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NCAA Tournament, Regional Semifinals, Day 5 open thread
2008-03-27 15:57
by Bob Timmermann

For the next two days, there are just four games a day and two at a time. So at least one of them better be interesting or else I'll be cross.

Your schedule for today, all times PT

4:10 pm - #7 West Virginia (26-10) vs #3 Xavier (29-6) in Phoenix (West). To steal somebody else's joke "Number Seven? West Virginia?" Xavier is the lone holdout of the Atlantic 10. The Musketeers last played in a regional final in 2004 when they lost to Duke. The Mountaineers made it to a regional final in 2005 when they lost to Louisville.

4:27 pm - #4 Washington State (26-8) vs #1 North Carolina (34-2) in Charlotte (East). Did you know that Washington State University makes canned cheese? Canned cheese is not to be confused with these guys. The Cougars have only made it to the Elite Eight once and that was in 1941 when only eight teams played in the tournament. North Carolina hasn't played in a regional final since ... last year.

6:40 pm - #12 Western Kentucky (29-6) vs #1 UCLA (33-3) in Phoenix (West). Western Kentucky is in Bowling Green. Bowling Green University however is in Ohio. But I think the Everly Brothers were singing about the city in Kentucky. I think the presence of the word "Kentucky" in the lyrics is a tipoff. The Hilltoppers last made it to a regional final in 1971, although the school had to vacate that appearance. WKU also made it to the Elite Eight in 1940, but there were only eight teams playing in the tournament that year also. They lost to Duquesne. UCLA last played in a regional final ... last year.

6:57 pm - #3 Louisville (26-8) vs #2 Tennessee (31-4) in Charlotte (East). The Cardinals have a long and storied NCAA tournament history. The Volunteers don't. Louisville last made it to a regional final in 2005 (see above near "West Virginia). Tennessee has never played in a regional final and didn't even win an NCAA tournament game of any kind until 1979. Obligatory musical reference.

Comments (126)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-03-27 16:09:51
1.   bhsportsguy
UCLA not only has their 12th banner's fate in their hands, lots of people who pre-paid for flights and hotels in San Antonio await their arrival next week.
2008-03-27 16:14:04
2.   Eric Stephen
I like Verne Lundquist in just about any sport, and Bill Raftery is just crazy enough for me to enjoy as well.

My rooting interest this evening is for Xavier, Washington State, UCLA, and Tennessee.

2008-03-27 16:16:26
3.   trainwreck
I would prefer if there could be no winner to the Louisville/Tennessee game.
2008-03-27 16:18:37
4.   Eric Stephen
Other than the terrorists, of course.
2008-03-27 16:19:02
5.   bhsportsguy
3 Are you watching the game at home?
2008-03-27 16:21:54
6.   trainwreck
2008-03-27 16:22:04
7.   trainwreck
2008-03-27 16:25:03
8.   Indiana Jon
These first two games are nearly meaningless to my bracket, so for the next two hours I will be a WVU and Wash St fan.
2008-03-27 16:25:54
9.   Eric Stephen
I feel awkward here, a fly on the wall in some UCLA mixer. :)
2008-03-27 16:28:31
10.   trainwreck
Man, I really hope Wazzu wins.
2008-03-27 16:30:10
11.   Linkmeister
To clarify, Tennessee's men's program has never advanced very far. The women, on the other hand...I think Pat Summit's team is looking for its seventh title this year.

If you want a Hawai'i connection, WSU's Derrick Low went to a private high school out here.

2008-03-27 16:33:52
12.   bhsportsguy
7 Not sure, I mean they should win and it might be fun to be out with some folks watching but it is nice to have the peace and quiet of watching it at home.

Also, if they win, I know I won't be able to watch the game Saturday (or it will be in a bar near the Coliseum), so perhaps I should just watch it at home.

2008-03-27 16:38:39
13.   Bob Timmermann
I think Washington State has little or no chance of winning. Sadly Washington State always seems to come out on the short end of the stick when they do well in a major sport.

Speaking as someone who has seen Washington State play in the Rose Bowl. North Carolina's players are a lot more talented and I can't imagine that Wazzu's defensive system is going to disrupt North Carolina's offense that much.

