What was your favorite moment from the first weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament?
My most favorite moment from the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament involved a different sport than the one selected for comment by the Panel.You see, my weekend peaked out when I learned that my alma mater, the University of Iowa, won its 21st NCAA Division I wrestling championship. They dominated so much that the team achieved its No. 1 ranking even prior to the final round, in which they placed three wrestlers out of the 10 weight classes, resulting in two firsts and a runner-up. The Saturday night telecast of the championship round was a welcome relief from the March Madness of round-ball overkill, which results, e-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y, in what is called the Sweet Sixteen. (Sweet is definitely not a term compatible with wrestling.)Wrestling is a most refreshing contrast, because its one-on-one continuous action. The only timeouts allowed are for injuries, which are very few considering the physical nature of the sport. Basketball, at all levels, has become a timeout sport I watched a game Sunday with 45 seconds left that took over 12 minutes to complete! Basketball game highlights in the future may well consist of game officials consulting with time keepers and reviewing TV replays to determine how many seconds to put back on the clock in between commercials, that is.
What wasnt my favorite moment?Thursday started out predictable and boring, but Friday is where it picked up. San Diego upset Connecticut and Western Kentucky upset Drake all in the same arena. Then, just to put the toppings on the cake, Siena beat up Vanderbilt and moved on in the tourney. Duke, who had struggled with Belmont in the first round, finally gave way and lost to West Virginia. Then, Sunday was the biggest upset yet when No. 10 Davidson beat the No. 2-ranked Hoyas and sent Georgetown packing. This year was full of surprises during the regular season, so it makes sense the tournament is just as crazy.
The most prudent moment would have to be when I decided not to put any money on my picks. Im thankful theres more to Good Friday than my NCAA basketball bracket. I actually did pretty well on Thursday as two of my five upset teams won, and I picked the rest of the days games correctly but Friday lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Down goes Clemson and UConn and Vandy and the Zags!I didnt get to see the buzzer-beater by Western Kentucky, and Bennett taking Duke down to the wire was exciting, but my favorite moment, without question, was the blocked shot and tomahawk dunk at the end of the UCLA-A&M game as the Bruins once again cardiac their way into the Sweet 16.
The Western Kentucky win in overtime over Drake was probably my favorite, even though Drake was who I picked to win. It looked like Drake had pulled off the comeback until the long last-second shot by Western Kentucky.I was also amazed at the performance from Curry in Davidsons win over Gonzaga. He scored 40 points despite being hounded all over the court by Gonzaga players. I dont even know how he was able to get some of his shots off. Ive not seen a player with such a quick release and accuracy at the same time. He was truly incredible.
Without a doubt, Sunday afternoon took the cake for me if only because its the first day I was able to really sit down and watch a few games.The highlight of the afternoon was watching CBS juggle two down-to-the-wire finishes. Im pretty sure the network triggered a number of epileptic seizures with the way they switched back and forth between the dramatic Tennessee-Butler and Davidson-Georgetown finishes. The best part: CBS twice switched to the Davidson game only to have a timeout called within five seconds of the switch.Priceless!
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Construction for the South Midland project is on schedule, though crews will continue to work on weekends to keep the course.