After the most scintillating afternoon of NCAA basketball I can recall — You can read my take here — there were two questions to be answered, as the evening’s slate of eight tilts commenced.
1) Would it be possible the evening’s fare could match the drama, excitement and controversy of that which preceded it?
2) Exhausted as I was, from a full afternoon watching all the action, and buzzed from way too may peanuts and more than my fair share of Vernor’s and A&W Diet Root Beer, would I be able to persevere throughout the evening until it’s post-midnight conclusion?
Since the answer to the second question is, sadly, no, my observations of the totality of the evening’s fare are not all first hand.
I must, your Honor, rely on hearsay.
* * * * *
Cincy’s OT W over Purdue was compelling imperfection.
The game was mostly a slog. But, if close at tournament time, those brutally inefficient affairs gain grandeur as the final horn approaches.
The Boilermakers hit a couple treys and a couple FTs, thus held a 7 point advantage with less than a minute to play. But, in a struggle that included five ties and 16 lead changes, that advantage was far from secure. Obviously.
The Bearcats extended the game. Actually, Purdue aided Cincy by throwing it away. More than once. The Bearcats scored 6 points in 7 seconds of clock, then knotted it on Troy Caupain’s tally at the buzzer.
Ooooooooooooooooooovertime!!! The second of the day.
During which, hero du jour, and 1st team All Name, Coreontae DeBerry, took over. More or less.
There was a flurry of missed layups and missed shots and missed dunks, back and forth. It wasn’t great b-ball, but it sure was exciting.1
The Bearcats survived and advanced, 66-65.
On the morrow, they face the guillotine a/k/a Coach Cal’s Cats.
* * * * *
At one juncture in the second half of the Carolina/ Harvard duel, the Tar Heels were up 16, the game seemingly in hand.
But, it was just one of those glorious days, and the Crimson fought back.
Harvard had the lead, by a deuce, with 1:15 to go. Then were in possession of the rock, game tied, with :48 to play.2 But the Ivy Leaguers missed a three, gave up a Carolina score, then missed another long ball late that would have won..
* * * * *
So then, I started clicking between the Utes vs. Jackrabbits, in which Utah was being pushed by Stephen F. Austin, and the #8 vs. #9 donnybrook between LSU and N.C. State.
The Wolfpack/ Tigers battle was obviously going down to the wire.3
Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, at some point my head fell back to the cushion on my recliner, and my eyes shut.
When I awoke, whatever game I had on, was in commercial. A decision needed to be made. Take a deep breath, step out on the porch for some fresh air, and stay the course? Or, turn off the TV, call it a night, and accept that, given the majesty of the day’s proceedings, I’d probably miss something.
Unlike days of yesteryear, I chose the latter.
Thus, I have no personal knowledge of the Wolfpack’s comeback. Or Kentucky’s smackdown of Hampton. Etc, etc.
* * * * *
What I feel grateful for is that I didn’t overdose on yesterday’s action, which was as captivating as the most ardent of hoopaholics would jones for.
Today: 16 more games. Including the tourney opener of the team I love.
So, I’ll post this. Get in a little shvitz with a jog, shower, some schmear for sustenance and forge ahead.
What more can a hoopaholic ask for?
— Seedy K