But I've been wrong before.

2008-03-27 16:44:48
14.   Bob Timmermann
I'm online only, so what is West Virginia's problem tonight? Or is Xavier just playing really well?
2008-03-27 16:45:18
15.   Eric Stephen
Stop crushing my dreams Bob! If WSU wins, along with UCLA, Tennessee, and Xavier, then I will stand alone atop the Griddle leaderboard, if only for one day.
2008-03-27 16:45:39
16.   Eric Stephen
Bob Huggins' shirt isn't helping.
2008-03-27 16:46:07
17.   trainwreck
Only got to watch game briefly, but Xavier was just being dominant. Nailing all their threes and getting inside pretty easily.
2008-03-27 16:52:14
18.   Bob Timmermann
If the four higher seeds win tonight, Kevin Lewis will be the leader.

If the four lower seeds win tonight, Sam DC takes the lead.

2008-03-27 17:03:02
19.   trainwreck
Don't see the crazy one miss two free throws in a row often.
2008-03-27 17:04:27
20.   trainwreck
Friggin Danny Green.
2008-03-27 17:17:12
21.   bhsportsguy
15 LA Times reporting Davon Jefferson will return for his sophomore season at USC.
2008-03-27 17:21:50
22.   Bob Timmermann
But did anybody listen to the entire Everly Brothers song I linked above? It's really painful.
2008-03-27 17:22:28
23.   trainwreck
I know Taj Gibson said he was coming back too. I remain skeptical. Want to get to the NBA before your age starts to become a real issue.
2008-03-27 17:23:14
24.   bhsportsguy
23 Hey it didn't hurt Chris Weinke (sp.), did it?
2008-03-27 17:25:06
25.   trainwreck
Helped him in college. The NFL, not so much.
2008-03-27 17:30:32
26.   trainwreck
That huge Xavier league certainly is not much now.
2008-03-27 17:41:03
27.   trainwreck

What a brain fart.

2008-03-27 17:48:19
28.   trainwreck
One of those patented Cougar second half runs would be nice right about now.
2008-03-27 18:01:58
29.   underdog
Um, another Pac-10 team's gonna bite the dust today, it appears. Hopefully that'll be the only one biting the dust today.
2008-03-27 18:23:23
30.   trainwreck
Not overtime again!
2008-03-27 18:23:25
31.   Bob Timmermann
Free basketball in Phoenix!
2008-03-27 18:23:31
32.   Indiana Jon
Say it again Bob.
2008-03-27 18:23:57
33.   Indiana Jon
31 Oh, you just did.
2008-03-27 18:27:03
34.   trainwreck
Sad to see a good group of Cougars careers come to an end. Definitely respected that team.

Weaver should be a valuable role player in the NBA.

2008-03-27 18:30:43
35.   Bob Timmermann
Timmermann's Law of Overtimes in effect!
2008-03-27 18:39:47
36.   Bob Timmermann
Timmermann's Law is being severely tested.
2008-03-27 18:45:22
37.   underdog
34 I think when you say "a group of cougars" here Nate's ears perk up.
2008-03-27 18:45:50
38.   Bob Timmermann
3-way tie for first in the contest at the moment.
2008-03-27 18:48:11
39.   trainwreck
I am still upset I have not gone to a cougar bar myself.
2008-03-27 18:48:34
40.   Bob Timmermann
And Ham Fighter Nation takes the lead. If Tennessee defeats Louisville, Kevin Lewis will lead at the end of the evening.
2008-03-27 18:53:44
41.   Andrew Shimmin
40- First of all, thanks and honor to Ch-i.

Second, quit trying to think of scenarios where I lose!

