Arizona's LaMont "Momo" Jones will need to come up big for the Wildcats, as he did against Oregon St., if they are to advance to the NCAA West Regionals in Anaheim. (Photo by John Miller, AP)
After a record 5 games on day 1 were decided by 2 points, day 2 of the "Full" First round of the NCAA Tournament (referred to as the second round by some, now that 8 of 68 teams played an extra game, not just 2) brings 16 more games, including the first games by Arizona, the Pac-10 Conference regular season Champions, and Washington, the Pac-10 Tournament Champions. Both are among the 4 games carried on CBS, in HD, and over the air, as headline games not relegated to TBS/TNT/Tru/Tv.
Arizona (27-7) got the highest seed of any Pac-10 team, fifth in the West regional. And though they didn't get to stay home the first weekend, and play in the sub-regional they are hosting in Tucson, the Wildcats have arguably the best path of the Pac-10 conference's teams to the Sweet 16.
Washington (23-10), after winning the Pac-10 tournament for the second consecutive year, gained a guaranteed berth in the "Big Dance", and a seventh seed, after starting last week as a possible "bubble team.Arizona opens against Memphis (25-9) at 11:45 this morning in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Tigers finished fourth in Conference USA, but are actually one of the 31 teams with a guaranteed berth in the tournament, after winning the C-USA tournament, beating UTEP 67-66 for the championship.
Arizona, the Pac-10 regular season champions, after ending Oregon St.'s season 78-69, and defeating USC 67-62, lost to Washington 77-75, on Isiah Thomas' buzzer beating jumper in overtime, in the Pac-10 Tournament Championship game, which ended a 4 game Wildcat winning streak. The winner of the 'Cats and TIgers' clawfest will meet the winner of this morning's 9:15 AM game, between Texas and Oakland (Michigan, not California). The Longhorns (27-7) finished second in the Big XII, while the Golden Grizzlies (25-9), from Rochester, MI, a suburb of Detroit, are the champions of the Summit Conference.
Washington still wasn't rewarded for winning the Pac-10 tournament as much as they were punished for their 10 losses, including one in Gill Coliseum, against Oregon St. The Huskies have had to travel cross country, playing their first game tonight at 6:45 PM against Georgia (21-11). The winner could meet North Carolina next.
The Bulldogs, who finished tied for third in the SEC Eastern Division, lost to Alabama 65-59 in overtime in their second game in the SEC tournament, but should have a strong supporting contingent, being from relatively just down the road, compared to the trip the Huskies are facing.
USC, having lost Wednesday to Virginia Commonwealth, won't be joining their Pac-10 brethren though.
Here's the complete broadcast schedule for the day (all times adjusted to be PDT):
|Friday March 18, 2011|
|9:15 am||Oakland #13||Texas #4||CBS - HD National|
|9:40 am||Tennessee #9||Michigan #8||truTV|
|10:40 am||Akron #15||Notre Dame #2||TBS|
|11:10 am||Villanova #9||George Mason #8||TNT|
|11:45 am||Memphis #12||Arizona #5||CBS - HD National|
|12:10 pm||Hampton #16||Duke #1||truTV|
|1:10 pm||Florida St. #10||Texas A&M #7||TBS|
UT-San Antonio #16
||Ohio St. #1||TNT|
|3:50 pm||Boston U. #16||Kansas #1||TBS|
|4:15 pm||Long Island #15||North Carolina #2||CBS - HD National|
|4:20 pm||St. Peter's #14||Purdue #3||TNT|
|4:27 pm||Marquette #11||Xavier #6||truTV|
|6:20 pm||Illinois #9||UNLV #8||TBS|
|6:45 pm||Georgia #10||Washington #7||CBS - HD National|
|6:57 pm||Indiana St. #14||Syracuse #3||truTV|
Jump in with your thoughts on how badly your bracket is busted already (the crawl of the Spiders, with both Richmond and Morehead St. not only advancing, but guaranteeing one of them will be in the Sweet 16, blew a lot of folks out of the hunt), who you think is emerging as this year's surprise serious contender, or how the Pac-10 is faring in the nations' eyes.