Tag:NCAA Tournament
Posted on: April 7, 2009 10:39 pm

Greatest NCAA Basketball Champions Bracket: Rd 1

Here's the rundown of the field:

85: Villanova
86: Louisville
87: Indiana
88: Kansas
89: Michigan
90: UNLV
91: Duke
92: Duke
93: North Carolina
94: Arkansas
95: UCLA
96: Kentucky
97: Arizona
98: Kentucky
99: Connecticut
00: Michigan State
01: Duke
02: Maryland
03: Syracuse
04: Connecticut
05: North Carolina
06: Florida
07: Florida
08: Kansas
09: North Carolina

The first round vote is underway: http://onlinesportsfanatic.com/2009

Posted on: March 22, 2009 11:46 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2009 11:59 pm

Ranking the Sweet 16

Before I get started I need to explain how these rankings work. Here's a little rundown:

  • These rankings have NOTHING to do with seeding. If you want rankings based off of seeding then the Selection Committee has already established those in the NCAA Tournament bracket.
  • These picks are NOT based off who I think will win the remaining games of the NCAA Tournament. That has nothing to do with these rankings.
  • The rankings are based off of team evaluation of the entire season and performance so far in the tournament. On court performance in the tournament is the strongest factor along with the health of key players.
  • Just so it's known these rankings don't even halfway resemble my bracket.

Sweet 16 Rankings:

1. North Carolina Tar Heels: North Carolina is finally playing its best basketball. Ty Lawson's toe may not be just fine but his on court play is not suffering. Tyler Hansbrough has picked up his game and the Tar Heels appear to be playing like the team we all thought they would be before the year. Gonzaga will test them for sure but on paper North Carolina has more weapons. That could be the difference.

2. Connecticut Huskies: Remember when one CBS Sports' blogger said that Chattanooga-Connecticut would be the closest first round 1-16 game? Well I was wrong.  The biggest question marks about the Huskies so far have been about the health of Jim Calhoun. There's nothing to question about what Connecticut has done on the floor up to this point. A. J Price is averaging 23.5 PPG so far in the tournament.

3. Louisville Cardinals: They weren't as impressive against Morehead State or Siena as they were expected to be but they're still battle tested and loaded everywhere. Rick Pitiino's squad plays great defense in stretches and shoots lights out the rest of the time. I wonder how it feels to be the top seed in the tournament and get a 16 then a 9 and now a 12 seed in the first three rounds. Of course Arizona isn't your typical 12 seed.

4. Syracuse Orange: I believe that it can be argued that Syracuse is playing the best basketball in the entire country right now. Think about their last week. The Orange have wins over Connecticut, West Virginia, Stephen F. Austin, and Arizona State. Syracuse-Oklahoma could be the best third round matchup. I can't wait to see how Syracuse defends Blake Griffin inside. Can the Orange slow him down?

5. Pittsburgh Panthers: Before the NCAA Tournament I thought they were the most well rounded team in this year's field. Now I'm wondering where the real Pittsburgh Panthers are. I expect 1-8 games to be competitive but not 1-16 games AND 1-8 games. Pittsburgh almost lost during the first weekend twice. In this tournament you don't get nine lives (or in this case six). If you let good teams hang around they will eventually bite you. Sam Young saved them.

6. Oklahoma Sooners: Blake Griffin has been the monster we all thought he would be against Morgan State and Michigan. Neither team had anybody to match up with him inside. Against Syracuse he may have to match the points of the Syracuse guards for Oklahoma to have a chance to win. In two games the Sooners big man is averaging 30.5 PPG and 15 RPG in the tournament.

7. Memphis Tigers: We have seen two completely different Memphis squads so far in this tournament. Exhibit A against CS Northridge was absolutely terrible but luckily Roburt Sallie saved the day. Exhibit B didn't even let Maryland take the court before it disposed of the Terps. Now they get Missouri, another Tigers team that likes to run up and down the floor. Mike Anderson has seen the Tigers once or twice before.

8. Villanova Wildcats: All the Villanova fans out there need to call American University and scream THANK YOU through the phone. The Eagles woke up Villanova on Thursday, especially when Nova trailed by 14 early in the second half. An alarm clock went off in the Wildcats huddle and they responded by blowing out American. They didn't stop there though. UCLA got the brunt of the anger in one of the least competitive, highly anticipated 3-6 matchups in recent memory.

9. Duke Blue Devils: For all the Duke fans out there ready to get out the pitchforks and start a riot slow down a minute. Just because I have Villanova ranked above the Dukies does not mean I am necessarily picking the Wildcats to win. My bracket actually says otherwise. Duke barely survived Texas on Saturday night. For the first time in three years Duke is playing in the Sweet 16 (which is still hard to fathom).

10. Michigan State Spartans: It's hard not to be impressed with what Michigan State has done thus far in the tournament. They dispatched of a pretty strong 15 seed in Robert Morris like yesterday's newspaper before handling talent laden USC. The Spartans now get Kansas, which must be nice considering they've already knocked off the Jayhawks once.  The winner of that battle probably gets #1 Louisville.

11. Kansas Jayhawks: The defending national champions still get zero respect. They were pretty much an upset victim in most brackets. The problem was the Jayhawks are too good to go home this early and everyone that thought they were young or just not ready for the big stage was completely wrong. Myself included. Wins over North Dakota State (14 seed) and Dayton (11 seed) aren't the most impressive in the world, but they get a chance to prove they can repeat if they can knock off MSU.

