Friday, March 20, 2009

Living the Madness 2: Revenge of the Unique Mascots

All of us at Furious Wedge will be bringing you some live-blogging throughout March Madness; so just bring yourself here, if you are stuck at work or looking for some updates. (For day one coverage, go here.)

12:21 - Wedge: MADNESS! We get all 3 upsets and both sets of green. That was one heck of a way to end day 2, with as much Madness as possible, a total opposite to day 1. With the end of those 3 games, ESPN went from have 10,000 perfect brackets to none. So with that I'm calling it a night. Good luck to Furious and Mrs. Furious on the new Furious baby tomorrow; thanks again to anyone who has read along with this; I'm not sure if I'll be able to live follow all the Madness and WBC this weekend, but I'll try to at least bring in some analysis, so until then my friends...

12:04 -
Wedge: Holy freaking Crap Siena is as clutch as there is with a 3 pointer as OT ends, so we head to double OT as the Badgers and Seminoles go into their own overtime in the land of Utah of Idaho. But I tell you what Cleveland state ripping Wake Forrest a new one is Madness enough; anything else is bonus from here out.

11:56 -
Wedge: Badgers finally lead and Saints going to the line for the tie and lead; Vikings of Cleveland already made this Madness, but Saints and Badgers I think would qualify this night as MADNESS!

11:51 -
Wedge: So we get our first Overtime of the tournament. Man the Saints were so close, if only he made both free throws. And over in Boise, home of teams from Utah apparently, the Badgers have once again brought themselves even with the Seminoles.

11:50 -
Furious: OK, I'm gonna go ahead and concede this one to Cleveland State. I'm going to get my stuff together for the hospital. I don't know if I'll have internet access, but if I do, I'll try to blog a little. Thanks to anyone who actually read any of this these past two days. And thanks mainly to Wedge for keeping it going while I was scrambling to get my house ready for a new baby to come tomorrow. Good night!

11:46 -
Wedge: Man, every time the announcers tell us how someone is a great free throw shooter, they seemingly miss their next 2 free throws. Lets hope this next guy for the Saints is not known for free throws.

11:35 -
Wedge: Go GREEN! Siena Saints Tie it up! This game is ridiculously close, unfortunately the winner gets Louisville who likely will be an overmatch for this kind of sloppy yet aggressive play.

11:31 -
Furious: So yeah, I think I'm about to lose another Sweet 16 team. Wake Forest just can't catch these guys.

11:30 - Wedge: Madness is the Vikings pulling back to an 11 point lead and the Saints and Badgers both pulling to 1 shot away. In all honesty, I don’t think it matters what the Evil Guys With Top Hats do because Cleveland State isn’t really missing anything or doing anything sloppy. They’re taking their time running the clock down and then still scoring at the end of the shot clock... man up by 15 now!

11:17 - Furious: Well, I did it. My final MLB preview: Oakland A's. Wake Forest cut it to 7. Madness?

10:47 -
Furious: Well, at halftime, most of the scores are back to normal. Even Wake Forest cut that huge lead down to 9. Good to see the Hornets put Memphis away.

10:31 -
Wedge: And now both the Colonials and Badgers have pulled even in their games. Lets go cool mascots! Though I don't accept Badges as Madness, as they are just another 12 over 5 that has become all too common

10:24 -
Furious: Texas Rangers... Best. Preview. Ever.

10:22 -
Furious: Yeah, I'm pretty shocked here. I thought Wake Forerst would win easily. I still think they'll win. It'll make for an exciting 2nd half.

10:16 -
Wedge: Dude this isn’t just a rally, Cleveland State is putting on a clinic against Wake Forest up 27-12. Remember when the Demon Deacons used to be the #1 team in the nation…? And our other green, Siena has turned the ball over 8 times… yet they still manage to only be 2 points behind the Buckeyes.

10:06 - Wedge: Lets go green. Seriously when’s the last time a school with a main color of green won some big titles. I know the color is generally considered bad luck in racing but what about college sports? So far our greens are Cleveland State who is up 18-6 and Siena down 10-17.

9:59 -
Wedge: Wow Vikings on a serious run up 11-4 on the Demon Deacons, including a serious rejection. I like the Demon Deacons mascot more but I’ll take Vikings; now we just need Saints and Colonials to follow.

9:56 -
Furious: No, I think you're right. I have questions about some of the seeding this year. Some of the western teams were obviously not given enough credit. We were all too busy watching the ACC and Big East this year. Remember when people were whining about Notre Dame not getting in? Man, USC and Arizona would've killed them. And remember the Seatlle Mariners? Well, here's a Mariners preview.

