9:40, TIM — Agreed. Bring on, Boykin!
9:39, JOHN — Given how bad the Big East has done, I’m tempted to say Louisville, but I still think Cal is the worse team.
9:36, TIM — That just about wraps it up for us. Last question, John: Who do you want to see, Cal or Louisville?
9:36, JOHN — James Anderson’s performance tonight was almost as disappointing and embarrassing as my 6-10 record yesterday.
9:33, TIM — No! We DESERVE Anderson v. Turner!
9:28, JOHN — Well, Duke wins 73-44, as everyone has already moved on to more interesting games. But Steve Johnson got some playing time!
9:24, TIM — Yeah, Anderson is on like his C-game tonight. Thursday’s Tim can sympathize.
9:23, JOHN — What a terrible foul by James Anderson on a fast break in the final minutes of Tech/OSU. Not only was it his fourth, but it wasn’t even hard enough to ensure that Shumpert wouldn’t make the layup. He’s lucky that shot rattled out…and that Keiton Page just nailed that 3!
9:21, TIM — Good for Jordan. That’s why he came back for that fifth year. I made the switch to the FSU-Gonzaga game.
9:20, JOHN — We have our first Davidson sighting!
9:13, JOHN — Oh man, Vitamin Water just used “Pursuit of Happiness” in their commercial. You can mark me down for a few thousand bottles…
9:13, TIM — I’ve had bad first days, but I’ve never gone 6-10. By the way, I am 18-6 heading into tonight…
9:12, JOHN — Yeah, this slate of game is shaping up to have some good finishes. As for Izzo, I no longer have faith in any of the teams I picked. I went 6-10 yesterday: What the hell do I know?
9:08, TIM — Can we justify watching Duke with the way these other three games are going? Oklahoma State is down one to Georgia Tech, FSU has come back within five of Gonzaga, and New Mexico State has run off a 13-2 run at the start of the second half to cut Michigan State’s lead to two. Your boy Izzo’s in trouble!
9:07, JOHN — Oh no, a 5-0 run! I take it back! I take it back!
9:07, TIM — But UAPB may bank in eight more threes!
But yeah, Andre has to learn how to play with foul trouble and Ryan has to learn how to play.
9:06, JOHN — Alright, Krzyzewski, you’re up 25 with 11 minutes left: Now’s the time to work Kelly, Dawkins, and Jordan Davidson into the game. I know Dawkins is in foul trouble, but he’ll be OK.
9:04, TIM — It also bothers me how that ad says it’s a show that has critics calling it that “genuine television phenomenon.” Doesn’t this mean more than one critic has to use that phrase? Because saying it has “one critic calling it etc.” doesn’t sound nearly as good.
9:03, TIM — Just ask John Travolta, am I right?
9:02, JOHN — Notice how the quote CBS uses to promote Undercover Boss–”a genuine television phenomenon”–doesn’t say anything about the shows overall quality. Phenomena can be bad.
9:00, TIM — The story Nantz told about UAPB’s George Davis pretty much sums up the difference between these two programs. Apparently, Davis missed a team practice because his dad just wanted him to stay home another day for Christmas. I don’t think Jim Scheyer would pull that.
8:58, JOHN — Yeah, but just another reason why March Madness is the greatest thing in sports is the overall excellence of the announcing crew. There are minor quibbles, of course, but it’s definitely the best overall batch than in any other sport (with the possible exception of the NBA, which I don’t watch enough of to judge).
8:54, TIM — Yeah, Dedes did have a nice call of Danero Thomas’ buzzer beater yesterday for Murray State. I like Gminski, but Harlan is MUCH better than Brando; in fact, Harlan might be the most underrated play-by-play guy in sports.
It’s not sacrilege to say Lundquist is as good with Raftery as McDonough is; there’s just an extra level of chemistry between McDonough and Raftery. I’d love to see Sean back calling games in the Tournament again.