12. Missouri Tigers: Mike Anderson is back in the Sweet 16 and there's too much irony in the fact that he's facing John Calipari's Memphis Tigers to believe it wasn't set up by the committee on purpose. Anderson's UAB Blazers played Calipari's Tigers twice a year in Conference USA. Matter of fact an Anderson coached UAB squad was the last C-USA team to knock off the Tigers. The problem for Mizzoui? None of those UAB players will be in this game. The good news? This Missouri squad is even better.

13. Gonzaga Bulldogs: Man oh man do the Zags know how to play nailbiters. Akron played them well until a huge Gonzaga run put the game away in the closing minutes. Then it took a buzzer beater to knock off Western Kentucky. Now they get North Carolina, arguably the best team in the country. Can the Zags finally get it done and reach their second ever Elite Eight? It should be one of the most competitive games featuring a one seed in round three.

14. Arizona Wildcats: Like I put in my entrance to these rankings, seeding does not mean anything for this. Arizona has knocked off Utah and Cleveland State (which doesn't mean much other than wins) but they've looked pretty good doing it.  Why are they ahead of Purdue and Xavier? Without trying to disrespect those teams in any way it's truly just because they are more talented than them. In fact Arizona has wins over Kansas and Gonzaga this year, and both are still playing basketball right now. That's impressive.

15. Purdue Boilermakers: Yes I'm the idiot who had Purdue losing in round one to Northern Iowa. I'm sorry Purdue fans, I just had to have an upset pick somewhere. Then I had them losing to Washington because I had the Huskies winning over NIU in my bracket. And now I've learned my lesson right? Well, no not exactly. Now I have them losing to Connecticut. Purdue is extremely talented and can play with anyone, but based on the teams remaining I can't rank them higher than 15th.

16. Xavier Musketeers: I can actually hear the complaints about this one coming. "Dan you mid major hater!" Yes guys that's me, the guy who just hates the little guys so bad that he has to rank them dead last in his Sweet 16 rankings. NOT! Xavier is a very good basketball team and they've shown us that all season and in both games they've played in this tournament. Right now when I look at the teams I think Xavier is the worst team still standing and that's unfortunate. Somebody has to be last and these are all great teams.




Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 22, 2009 1:24 am

Round 2 Picks (Sunday)

My wrist is still killing me so no live blog for Sunday either but here's my picks:

A lot of there feel like crash and burn picks honestly......

Syracuase over Arizona State
Wisconsin over Xavier
Dayton over Kansas
Arizona over Cleveland State
Pittsburgh over Oklahoma State
Marquette over Missouri
USC over Michigan State
Louisvlle over Siena

 Overall: 34-8

Posted on: March 21, 2009 12:06 pm

Dantheman's Round 2 Picks

My tournament preview from the other day wasn't too far off. I had most of the great games to watch right and called most of the blowouts right. This should be a great weekend of college basketball. Blake Hofstad and I have previewed round two here.

Here's my picks:

Saturday Picks:
UCLA over Villanova
Memphis over Maryland
Connecticut over Texas A&M
Washington over Purdue
North Carolina over LSU
Oklahoma over Michigan
Gonzaga over Western Kentucky
Duke over Texas

Overall: 26-6

Posted on: March 20, 2009 11:38 am
Edited on: March 21, 2009 12:24 am

NCAA Tournament Live Blog Day 2


11:21 PM: Siena wins! And through it all 13 seed Cleveland State is forgotten behind two great games. I'm signing out. Great night of games!



11:16 PM: Siena leads 71-70 in 2OT with 35.1 seconds left in Dayton. Meanwhile here comes FSU needing a last second shot to win.

11:15 PM: TREVON HUGHES AND ONE FOR WISCONSIN! The Badgers lead 60-59 with 2.0 left in OT!

11:12 PM: Evan Turner hits a three and Ohio State tied is 68-68. Wisconsin trails by one with 10 seconds left.

Siena 68, Ohio State 68 (2OT 1:40)
Florida State 59, Wisconsin 58 (OT :07)

11:08 PM: Tony Douglas gives Florida State a 59-56 lead! Siena leads by three over Ohio State as well 68-65.


11:00 PM: Ohio State-Siena is a one point game with 9.1 left in overtime. Wisconsin-Florida State is going overtime now as well.

10:56 PM: Huge three for Wisconsin gives Wisconsin the lead!

Wisconsin 52, Florida State 50 (:45 left)
Siena 61, Ohio State 61 (1:50 OT)

10:53 PM: Florida State and Wisconsin are going back and forth.Two great games on right now. Both MSU and Cleveland State are rolling. Meanwhile Florida State is up 1 and Siena is up 1 in overtime.

10:49 PM: First tournament game to go overtime is Siena-Ohio State! What a game. Kenny Hasbrouck with two big plays down the stretch.

10:35 PM: Siena ties Ohio State on a quick 6-0 run before the Buckeyes retake the lead 61-59 with two minutes left! What a game!

10:30 PM: Wake Forest either needs a miracle run in the next 7:44 or they are going home at the hands of Cleveland State. Michigan State is rolling while both Ohio State and Florida State are holding onto small leads.

9:33 PM: Back from Chic Fil A (no pizza tonight). How about what Cleveland State is doing to Wake Forest? That would be the biggest upset of this tournament so far.

7:34 PM: I am heading out to go to Pizza Hut (yes!) and to watch the rest of tonight's action. I will recap tonight's games when I get back.

7:10 PM: I sure hope Louisville gets a scare from Morehead State. No offense to the Cardinals or their fans but I want to see another 1-16 game that goes down to the wire.