9:45 -
Wedge: So the Trojans and Wildcats won; but does that count as Madness? I submit that it does not, especially because Arizona is now on its 25th straight year in the tournament. Madness is if I get the Saints, Colonials or the Vikings in the new slate of games.

9:40 -
Furious: It's hilarious that it's finally sinking in to the media, and especially NC people, that LSU won the SEC and got an 8-seed. This is not a typical 1-8 match-up. The ACC and SEC tournament 1-seeds meeting up in the 2nd round. Now they're scared and it's suddenly a big deal for Lawson to play.

9:33 -
Furious: Can't believe I nailed the USC and Arizona picks. Still only have 5 losses and 15 of my 16.

9:00 -
Furious: Wish I could watch two games at once!

8:49 -
Furious: Angels preview. My two upsets are looking good!

8:35 -
Furious: Of course, I don't mean to disrespect Cleveland State and give Wake Forest a win for a game they haven't played yet.

8:31 -
Furious: Well, so far Utah just can't really play to Arizona's level. I think I'm safe with Wake Forest beating Arizona. I don't think they're THAT good, but for whatever reason, Utah is barely hanging at the moment. A couple of big shots can change that though.

8:13 -
Wedge: Yeah, So I have like 10 brackets on ESPN. Some aren’t serious so I’m not including those. Of my few serious ones I haven’t lost a sweet sixteen team yet but have about 4 wrong on average. USC and Arizona wins would hurt me pretty bad though, especially the Utah loss. It would also do some incredible damage to the collection of decent mascots remaining; I mean I’ll take Utes over Wildcats any day, for that matter I’d much prefer Musketeer and Trojan wins on that front; I’m really tired of people from the bird and cat variety.

8:04 -
Wedge: I don't know what you are talking about; clearly it is pronounced Lou-a-vullll

8:01 -
Furious: Amazing! Four good games all at once. More Head is even keeping up with Louis Ville.

7:45 -
Furious: Bracket update... not too bad so far. I have 5 losses so far, only one of my Sweet 16, none of my Elite 8. I have USC and Arizona in upsets tonight. Wedge?

7:37 -
Furious: Look at USC! A few Louisiana connections and Lil' Romeo = my kind of team. These guys are athletic. Both teams.

Wedge: Woohoo we’re back with more Eagles, Cardinals, Wildcats, Trojans and heck yes the uber unique and appropriate: Utes.

7:07 -
Furious: OK, I'm back! I finished all of my work and I'm ready to have a baby in the morning. Well, I won't have the baby. You know what I mean. Alright, I'm gonna eat some dinner, then settle in to watch some Madness and preview the AL West at some point.

5:23 -
Wedge: There it is; Day 2 gets official with Madness as the Flyers of Dayton take down the all powerful Big East in that of West Virginia. Now we break for 2 hours before we get more games which will feature Vikings, Saints, Utes, Demon Deacons and more. I’m still holding out hope we’ll get at least one more big upset. Dayton was unexpected sure, but not a total shock; we need something of shock quality here.

5:13 -
Wedge: I’m not sure why ETSU started fouling when down 6, there was plenty time left to get the 3-pointers, the fouling while the T-Rexs are making shots just fine is simply ending this game before its over. In fact the lack of free throws is really what killed ETSU they were like 5 for 25 or something crazy Memphis-like. Over in Minnesota we're seconds away from Madness with the Flyers controlling a 8 point lead over the higher seed Mountaineers.

4:55 -
Wedge: These are 2 really great games developing, both within 3 now, both with great energy. ETSU refuses to go away just when you think the Panthers are going to start pulling away.

4:40 -
Wedge: And the best mascot of the hour, Sun Devils, poached the owls in a game that Temple kept close but never really threatened in. Missouri has made it clear they’re not letting Cornell stay close anymore; ETSU is clearly playing with more energy than Pitt right now, but Pitt is doing just enough to stay ahead, but they aren’t playing much defense as the Bucs seem to be getting a million offensive rebounds and putting them back in for the points.

4:35 -
Wedge: ETSU now 5/13 on free throws but they get their rebound and a score to tie. Now imagine if they made their free throws, they’d be up by a good bit. Sorry for WVU fans, Dayton looks like they’re about to start pulling away, up by 8 now.

