USC leads North Carolina at halftime, 42-33. WOOOO! Go ‘SC! … Here, Oregon leads UNLV 37-33. Very entertaining game; lots of threes.
Listening to the USC-UNC game on the radio while watching the Oregon-UNLV game in person. Trojans lead, 15-7! And the Ducks are up 20-18.
In the audio posts below, I left my thoughts on the frustrating ending to that otherwise awesome game. In other news, Georgetown wins.
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I’m sorry but I can’t describe that any other way than the refs handed it to Florida. Can someone who watched on TV tell me if I’m nuts?
Butler leads 48-47 with 7:30 left. C’MON BULLDOGS!!!
A Pentagon investigation will recommend nine officers, including up to four generals, be held accountable for missteps in the aftermath of the friendly fire death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman, AP reports citing senior defense officials.
Visit CNN for the latest.
I don’t see how Butler has any chance to win if the refs keep calling this way. They just can’t compete in a physical game down low.
Florida leads 35-29 after a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer. Butler was up by as many as 9, but the Gators got better on defense… and on offense, figured out that these refs simply are not
calling the push-off, so Florida can murder Butler down low.
Hey, I can almost see the court from here! ;) In other news, outside the stadium we ran into the guy who we sat next to at the SIU-Butler game. So random!
Check out the location of our seats at the Edward Jones Dome (which is usually a football stadium) for tonight’s Sweet 16 games. They’re in Section 439, which appears to be about a mile-and-a-half from the basketball court:
Well, at least we’re in Row C of Section 439. That has to be worth something, right? :) But I’m afraid we won’t have quite as good a view of A.J. Graves as we did the last time we watched Butler play. Heh.
Not that I’m complaining. I’m totally psyched to be a part of March Madness firsthand, regardless of our seat location. I just hope the games are competitive! Er, and that my portable TV works inside the Dome, so that I can watch the end of the USC-UNC game if it’s close. :)
Anyway, here’s a preview of the games we’ll be watching. And here’s a preview of all of tonight’s games. The conventional wisdom is that Florida will win easily, but in a tournament desperately in need of a legitimate upset, let me just say: GO BUTLER!
(Also, albeit in a different venue: Fight on, Trojans!!! Beat the Tar Heels!!!)
Driving down rainy I-55 toward St. Louis for the Sweet Sixteen games tonight… and watching the news from Iran on my cell-phone-connected laptop. Go Butler, Beat Florida, and Go Blair, Beat Ahmadinejad. :)
Fifteen British Navy personnel have been captured at gunpoint by Iranian forces, the Ministry of Defence says.
The men were seized at 1030 local time when they boarded a boat in the Gulf, off the coast of Iraq, which they suspected was smuggling cars.
The Royal Navy said it was doing everything it could to secure the release of the sailors and marines who are based on HMS Cornwall.
They were said to be carrying out a routine patrol in Iraqi waters.
The Ministry of Defence said: “The group boarding party had completed a successful inspection of a merchant ship when they and their two boats were surrounded and escorted by Iranian vessels into Iranian territorial waters.
“We are urgently pursuing this matter with the Iranian authorities at the highest level.
“The British government is demanding the immediate and safe return of our people and equipment.”
It is understood the men being held are safe and well.
Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett has summoned the Iranian ambassador in London to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in an attempt to get the sailors and marines released as quickly as possible.
In a statement, leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Menzies Campbell, also called for their immediate release.
“Whatever the rights and wrongs of military action, British forces in Iraq are now there with the authority of a UN security council resolution… and the Iranian government should be left in no doubt of the serious implications of their action,” he said.
I can’t wait to hear what Tony Blair has to say about this. Iran had better comply with the Brits’ demands, and fast, or this could get very… interesting. You don’t mess with Texas, and you don’t f**k with the British and their troops.
UPDATE: BBC has live streaming video.
UPDATE 2: Pajamas Media has a roundup of blogospheric reaction, which ranges from the bellicose (”This could justifiably be called an act of war”) to the bellicose and racist (”Tony Blair I beg you… give these sand monkeys what they want, nuclear weapons. If this is not the catalyst for World War 3 Blair then what the hell is?”) to the decidedly unconcerned (”My thinking is that this will cause a short media kerfuffle, will ratchet up the rhetoric for a while, and then be resolved peacefully with both sides believing and publicly stating that they were in the right”).
