(Updated) NCAA Day One Open Thread; Barnes vs Tubby in NC; Tubby emerges as UVA’s #1

Evening Sessions
Maryland’s win over California today was really big for the conference. Gary Williams has now won his first round game in nine consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Wow! (And you were told how you should be happy with four first round NCAA Tournament wins in a decade.)

How tough is playing basketball in the ACC? Cal hasn’t had to worry about an NCAA Tournament bid since January. The Bears tied Arizona State for third place in the weak Pac-10 with an 11-7 conference record and 22-10 overall record. As you remember, Maryland entered the ACC Tournament needing to win games to earn a bid to the Big Dance. (…but, not needing to advance to the ACC Championship game as ESPN’s Jimmy Dykes confidently proclaimed multiple times during Maryland’s first round win over NC State).

If Clemson & Florida State can pull through in their tough first round games then the ACC could go a fantastic 7-0 in first round games, further supporting the conference’s annual claim that our 6th-9th place teams should deserve more credit from the tournament committee than we seem to receive. ACCNow has a nice entry about the conference.

As opposed to this afternoon’s games, this evening’s slate may be the best of the four first round sessions. I’ve bolded the games that will be streaming on my computer at home. In fact, I picked the worse seed in each of these four games in one of my brackets.

7:10 – Texas vs. Minnesota
7:10 – Clemson vs. Michigan
7:20 – Villanova vs. American
7:25 – Gonzaga vs. Akron
9:40 – Duke vs. Binghamton
9:40 – Oklahoma vs Morgan State
9:50 – UCLA vs Virginia Commonwealth
9:55 – Illinois vs. Western Kentucky

I’m most interested in the Minnesota vs Texas game tonight in a battle of two coaches from North Carolina – Rick Barnes & Tubby Smith – playing in Greensboro. WOW! This is awesome! If I weren’t sick this week I would have hopped in the car and driven up. These gentlemen’s ties to the NC State job three years ago are well known; and now it appears there is a chance that we may see more of Tubby Smith in these parts as he has emerged as Virginia’s top choice to replace Dave Leitao.

“Nothing else will happen until we talk with Tubby, and he’s obviously busy right now,” one source close to the Virginia search said Thursday. “Obviously, in the meantime, there will be due diligence done on several other coaches.”

The Minnesota head coach gave Virginia serious consideration four years ago, before eventually electing to stay at Kentucky. The Cavaliers eventually hired Dave Leitao.

Both parties are in a different place now. Virginia is seeking to make a splash with a big name to replace Leitao, who resigned on Monday, while Smith is in his second season as the head coach at the University of Minnesota.

The Cavaliers’ strong interest in Smith indicates that the school is willing to spend big money on in its next coach.

It’s no secret that one Rick Barnes’ Texas Longhorns is one of our all-time favorite non-Wolfpack programs to support. Barnes has amazingly directed Texas to the NCAA Tournament in EACH of his eleven seasons in Austin. (Tell me more about how ‘great’ it was to go to ‘Five in a row’ and win a grand total of five NCAA Tournament games in those five years?)

This is one of the weaker Texas teams in recent years as the Longhorns are absorbing the premature departures of DJ Augustin and Kevin Durant. This link provides a quick look at this year’s Longhorns.

In an attempt to draw a quick line to NC State, I thought I would share the following quick video. In light of how NC State has stuggled the last few years with the effort and hustle of some players I found this interesting.

Afternoon Comments
It’s NCAA Tournament time, and we can all pull up a chair alongside our basketball team and watch the games on TV. (or with live online streaming on CBS’ website). Here’s a quick look at today’s schedule with my quick comments on each contest. You can click here to see which announcers will be calling today’s games. Discuss below.

BJD Insert – I wanted to give some free publicity to WRAL and Time Warner Cable, for showing HD broadcasts of every single NCAAT game, at no extra charge. WRAL’s broadcast schedule is here. God bless you, WRAL.

Greensboro, NC
Regions: South (afternoon) and East (evening)

#8 LSU vs. #9 Butler, 12:20 PM

SEC Coach of the Year Trent Johnson leading the regular season SEC champs LSU into Greensboro, making the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since their Final Four run in 2006.

#1 North Carolina vs. #16 Radford, 2:50 PM

I say UNC in a yawner. Radford says they “are ready for UNC” but I will go with the inimitable philosophical musings of Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan until I hit ’em in the mouth.” Lawson or no Lawson, expect Carolina to roll and for most Tar Heel fans to be unbearable until at least the weekend.

Kansas City, MO
Regions: West (afternoon) and South (evening)

#2 Memphis vs. #15 Cal State Northridge, 12:25 PM
The Memphis Tigers are probably the best defensive team in the country, and that’s bad news for CS Northridge. They lose in an earthquake.

#7 California vs. #10 Maryland, 2:55 PM
The Greivas Vasquez Show rolls into the NCAA. I’m torn on this one, but I think that Gary Williams sweats this one out.

