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NCAA Tournament – Day One, Part One

Sean Keane March Madness

The first real day of tournament action was thrilling, full of upsets, buzzer-beaters, and millions of Americans discovering that “TruTV” is an actual television network. It used to be Court TV, and besides NCAA games, their programming appears to consist of live trial coverage and home movies of people doing stupid things and injuring themselves. Both of those apply to Kentucky coach Rick Pitino. Grab your brackets, and let’s bust it!

East Region

#5 West Virginia 84, #12 Clemson 76

Clemson won their play-in game Tuesday night, then got stuck with a 12:15 start time on Tuesday, which makes me conclude that Coach Brad Brownlee might have slept with the wife of a selection committee member. The game was uneven enough that Jonnie West, son of Jerry, got some playing time, during which he hit a three-point shot and somehow traded for Kobe Bryant.

#4 Kentucky 59, #13 Princeton 57

Princeton almost pulled off the huge upset, but Kentucky hit a lay-in in the final seconds to win it. Coach Sydney Johnson cried after the game, which makes me think he has a future coaching the Miami Heat. This was a Cinderella story in the brutal German folklore tradition, where stepsisters get their eyes gouged out by birds, and Cinderella dies of typhus on her way to the ball. These disappointed Princeton players will have to comfort themselves with their lifetime of Ivy League advantages, along with white privilege.

West Region

#6 Cincinnati 78, #11 Missouri 63

Cincinnati’s authoritative victory leaves America asking, “What the hell is a Bearcat, anyway?” Wikipedia says it could mean a mountain lion, a wolverine, or a mammal from Southeast Asia called the binturong. The binturong is known for its prehensile tail and stifling perimeter defense, and can become vicious outside of its natural Big East habitat. After this vicious beating, Missouri players have been encouraged to get rabies shots.

#3 Connecticut 81, #14 Bucknell 52

If you had Bucknell advancing here, you’re probably not winning your office pool. You’re also probably related to a player on Bucknell’s team. Connecticut absolutely dominated, and in a tribute to Connecticut’s largest industry, the Mohegan Sun casino, they easily covered the spread.

#7 Temple 66, #10 Penn State 64

Penn State hit a huge shot to tie the game, and Juan Fernandez of Temple responded with a go-ahead basket of his own. It wasn’t a buzzer-beater, since a few seconds remained on the clock – more of a buzzer-molester, a shot that gets inappropriately close to the zero mark. Penn State tried a desperation heave at the buzzer, which hit the scoreboard. That tells me that the scoreboard is way too low on that court in Anaheim, but since it’s only the relocated Sacramento Kings that will be playing there, I predict that no one will care.

#2 San Diego 68, #15 Northern Colorado 50

Is Northern Colorado an actual school? I think it’s possible that a really good intramural team from San Diego State made some fake stationery and a website during a snowboarding trip to Colorado, and duped the NCAA into believing the scam. I mean, Tate Unruh? That’s not a real name. Also, SDSU Coach Steve Fisher is 65 years old and doesn’t look a day over 93.

Steve Fisher

Check out more of Sean Keane’s sports blogging over at SportsCentr, and at Sean Keane Comedy.