Archive: March 21, 2009

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Madness: Round One

Saturday,  03/21/09  09:06 AM

Games I have watched (at least partially):

  • Memphis(2) over Cal State Northridge(15) - 81-70.  CSN put up a good fight but was outmanned in the end.  FS=02:50*.
  • Purdue(5) squeaks U. Northern Iowa(12) - 61-56.  Purdue looked dominant early but got caught and almost blew it.  They made their free throws.  FS=00:05.
  • Maryland(10) rolls Cal(7) - 84-71.  Fun game to watch, they seemed evenly matched but then suddenly Maryland pulled away.  Watch out for them, looked great for a #10...  FS=04:00.
  • Michigan(10) upsets Clemson(7) - 62-59.  Great game, I was rooting for Michigan.  They pulled out a nice lead in the second half, but Clemson caught and almost passed them at the end.  FS=00:00.
  • Gonzaga(4) survives Akron(13) - 77-64.  You'd never know it from the score, but this one was close.  One big rally in the second half gave Gonzaga the breathing room to survive.  FS=02:00.
  • UCLA(6) wins at the wire over Virginia Commonwealth(11).  Wow.  Great game.  I am rooting for UCLA - yeah, they are my [admittedly unlikely] pick to win it all - but I have to admit, VCU game them all they could handle.  One missed shot at the buzzer decided it.  FS=00:00.
  • Syracuse(3) blows out Stephen Austin(14) - 59-44.  I'm tempted to say FS=40:00, but in truth it was FS=20:00.  Didn't watch much of this one...
  • Kansas(3) holds off North Dakota State(14) - 84-74.  This game was never really in doubt, but it was fun because ND kept hanging in there, and you just didn't know if they could suddenly close it up.  I would not say Kansas looked great.  The gap was only 6 with a minute left.  FS=00:45.
  • Marquette(6) barely beats Utah State(11) - 58-57.  Watched the last two minutes, they were great.  Again won on the line at the finish.  FS=00:00.
  • Arizona State(6) handily wins over Temple(11) - 66-57.  Didn't really enjoy this one, don't know why.  Low energy.  FS=0030.
  • Pittsburgh(1) pulls it out against Eastern Tennessee State(16) - 72-62.  This one was bad basketball, but it was fun watching Pitt struggle.  You could see they were thinking "I can't believe we're not killing these guys".  But they couldn't pull away.  FS=01:00.
  • Louisville(1) blows out Morehead(16) - 74-54.  A classic #1 vs #16 match, it was over before it started.  FS=20:00.
  • USC(1) "upsets" Boston College(7) - 72-55.  Everyone in the Pac-10 knows USC is dangerous, and they proved it.  They are not a #10.  They rolled against a good BC team.  Michigan State better be ready.  FS=05:00.
  • Sienna(9) out-clutches Ohio State(8) in second overtime - 72-72.  This was a great wonderful game.  Two evenly matched teams, both playing well, and it went down to the wire, then another wire, and then a clutch shot at the end.  Wow.  I was rooting for Sienna, not knowing anything about them, because I have friends who picked Ohio State in their brackets :)  This is why you watch.  FS=00:00.
  • Wisconsin(12) surprises Florida State(5) in overtime - 61-59.  A totally classic #12 over #5 match, in which defense predominated.  I had picked FSU but in retrospect this would have been a good upset to call.  FS=00:00

The Wisconsin FSU overtime was interleaved with Sienna's overtimes against OSU, it was an amazing half hour of basketball.  Always set your Tivo for an extra hour.  Always!

* I don't remember where I got it, but I use this concept called the "fridge score" when watching a game (FS above).  This refers to Chick Hearn's famous "this game is in the refrigerator" call, when a game is still being played but the result is no longer in question.  The fridge score is the time at which this happens; the lower the score, the better the game.  A fridge score of 00:00 is what you want :)

When you have 20+ games on your Tivo, the fridge score has another meaning too; it means the point at which you fast forward to the next game :)  I must confess, I also sometimes fast forward through the first half.  The game is always decided in the second half.  Always.

One good thing; this year CBS doesn't seem to have the "cult of the coach" thing going quite as much.  Yeah a good coach matters, but let's face it, they don't determine the outcome, the players do.  I would say [for example] that a football coach has way more effect on the outcome of a game than a basketball coach.

Man, there have been a lot of commercials.  I don't watch them, but I have to blip my Tivo past them, and just that was annoying.  Just as bad are the house ads; why does CBS promote March Madness from within the games?  We're already watching!  I think the basketball / commercial ratio is lower this year than ever...

I'm watching the tourney with old technology.  My original Tivo Series/1 is now ten years old (upgraded a long time ago with an 80MB drive).  My original Slingbox is now four years old.  Still I must tell you it works great...  I'm able to blog / code / email / surf / whatever and watch the basketball at the same time.  Lovin' it.


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