Philadelphia, PA
Regions: West (afternoon) and East (evening)

#8 BYU vs. #9 Texas A&M, 12:30 PM
I have no real opinion on this game except for the fact that BYU is better at taking care of the ball and that usually makes the difference.

#1 Connecticut vs. #16 Chattanooga, 3:00 PM
Lookout Chatanooga, UConn will see your Rock City and blow you out…again. The Huskies eradicated the Mocs in 1995 by a 100-71 final, despite Chattanooga star Terrell Owens. Yes, THAT Terrell Owens.

Portland, OR
Regions: West (afternoon) and South (evening)

#5 Purdue vs. #12 Northern Iowa, 2:30 PM
This game will probably be a lot more entertaining than the UNC game. Both teams feature balanced attacks and defenses that are in the upper half of their respective leagues in field goal percentage defense…that sounds like runs in both directions, and a game I would rather see than UNC. Thanks, DirecTV!

#4 Washington vs. #13 Mississippi State, 5:00 PM
Don’t sleep on the Bulldogs. Despite a low seeding, this is a team that can and I think will take down the Huskies. First of all, Miss State is a hot team, they played their way in by winning the SEC tournament. Look for Jarvis Varnado (13.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 4.7 bpg) to have a big game.

As you gear up for today’s games we thought you would find this article interesting to read. What does one have to look forward to if they own March Madness? Perhaps they could become a used car salesman in Las Vegas:

Ed O’Bannon, who not long ago owned March Madness and won just about every college basketball award imaginable following a dream senior season at UCLA, is now a car salesman in Las Vegas. He works for Findlay Toyota, whose founder, Cliff Findlay, just so happens to be a former UNLV player and a huge supporter of the Runnin’ Rebels program. It’s the same program that O’Bannon committed to coming out of Artesia High near Los Angeles in 1990. And before and during halftime of most UNLV home games, you can find O’Bannon, whose No. 31 is retired by UCLA, here on the Thomas & Mack Center concourse, hawking “the official vehicle of the Runnin’ Rebels.”

General NCS Basketball

95 Responses to (Updated) NCAA Day One Open Thread; Barnes vs Tubby in NC; Tubby emerges as UVA’s #1

  1. jamieinkorea 03/19/2009 at 7:51 AM #

    I just want all of you stateside to understand this…

    I live in Korea, and I can only watch the tourney on MMOD on my PC. It sucks for me every year except for tourney time. Why? Because the earliest clips they have under the “Historical Highlights” are of the Pack beating Phi Slamma Jamma. (I watched it on TV.)

    I only hope for those days again.

  2. primacyone 03/19/2009 at 8:43 AM #

    I think I will be doing more fishing this spring than I have in a very long time.

    I think my yard will be the most imaculate it has ever been.

    My six year old’s soccer team will be awesome to watch and I will be there early and staying late for both the games and practices.

    Let’s see. What else can I get done with the time that I previously spent watching sports?

  3. primacyone 03/19/2009 at 8:46 AM #

    Oh yea. Forgot this. I checked all of the boards and news sites again.

    Lee Fowler is still the AD at NCSU. AND he’s planning on annoucing a new womens basketball coach sometime soon!


  4. Alpha Wolf 03/19/2009 at 8:54 AM #

    Thanks for the additions, BJD.

    And Primacy, I am going to start the wife’s flower garden this weekend, in addition to waxing the car. Such is the life of a State fan these days…sigh.

  5. wufpup76 03/19/2009 at 9:01 AM #

    Best day of the year!

    Too bad we’re not there 🙁

    Happy Tournament, everyone!

  6. Wolf74 03/19/2009 at 9:05 AM #

    There’s a basketball tournament going on?

    Happy baseball season everyone!

  7. BJD95 03/19/2009 at 9:26 AM #

    I’m still going to watch. I’d watch every minute if I could. The NCAAT is fantastic entertainment. Second only to the NFL playoffs.

    And I do have five teams to cheer for – Clemson, Florida State, not-UConn, not-Duke, and not-UNC.

  8. nav 03/19/2009 at 9:30 AM #

    Baseball 1-5 ACC and 11-8 overall.

    Happy Spring Football practice Eve everyone.

  9. Noah 03/19/2009 at 9:56 AM #

    I’m glad I’m not the only one waiting for March to be over.

  10. BoKnowsNCS71 03/19/2009 at 10:02 AM #

    March MADness has a different meaning for Wolfpack fans. Careful Alpha maybe instead of a flower garden that was slip for a Fowler garden. Big ruts and lazy help.

  11. Pack Leader 03/19/2009 at 10:23 AM #

    “And I do have five teams to cheer for – Clemson, Florida State, not-UConn, not-Duke, and not-UNC.”

    I’d say you forgot the one team that continues to kill state…… Not-Memphis

    so thats 6 teams….

