist in 11 minutes.

9:31 (7:25) UCLA's Jordan Shipp makes a great offensive rebound, scores, and then rejects Zeno on the defensive end

9:31 (7:09) Tech committs a stupid foul on the perimeter, and UCLA sinks 3 free throws to tie it,

9:33 Jarrious Jackson finds Devonne Giles for a jumper and Tech retakes the lead.

9:36 Ugly sequence. Both teams missing a lot of shots and turning the ball over.

9:37 (4:20) UCLA ties it up at 29-29

9:38 TV Timeout. Still tied at 29. Texas Tech has played defense very well for the most part, but they need to get someone other than Ross going. UCLA needs Jordan Farmar to get back on track. Both teams need to hang on to the ball

9:41 (3:37) Out of the timeout, Martin Zeno finally comes alive and scores.

9:44 (1:43) UCLA bricks 2 free throws that could have made it a 2 point game.

9:45 (0:30.0) Trading baskets. Tech leads 35-31.

9:47 (0:07.0) Damir Suljagic, a freshman Bobby Knight usually puts in for Giles for defensive purposes, scores.

9:47 Halftime Score: Texas Tech 37, UCLA 31. Tech is leading, but they aren't dominating despite playing good defense for most of the half.

9:49 Also at the half: Illinois 32, Farleigh Dickinson 31; West Virginia 33, Creighton 31; UAB 41, LSU 29.

9:58 Halftime was uneventful. They basically read off all the day's scores, gave us a peek at Illinois-FDU and sent us back to our game.

10:02 Checking up on the West Virgina-Creighton game on the web. Creighton has taken the lead 42-39

10:03 OK, CBS throws it back to Tucson, but immediately cuts to break. What gives?

10:07 We're underway, and Dijon Thompson hits a 3 to start things off for UCLA

10:10 Teams trading baskets, but the margin is still 4 points in Tech's favor.

10:11 (17:42 2nd Half) UCLA's Ryan Hollins bricks 2 free throws.

10:12 (17:03) Timeout UCLA. Texas Tech has run off a 6-0 run to match their largest lead. It's 45-36 Texas Tech. They've tried to set screens for Farmar, but their screens have been ineffective.

10:16 (15:24) TV Timeout. Teams traded baskets. it's now 47-38 Tech.

10:19 Farmar's numbers through 20 minutes: 0 points, 2 assists, 3 turnovers.

10:22 Another ugly stretch.

10:24 (12:58) Timeout. UCLA has cut the lead to 49-44. Tech needs to re-focus. UCLA needs to get hot.

10:26 (12:16) Ronald Ross now has 18 to lead the Red Raiders.

10:32 (9:40) Ross stops a UCLA 8-2 run with a 3 pointer.

10:34 (8:31) Tech now leads 56-50. Field goal percentages: Texas Tech 54%, UCLA 46%.

10:35 (8:09) Jordan Farmar hits his first basket, a 3 pointer, after 32 minutes of being held scoreless.

10:36 (7:44) TV Timeout. Farmar, after finding his shooting stroke, had his pocket picked.

10:39 (7:33) Devonne Giles hits a 3-point play, he now has 14.

10:40 (7:18) Ronald Ross hits 2 free throws to extend the lead to 9.

10:41 (6:33) and Dijon Thompson, UCLA's only effective offensive option, hits a 3.

10:44 Jarrious Jackson hits the 3.

Or does he? The replay shows his foot on the line.

10:45 It's a deuce and a 9 point lead for the Raiders.

10:46 With the Raiders now up by 11, we go to a Live Look-in. Creighton and West Virginia are tied at 61 and Creighton has the ball. Time out

10:47 They throw it back to the Tech-UCLA game. UCLA is now down 72-59

10:48 Live Look-in: Back to Creighton-WVU. Creighton misses a shot, then West Virginia gets a fast break lay-up for the apparent game-winning shot. Time out 0:02.4 seconds left.

10:50 Back to the Texas Tech-UCLA game. The lead back down to 9, 72-61 2:18 left

10:54 Live Look-in: Back to Creighton-WVU. Creighton can't get the last-second shot and West Virginia wins.

10:54 (2:11) Devonne Giles fouls out for Tech, but had a great night with 16 points. UCLA can't convert the free throws. Jarrious Jackson now has 13, making it 3 Red Raiders in double figures.

10:56 Graphic shows Texas Tech is now shooting 61%.

10:59 Texas Tech wins 78-66 and now faces Gonzaga. Given Gonzaga's performance earlier, I think Tech has some hope if they can continue to play great defense, but the higher seeds generally hold after round 1, so it's not looking good.

11:00 Oh, for all you "experts" who were writing off Texas Tech as an upset special...


Seriously though, the pieces are there for Ben Howland and the Bruins. I think their immaturity showed. UCLA will be a good team. Just not this year.

11:02 Live Look-in: UAB, a team I thought didn't belong, is making a statement against LSU.

11:05 Lost in the shuffle. and not really surprise a surprise: Illinois beats Farleigh Dickinson 67-55.

11:08 There's really no way LSU can win now. Which makes the SEC 1-2 in this tournament. Good job by the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers, a sweet 16 team from a year ago who are proving last year was no fluke. One wonders if they would dominate the reconstituted Conference USA next year...

11:12 Game over, time for bed. Good night.