One Great Season
I was walking to the train in Midtown last night and I couldn't help but be swept up by the energy around Madison Square Garden. I had no intention of going to any of the Big East games; in fact, I'd just left a University of Cincinnati Alumni social event where I was offered a freebie for the evening session.
But once I saw the Providence team bus pull into the MSG lot, and I heard a scalper bark out "two on the floor" to a man and his teenage son, I was hooked. I watched his sales pitch fail, then asked about a single. We went back and forth, and his price actually wasn't bad. But I had some work to do at home so I turned him down and continued my march to the subway. By the time I got home, I was able to watch the last few minutes of South Florida's upset over Villanova, a game for which I could have watched from a $60 floor seat.
It was also an upset that we picked correctly here in the OGS Conference Tournament Breakdown the other night, by the way.
+ Butler took things out of the hands of the Selection Committee with an impressive win over Milwaukee Tuesday night. The Bulldogs got off the bubble and earned the Horizon League Tournament title.
+ As expected, Princeton won at Penn last night to force a playoff with Harvard on Saturday to determine the Ivy League champion. The Crimson have never won the Ivy League and haven't appeared in an NCAA Tournament in 65 years.
+ Arkansas-Little Rock trailed by seven with two minutes left, but Solomon Bozeman's three-pointer with 1.5 seconds left gave the Trojans a 63-62 win over North Texas in the Sun Belt title game. UALR wins its first conference tournament and advances to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1990.
Top Four Seeds
+ EAST — Ohio State: Is OSU turning into a basketball school that also has a nice football program?
+ SOUTHEAST — Pittsburgh: The Panthers play the UConn-Georgetown winner in Thursday's Big East Tournament quarterfinals.
+ SOUTHWEST — Kansas: The Jayhawks have had this seed on lockdown for so long that we're running out of things to say about them.
+ WEST — BYU: Duke and Notre Dame are waiting for the Cougs to stumble.
On The Bubble
+ Villanova — From 16-1 to 21-11, including five straight losses? That Lunardi and others have the Wildcats in as a 7-to-9 seed is baffling.
Work To Do
+ Georgia — The 20-10 Bulldogs' last noteworthy victory was almost two months ago — Jan. 8 vs. Kentucky. UGa must make some noise at the SEC Tournament.
Today's Top Read
+ Quote machine and OGS friend Steve Lavin goes all "unicorns and Halley's Comet" in Kelly Whiteside's splendid story on surging St. John's.
What To Watch
+ Marquette vs. West Virginia, ESPN, 9 p.m.
Your Tournament Video Of The Day
Late-game villain Kevin Pittsnogle's three-pointer ties it for West Virginia in the 2006 Sweet Sixteen, but Kenton Paulino drains one on the other end to win it at the buzzer for Texas.