6:51 PM: Morehead State led Louisville but the Cardinals have re-taken a 30-25 lead. Arizona has led Utah the whole game.

6:27 PM: Score updates:

USC 8, Boston College 7
Louisville 17, Morehead State 10
Arizona 12, Utah 4
Xavier 3, Portland State 1

6:10 PM: The live blog is getting back started as the games get back started. Morehead State-Louisville is about to get underway. Louisville has a 38 point win over Morehead once this year already.

4:21 PM: Dayton upsets West Virginia and ruins my bracket. I had the Mountaineers in my Elite Eight. Great win for the Flyers, 68-60.

4:16 PM: Pittsburgh survives 72-62. What a game. Pittsburgh your alarm clock just went off, WAKE UP!

3:43 PM: All my attention is on this ETSU-Pitt game. This is one of the last great achievements yet to happen in sports really. Can a 16 finally beat a 1? Missouri is dominating Cornell and Arizona State has closed out Temple. Dayton-West Virginia is back and forth but the Flyers lead by one.

3:29 PM: I'm not saying ETSU is going to beat Pittsburgh but the effort is clearly there. Clearly less talented the Buccaneers are playing twice as hard, rebounding well, pressing well, and hustling for incredible blocks and great defensive plays. The Panthers lead by two but it's ETSU ball. The whole arena is on ETSU's side. Remember #1 seeds are 98-0 vs. #16 seeds, but isn't it about time that changed? It would only make it so #1 seeds lose 1% of the time in the first round. It's about time! But will it happen?

2:57 PM: Pittsburgh is only beating East Tennessee State by THREE at halftime! Wow! There's no doubt in my mind now (if there was even any before now) that ETSU should've been at least a 15 seed and probably a 14. Cornell is within 4 of Missouri at the half as well. Four great games are going on right now.

2:16 PM: Score updates:

Cornell 6, Missouri 4
Dayton 9, West Virginia 8
Arizona State 29, Temple 24
Pittsburgh 11, East Tennessee State 9

2:04 PM: Arizona State-Temple began a little while ago, tipping off the second round of day games. The Sun Devils have come out red hot and lead 29-16 with about half of the first half left to play.

1:40 PM: And Marquette my attempt to be different Final Four pick has survived by one over Utah State. What a group of games that we just had. Wow. Kansas, Marquette, Syracuse, and Oklahoma State win.

1:34 PM: Oklahoma State knocks off Tennessee by two! What a game! Utah State pulls within two of Marquette with 23.0 seconds left.

1:31 PM: What a shot by Byron Eaton to give Oklahoma State the lead over Tennessee. Kansas will survive and Marquette has stormed back to take a three point lead. The TN-OKST game is coming down to the final seconds.

1:15 PM:

Good call on Tennessee-Oklahoma State being the best game today.  Back and forth affair with both teams spreading out the scoring and shooting pretty well.  

-Ben Plume (pittbaster) Silver Spring


Thanks. It has been fun to watch. The Vols and Cowboys are tied 67-67 with 5:20 left to play.

1:13 PM: Syracuse has advanced and will now meet the winner of the Arizona State-Temple game on Sunday.

1:02 PM: Three games appear to be coming down to the wire.

12:48 PM: Score updates (sorry for the delay in posts):

Oklahoma State 49, Tennessee 46
Kansas 49, North Dakota State 44
Marquette 29, Utah State 28
Syracuse 56, Stephen F. Austin 35

12:09 PM:

What are your thoughts on the rather lackluster start by the "mid majors" so far this year?  Will that trend continue today?  Thanks.

Kyle Singleton (huskyonspeed) Wenatchee, WA.

Good point Kyle. The at large mid major teams are 0-2 with losses by BYU and Butler. Today the A-10 is the only hope of the mid majors as both Xavier and Dayton play. Looking at the mid major auto bid winners only a few have been victorious so far, Gonzaga and Western Kentucky. The irony of that is that those two teams will now play in the second round. I have both Xavier (in an upset) and Dayton losing today. Utah State and North Dakota State are the main hope for the mid majors but the Aggies and Bison trail right now in their games. Keep an eye on Utah. Everyone is picking the upset and usually the opposite happens when everyone agrees on an upset.


11:54 AM: Score Update:

Syracuse 36, Stephen F. Austin 18
Tennessee 29, Oklahoma State 23
Kansas 25, North Dakota State 25
Marquette 17, Utah State 9

11:33 AM: Great email...

Now, maybe this is an unwarranted gripe, as I'm obviously biased in the argument, but do you agree that East Tenneessee State was horrendously under-seeded?  They have 23 wins, average about 75 points and 8 steals a game, and barely average fewer rebounds than the Panthers, one of the better rebounding teams in the nation.  Doesn't this seem like a much more difficult opponent than the #2 1 seed is supposed to have?

 Ben Plume (pittbaster) Silver Spring

Ben you are completely right. It can actually be argued that East Tennessee State is better than Stephen F. Austin who Syracuse is playing as we speak. I had ETSU as a 14 seed in my final bracketology and was shocked when they were given a 16 seed.

11:25 AM: Tennessee-Oklahoma State is now getting started. This is probably going to be the best game of the day. Expect a battle. And I'm still awaiting some questions/comments. Get on it guys!

11:13 AM: Syracuse-Stephen F. Austin is about to get underway to begin today's games. The Orange are a team I think can make a serious run in this tournament.

10:36 AM: This will be the site of the live tournament blog for the second day of the NCAA Tournament.  Please send in your questions to my email either with the link above or by clicking here . The purpose of the live blog will be to keep all the tournament action together in one place and to get feedback from all of you guys!