2008-03-27 19:00:32
42.   Andrew Shimmin
I bet Bob can explain what happened there better than the booth did.
2008-03-27 19:03:02
43.   Bob Timmermann
Jay Bilas is on Indiana Jon's payroll.
"Tennessee was playing a Butler team that was underseeded..."
2008-03-27 19:03:38
44.   Bob Timmermann
The Tennessee player hit the ball before it started coming down.
2008-03-27 19:04:28
45.   underdog
Weirdly, the bracket I did "with" my g/f for her company's pool - we were near the bottom, moved up a little but still below the middle, but I ran the scenario generators and saw that there's still a chance to win the whole thing! If we basically win every possible game from here on out. I'll be happy just to finish in the top half.
2008-03-27 19:04:42
46.   Bob Timmermann
But can anyone explain how I can get my Firefox browser to give me back the old font I used? There are no serifs! And this was after turning my computer back on when I got home from work.
2008-03-27 19:04:45
47.   Bob Timmermann
But can anyone explain how I can get my Firefox browser to give me back the old font I used? There are no serifs! And this was after turning my computer back on when I got home from work.
2008-03-27 19:06:02
48.   trainwreck
Butler was so close. They were my shot to win this thing.
2008-03-27 19:08:53
49.   trainwreck
Just go to Tools. Then Options. Then under content it should allow you to change font.
2008-03-27 19:09:20
50.   Andrew Shimmin
47- Have you tried alt-O (oh; you're one of those Mac people. Um, Tools>Options) and then bringing up the Content tab. The font settings are all there.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-03-27 19:10:47
51.   Andrew Shimmin
Right. What trainwreck said. Alternatively, my preferred method of fixing anything in Firefox is to backup my bookmarks, extensions, and search plugins, then uninstall the thing, delete the hidden user files, and re-install it. I end up doing that every few months. It keeps things fresh.
2008-03-27 19:13:02
52.   Daniel Zappala
I have two brackets in the 92.3 percentile on ESPN. Both have an unblemished elite 8. Yet there is likely no chance I can win. Why do I even bother?
2008-03-27 19:14:23
53.   Bob Timmermann
Actually the font settings are under "preferences", but there are only two fonts available:
Microsoft sans serif
And something in Japanese.
2008-03-27 19:15:13
54.   Bob Timmermann
How do I back up the bookmarks, extensions and plugins?
2008-03-27 19:15:41
55.   trainwreck
Your Firefox is very different from mine.
2008-03-27 19:16:09
56.   Andrew Shimmin
2008-03-27 19:18:09
57.   Andrew Shimmin
What version are you running?
2008-03-27 19:19:11
58.   Andrew Shimmin
I wish my name were Zelton Steed.
2008-03-27 19:20:50
59.   trainwreck
Just keep feeding it to Love.
2008-03-27 19:22:15
60.   Daniel Zappala
Bob, when in doubt, reinstall firefox.
2008-03-27 19:23:00
61.   trainwreck
UCLA needs to stop missing.
2008-03-27 19:23:24
62.   Daniel Zappala
Anybody want to trade jobs with me? During last week's tournament games I had to write a 6-page paper due last Friday and then a 25 page grant proposal due Tuesday. Today I'm working on a 10-page paper due tomorrow.

Bob, any openings at the library?

2008-03-27 19:29:18
63.   Bob Timmermann
All the openings have been filled by MI-5.
2008-03-27 19:29:49
64.   Bob Timmermann
FEBE doesn't work. I'm told that I have to open chmod 75370 or something like that.
2008-03-27 19:37:11
65.   Bob Timmermann
OK, I got FEBE to work. Then I uninstalled Firefox, reinstalled it. FEBE loaded my old settings back in and I ended up with the same font problems.
2008-03-27 19:38:33
66.   Indiana Jon
43 He's not on my payroll. I though it was common knowledge that Butler should have been a 5 seed at worst and that Drake didn't deserve to be a 5 seed.
2008-03-27 19:40:12
67.   Andrew Shimmin
65- Did you delete the hidden user files? This should be directions to them, but I can't vouch for it.

2008-03-27 19:40:30
68.   Bob Timmermann
OK, in the words of Ralph Lawler, "BINGO!!!"

The Great Serif Crisis of 2008 is over.

2008-03-27 19:45:52
69.   trainwreck
Know who you are Luc!
2008-03-27 19:47:20
70.   Bob Timmermann
Actually this wasn't a serif crisis as my preferred font was Verdana. But I couldn't get the browser to use it. But now it can. And I'm happier now than a pig in slop.
2008-03-27 20:13:05
71.   trainwreck
This game is the way I like it.
2008-03-27 20:14:08
72.   Bob Timmermann
I think UCLA is just getting all the breaks from the refs tonight.

