Could listen to that sweet sound all day, every day. I love it. One of the most underrated sports TV theme songs. Sure, it gets overshadowed by The Masters and SEC on CBS thanks to its own network. But this? This is all I need to get the juices flowing.
But now everything shifts. We have the quick turnaround for prep for coaches. We have standalone games early on. There's teams that are willing to play more loose because of all this and teams that will be tight because they SHOULD or HAVE TO make a Sweet 16. Time to switch back to those teams we watched Thursday.
Mayhem starting to creep in.
3 Best Games Today
Auburn/Houston, Arkansas/Kansas, PSU/Texas
5 Storylines/Game Previews
1. The Houston injuries
Okay we saw Sasser and Shead both get hurt in the win over NKU on Thursday night. I'm still shocked Sasser played since he was a game-time decision and with that groin injury you just want him to rest. Instead, you played him, pulled him at half when he re-aggravated it and now he's going to play through pain even more so today. Shead got banged up but already announced there was no shot in hell he was missing today. Remember we saw NKU turn Houston over a lot with that pressure and sort of delayed trap. Auburn is going to try to fly around. You need your guards, especially the All-American in Sasser. If you can beat the Auburn initial havoc you can destroy them. But you have to control tempo against Auburn.
2. Bill Self update
I know there's all the injuries, but Bill Self didn't coach on Thursday. Remember he missed the Big 12 Tournament since he was in the hospital getting a procedure done. He's with the team now but will he coach and when will he coach? That's huge for Kansas. Look at the line. They are small favorites as a 1 seed. Muss is a sneaky good Tournament coach and you sort of need Self there for a game like this. There's arguably no one better at in-game stuff than Self and he's obviously one of the best coaches in the game. While we focus on players, the coach is a big thing too.
3. Mayhem starting to creep in
Thursday went sort of as expected outside of Princeton and maybe Furman. All week I debated when would we really see chaos. I sort of figured we'd see chalk in round 1, mayhem in round 2, chalk late. That's just kind of the way the Tournament and year seemed to go this season. Obviously yesterday we got a little bit more chaos, but now we can see mayhem. The lines are small for top seeds today. You have Furman against the Mountain West.
4. Bracket opens up
3 brings me to 4. I hate that the bracket is wide open now for Duke/Tenn to get to the Elite Eight. Winner moves to MSG and gets to play either FAU or FDU. They are going to play FAU (please) because I get to go to Ireland #BracketBuskers. But the bracket in the East is wide open. The winner of Duke/Tenn is grossly in good shape to play for a Final Four.
5. Booty ball.
I can't stop laughing at Booty Ball. This is what Brad Underwood called Jalen Pickett/PSU after Illinois lost to them in March. Jalen Pickett is an All-American who in fact uses his ass similar to Mark Jackson back in the day. Not as egregious but he creates space by playing booty ball and then either getting a little jumper or a pass to an open three. Well now we have PSU vs Texas. This is the best game of the day for me. Texas has the defense to sort of wall up and bother Booty Ball. But you can't get sucked in - look at A&M.
100-91-3 (+13.7) on the year on Twitter, mind as well add it to the blog
8-8 (+1.45) in the NCAA Tournament
KU/Mizzou ML +111
Auburn/Houston O 132.5