Day one of the NCAA Tournament is in the books, and what a day it was. We saw overtime games, buzzer beaters, and a cackling Warren Buffett probably making fun of me when St. Joe’s was unable to beat UConn for my only incorrect pick of the day. Not that I’m bitter. Onto the Rinse:
DAYTON 60, OHIO ST. 59
This one went down to the last shot, with OSU senior Aaron Craft unable to hit his final attempt before the buzzer. The gritty Craft will now move to a big ol’ farm in the country that houses all the good white college players whose skill set didn’t translate to the pros along with Gerry McNamara and Steve Wojciechowski.
SYRACUSE 77, WESTERN MICHIGAN 53
The key stat? 12. That’s the number of basketball players on Syracuse’s roster who are way better than every basketball player on Western Michigan.
UCONN 89, ST. JOE’S 81
The player of the game with 24 points was Shabazz Napier, who dedicated his performance to his father Jack, saying, “Tonight, I DID dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight, Pop!”
VILLANOVA 73, MILWAUKEE 53
I know Milwaukee is known for its fat people, but who knew their college basketball team would be comprised of 12 out of shape 45 year old white guys?
WISCONSIN 75, AMERICAN 35
American coach Mike Brennan was optimistic afterwards: “We haven’t looked good so far, but we’ll comeback in the second half!” Upon being told that the game was in fact over, Brennan forlornly attempted to commit seppuku with a Gatorade bottle.
OREGON 87, BYU 68
Oregon’s big advantage? They shot 38 free throws, converting 31. This is evidence that sometimes the fundamentals pay off, as the only thing BYU practices are alley-oop dunks and half-court shots.
MICHIGAN 57, WOFFORD 40
Wofford shot an astoundingly bad 1 of 19 from the three-point line, leading the Michigan players to remind them they’re allowed to shoot 2’s. Seriously, it’s much easier.
TEXAS 87, ARIZONA ST. 85
Texas blew a big lead but won it with a tip-in at the buzzer. When asked what the most important aspect of the game was, Longhorn coach Rick Barnes winked at reporters and said, “Just the tip.” After an awkward moment, he then cleared his throat and said, “Would anyone like to see my penis?”
HARVARD 61, CINCINNATI 57
The Bearcats were caught off guard when they showed up and realized Harvard’s basketball team wasn’t a bunch of bookworms wearing pocket protectors who say “indubitably” a lot.
MICHIGAN ST 93, DELAWARE 78
The heart and soul of this Spartan team, Adreian Payne, scored a career-high 41 points, although in the interest of full disclosure he did pay each Delaware player $50 to let him do it.
NORTH DAKOTA ST. 80, OKLAHOMA 75
This was the Bison’s first NCAA Tournament victory. After the game they celebrated by hunting a buffalo, or running through a cornfield, or you know, whatever people in North Dakota do for fun.
SAN DIEGO ST. 73, NEW MEXICO ST. 69
Saddest part about this one? In his bracket, Fred Phelps had New Mexico State going to the Sweet 16 as his sleeper supreme. At least you never lived to see the Aggies disappoint you, sweet prince. RIP.
PITT 77, COLORADO 48
The game was so lopsided that several Panthers dipped out in the second half to check out a screening of Wes Anderson’s latest The Grand Budapest Hotel. Their review? I mean, it’s exactly what you expect. If you like Wes Anderson, you’ll love this one. If not, you won’t be converted. You kinda have to know where you stand with the filmmaker going into this. But as far as creating a distinctive universe, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who does it better than Anderson. 3.5 stars.
FLORIDA 67, ALBANY 55
Albany came up short in this one, but the Great Danes can take solace in the fact that they’re the best basketball team with Marmaduke as a mascot.
SAINT LOUIS 83, NORTH CAROLINA ST. 80
The Wolfpack choked away a 14 point lead with five minutes to play though in fairness to them, the fact that a pack of wolves could enter a basketball game and score any points at all is impressive.
LOUISVILLE 71, MANHATTAN 64
Former Rick Pitino assistant and current Manhattan coach Steve Masiello’s familiarity with the Louisville program was unable to help the Jaspers topple the Cardinals. Masiello responded to the loss by taking off his shirt and tie to reveal a Louisville t-shirt, saying, “I was still working for them the whole time, losers! What the hell is a Jasper anyway?”
That’s it for day one. Check back here throughout the tournament for recaps so good it’ll make you forget that Gus Johnson is calling soccer and college football instead of this.