Finally, The “Madness” Arrives

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After a snorefest on day one, mayhem broke out Friday with No. 10 Siena, No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 13 Cleveland State pulling off epic wins. My perfect brackets are shot. The $27 I’d wagered? Out the window. There’s no chance I’m winning anything this year. But if the rest of the tournament looks anything like Friday, I’ll consider that the cost of watching a great tournament.

There’s a lot to be said about Friday’s games:

  • Trevon Hughes hasn’t exactly been Mr. Dependable this year for Wisconsin. He has great scoring ability for a point guard — which has become more important at the college-level for some reason — but when it comes to late-game situations, Hughes has been known to choke. The Badgers live to see another day thanks to Hughes’ game-winning layup in traffic. Hopefully, it’s a sign of things to come next year as the Badgers will be looking for a go-to scorer after losing senior Marcus Landry.
  • How was Ohio State freshman center B.J. Mullens once considered a lottery pick? He’s been playing off the bench behind Dallas Lauderdale all season, which has caused NBA scouts to question whether he can come in and be an impact player. He reminds me of former Dukie Josh McRoberts who dashed to the NBA after his sophomore season. The hype was there, but his inability to score big numbers caused his stock to fizzle. Like McRoberts, Mullens would benefit from sticking around and putting on some weight. (And, maybe shaving off that terrible facial-hair situation.)
  • I didn’t see any of the Cleveland State-Wake Forest game, but I didn’t have to look further than the box score to get the story. Wake Forest outrebounded (32-to-25), outshot (52%-to-47.7%) and outblocked (13-to-1) CSU, but it was the turnovers that did them in. Wake Forest gave the ball away 18 times to CSU’s six. What’s more impressive is CSU only played eight players.
  • No. 12 Arizona topping No. 5 Utah — which can hardly be called an upset — sets up a second round game against. No. 13 Cleveland State. A No. 12 vs. No. 13 in the second round? Have two lower seeds ever faced off?

I’ll update the brackets later. Going to kick off my golf season now with Dan the Duke Fan.

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