Thursday, March 16, 2006

Illinois 78 Air Force 69

First and foremost, the opening day of the tourney is practically a national holiday. And why Friday isn't already a national holiday officially is mind-boggling and preposterous.

So whoever is fuckin' it up with bomb scares in San Diego and massive attacks in Iraq can fuck off immediately.

Generally, when helicopters are providing the televised news angle and people are gathering unexpectedly, something isn't right.

Whether it be Baghdad.

Or San Diego.

And all for a hot dog stand. Why would you want to hide a bomb in a hot dog stand? The world can always use more hot dog stands. Always. Leave the hot dog stands alone.

A hot dog stand? How un-American is blowing up a hot dog stand? Come on now. Even I'm not that cynical. And the last thing we need is to get FOX News involved with the tourney.

Laughable. All of it. I'm thinking one of those police dogs wanted a hot dog and I don't blame him.

After surviving a two-hour delay to its schedule because of this "suspicious package", Illinois survived a pesky Air Force team that refused to go away.

Doesn't running the Princeton offense automatically make you a "pesky team that refuses to go away"? There are no Princeton offense-running teams that just go out and roll people.

The game started with almost nobody in the stands after ticketholders had to be shuffled in and out during the drastically shortened break between sessions. I mean, there was noboody watching except the benches and the reporters. Weird all around.

Fuck it. Just win, baby.

In the end, it ended up looking oddly like an Illinois-Northwestern game, with the same result.

I doubt the strange circumstances of the mysterious hot dog stand affected the Illini much. I mean, they're in San Diego, for fucksake. We should all be so lucky. So they had to kill some extra time looking out their hotel windows at the sun and blue sky and beaches. They probably got in a few extra rays poolside in the prime afternoon sun. Or caught some of the other games on the telly. Sounds rough.

I suspect they managed.

For all the talk leading up to the game centered on the need for Dee Brown to find his touch and get hot, it was Jamar Smith's silky smooth jump shot that stole the show. The freshman hit six three-pointers and totaled 20 points and looked so friggin' money, as he often does. Dude was hot. Bilas and Enberg were in awe.

Smith's penchant for supplying instant offense has been often compared to Vinnie Johnson. The new Microwave. And while I have no problem with naming a dude after a kitchen appliance, another comparison, at least at the college level, might be Todd Day, who, like Smith today, was once a tall, skinny dude with a pristine jumpshot who could absolutely kill you when he was feeling it at Arkansas. Day was a little taller than Smith is, but whatever.

If the Illini hope to go deep, a hot Smith would be huge. And hopefully, Smith's NBA career, should it come someday, turns out a bit better than Day's.

Brian Randle and Warren Carter were flying around. Bilas and Enberg were loving Randle as much as much as Smith. Bilas and Enberg love everbody.

Gonzaga survived a big time scare from Xavier, which led by nine in the second half. Adam Morrison scored 35 points and banged his head more than Chris Farley on his own talk show. Xavier's Stanley Burrell did manage to make a meaningless bucket as time expired to allow the Musketeers to cover the spread. Which was awesome.

I was glad to see George Washington pull out a crazy overtime win against UNC-Wilmington. Had the Colonials lost, I don't think I could have stomached all the major conference elitists blabbering on about how the committee actually got it right by giving GW such a low seed and blah, blah, blah.

It wasn't easy, which should have been expected considering the committee was nice enough to make GW face Wilmington in North Carolina. That was a nice touch by the committee. Speaking of which, I really hope GW played a number or regular season games at the MCI Arena in DC. Otherwise, I'm wondering why GW wasn't placed in the DC regional. Is 26-2 not good enough to stay near home, like "certain other" teams always do?

Just wondering.

Apparently, it took awhile before the Colonials found their rhythm with Pops Mensah-Bonsu just inserted back into the lineup, but once they did, it all clicked like it has all season. Keeping track of the score on the ticker, at one point it read 61-44 Wilmington, and just a few minutes later it was 65-64 GW. Must have been a swarm.

I'd love to see GW take out Duke right there in Greensboro, though I think that might be asking too much. Right there on that candy ass purple and teal court the ACC prances around on. It could be beautiful. This might be one of those games that are fun to throw a few bucks on the underdog in just for shits and giggles, another reason to cheer. And to make money on a Duke loss.

Speaking of Duke, Coach Kjrrhfshuewski has moved on from American Express commercials to shilling for Chevy. In one ad he assuredly tells us, "Nothing is more important than truth" as he waltzes around in front of two shiny automobiles, which were probably then given to Duke recruits free of charge. Jon Sheyer is driving around in one of those very cars as we speak. He drove it down to Peoria for Glenbrook North's return trip Downstate to defend it's state title. (Yeah, I'm paying attention, reading the papers. I'm a junkie. My money is on Thornwood.)

Nothing is more important than truth?


Hmm. I'd really like to know if Coach Krshlkdjfjfski actually drives a Chevy himself. Probably not. And that's probably the truth.

Steve Fisher got San Diego St into a good old fashion Big Ten game just as he had done before at Michigan. The old dude can coach. If not for Earl Calloway pulling some gritty point guard duty like Isiah Thomas used to do, it could have been bye bye Mike Davis and Indiana.

Robert Vaden sinks the winner. Crazy game. The Hoosiers look look good now. Indiana's flaw in the past has been a penchant for first round flameouts, but once they get passed that first game they get dangerous. Davis has them rolling now. Possibly.

Morrison can bang his head all he wants, the Hoosiers should beat up on Gonzaga.

Washington quietly takes care of business against Utah St. in the night's Heidi Game. The local CBS station pulled the plug directly after the Indiana win had ended. Bastards. I didn't have money on Wash-Utah St., but I could have.

The Illini get Washington next. Should be good.

Not a good day for the WAC. Nevada and Utah State both get rolled.

It was a worse day for the Big East, which went 0-3.

Worst day of all? Gerry McNamama, who made nary a field goal for Syracuse as Texas A&M rolls on.

And more cheerleaders fell.


Anonymous Andrew said...

Good call comparing Jamar Smith to Todd Day. They really do look similar, especially when they shoot the 3. Here's hoping that Jamar's college career mirrors Day's.

Loved Bilas and Enberg. They have a good chemistry together. Other than Lavin, Bilas is the only ESPN guy I can really stomach any more. Despite his ACC roots, he seems to give appropriate respect to teams west of the original 13 colonies.

And Enberg cracks me up. The guy mangles the score, player names, and everything else with regularity, and yet he's still confident calling the occasional foul or travel missed by the officials.

6:18 AM  

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