8:52, JOHN — I have no real problem with your list. I might put Spanarkel/Eagle last: Spero Dedes was solid in his debut yesterday, even if Bob Wenzel is the worst guy in any booth. I’d also probably put Brando/Gminski ahead of Harlan/Bonner, but I know a lot of people really don’t like Brando in the booth. With that said, Lundquist/Raftery are absolutely No. 1. Tim will kill me for saying this, but I think that team is just as good as Raftery with Sean McDonough.
8:46, TIM — Pull my leg. Verne and Raft are obviously No. 1. I’d go with Enberg and Bilas second, Gus and Elmore third, Harlan and Bonner fourth, Brando/Gminski fifth, Nantz/Kellogg sixth, Eagle/Spanarkel seventh, and Dedes/Wenzel eighth.
To be fair, now that Billy Packer is gone, there’s no announcing team that is unlistenable.
8:45, JOHN — Alright, Tim, I think we have no choice but to use this downtime to rank the CBS announcing teams.
8:43, TIM — Duke not only has the lead over UAPB, but it also is dominating the competition in “Alums who serve as CBS college basketball analysts.” With Spanarkel, Mike Gminski, and Jay Bilas, former Blue Devils account for 37.5% of CBS’ analysts.
8:42, TIM — Boy, was that ever a dig at Ian Eagle! And boy, does Jim Spanarkel ever overuse this weird grammatical structure!
8:41, JOHN — Ian Eagle, calling the Georgia Tech and OSU game, is throwing sexual innuendoes at Matt Pilgrim with no regard for subtlety. He called his last dunk both “a man’s jam” and “a facial.”
8:35, TIM — …with spicy club sauce!
8:34, JOHN — Looking at the rest of the games going on, you don’t see anything too surprising. If yesterday was the Prime Rib of First Round days, today’s like…weird brother of Prime Rib.
8:32, JOHN — They’re racist, but in a cute way, so it’s all good.
8:29, TIM — Can we confirm that these MetroPCS “Tech and Talk” commercials are indeed racist? I’m not the only one thinking that, right?
8:28, TIM — Lance did have 15 in last year’s first round against Binghamton, and his career high is 21 against Duquesne early in the 2008-09 season.
8:26, JOHN — There goes Lance Thomas’s chance to get to 10 before halftime, but this is definitely shaping up to be the best game of his career. I think I predicted that he’d be a big Tournament factor back in January….
8:25, TIM — It’s 39-20 Devils at the half. The game’s gone pretty much as expected, with Duke’s size and defense proving a bit much for UAPB to overcome.
8:23, TIM — Scheyer, Smith, and Singler are my Ultimate Trio, Applebee’s.
8:15, TIM — Navy and yellow, but close enough. Duke doesn’t do well against teams with yellow accenting.
8:15, JOHN — Didn’t West Virginia wear black and yellow against Duke two years ago?
8:14, TIM — Is this the best game of Lance Thomas’ career?
8:09, TIM — The pace has quickened a bit, and UAPB seems to have found its sea legs. The Golden Lions are still down 33-18, although the last team to wear black and yellow against Duke in the NCAA Tournament was down 31-18 in the first half and came back to win.
8:03, TIM — Can they name anything down there in Jacksonville?
And the Ivan Brothers’ commercial is just missing a bearded George Karl.
8:02, JOHN — I’ve never been pro-Jacksonville, so Spo-kane, Spo-kane, Spo-kane!
7:59, JOHN — Is the ad for the Ivan Brothers (or whatever that ad is ACTUALLY promoting) intentionally reminiscent of the Jesus Shuttlesworth segment? Or is that just me?
7:59, TIM — I’ll ask the question that’s been on everyone’s mind: Are you on Team: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena or Team: Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, John?
7:54, TIM — It only took 10:24 here in Jersey to get the switch over to Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech–a rematch of the 2004 semis. We’ll have to soldier on with March Madness On Demand.