Here's how the live blog will work:

1) I will break down the games as they happen with live updates from scores, nailbiting finishes, and my thoughts on what is happening on and off the court with all things relating to the NCAA Tournament.

2) I will answer your questions and post the best comments on my blog. All you have to do is send them to my email . You can also post comments below (I'd actually appreciate it very much) but please realize that between live blogging, checking my email, and answering questions its going to be very difficult to check in for comments at the bottom of this post.

3) When you send me an email please put your NAME, LOCATION, and QUESTION. If you are a CBS member and would like to include that then I will also include that in your question.

Posted on: March 19, 2009 12:38 am
Edited on: March 20, 2009 12:35 am

The Official Live NCAA Tournament Blog: Day 1

Send in your questions/comments now!

11:32 PM: Western Kentucky knocks off Illinois to conclude today's action. The last game of the night is the first real upset. The Hilltoppers now will take on Gonzaga in round two. I'm signing out! Thanks for all your questions!

11:17 PM: Eric Maynor misses a buzzer beater attempt to beat UCLA and the Bruins win 65-64. UCLA gets Villanova on Saturday. Western Kentucky continues to lead Illinois and there's only two minutes left.

11:02 PM: UCLA is now only up 3 after a huge run by Eric Maynor and VCU. Can the Rams complete the comeback? 1:57 left.

10:40 PM:

Score updates:

UCLA 53, VCU 44
Oklahoma 67, Morgan State 47
Western Kentucky 49, Illinois 36
Duke 83, Binghamton 56

10:03 PM: Updates are getting more sparatic as I get tired (sorry for that). Western Kentucky is up 9 on Illinois.

9:27 PM: Great games on now. A lot of people think VCU and Illinois can win tonight and pull big upsets. Duke and Oklahoma lead by 10 points with those games climbing towards halftime.

8:53 PM: Gonzaga knocks off Akron 77-64. Duke-Binghamton is one of the final night games under way.

8:40 PM: A couple of tv complaints.....

R u kidding?

No action for the past 10 minutes…geico, wild wings and promos…..you cut away from nova to michigan to gonzaga and nothing…….




Why did CBS take a great game (Villanova v. American) off the air with less than 2 minutes to go and put Gonzaga on with more than 7 minutes to go???? Stupid move- get it right


I hope you guys realize that I don't have any affiliation with CBS at all (I'm not sure if Stephen knows that). My tv coverage went from TX-MN to NOVA-AMER to CLEM-MICH to GONZ-AKRON. No complaints here. I haven't missed a thing.

8:28 PM: Michigan beats Clemson by three and Villanova responds to American by blowing them out in the closing minutes. Gonzaga-Akron is the best game on right now.

8:18 PM: Michigan leads Clemson 58-55 with 59.7 left. This should be a great finish.

8:09 PM: Vilalnova is on a 13-0 run to grab the lead on American.

8:01 PM: American and Akron continue to lead 3 seed Villanova and 4 seed Gonzaga in the second half.

7:46 PM: American takes a 10 point lead temporarily but Villanova is fighting back slowly.

7:38 PM: Score update....

Texas 56, Minnesota 44
Michigan 46, Clemson 34
American 47, Villanova 38
Akron 38, Gonzaga 35

7:14 PM:

Hey i was wondering how many many wrong picks would make up a decent bracket today. So far i picked the Butler and Cal winning so thats 2 wrong. Theres also no telling whats going to happen tonight. For the rest of tonight, i picked Clemson, Texas, Villanova, and Gonzaga, Duke, VCU, WKU and Oklahoma.

My bracket has one incorrect pick because I took Northern Iowa in an upset over Purdue. Based on the potential of upsets I'd say two or less losses is a great bracket at the end of the night.

7:08 PM: Upset Alert! 14 seeded American leads Villanova 41-31 at halftime! And don't look now (it worked when i said it regarding the American-Nova game) but Gonzaga is only up two.

6:54 PM: Don't look now but American leads Villanova 30-26 with 5:12 left in the first half.

6:42 PM:

Score Updates:
American 21, Villanova 20
Minnesota 24, Texas 23
Michigan 19, Clemson 18
Gonzaga 4, Akron 3

6:32 PM: I'm having flashbacks to last year when I begged for an upset. Come on smaller teams it's time to get rolling. Give us a Stephen Curry type Cinderella run to cheer for. Is American the team to give us hope? I'm not sure but they are playing well early against Villanova, down 14-11.

6:28 PM: Had to clear up this comment a bit with some slight editing:

I had thought that the Pac 10 had slovenly played through each other. Guess living in the Midwest and not staying up late enough to view alot of West coast games has hurt my perspective. This was impressive and if they play like they did today they will move past Purdue and may prove to be alot of peoples bracket buster. The only pac 10 team I had advancing was USC. They looked liked a tourney team so I thought.  Hooray washington they deserve to be there KUDOS.

-Patrick Toney

I mean no disrespect Patrick but I'm really not surprised Washington won today. I have them in the Sweet 16 (as a lot of people do) where I have Connecticut beating them. As far as having USC as the only Pac 10 team advancing be careful on that. The Trojans are the least consistent of the Pac 10 teams in the field. Without winning the conference tournament they wouldn't even be in. Arizona is also up and down but I have them winning along with UCLA. Arizona State (close over Temple), and the Trojans.

6:16 PM: Tonight's first round of games are now underway. It looks like I may have picked the wrong 10 seed to win:

Minnesota 11, Texas 3
Clemson 7, Michigan 3

5:58 PM: Washington knocks off Mississippi State 71-58.

