NCAA First-Round Wrap/Saturday Preview

The night games concluded with no more upsets to speak of (unless you count #9 Purdue over #8 Arizona, which is pretty lame as upsets go). We’ll have to make due with a pair of #11 seeds, Virginia Commonwealth and Winthrop, in the cinderella role, which happens to be the same seeding George Mason had on its improbable Final Four run a year ago. Maybe round two will be more unpredictable in what has so far been a pretty tame tournament.

Saturday the second round opens with the Battle of Ohio between Xavier and Ohio State, a chance to get Greg Oden some more national exposure to the tourney audience. The whole country will see that one at 1:10pm; CBS’s logic must be to put two eastern teams on early, while left coasters are still getting out of bed (the early game Sunday pits Tennessee and Virginia). Following OSU-Xavier, here in DC I’ll be seeing Maryland-Butler and Georgetown-BC, and probably Michigan State-UNC to end the evening.

Another intriguing Saturday matchup is Louisville, coming off a thrashing of Stanford and playing in front of a friendly crowd in Lexington, against Texas A&M. One of the ESPN yakkers was complaining yesterday about how Louisville shouldn’t get this advantage of being the lower seed and having a favorable crowd. I think the Cardinals winning would serve those people right who picked A&M for the Final Four based on the regional being in San Antonio.

There’s also a clash of historic programs as Indiana faces UCLA at 8:10, and the cinderella watch will continue as VCU takes on a Pitt team that’s looked a little shaky lately at 5:50. I may check in if anything blog-worthy occurs.


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