12:16 Ohio State’s LaQuinton Ross tallies the first bucket of this year’s NCAA tourney
12:23 Underdog with a purpose Dayton is up 12-9 over the Buckeyes at the first media break. Love those stylin’ red and blue unis.
12:58 The Flyers, unbowed, playing like they intend to beat the big state school from up the interstate, are up 33-30 at halftime.
12:59 In the Billy Badger ballgame — My pal William attended both Wisconsin and American University — AU is up 14-10 after a 9 zed run. It turns out to be their last hurrah of the afternoon.
1:34 As much as I love this opening Thursday equal to any other holiday of the year, and am doing so again, something is amiss. What am I missing? Oh yeah, I realize I haven’t heard Jake from State Farm. It’s a good thing.
2:08 Aaron Craft1 commits a flagrant foul on a Dayton breakaway with 2:35 to play and his team down a digit. The Flyers score only 2 of 5 possible points, and Craft answers with a converted +1 to knot it up.
2:10 When the refs call a nickel/ dimer on a reach in, Bill Raftery says, “The ref’s obviously never taken the subway.”
2:12 Up a point, Buckeye Shannon Scott fouls Dyshawn Pierre[Winner by a hair of the Thursday afternoon Name Game over Harvard’s Syani Chambers.[/ref] on a three. Pierre cans all three FTs to retake the lead.
2:14 Craft hits a layup. Dayton’s Vee Sanford answers. Craft misses a runner, ends up flat on his back, where his career ends. Dayton wins. One game down of 63. One upset.
2:15 Pitt’s up 38-14 over depleted Colorado.
2:36 Cincy has missed 12 shots in a row — Which, to be honest, is what Cincy has done all season — and are down 6-12 to Harvard, the Harvard of Cambridge, you know, “one of them academic schools.”
3:05 Harvard, looking even steadier than Dayton, is up 9 at the half, 36-27.
3:07 Syracuse is out of the gate early, leading 12-4. No chance of an upset here.
3:45 I LOVE TODAY.
3:46 Still not a peep out of Jake from State Farm.
3:55 The Orange is up 40-21. So much for an upset out of the MAC.
3:59 It’s obvious Tommy Amaker is a really good coach. Wonder what the folks at Seton Hall think? They really didn’t give him a chance. Or the gang in Ann Arbor?2
4:01 I see the best doo of the day. Oregon’s Dominic Artis, with a stylin’ swirl etched into his short ‘fro.
4:02 The Crimson are hanging tough, up 5 at the second to final TV timeout. The Bearcats remain awful on offense. How stunning has their success been this season with a one man offense.
4:06 Justin Jackson hits a +1, and goes Mean Mug, to pull Cincy within a deuce. Will they pull out another one?
4:12 Cincy’s hopes are entirely in Sean Kirkpatrick’s hands. Which I realize at the same moment as I turn the page of this week’s Sports Illustrated, and come upon the ‘zine’s All-American team. On which Kirpatrick appears, along with fellow AAC guards, Shabazz Napier and Russ Smith.
4:20 Kirpatrick loses the ball off the dribble.
4:21 Syani Chambers hits three of four FTs. Wes Saunders hits a couple more.
4:26 Harvard, which essentially kept the AAC co-champs measured the whole afternoon, closes.
Two great games. Ohio’s two biggest schools go down. And it’s not even dinner time yet.
— Seedy K