Epps: NCAA tournament Day 1, take 1

Epps: NCAA tournament Day 1, take 1

March 19th, 2009 by Darren Epps in Blogsncaa

12:15: You're looking live into my apartment, and we're getting started with LSU-Butler called by Jim Nantz and...Clark Kellogg! Normally, Nantz would be joined by a curmudgeon that even the strongest anti-depressants would fail against. But Billy Packer has other interests - according to Wikipedia, he hired a psychic to find the weapon in the O.J. murder case and plays golf courses in reverse, from green to tee. It's on Wikipedia, so you know it's true.

12:16: Presented, without comment: "They're ready to get it up in the air, and so am I!" - Clark Kellogg

12:20: Good to see Butler's head coach got out of his algebra class back home to coach the game.

12:27: Butler turns the ball over 47 times in the first two minutes and trails 9-0. They look like a YMCA team. I'm liking the LSU pick.

12:30: So the 8-9 game is the SEC champion against a Horizon League team that lost at home in the conference title game to Cleveland State. Lot of respect for the league here. S-E-C! S-E-C!

12:35: Kellogg mentions LSU's speed. Hear that? The SEC has speed even in basketball! Somewhere, Ohio State fans are throwing objects at the TV.

12:40: Is it too late to change my player of the year vote from Devan Downey to Marcus Thornton? He just drained a long 3, stole a pass and then drew a foul on the other end. He's 20 times better than anyone else on the court.

12:45: Poor Quinton Thornton. Not even the best Thornton on the team. LSU up 35-29 at halftime.

12:56: Flipping over to the Memphis game and the Tigers are struggling with Cal-State Northridge (best basketball uniforms you will ever see in college). You would think Memphis would be used to slamming terrible teams. Unfortunately, Gus Johnson is not calling this game. Or maybe it's for the best because he might start having a seizure if this score continues.

1:03: Seth Davis goes on and on about Chattanooga, calling the Mocs a "dangerous team." Between this and Jimmy Fallon, has a 16 seed ever got more mileage than Chattanooga? Somehow, somewhere, is someone tired of hearing about Chattanooga in the same way you get fatigued on Brett Favre? I love this, by the way.

1:10: On the channel with Memphis-Northridge, they look live at LSU-Butler and now it's in HD. But it's not in HD on the regular channel with LSU-Butler. So we know there are HD cameras at the LSU-Butler game, but I can't watch it in HD. In fact, it's not only not HD, it looks like the feed is coming from the moon. Does this make sense to anyone?

1:30: Marcus Thornton with a dirty turnaround jumper. He's officially entered the zone. He's demanding the ball at all times. I picked Downey over Thornton, by the way.

1:50: Butler's Matt Howard goes to the line but isn't allowed to shoot free throws because his leg is bleeding. So Butler substitutes a guy who's shot nine free throws all year, and he looks just like Ollie from Hoosiers!! And he's from Indiana!! Sadly, he does not shoot the free throws underhanded. But he does make them both to tie the game 58-58.

1:51: We're tied here and Memphis-Northridge is tied. Tim Brando tells us that there's a great story on the Cal-State Northridge team he'll tell later, but, just a hint, the kid can't hear all the cheering. Dude, you gave it away.

1:55: Marcus Thornton is playing out of his mind. He gets the ball, goes straight to the hoop and scores every time on a ridiculous layup.

1:58: Chris Johnson jumps from a foot in front of the bench and dunks. "He showed you a little helium right there!" Kellogg screams.

2:01: Thornton is possessed. He hits a 3 from Durham. He scores with six defenders in front of him. He makes the pass to Johnson for the dunk. He makes a critical steal with 2 minutes left.

2:09: Oh my gosh. I picked Downey over Thornton.

2:15: Memphis is pulling away. The crowd applauds the deaf kid. I find this taunting and unnecessary.

2:29: LSU wins. Thornton with 30. Butler has now lost three straight NCAA tourney games to SEC schools. They are the Ohio State of college basketball.

2:45: Sweet. A 3-0 start for my bracket. Texas A&M blows away BYU. The lesson, as always: Don't pick a Mormon team in hoops.