We’re potentially 20 minutes away from Jay’s dream/nightmare matchup, his version of my annual USC-ND dilemma, in the South Regional Final. Tennessee leads tOSU, 49-32 at halftime. If the Vols win — and at this point, a loss would be an epic collapse — it’ll set up a showdown between Jay’s undergrad alma mater, Memphis, and his law-school alma mater, UT, with a trip to the Final Four at stake.
(I use the term “dilemma” loosely, of course. As with me when the Trojans play the Irish, there isn’t any doubt who Jay would root for in a “Voluntiger” battle: Memphis.)
Meanwhile, UCLA is thus far keeping alive the possibility of a Trojans vs. Bruins national-title game, leading Pitt 37-30 with 15:30 left.
UPDATE: Epic collapse mode is in full swing! It’s tied, 64-64 with 9:00 left. Ohio State is on a 35-15 run.
UPDATE 2: UCLA wins.
Will Ohio State make it a 4-for-4 day for the favorites? It’s going down to the wire.
UPDATE 3: Yup. Ohio State wins on a Greg Oden block at the buzzer, depriving Jay of the all-Tennessee matchup. The Vols blew a 20-point lead, and as a result, the most boring NCAA Tournament in the history of the freakin’ universe continues with two 1-vs.-2 regional finals now set… and counting. At least we can be assured the winner of #3 Oregon vs. #7 UNLV tomorrow won’t be a #1 or #2 seed.
The NCAA Tournament’s “Year of Chalk” continued Thursday as a #1 seed and a #2 seed became the first Elite Eight entrants, albeit by the hairs on their chinny-chinny-chins. As a result, Ginny Zak, who picked mostly high seeds throughout her bracket, maintained her edge in the Living Room Times men’s basketball pool.
Zak, who predicted 1-vs.-2 regional finals in both the West and South regions, has 236 out of a possible 292 points. She is followed by Tristin Thomsen with 251, Amy Greca with 248, and Karin Back and A.J. St. John with 246 apiece, as the top five was unchanged by Thursday’s early games. Complete standings here and after the jump.
While the top of the leaderboard was largely unaffected by the two games, 38 contestants were mathematically eliminated, leaving 71 still alive to win the pool. You can see who those contestants are here.
UPDATE: Not much changed after the two late games. Ginny Zak is still first, Tristin Thomsen still second. Amy Greca fell from third to sixth because she picked Pitt over UCLA. Full standings here and after the jump (below the standings after the two early games). Also, 22 more contestants were mathematically eliminated, leaving just 49 still alive to win the pool.
Kansas leads SIU, 27-24 at halftime. The Salukis may be three points behind, but that’s a Southern Illinois type score. (In the most recent edition of the ESPNU College Basketball Insider Podcast, Andy Glockner said, “I don’t know that Southern Illinois can make this a 60-55 game,” and Jay Bilas agreed: “They’ve only allowed one team all year long, and that was Western Kentucky, to score 70 or more. I think Kansas will be the second, and I think up at that level, Kansas will have a better opportunity to win than will Southern Illinois.” Well, so far, the Salukis are proving Glockner and Bilas wrong. Keep it up, guys!)
Meanwhile, by the six-minute mark of the first half in the Texas A&M-Memphis game, both teams had scored more points than either team in the Kansas-SIU game at the half. That one is currently tied at 35.
UPDATE: The Salukis opened the second half on a 9-0 run to take a 33-27 lead. Woohoo!
A win by Southern Illinois would actually eliminate me from any chance of winning my pool. But I don’t care! Go SIU!
UPDATE 2: Kansas 58, Southern Illinois 56 with 1:08 left. GO SALUKIS!!!
UPDATE 3: DAMMIT!! Southern Illinois falls just short, 61-58.
The Jayhawks got just enough breaks to scratch and claw their way past a team that clearly outplayed them. I’m not blaming the refs or saying Kansas doesn’t deserve the victory — just that they are very, very lucky to escape with a win. And that anyone who doubts whether Southern Illinois deserves respect is officially an idiot.
And, damn, if only Tatum had gotten that point-blank, uncontested putback after the missed layup.
I give Kansas credit for one thing… the Jayhawks had a bunch of steals (8, I think?), several of which were very pretty — and without those, they definitely lose.
Just a frustrating ending… so many “woulda, coulda, shouldas.” The Salukis were so close to the Elite Eight. Argh.