7:52, TIM — It’s about getting them NCAA Tourney experience nice and early while also resting Scheyer, Smith, and Singler (SUPER! SCINTILLATING! SENSATIONAL!).
Further, it’s against a team Clark Kellogg just said “has trouble taking care of the ball and then hitting shots.” What do the Golden Lions do well offensively? Set off-the-ball screens?
7:51, JOHN — I can’t help but note that Andre Dawkins and Ryan Kelly have gotten into the game much, much earlier than they usually get in, and not for reasons of foul trouble or injury. Is Coach K perhaps worried about giving his starters some rest?
7:47, TIM — For the same reason nobody would talk about the Nets’ recovery from their losing ways if they started playing high school teams. The SWAC is the worst conference in Division I, and UAPB played a very challenging (and exclusively away) non-conference schedule.
At the same time, winning 18 of 22 is impressive.
7:46, JOHN – At this point in last year’s game, I think Binghamton had something like 27 fouls. They weren’t exactly on their A game, much like Tim yesterday…
And how come more people aren’t talking about Ark-Pine Bluff’s recovery from an 0-11 start?! That’s pretty amazing!
7:45, TIM — I don’t understand how that’s a charge on Andre Dawkins. It’s the secondary defender under the basket, he wasn’t set, and he brought his hands down. The defender succeeded at none of the basic facets of drawing a charge.
7:43, TIM — Much like last year’s first-round matchup with Binghamton, Duke is driving early and drawing a lot of fouls. Unlike last year’s Bearcats, I don’t think the Golden Lions are more interested in selling cocaine after the game.
7:41, TIM — Small sample size, John. Ever heard of it?
But yeah, he didn’t look too good on that brick from inside the foul line.
7:40, JOHN — For the record, Scheyer is shooting 32% in the month of March, as opposed to 40% overall. If Statistics 101 taught me anything–and it quite certainly did not–that’s statistically significant.
7:38, TIM — Duke up 13-5 at the under-16 timeout. Seems like a good start, especially from the bigs in Zoubek and Lance Thomas.
7:35, TIM — You’re such a killjoy, John. Let’s be upfront: Texas A&M is the scariest team in this bracket for Duke.
7:34, JOHN — As we both talked about in our preview of this region, this draw really could not be better for Duke. Of the other protected seeds, Villanova and Baylor looked especially unimpressive yesterday; even though Purdue managed to beat Siena, their chances without Hummel are still pretty bleak. But none of that guarantees Duke anything, of course. What has knocked the Blue Devils out early for the last few years hasn’t necessarily been superior competition, but inferior play on their part. Coach K doesn’t like all the fuss made about the heavy playing-time demands he puts on his best players, but it’s obvious that certain players get tired by March. Jon Scheyer hasn’t been shooting as well recently–a typical sign of fatigue. Watching how he, Singler, and Smith play tonight will say wonders about how this Tournament will turn out for the Blue Devils.
7:32, TIM — UAPB has started turnover, timeout, turnover. They average 17 turnovers a game. For the uninitiated, that’s a lot.
7:29, TIM — The Golden Lions are already the first SWAC team to win a game in the Tourney since 1993, but come on, the Opening Round game doesn’t count. For the record, the last time Duke played a 16-seed, it was also from the SWAC, as the Blue Devils slipped by Southern, 70-54, in a game that wasn’t very comfortable.
7:20 — We’re gonna be honest, and by that, we mean devastating: Tim didn’t bring his A game to the live blog yesterday. We hope you could tell; Tim is, after all, very proud of his A game. He was kind of like Villanova yesterday.
Tonight, though, with our Blue Devils playing their first game as a No. 1 seed since 2006, Tim will be joined by John to discuss Duke’s game with SWAC champion and Play-in Opening Round winner Arkansas Pine-Bluff, the Blue Devils’ long-term chances in the Tourney, and Tim’s utter domination of John early on in their selections.