BasketScrawls: Chalking Up Day #1

So what that yesterday was pretty much chalk.

Higher seeds won every game, but for two. And VCU is to the 2012 tourney as Butler was to the 2011 tourney. Which is to say that they’ve obviously got more fuel in the tank for a second year coming out run. Sooooooo, the W over Wichita State (more about it in a moment) isn’t that much of a surprise.

And Colorado bested UNLV. Again, BFD. This is not an “amazing tournament surprise.” The Buffs do come from a league, while down now, with more than a little tradition. UCLA. Pete Newell’s Cal. Even Lute Olson caught one at ‘Zona. So, besting the Runnin’ Rebs, while a mild “upset,” won’t cause fans to gush, “How did that happen?”

Even though there weren’t but a couple of fingers worth of stunning moments, it was still, as always, the grandest sports day of the year.

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The one Holy Shit Moment came near the end of that VCU W.

The Shockers had come back from 13 down, cutting the deficit to a single digit @54-53. Then, VCU’s Troy Daniels nailed a trey, running the lead to 4. Wichita’s Joe Ragland cut it back to 1 from downtown. Then his teammate Toure’ Murray nailed a triple for a two point lead for the Mo Valley squad. On the ensuing possession, the Rams grabbed back the advantage on a Bradford Burgess threeball. Darius Theus’ runner sealed the deal.

* * * * *

Then there was the Zebras Run Amuck Moment.

It came when the Syracuse/ UNC Asheville game was still in doubt.

Down 63-66, the 16th seeded underdogs applied severe pressure when the Orange were inbounding. The pass went out of bounds . . . obviously to everyone off the hands of Brandon Triche. Everyone that is, but Ed Corbett the ref, who said it was Orange ball.

John Adams, the NCAA’s director of officials, didn’t prevaricate. “I’m not going to alibi for the gentlemen in the game. They work their butts off. When you see this call, it’s either a foul or you give it to the other team that didn’t knock the ball out of bounds. He didn’t get it right.”

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One thing that I truly forget every year until tournament time is how many officials there are that I never see at the Yum! or on TV, calling the big games. It’s like you expect to see Jim Burr or Karl Hess or other familiar faces, but they guys in striped shirts walk on the court in Portland or Pittsburgh, and you wonder, who the hell are these dudes?

Gorgui Dieng found out. Guys from other parts of the country don’t the call the games NFL style like they do in the Big East.

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Those of you who might have seen Wisconsin in one its bad performances during the season, and thus picked trendy Montana to beat the Badgers yesterday . . . tsk, tsk.

Bo Ryan never loses in the opening round.

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I’ve always thought that the SEC insistence on allowing TV interviews with coaches during games was odd. Imagine Adolph Rupp talking to Lesley Visser during a timeout. Wasn’t ever gonna happen.

But that intrusive oddity was trumped yesterday. Apparently Colorado State’s coach Tim Miles posted on Twitter during halftime of his team’s then 1 point lead over Murray State. “Win the half We’ll win the game.”

Perhaps the coach should have paid more attention to his job. The Racers outscored Miles’ charges, 35-17 after the tweet.

* * * * *

All the Hoopsylvanian teams possible advanced. UK. U of L. Murray State. Indiana. And Western Ky, which was battered by Kentucky, has nothing to be ashamed of. That the Toppers were playing at all yesterday may have been the most monumental achievement of the lot.

Mo’ later.

– Seedy K

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