Well, on the bright side, at least I’m still mathematically alive in my pool. :)
UPDATE 4: What happened to this game? It was so much higher-scoring than the SIU-Kansas game, and now suddenly, it’s not. A&M leads 64-63 with 54.1 seconds left, and it’s Aggies ball.
UPDATE 5: ACIE LAW MISSED A CLUTCH LAYUP?!?! WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!
UPDATE 6: REBOUND?? Can you get a freaking REBOUND, Aggies?!? AAAAAHHHH!!!!!!
UPDATE 7: Memphis by 1 with 3.1 seconds left, A&M ball. It’s Acie Law IV time!! A chance for redemption! One shining moment! Do it!! C’MON AGGIES!!!
My whole theory in picking A&M to win the national championship was that, in close games, in situations like this, Acie Law IV, Captain Clutch, would carry them to victory, Christian Laettner-style. That theory is about to be put to the ultimately test.
UPDATE 8: WTF?
That was the most retarded anti-climax ever.
And what kind of a shot was that???
And where was Acie Law IV????
Good defense by Memphis…
and the refs.
That sucked. A lot.
Well, congrats to Jay and Memphis. And farewell to my pool chances.
[More after the jump on the “1.1 seconds” controversy, about which I strike a more conciliatory tone upon reflection. -ed.]
Why the hell not? This is a serious slugfest of a game between two really freaking good teams.
If you’re not getting it broadcast locally, go to March Madness on Demand.
Seriously. Great game.
Fun facts about Ohio State coach Thad Matta:
Heh. (Hat tip: Brian Newbold.)
tOSU-UT is the last of tonight’s four games, and one of the three in which I’ll be rooting for my bracket. The others of that ilk are Pitt over UCLA and — most importantly, with apologies to Jay — Texas A&M over Memphis. I’ll be rooting against my bracket, though, in the SIU-Kansas game. Go Salukis!
A law firm in New Jersey has temporarily halted plans to launch a blog because its insurance company would not cover the blog under an existing malpractice insurance policy.
James Paone, a partner at Lomurro, Davison, Eastman and Munoz in Freehold, N.J., said that the firm’s insurer Ã¢â‚¬â€ The Chubb Corp. Ã¢â‚¬â€ said several weeks ago that it would not add the blog to the existing policy. “We were in the process of beginning to set up a blog, having internal discussions about what areas of law would be the subjects,” he said. “We wanted to cover the first base, which is [Chubb’s] coverage. Our insurance carrier said [a blog] is not a risk they were interested in insuring. The entire discussion stopped.”
Paone said his firm contacted Chubb to ask about insurance coverage in case someone tried to sue it over content in the blog. Now, the law firm is in the process of setting up a meeting with Chubb “so we can understand what their rationale is for saying they weren’t interested in covering that kind of risk,” Paone said.
Let the coaching carousel begin. Tubby Smith, according to Andy Katz of ESPN has accepted the head coaching job for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, leaving one of the biggest coaching jobs in America wide open.
Do the Wildcats want a guy like Billy Donovan, a Pitino clone, to come to UK, even though he’s at Florida? Is it one of the up and comers from a different conference? They may want to try to squeeze John Calipari from my Tigers, but I don’t think they can get him.
Anyway, it should be fun to watch the chips fall down the line as coaches start to move around.
The NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden are set — all four #1 seeds advanced — and a “Final Four” contestants are still alive in the BrendanLoy.com NIT Pool: Gary Kirby, Dana O’Shea, Colleen Duggan and Cam Thomas.
O’Shea currently has the lead (she reclaimed it from Kirby when Air Force won last night), with 213 out of a possible 252 points. Kirby is second with 203, followed by Thomas with 198 and Duggan with 194. But any of them could end up winning the pool. Here are the scenarios, based on what happens in Tuesday’s semifinals and Thursday’s championship game:
Oh well, at least Gina is still around for another week. :)
Updated standings for the BrendanLoy.com American Idol pool after after the jump.
Former Sen. John Edwards today announced he will continue his Democratic presidential campaign even though his wife ElizabethÃ‚â€™s cancer has returned.
Visit CNN for the latest.
Is John Edwards dropping out of the race for president?
His wife’s cancer has returned, and it’s now incurable bone cancer… but it’s treatable and, if the treatment goes well, she’s expected to live for a good long time. And Edwards is not dropping out, suspending his campaign, or anything else, all speculation to the contrary.
The 7-Eleven on Willard Avenue in Newington was robbed at gunpoint Wednesday.
Yeah, so, that was a pretty bitchin’ line of thunderstorms that just came crashing through South Bend. Current radar animation here; archived radar animation after the jump.