5:47 PM: Washington is dominating Mississippi State but don't fret the next set of games is about to get underway. Will we finally see the first monster upset of the day take place? So far it's been a pretty quiet day for a NCAA Tournament.

5:41 PM:

Leading Scorers From Today:
Robert Sallie (Memphis) 35
Marcus Thorton (LSU) 30
Greivis Vasquez (MD) 27
Wayne Ellington (UNC) 25
Stanley Robinson (UCONN) 24

Notice anything about this list? All five players are moving on.

5:21 PM: Washington continues to lead the only game in progress. There are some pretty good games coming up tonight though. Here's tonight's schedule:

7 Texas-10 Minnesota (6:10)
7 Clemson-10 Michigan (6:10)
3 Villanova-14 American (6:20)
4 Gonzaga-13 Akron (6:25)

2 Duke-15 Binghamton (8:40)
2 Oklahoma-15 Morgan State (8:40)
6 UCLA-11 VCU (8:50)
5 Illinois-12 Western Kentucky (8:55)

4:52 PM: Blake Hofstad and I have broken down today's early action in a podcast over at OSF. You can check it out here . Today's early action is almost over with Washington-Texas A&M at halftime and the Huskies up 38-27. What game are you guys looking forward to tonight?

4:07 PM: Mississippi State-Washington is underway and for the first time ever I get the west cost game that most of us miss. Not sure how that will affect my tv coverage for later. So far I am 6-1 on my picks with my only miss being Purdue's win over Northern Iowa. I had that as an upset.

3:56 PM:

Do you think this first round is sending the message that maybe Memphis really didn't deserve that one seed they were griping about?  It seems, with the Tigers barely struggling past Northridge while the Huskies and Tar Heels (minus a coach and MVP, respectively) post 40-point blowouts, that a case can be made

-Ben Plume

Even with two more 1 seeds left to play I think it's pretty fair to say that Memphis was seeded correctly. Good point.

3:32 PM: Purdue survives and ruins my dreams out a perfect bracket. Great win for the Boilermakers, 61-56.

3 17 PM:

Score Update:
Maryland 36, California 31
Connecticut 48, Chattanooga 20
Purdue 62, Northern iowa (2:20 left)
North Carolina 68, Radford 39

3:03 PM: Northern Iowa closes within six after a fastbreak dunk. Then the Panthers miss a three to pull within one basket. Can they complete the comeback after being down 14? My bracket hopes so.

2:52 PM: My upset pick is alive! A huge run by Northern Iowa brings the Panthers to within six of Purdue! Come on UNI! Don't break my bracket. Score update coming soon on all the action. For those wondering, North Carolina and Connecticut are absolutely rolling.

2:33 PM:

Every year, I have heard that it is a down year for the Big Ten.  With 7 of 11 teams getting in and Arizona possibly stealing Penn State's shot, I don't find that weak.  Top of the conference, I give it to the Big East easy.  How many of the 7 do you see getting out of the first round?  I have already seen that you picked N. Iowa but it seems that although a half left, Purdue is still clicking. I have 6 of the 7 getting out with Illinois not because of Frazier but I think they still have a shot. And yes, that does mean Wisconsin too.  I have seen the Badgers consistency too much and Florida State went on a tear at the end and I think are over seeded at 5.  Normally, I pick the Big Ten to win maybe half but these squads and matchups seem very reasonable or favorable.

Regards from the site of the Final Four. I can't believe I will be there.

-Matt Banks

I have MSU, Illinois, and Michigan getting out of round one. Purdue is the victim of my proposed upset (not happening so far), Wisconsin loses to FSU in my mind, Texas beats Minnesota, and Ohio State loses to Siena. It's nothing against the Big Ten. I think it's a very loaded conference but most of the teams do seem to struggle on the offensive end of the court.

2:30 PM:

I know this may sound like a silly question, but why did the NCAA make every site have the same court?  I think it takes alot of the individuality off the different sites and just gets confusing at times to keep up with which games are at the same bracket and all.  Any opinions on this?

-Anthony, Pennsylvania

It's an interesting observation Anthony but it doesn't really matter to me. As long as I have a bracket in front of me I can tell pretty well where each game is going on at.

2:19 PM: North Carolina is on pace to score 100 points. Radford looks tired and done already.

2:13 PM: Can we see the first ever 16 over a 1 uposet? Not likely but there are two 1-16 games in progress. Here's the latest scores:

Purdue 29, Northern Iowa 17
North Carolina 13, Radford 11
Maryland 14, California 10
Chattanooga 6, Connecticut 4

2:05 PM:
In tonight’s matchup between Clemson and Michigan who are you taking.  Over the past several years, my reference to a team that I am leery of is that I trust them as much as a 17-0 Clemson start.  I don’t deny they are solid but I expect the excitement of Michigan’s return along with Manny Harris and a team that plays with no seniors, they will be like energizer bunnies out there.  I even have them ousting Blake Griffin in the 2nd in an upset special and I am a life long Spartans fan so no nepotism.    Side note- I know the MidWest is the toughest bracket but why is everyone overlooking Utah completely it seems.  They beat the LSU team by 30 albeit early in the season, beat the Zags, an RPI of like 13 or something and Arizona (never should be in) would be considered a failure if they didn’t win.  I know it’s the Mountain West.  Your thoughts on the Utes?