  12. Greywolf 03/19/2009 at 10:24 AM #

    SFN, (This is out of place here but I am clueless as to how to communicate this. Please delete after reading.)
    What’s with the edit thingy? I can’t make sense of my own writing sometimes in the box provided for comments — too small and type is too small. So I Submit Comment and read what I wrote in a format that I can read and see the larger text. When I try to save, I get a notice that I “do not have permission to edit this post.” (or words to that effect.)
    Frequently I want to tone down some of my remarks as it is not my intent to insult and I know I do. Sometimes I find redundancies in the posts that can be seen in the “published” edition but hard to see in the “comment” or “edit” edition. Any help or explanation would be appreciated.

  13. Pack Leader 03/19/2009 at 10:26 AM #

    Baseball 1-5 ACC and 11-8 overall.

    I had no idea we had dropped that far down!!! Anyone follow the team close enough to know whats going on??? I know our infield should be top 10 in the nation with dallas polk and company… We have young but strong pitching mabey they will improve through the year. DONT PLAY RUSSELL!!!! ITS NOT WORTH IT THIS YEAR

    Wow 2009 sucks for NC State…..

  14. BJD95 03/19/2009 at 10:26 AM #

    With Memphis, I still close my eyes and try to delude myself into thinking that Calipari is really coaching here. As much as I should hate the guy for screwing us (past and present), I just can’t.

    I like Huggy Bear, too. I must have a few screws loose.

  15. inhoc... 03/19/2009 at 10:32 AM #

    i really feel like my bracket is in chambles right now, anyone have a good site with inside info on it for the possible upsets? that would be a great help, thanks.
    this is what happens when i get too caught up in what the Wolfpack is doing…nothing

  16. Sweet jumper 03/19/2009 at 10:33 AM #

    Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports called Lawson a wimp for not playing in the big dance. I am an ABC fan, but turf toe is a bad injury and has ended several pro football careers. On the other hand, Lawson says he wants to be 100% before he plays and that will not happen this season with this injury. Oh well, UNX has another excuse when they lose. Last year it was Lawson’s ankle. I remember Phil Ford’s elbow and Walter Davis’s finger and Tom LaGarde’s knee in the mid to late ’70’s. Go Radford.

  17. Wolf Dog 03/19/2009 at 10:33 AM #

    Hoping Jeff Jones and his team has a good showing. He has proven to be the best B-Ball coach UVA has had since Holland retired.

    Rooting for Duke since our team not in the big dance. I have lots of respect for Coach K.

    Has far as our program. Expect Coach Lowe to be our coach at least 2 more years. It is my understanding this is pretty much set in stone.

  18. Pack Leader 03/19/2009 at 10:35 AM #

    Wow BJD have you hit your head on the wall watching state too much this year??? You might be a few bricks short of a load if you dont have anything but anomosity towards Cal. Dont tell me he isnt out on the recruiting trail trying to sway players against State. You know he is saying “hey i know its tought but i turned it down and it worked out great” or “You dont wanta go there, trust me i went and checked it out we are better.”

    Im not even going to mention the fact that he played states face, knowing he wasnt interested in state. He just wanted that pay increase and that was the easiest way to get it. So he lied to Fowler and murphys to their face in murphys private jet…..

    I got no beef with huggy bear. I saw this year when he went back to Cinci to play them and he got choked up with the standing ovation. no way Herb ever would do that if he came back to raleigh….

  19. BJD95 03/19/2009 at 10:40 AM #

    You should also cheer for Butler today. They are drastically underseeded (I think they are better than Gonzaga, the region’s #4), and could easily take down the Holes on Saturday, especially if they are sans Lawson.

  20. Sweet jumper 03/19/2009 at 10:45 AM #

    Since State is not dancing, I will pull for Duke as my ACC team. My daughter is a Duke fan, and I find that I have no trouble rooting for Duke against everyone but State (and it’s much easier when Paulus is on the bench for 35+ minutes!).
    Since my alma mater Davidson is relegated to the NIT this year, I will pull for Gonzaga as my mid major team.

  21. Classof89 03/19/2009 at 12:10 PM #

    So far Butler doesn’t look underseeded…down by six at halftime.

    And Texas A&M is laying some wood on BYU. #$%^ overrated Mountain West…I knew I shouldn’t have picked BYU…

  22. Alpha Wolf 03/19/2009 at 12:16 PM #

    Frack, I took BYU too.

  23. Classof89 03/19/2009 at 12:22 PM #

    I get to be a Missouri fan this year…I have ’em picked through to the final four. I’m either going to fall flat on my face (if they lose to Marquette), or look like a genius.

  24. Classof89 03/19/2009 at 12:31 PM #

    Butler is making their move….they’ve closed gap to one point early in 2nd…

  25. Texpack 03/19/2009 at 12:32 PM #

    Mizzou is an excellent sleeper pick for the Final Four. Memphis is showing how you develop a reputation as a dominant defensive team…..play in C-USA.

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