Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wild and weird round 1 finish

If you are like me, then you were wiping the sleep from your eyes a little later this Saturday morning after some great finishes on Friday night. Wisconsin needing OT to beat Florida State, Siena doing the same to Ohio State (in 2 overtimes), and then there was Cleveland State.

Yep, Cleveland State sent Wake Forest home with a dominant 84-69 defeat. The Deacs never led, never got closer than 7 with 11 minutes to play in the 2nd half, and simply had no answers. It's a shame, because this was a good Wake team, but the Vikings were so good, it was a bit scary.

In the Sports Night Blog Brackets, "ipitytheblue" leads the way with 27 winners (out of the first 32 games), followed by "ptsimers" with 26, and then "bstar", "mmcfaddin" and our own Kira Mathis have 25. I am tied for 6th with 24 winners. Had I gone with the chalk, I would be higher up, but then again, the first round is all about finding the upsets, and I was close on several--VCU loses by 2 to UCLA (I had the Rams), Marquette escaped with a 1 point win over Utah State (Had Utah St.), and I had Butler beating LSU (Tigers won that 8-9 match-up). I did have the likes of Siena and Western Kentucky advancing, though.

Saturday and Sunday promise more fun and excitement. The tv will be a good companion today and tomorrow.

Have to get this off my chest, though, about the tournament as a whole. Why in the world are games starting just before 10 p.m. in the first round? In the Eastern time zone? The 10 p.m. start time is something that is reserved for adult league hockey games (trust me, I know, having played late night hockey for many years). It's not the start time for the NCAA's showcase basketball tournament. The latest a game should start is 8:30 local time. That's an hour and a half earlier than Wake-Cle. St. and Wisconsin-FSU got started on Friday. Yeah, I know, TV determines those things, but the NCAA is the one running this show. They need to make the call and allow these players, coaches and fans a chance to start at a time that they are somewhat used to. I don't recall an east coast start time later than 9 p.m. during the season, so a 10 p.m. start is just ridiculous. A 10pm eastern start is fine, if the teams are playing in the Mountain and/or Pacific time zones. East coast fans will stay up and watch those games. I know I would. Let's exercise some commons sense going forward, huh?

Enjoy the games, and root for my brackets!!! Ok, just enjoy the games!

Mike Solarte

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