-Matt Banks

Matt I have Michigan winning because I can't pick a team as inconsistent as Clemson to go anywhere. And I believe my exact quote yesterday was "When everybody jumps on an upset the opposite usually happens" and I was referring to Utah-Arizona when I said that. The Utes are very good, just over-seeded. The Wildcats as a 12 seed will place the three best players on the court in that game. Usually when that happens the team with the best three players on the court wins. The one thing Utah has going for them is that they show up every night while Arizona does not.

2:02 PM: North Carolina is already up 6-0 with less than a minute off the clock in Greensboro.

1:34 PM: Purdue-Northern Iowa is underway......and remember I have the upset in this one.

1:22 PM: Memphis probably just put CS Northridge away, now up 7 with 1:52 left.  LSU is up 5, 68-63 on Butler with 35.7 left. And pencil Texas A&M into round two on your brackets, up 74-59.

1:17 PM:

Score updates:
LSU 65-Butler 60
Memphis 67-CS Northridge 64
Texas A&M 72-BYU 57

1:11 PM: Marcus Thorton's big three gives LSU a 5 point lead with 3:58 left. Barring a Butler come back it appears the North Carolina-Radford winner will take on the Tigers in round two.

1:06 PM: Northridge is up SIX up Memphis! Can the 15 seed do it? Last year we saw Belmont blow a chance to beat Duke but can Northridge do it?

1:01 PM: Love this question!

If these second-half scores hold up, what's your over-under for the percentage of people who would start 0-3 in their brackets, including an ousted Final Four team (like me)?  

-Ben Silver Spring, MD

I'd say about 50% of people would start 0-3. I have LSU, Texas A&M, and Memphis winning. I considered having the Tigers lose in round two and actually talked to a Memphis fan two nights ago who said (and I quote) "There no way Maryland would beat us with our play on the defensive end of the floor". Well Maryland/California are waiting but Memphis may not even have the defense to beat Cal State Northridge.

12:59 PM:

Score update:
Butler 54, LSU 53
Northridge 52, Memphis 50
Texas A&M 60, BYU 46

12:54 PM: CS NORTHRIDGE IS LEADING MEMPHIS 44-43! WHAT A GAME! Without Robert Sallie the Tigers would be getting killed.

12 :51 PM: Butler tied LSU 49-49 and CS NORTHRIDGE HAS TIED MEMPHIS WITH A THREE! WOW! 40-40 in KC!

12:45 PM: Two really great games going on. Butler leads LSU by one, 44-43 and Memphis leads Northridge 39-35.

12:36 PM:

How funny would it be if Memphis lost first round. No more complaining about number one seeds maybe? Also, four of Memphis's players have 2 fouls at half. I think Cal can pull off the upset! - Brian, CT

It would certainly end all speculation. LSU's lead is now only one, 41-40.

12:25 PM: Jim Calhoun is not going to be coaching Connecticut today. I wish him well. The Huskies play Chattanooga later today.

12:20 PM: Memphis only leads by three at halftime, 34-31. The Tigers were outplayed in the first half but not outscored.

12:10 PM: Memphis is completely out of sync

Score update:
LSU 35, Butler 29 (H)
Memphis 32, CS Northridge 27
Texas A&M 37, BYU 26

12:02 PM: Memphis is winning right now, 29-24, but they are completely out of rythym.

11:54 AM: Texas A&M is up 12 already on BYU. Score update in a second but here's another great comment.

Notice that it took Butler 6 full minutes to make its first field goal?  Not too many teams will win games making a field goal every 6 minutes.  5 of the Bulldogs' first 8 points from the stripe...  

-Ben Plume, Silver Spring

I did notice Ben. The thing is that Butler has survived the LSU storm completely. The Tigers still lead but the score is only 20-15. Butler has outplayed the Tigers since the first six minutes. This looks like it is going to be a game of runs.

11:49 AM: LSU is settling for jumpshots and after their 9-0 start they have cooled down. Butler is on a 11-6 run to get back into the game.

11:42 AM: In Kansas City an upset is brewing. I know it's still early but CS Northridge looks very comfortable playing Memphis. 15-13 Northridge and Memphis is already in the penalty.

11:37 AM: Butler's Matt Howard already has two fouls. That's bad for Butler. They really need their best player on the floor, especially being down 13-6 aready. Memphis has now tied CS-Northridge 11-11 while Texas A&M has jumped out on BYU 11-3.

11:33 AM: Big_red0127 remembers my comment on LSU....

I remember you and Blake saying that either winner would give UNC trouble.

I'm glad somebody was listening!

11:31 AM: Let's get our first score update of the day:

LSU 11, Butler 3
CS Northridge 9, Memphis 4

And yes..the second score is correct. Memphis trails early.

11:23 AM: What a start by LSU! I remember saying during my podcast that LSU could give North Carolina all sorts of matchup problems in round two. Does anyone remember that? Watch out for the Tigers. There's over 38 minutes left to play here but they are off to a great start. 9-0 Tigers.

11:21 AM: Bo Spencer of LSU scores the first points of the NCAA Tournament. 3-0 LSU.

11:16 AM: Finally it's time for play in the 2009 NCAA Tournament!

11:06 AM: Just heard a Chattanooga player say that he believes they can make history by knocking off Connecticut. Now that I really want to see.

10:57 AM: That will be the longest live break the blog will take today. I had to get stuff set up for when the games do kick off. Another great question:

Hey Dan,        I've pretty much based my pick of W. Kentucky over Illinois on the absence of Frazier. How significant is his presence to the Illini. Unfortunately I haven't been able to watch too much B10 basketball this season due to the lack of a certain television station, so I am really unaware of the intangibles he brings to the table.  