4:30 -
Wedge: Wow, one of the best shot blocks all tournament from the Buccaneers and turn it around into 2 points. Only down to Pitt by 2 now again. WVU trying to claw away at Dayton, they’ve at least got the deficit down to 4 now.

4:21 - Wedge: Now I’ve kind of tried to refrain from talking about it to avoid jinxing them but the ETSU Bucs are giving the Pitt Panthers (even though they have a T-rex looking dude for a mascot) all they can. ETSU has actually led by 2, and Pitt led by 6 but right now they are trading ties and Pitt leading by 2. Surely not an upset anyone expected… anywhere when it happens in fantasyland.

4:17 -
Wedge: Dayton Flyers are refusing to let West Virginia really get into a closing position to turn the game around. Its nothing dominant but like Kansas did earlier, they simply answer every score the Mountaineers bring.

4:06 -
Wedge: I think one of the Sun Devils just hurt his butt. In reality I'm sure its a back thing but he sure looked like he walked off grabbing at his rear.

3:51 -
Wedge: I've been waiting for Cornell to fall apart or Missouri to get it together and come back and ahead but it just hasn't happened yet. I'm sure this is way tighter than any Tiger fan thought this would be.

3:33 -
Furious: Look! A Rockies preview! OK, I'm going to go watch this Dayton game and do some actual "work" work. I may disappear for a little while. But I'll be back.

3:02 -
Wedge: Time for some Flyers (woohoo) & Buccaneers (meh, I guess it's at least rare in college)

2:50 - Furious: Man! I wish my name was Dionte Christmas.

2:49 -
Wedge: And now we go Sun Devils (very unique and awesome) vs. Owls (bland but slightly unique, I think only Rice also has it)

2:47 -
Furious: Diamondbacks preview here.

2:42 -
Wedge: Dang, I was really looking forward to at least getting one upset this morning. No Madness indeed. Had Utah State simply hit shots earlier in the game they may have run away with it but instead fall short by 1.

2:36 - Furious: Another SEC letdown as Tennessee loses at the end. But the BANK was open for Utah State as they bank in a 3 to cut the lead to two.

2:32 -
Wedge: Agriculturals lose their best shooter in Quale fouling out. They need him in this final minute. Especially down by 3.

2:28 -
Wedge: OSU-Tenn been tied for 2 minutes now neither can put the basket in… and just as I type that OSU finally get one in. Tennessee has 30 seconds to tie or go ahead, and they get the 2+1. Marquette getting seriously physical and helped with some non-calls by refs go back ahead by 1.

2:19 -
Wedge: And the Agriculturalists have tied it up with the Gold Avalanche containing Warriors and Eagles. AND NOW THEY LEAD BY 3!!! Here is what I love about these Aggies. Whenever they get a rebound or steal, they don’t get sloppy and try to score as quick as possible, they get back set and take their best shot, not the quickest shot, and just as I finish typing Aggies up by 6, they aren't missing shots, Marquette is in serious trouble here.

2:16 - Wedge: 2 straight sloppy turnovers by the Volunteers and they go from leading by 2 to down by 3. I’m not sure why they felt the need to attempt going so quickly twice in a row.

2:09 - Furious: This Kansas game is fun. I don't know if Woodside can do it all by himself, but again, could you imagine if he was ON Kansas? I'm always amazed by players who weren't recruited by the bigger schools and then make them look stupid on a big stage.

2:08 -
Wedge: Here’s what happens when you start making shots. In this half the Aggies have 8 rebounds, Gold have only 2. And Jayhawks fans can’t like that the Bisons won’t go away still in the 5-3 range ever few seconds. And neither Cowboy or Volunteer fans (that being people who give their time for free to cheer) that neither team can pull more than 2 points away, a really tight game all along.

2:06 - Furious: Padres preview posted. These games are all great. I don't like how inconsistent refs are with the charge call. Sometimes you can just slide in at the last second and instead of playing defense, throw yourself on the ground. Then it's like a coin toss: maybe you'll get lucky and get the charge call.

2:00 -
Wedge: So the Aggies finally got it tied, but Gold respond going back ahead with a 2+1. Gold starting to get a little nervous going back to full court press, but it’s not working, Aggies are making their shots now. The Bison are within 3 of the Jayhawks now, but can they pull even?

1:49 -
Wedge: Wow, we’ve had some serious rejuvenation since halftime. Volunteers coming back to even with the Cowboys but now down by 2, but within striking distance for sure. The Bison came back within 4 of the Jayhawks again, but still not quite within the striking distance they need. But most of all the biggest development is the one I was predicating on before; The Aggies of Utah State have come out of halftime making their shots and Marquette looks to be in some serious trouble very quickly going from up by 13 to up by 1.