It should be noted that a similar incident in 2004 — during which the captured British soldiers were blindfolded, paraded on Iranian TV, and also subjected to a mock execution — ended without, uh, World War 3 breaking out. However, it should also be noted that that was pre-Ahmadinejad, so the Iranian government was considerably less hardline, and tensions between Iran and the West were considerably less high. Also, let’s not forget that Ahmadinejad was personally involved in the taking of American hostages in 1979. Just saying.
P.S. The Jawa Report asks:
Isn’t this an act of war?
Another update: Given that embassies in Tehran were making evacuation plans yesterday…..er, I hate to place the tinfoil hat on here, but what are the chances that this was a planned operation?
I think the fundamental question remains the one I asked at the top of this post: What the hell is Iran up to? They’re clearly up to something.
Daily Pundit doesn’t think we (by which he presumably means, the West) will respond to this provocation adequately:
[W]hat will we do about it? Nothing. They could hang these men on live TV (letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hope they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t) and still we would do little except bluster ineffectually.
The Iranians are feeling their oats, and with good reason. The extent to which they are supporting the Shia terrorists in Iraq, and fomenting unrest generally, should by now have had very serious consequences for them. Our pusillanimity is astounding.
I don’t know. I’m not so sure the Brits would tolerate a live TV hanging of their soldiers. The English have a stiff upper lip, but they also have a stiff upper-cut when forced to fight. I keep thinking of that line from some awful TV movie back in the late 90’s, where the British officer closes a runway so an American plane suspected of carrying a deadly virus can’t land on British soil, and when an American officer asks him “What was that about?” he responds defiantly: “Sovereignty, sir… ours.” The British are proud people. If you push them hard enough, the Empire will strike back.
UPDATE 3: Hot Air:
I figure they’ll be released soon and the incident will be dismissed as a misunderstanding. Iran can’t have meant to do this, not with Ahmadinejad set to address the Security Council tomorrow about the nuclear program and not to the British, who’ve been adamant in opposing any military action on Iran.
That presumes Iran’s leadership is rational, which I believe is an open question.
Re: Ahmadinejad addressing the U.N., Becky suggests: “Why not take him hostage?” Heh.
Iran is playing a very, very stupid game in the seizure of British forces in Iraqi waters. … It is stupid because it is an assault on the UK and EU - not the US. Therefore there will be little media or liberal sympathy [for the Iranians]. It was in Iraqi waters, which is the equivalent of an invasion on land over a border and capturing soldiers. Sadly, the British are not going to like having their sailors captured by Islamo Fascists in rubber boats. So the pride angle here is also going to be a big factor.
It is stupid because now it is clear to everyone IranÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s beligerence is dangerous and out of control. What concerns me is why do this unless you had something in your hip pocket and you were going to play some poker. Why do this kind of escalation? And what will our Democrats do - say the West cannot confront Iran? Talk about bad timing. We are heading into some seriously perilous times right now. We have amassed a large navy force in the region, so we could respond. I doubt we will immediately. Iran may just be trying to do a prisoner swap. But it was a dumb and dangerous move all the same.
UPDATE 4: The Counterterrorism Blog asks a bunch of pertinent questions:
Is this an intentional act approved by senior Iranian leadership in response to findings of the British personnel, or possibly in reaction to the upcoming U.N. vote against Iran? The official IRNA news site includes a story complaining that the White House is throwing up a last-minute obstacle to the issuance of a visa for President Ahmadinejad to take part in the U.N. Security Council meeting Saturday on the Iran sanctions resolution - could that be the reason for this action? Is this a provocation similar to the Hezbollah seizure last year of Israeli soldiers, which led the Israelis into invading Lebanon, to test how the British and Americans move military assets in advance of armed action? Is this a calculated measure due to Iranian claims that the waters are, in fact, Iranian and not Iraqi (a 1975 treaty gave the waters to Iraq, but Iran disputes Iraq’s jurisdiction)? Or is this the action of a local commander, unauthorized by leadership, and due to anything from bad navigation equipment (hard to believe but it happens), one too many drinks, or a misinterpretation of orders? Recall that (a) Iranian forces did something like this in 2004 and held British servicemen for three days, then released them, and (b) local commanders’ mistakes have had devastating consequences, such as the accidental American shoot-down of an Iranian civilian airliner in 1988.
The phone lines are burning up but nothing else should at this point. Interestingly, the price of crude oil, often a sound indication of international skittishness, has not shot up in reaction to the event. The Iranians have not issued any information on the event on the IRNA site. Let’s wait and watch.
(Hat tip: InstaPundit, who suggests a naval blockade — a response that would fall somewhere in between “harshly worded memo” and “nuke the bastards.” Sounds about right.)