-T. White
Albany, NY

He's not going to light it up from the field (5.7 PPG) but he does a little bit of everything which makes his a big part of Illinois's success this year. I think with or without him for the Illini (which they are without him) Western Kentucky has a chance to win today. The Hilltoppers aren't as talented as last year's Sweet 16 squad but they do know how to play on the big stage.

10:39 AM: Great question from Benjamin and he even answered my question as well. Please follow his format.

I'm most interested in LSU-Butler.  It's the Tigers' chance to show that the SEC has at least some strength...or not.  Then again, Texas A&M-BYU is a rare first-round rematch.  Speaking of, take a look at the East does Duke, Pitt, UCLA, VCU remind you of anything?  How about Pitt, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State (look at 2003, I think it was)?  Then there's FSU (who Duke played twice and Pitt played once) and Villanova (who already beat Pitt)....does it seem to you that the committee is lying when they say they don't do matchups for significance?  

-Ben Plume, Silver Spring MD

I agree Benjamin. LSU-Butler looks like its going to be the best game. If LSU wins their length can really give North Carolina trouble in round two, but the Tar Heels do still have to knock off Radford. Benjamin the committee says it strives to avoid rematches until the Sweet 16 and it has this year but I do think they tried to set up a few things. I don't understand, for one thing, why Kansas-Michigan State and Florida State-Pittsburgh are all in the same subregion. That creates out of conference rematch possibilites that we've already seen. There's no doubt the committee places teams where they think they can get the most television ratings. It certainly makes it interesting and very hard on bracketologists like me.

10:35 AM: The only thing I need now is some rotel dip, some hot wings, and a big glass os sweet tea. Of course I also want to see a few big upsets when this thing kicks off. Memphis will be the first the first big favorite to play today and I expect them to win by 30 over Northridge. Why? Mainly because Northridge reminds me of another middle of the pack Conference USA team.

10:26 AM: Which early game do you guys think will be the most interesting? LSU-Butler, Memphis-Northridge, or Texas A&M-Butler? Send me your reasoning through email and the best responses will get posted here.

10:25 AM: Here's the best question I've received so far:

Dan:  I have all 7 Big East Teams in the Sweet Sixteen.  Does this necessarily make me crazy?  I don't think so.  I think 5 of them are virtually locks to get that far, and only WVU over Kansas and Marquette over Missouri would be upsets.  In both cases, I just think the Big East representative matches up well.  I don't think Kansas can stop Butler/Ebanks (and West Virginia's defense is like nothing KU has seen all year) and I just get that feeling about Marquette...I doubt Missouri can guard the perimeter well enough.

-Benjamin Plume

In all honestly I have all seven Big East teams in the Sweet Sixteen also. I have six of them in the Elite Eight and three of them in the Final Four. Either the Big East is about to show its strength from 1 to 7 or its about to really mess up my tournament bracket. My guess is that the latter is more likely.

10:19 AM: Guys the NCAA Tournament will get started in about an hour and I cannot wait to get this live blog started. The early games look like they are going to be fantastic. I got started early so I could answer a few questions ahead of time, so here's the first.

Where on the net are the cbs coverage maps for the ncaa tourney this 

-Ned Morell
Honestly Ned I spent about half an hour looking for the coverage maps the other night and I couldn't find them. My guess is that I will get the LSU-Butler game in my coverage area, but remember MMOD will allow you to watch any game live.

11:37 PM (Wednesday Night): This will be the site of the live tournament blog for the first day of the NCAA Tournament.  Please send in your questions to my email either with the link above or by clicking here . The purpose of the live blog will be to keep all the tournament action together in one place and to get feedback from all of you guys! I already have a few questions lined up and I truly cannot wait to get started. Last year's first day blog (although this year I plan on blogging the whole tournament live) reached over 10,000 hits and that was during a time of loss in my family. This year everything is good except for my wrists hurting from typing but I will be okay.

Today, the opening day of the NCAA Tournament, is the best day of the year. Get ready for buzzer beaters, crazy finishes, and an atmosphere unlike any other in sports. Here's how the live blog will work:

1) I will break down the games as they happen with live updates from scores, nailbiting finishes, and my thoughts on what is happening on and off the court with all things relating to the NCAA Tournament.

2) I will answer your questions and post the best comments on my blog. All you have to do is send them to my email . You can also post comments below (I'd actually appreciate it very much) but please realize that between live blogging, checking my email, and answering questions its going to be very difficult to check in for comments at the bottom of this post.

3) When you send me an email please put your NAME, LOCATION, and QUESTION. If you are a CBS member and would like to include that then I will also include that in your question.

Tomorrow's live blog will get started around 10 AM CT, about an hour and twenty minutes before the tournament kicks off .  If you have any questions you'd like to ask me before the games get started or before a game tips off please have it ready early so that I can answer it early. If you want a preview of the tournament you can always listen to my podcasts previewing each region (South , West , East , Midwest )  on OSF or you can read my quick blog of thoughts here on CBS. The podcasts don't sound very professional but it was the best we can do.

