Before we get to the games, here's a public service announcement for basketball fans in Milwaukee who, like me, have the DISH, or, like Warrior Brad, have U-Verse and didn't have the benefit of the alternate CBS channel that's available on Time Warner, and thus had to suffer the whims of the Dude in New York Who's Responsible for Toggling Between the Games:
Get thee to a Target. Buy yourself a $10 indoor HD antenna. (Something like this should work fine.) Plug that antenna into your coax port on the back of your TV. Switch the input on your TV to "TV," pull up the menu, and find the option to add digital channels. Your TV will search for available over-the-air channels, and, with any luck, it'll find the four digital CBS channels in Milwaukee -- 58.1 through 58.4. 58.1 will carry the national feed; 58.3 will carry the other game. It won't be in HD, but it's better than nothing.
Now, back to our regularly-scheduled programming.
Butler 63, 'Cuse 59: To paraphrase Steve "The Homer" True: it's ALWAYS something with Syracuse. I know that Jim Boeheim is a Hall of Fame coach, but that team was all out of sorts last night, and Boeheim did nothing to get them back on track. And why didn't he go offense-defense with Andy Rautins at the end of the game? Really, you're going to leave him in so he can pick up his fifth foul with 45 seconds left and take your best three-point shooter off the floor? Ohhh-kayyy.
West Virginia 69, Washington 56: We give Huggy Bear a lot of grief, and most -- if not all -- of it is well-deserved. How-EVAH, the guy can coach. Great game plan by the Track Suit, and a good job adapting on the fly when it became clear that the officials weren't going to call anything in the last 10 minutes of the game. WVU saw that and carpe'd the diem, pummeling UDub literally and figuratively.
Kansas State 101, Xavier 96: K-State looked like they were going to run away with this one, but Xavier just kept comin'. I know there's been a lot of discussion about the foul at the end of regulation, where K-State was up by three and trying to foul before X could get off a three-point attempt ... and a K-Stater ended up fouling Xavier's best free throw shooter on a three. Again, as I've said before, I don't know that I'm partial to one philosophy or the other. But, as I see it, the problem last night wasn't the philosophy -- it was (1) the officials, who refused to call a foul when a Xavier player got mugged at half court, and (2) a marvelously bone-headed play by the K-State player who got much too close to his man on the three-point prayer. It's hard to fault the coach for those two things.
Kentucky 62, Cornell 45: Have you ever seen a housecat encounter a spider? One of our cats -- yep, there are two cats; I'm one of THOSE people -- has kind of a sadistic streak. (If she were invited to participate in the LOLcats reenactment of LOST, she'd definitely be Sayid.) Anyway, when she finds a spider, she tortures the little dude: she'll jump in front of it, then she'll let it start to run away, then she'll put her paw in front of it to block its path ... and then she'll start tearing off legs. It's gross. And it's the best analogy I can come up with for the UK - Cornell game. Cornell jumped out to an early lead, and they cut it to six in the second half, but UK was clearly toying with them. The Cats were much too quick defensively and could do whatever they wanted to on offense, especially in transition. In sum: John Wall is scary.
Thoughts on tonight's slate of games coming later this afternoon.