1:21 - Wedge: We’re at halftime everywhere now. The Jayhawks responded nicely to the Bison taking a run of their own to get themselves back up by 9. I have to say Utah State looks like they are in control of their game, they are simply not ahead on the scoreboard; if they actually started making shots the Gold would be in some serious trouble; the Gold are only 30% from the field, the Aggies are simply shooting worse. The Orange are cruising and the Volunteers and Cowboys may need better mascots, but are playing a nice close game that we always get from a 8-9 match up the Cowboys up by 4 at half.

1:13 - Wedge: Just when I was ready to write the Bison off, the Jayhawks get a silly goal tending foul, and then the Bison follow it up with a brilliant open 3-pointer in quick transition; back within 4 now.

1:08 - Wedge: I was not aware that Utah State was located in Boise Idaho. But I guess they are according to the commentator telling us all about their local hometown crowd. I know they are close, but I mean they are at least a 5-6 hour drive; that’s not hometown. About the game though; if the Aggies would just start making their shots they’d easily be ahead in this game, they are outplaying the Gold Birds on the floor and rebounds but they just can’t seem to make any shots. The Volunteers and Cowboys are giving us the even match we thought we’d see; just as even as I feel about their so-so mascots.

1:07 -
Furious: Yes! It's going to be a great day. In addition to all of the Madness, I have a ton of work to do as I prepare for an extended hospital visit, not knowing if I will have internet access or not! I have a bunch of TV shows downloading, just in case.

I will also be live-blogging, probably more later tonight than earlier as I try to get this work done. I also have seven more MLB previews to do, which I plan to finish before I go to bed. I'll be putting those all below this live-blog post and will link them here as I ad them.

Right now I am cooking cheeseburgers!

12:57 -
Wedge: Man, N.Dakota Bisons aren’t just contending, they’re clearly hanging with the Jayhawks so far. But we’ve seen this story many times before, the important question; can they keep this up for a whole game? Aggies are starting to fall back to the Golden Warriors stuck in an Avalanche simply because they haven’t done the one thing they were known for all year.. making shots from the field.

12:50 - Wedge: Marquette may have a 6 point lead but this is easily the most contested game of the 3. The Golden Eagles that cause Avalanches are using full court pressure on the Aggies, but it is only working slightly. I believe Utah St. has one of the fewest turnovers in NCAA so not only is it not working for the Gold, this is going to wear them out eventually.

12:45 - Wedge: Neither Syracuse nor Stephen Austin are remotely close to D.C.; I’m really not sure why they keep only showing us clips of the games that are all ties and close but keep bringing us back to this 14 point beginning of a blowout. Finally they bring us back to the Bison and Jayhawks where the Bison have a 3 point lead.

12:39 - Wedge: So far only the Syracuse game seems to be getting away from us, the other 3 games are still within 3 points and being contested from both sides. but no Madness with all favorites currently leading.

12:30 - Wedge: Nothing to Madnessy so far. Syracuse is already asserting themselves on the Lumberjacks playing some hard defense and already working up an 8 point lead. Cowboy and Volunteers are even after 3 minutes, both teams look like they are just warming up.

12:14 - Wedge: Ok morning game roll call lets take a look at our match ups:

-The Orange (definitely unique, but a little odd) vs. Lumberjacks (awesomely unique and something you can generally be scare of) They both get a big thumbs up.

-Cowboys (horribly generic) vs. Volunteers (its unique, but like Syracuse, doesn't make a whole ton of sense) OSU definitely gets a huge thumbs down.

-Jayhawks (definitely unique in the bird arena) vs. Bison (not completely unique, but it fits the school and isn't entirely generic) Both get thumbs up.

-Golden Eagles vs. Aggies. I give Marquette a huge thumbs down because they used to be the Gold, Blue & Gold, Hilltoppers, Golden Avalanche in their history; and all very unique... and then changed their names to Golden Eagles, even though there is already a Golden Eagles in the University of Southern Mississippi. Utah State does not get a pass for going Aggies like all other agricultural colleges, they need to get off their butts and find something good. Avalanche would be a great and appropriate start.

12:05 - Wedge: Ok, we're about 30 minutes out of our first 4 games of day 2. My hopes for today that we either get some more upsets, or we simply get more wins from teams who had the decency and foresight to sit down and come up with a good unique mascot/moniker. I think today's best may in fact be the Lumberjacks.

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