Here's tomorrow's schedule (all times CT):
8 Butler-9 LSU (11:20)
2 Memphis-15 Northridge (11:25)
8 BYU-9 Texas A&M (11:30)

5 Purdue-12 Northern Iowa (1:30)
1 North Carolina-16 Radford (1:50)
7 California-10 Maryland (1:55)
1 Connecticut-16 Chattanooga (2:00)

4 Washington-13 Mississippi State (3:55)

7 Texas-10 Minnesota (6:10)
7 Clemson-10 Michigan (6:10)
3 Villanova-14 American (6:20)
4 Gonzaga-13 Akron (6:25)

2 Duke-15 Binghamton (8:40)
2 Oklahoma-15 Morgan State (8:40)
6 UCLA-11 VCU (8:50)
5 Illinois-12 Western Kentucky (8:55)

Posted on: March 18, 2009 2:53 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2009 8:57 pm

Dantheman's Complete First Round Preview

I know I've been harping on my wrist pain the last few days but it's the reason my first round preview is delayed and because it is a LOT shorter than I had hoped for. I apologize for that. Here's the best I can muster:

Five Games to Watch (for sure):

Oklahoma State-Tennessee
The winner of this one can give Pittsburgh a lot of trouble in round two.

Arizona State-Temple
Dionte Christmas and James Harden are going to put on a show.

USC-Boston College
The Trojans are finally playing great basketball while Boston College is up and down. No telling which teams are going to show up.

Ohio State-Siena
How in the world does Ohio State get to play in Dayton? Who knows, but giant killer Siena could truly care less.

Both of these teams are as inconsistent as they come. Will December Clemson show up to take on November Michigan? If that happens these two teams can beat anyone.


Five Upsets that Could Happen (not counting 8-9 and 7-10s):

Xavier-Portland State
Both of these teams are over-seeded. Portland State already has a win over Gonzaga to its credit. I actually have this one in my bracket.

Is this even an upset? Everyone has this one picked. Beware though, when the whole world jumps on an upset the opposite usually happens.

Purdue-Northern Iowa
If you see this and shake your head join the crowd. Let's just call this one a hunch.

Washington-Mississippi State
I'm sure the Huskies aren't happy that they are a 4 seed that still has to take on the SEC Champions. Mississippi State will create matchup problems everywhere.

Kansas-North Dakota State
Kansas is young and not playing well. North Dakota State is led by Ben Woodside and ready to win its first ever tournament game.


The 1-16 Game that will be closest will be: Connecticut-Chattanooga
The Huskies never get up for these games. If there's any 1-16 game that stays between 15 points or so this would be my guess. Also keep an eye on East Tennessee State. They should really be a 14 or 15 seed and not a 16 against Pittsburgh.

The 2-15 Game that will be the closest will be: Michigan State-Robert Morris
Last year Duke was challenged by Belmont but the guess here is that Binghampton won't play as well. I think Robert Morris can play with Michigan State for a little while.

The first round's biggest blowout will be (not counting 1-16 games): Missouri-Cornell
The Tigers are going to run Cornell up and down the floor all night long.


Dantheman's First Round Picks by Region
Louisville over Morehead State
Siena over Ohio State
Arizona over Utah
Wake Forest over Cleveland State
West Virginia over Dayton
Kansas over North Dakota State
USC over Boston College
Michigan State over Robert Morris

Pittsburgh over East Tennessee State
Tennessee over Oklahoma State
Florida State over Wisconsin
Portland State over Xavier
Villanova over American
Texas over Minnesota
Duke over Binghamton

Connecticut over Chattanooga
Texas A&M over BYU
Northern Iowa over Purdue
Washington over Mississippi State
Marquette over Utah State
Missouri over Cornell
Maryland over California
Memphis over CS Northridge

North Carolina over Radford
LSU over Butler
Illinois over Western Kentucky
Gonzaga over Akron
Arizona State over Temple
Syracuse over Stephen F. Austin
Michigan over Clemson
Oklahoma over Morgan State

Dantheman's Final Four:
Louisville, Marquette (I cannot pick all four #1 seeds), Pittsburgh, North Carolina

About the Marquette pick here's what I think. Are the Eagles one of the best four teams in the country? No but if they get by Utah State (a big if) they get Missouri. I really think that matchup favors Marquette even without Dominic James. Then they get Memphis (more than likely) which I think could be an upset. After that they get Connecticut, a team they've seen in the Big East already this year. It's just a hunch.


MMOD: And remember if you haven't signed up for March Madness on Demand you need to before tomorrow!
Live Blog: My live blog will be back tomorrow for the complete weekend. Send all questions to my email!



Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 12, 2009 4:44 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2009 4:46 pm

Great day! Answering Six Questions From Today

Today has already been busy and it's only 3:30 here in the Central Time zone. Let me clear up a few questions I'm sure are circling in your mind.

As I type this Villanova just knocked off Marqutte at the buzzer........(more on that in a minute)

1) What about Baylor's magical run to the Big 12 semifinals?

The last thing we need around here is someone stroking their ego, but I can't help but brag just a litlte now. I picked the Bears as one of my potential Cinderellas last week in my preview for conference tournaments. Don't be surprised if they win it.

2) Why does Clemson do this January/February swoon every year?

No idea. It doesn't make sense to me but congratulations to Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets may be the most improved young team from the start of the season to the end of the season. Watch out for them next year. The Tigers seed is dropping like a rock.

3) What do Kentucky & Michigan's wins mean?

Honestly not much. Beating Iowa and Ole Miss does not mean hardly anything this year. For Michigan they did knock off a team that has already won games against Wisconsin and Penn State. Earlier in the year both UK & MI lost to the teams they beat today.

4) Minnesota's win over Northwestern does ___________?

Keeps them alive but not much more. The Wildcats are mediocre at best and very inconsistent. The win gives Minnesota a great chance to get a signature win versus Michigan State tomorrow.

5) Who is done?

Miami is done after being blown out by Virginia Tech. Providence is all but done at this point depending on the showings by other bubble teams, including games in progress as I type this.

6) When's the new bracketology coming out?

Any second now. I am going to try to update it hourly.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com