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Random thoughts on Thursday's action

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East

WSU vs. Winthrop. Washington State performs Chinese Water torture on its opponent. They play even for much of the game and use six or seven 4 to nothing runs until you look up and your down by 20. How? They'll take better shots than their opponent the entire game allowing the percentages to take over. Nice 30 point vs. Winthrop.

George Mason vs. Notre Dame. Look I know the Patriots won the CAA conference tourney so they made the tourney. The fact of the matter is George Mason didn't belong. Scoring 50 against a porous Irish defense is ludicrous. Virginia Commonwealth belonged in the tourney and would have had a much better showing. The Irish benefited playing a team that didn't belong.

Midwest

Kansas vs. Portland State. Yawn. Kansas could have rolled out fat and balding Adonis Jordan and Rex Walters and won this ball game.

Kent State vs. UNLV. Shame on Kent State for hitting snooze until halftime. Ten first half points, are you f'ing serious. They should be banned from post season play until all of those players have graduated. They dropped 48 on a good Rebel defense in the second half, but too little too late.

Wisconsin vs. Fullerton. Like most teams, the Titans wore down against the Badgers. Having to guard 30 out of the 40 minutes in any given game will do that to you. The Badgers make it damn near impossible for opponents to play from behind.

Kansas State vs. USC. Look, I had the Trojans going to the elite 8, and had this game pegged as a virtual layup for Tim Floyd and crew. I called the box and 1 or diamond and 1 on Beasley, but the Wildcats had a terrific plan, using screens on the box defensive players to free up players other than Beasley. This guaranteed that help would be late arriving. I thought Floyd took to long to adjust and play more conventional. And hell, KSU showed up. Who knew?

South

Michigan State vs. Temple. The Spartans simply locked down Dionte Christmas holding him to 1-12 shooting. That's your ballgame.

Marquette vs. Kentucky. Give it up to Billy Gillespie, his team had every right to just show up and take a whoopin' and no one would have made a stink about it. Give him Patrick Patterson and they would have handled a very talented Marquette club. The Wildcats have nothing to be ashamed of.

Pittsburgh vs. Oral Roberts. Scott Sutton probably didn't count on Levance Fields going off to the tune of 8-15 for 23 points. And they weren't of the break away layup or wide open 3 ball variety. Most of them were midrange pull ups that were contested. If he does that, Pitt becomes a very tough out as it gives them 3 legitimate scorers along with Blair and Young, not to mention sharp shooting Ramon.

Stanford vs. Cornell. Robin Lopez was the player of the game in this battle of the pocket protectors. His 7-9 outing along with 49 bench points were just too much for Cornell to overcome. You could tell that Stanford's size really bothered Cornell because this wasn't the same team that gave Duke a scare in Cameron.

West

UCLA vs. The Fighting Jerry Rices. Why wasn't MVSU in the play in game? 29 points in a tourney game is embarrassing.

Xavier vs. Georgia. One of the best games of the day. Georgia controlled the game but seemed to wear down at the end, especially point guard Sundiatta Gaines. Xavier shot 33 free throws to Georgia's 5 which is a bit curious. For those that claim the FT discrepancy is based on style of play, keep in mind the teams shot an equal amount of 3 point shots, and were dead even rebounding the basketball. Kudos to Xavier, and Duke for confirming my suspicions that the West is by far the weakest region.

Duke vs. Belmont. In the game of the day, the Devils survived a 1 point deficit with just 20 seconds to play getting a coast to coast layup from Gerald Henderson for the game winner. Gerald Henderson? Where was Greg Paulus and Demarcus Nelson? They were probably scared considering they were a combined 4-16. That bolds well for when they play a team with talent. A team like the Mountaineers.

Texas A&M vs. BYU. In the battle of the cults, the Aggies prevailed on the hot shooting of Josh Carter. Perhaps Deandre Jordan should go on a mission to Malaysia instead of the NBA considering a walk-on named Muhlbach got twice as much PT. The key to this game was the Cougar's inability to break down the Aggies off the dribble. BYU spent the majority of the game, throwing the ball aimlessly around the perimeter.

West Virginia vs. Arizona. This is what happens when teams don't belong in the tourney. See Baylor. If I was Dayton I'd be pretty pissed. Joe Alexander of the 'Neers is playing at a high level and I doubt the Devils will have an answer for him come Saturday.

Purdue vs. Baylor. The difference is that Purdue guarded for a half. Baylor failed to guard anyone for the entire game. Again, teams that don't belong in the tourney have a habit of letting pedestrian Big 10 teams shoot 50% from the field. A 52 point outburst by the Bears after the game was decided by half was all that kept this thing respectable.

All and all, a yawner of an opening round. Hopefully we'll see some upsets tomorrow. Oh, and Billy Walker is a whiney bitch.