Welcome to Upset Friday. I think this will be one of the most memorable days in Tournament history.
The day starts with an underrated match-up: defending champs, Kansas against D1 virgins North Dakota State. The Bison are garnering no respect but have one of the nation's best scorers on their side, G Ben Woodside.
Next comes my surprise of the tournament, Stephen F. Austin against Syracuse, a team sure to be exhausted.
Parlay these two moneylines, and you are looking at a figure of +1600 or so if it hits, not a bad investment (I say this before the games begin).
To complete the day, 11-seed Utah State takes on Marquette, a team still struggling with the loss of PG Dominic James.
Other upset possibilities: Cleveland State against Wake Forest; Arizona against Utah; and Portland State against Xavier.
Sit back and enjoy.
Jay Bilas is a polarizing force. He's not on the T.O. level of polarization, but he might be on his way.
He can be very observant and describes the nuances of the game better than most. However, at least five times per game, he uses the word "tough" to describe a play and/or a player. I'm not sure if it's a shameless plug for his "Toughness" article or if he just doesn't know any other adjectives. Seeing as he became a lawyer after graduating from Duke University, I would surmise, it's the former.
To his credit, Bilas tells it like it is. Case in point, during last night's Villanova-American game, he described Villanova G Scottie Reynolds' overall play as "terrible." Most color guys would not go this far, and I saw it as a nice change of pace.
But, Bilas can be incredibly boring and repetitive, and if he wants to continue crafting his trade, he'll need to spice things up every once in a while (cracking a joke every so often wouldn't hurt).
Western Kentucky has a player named Steffphon (phonetically Stef-f-f-on) Pettigrew. I guess the triple-F formation wasn't allowed so his parents did the next best thing.