Oh, and also playing extremely good defense. I guess James Keefe ate his Wheaties this morning.

2008-03-27 20:15:39
73.   Daniel Zappala
I take it all you UCLA fans are pretty happy right now.
2008-03-27 20:19:57
74.   Bob Timmermann
All UCLA fans are happy because all of them simultaneously solved the problem of the missing Verdana fonts in their Firefox browser.

It's funny that you said I should switch to a Mac because at this moment I have THREE Mac notebooks in my home. I'm selling one of them tomorrow.

2008-03-27 20:49:44
75.   trainwreck
I am waiting for Shimmin to eat his crow about Keefe.
2008-03-27 20:57:25
76.   Bob Timmermann
If Xavier goes to the Final Four, they would be the first school that goes by a name that starts with an X to make the Final.

There are four other letters that have not made the Final Four. Which ones?

2008-03-27 20:59:00
77.   trainwreck
Luc should never touch the ball on offense unless he is within 5 feet of the basket.
2008-03-27 20:59:20
78.   Bob Timmermann
I guess UCLA is going to try to go the rest of the game without using any guards.
2008-03-27 21:00:37
79.   trainwreck
Q, A, E, and Z?
2008-03-27 21:00:57
80.   trainwreck
Actually, I want J in there.
2008-03-27 21:01:50
81.   trainwreck
Well this is setting up for disaster.
2008-03-27 21:01:54
82.   Bob Timmermann
Arkansas is angry at your guess.

Q, E, and Z are right.

2008-03-27 21:03:00
83.   trainwreck
Oh yeah, that should have been obvious.
2008-03-27 21:04:10
84.   trainwreck
If not J then H.
2008-03-27 21:04:33
85.   trainwreck
Nevermind, I forgot about Houston.
2008-03-27 21:04:56
86.   Bob Timmermann
Holy Cross has won a national championship.
2008-03-27 21:05:41
87.   trainwreck
2008-03-27 21:06:23
88.   trainwreck
This is ridiculous.
2008-03-27 21:07:03
89.   Indiana Jon
2008-03-27 21:08:09
90.   trainwreck
This is so terrible.
2008-03-27 21:08:38
91.   Indiana Jon
Looks like I will be out of the running after this game. Tennessee has looked horrible.

Bad news for Bruins fans, with Tenn out, my second pick is UCLA. Teams I pick never win.

2008-03-27 21:08:41
92.   Bob Timmermann
Y is correct. Yale is the only Y school to make the tournament. The Bs in the Final Four have been Baylor and Bradley.

The J was Jacksonville.

Quinnipiac in the Northeast is the only Q in Division I.

2008-03-27 21:08:48
93.   trainwreck
I forgot about BYU, they probably have made a Final Four.
2008-03-27 21:09:14
94.   trainwreck
2008-03-27 21:09:44
95.   Bob Timmermann
BYU is one behind Missouri for most NCAA tournament appearances without making it to the Final Four.
2008-03-27 21:10:11
96.   Bob Timmermann
Yes, Jacksonville. Artis Gilmore went there and they lost to UCLA in the 1969 final
2008-03-27 21:13:39
97.   trainwreck
Wow. This is unbelievable.
2008-03-27 21:15:13
98.   Bob Timmermann
Ahh youth...

Stuff like this happens.

2008-03-27 21:16:46
99.   Bob Timmermann
So who would be the next guard in if Westbrook or Shipp foul out? Stanback?
2008-03-27 21:18:28
100.   Bob Timmermann
Ham Fighter Nation will be the leader at the end of the night.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-03-27 21:22:43
101.   trainwreck
I don't know if Howland trusts Stanback or Abdul-Hamid at all in this situation. He would just load the team up with forwards.
2008-03-27 21:23:57
102.   trainwreck
2008-03-27 21:25:43
103.   Bob Timmermann
There was a foul on Keefe on the last basket.
2008-03-27 21:33:24
104.   trainwreck
Apparently, Josh Shipp can teleport.
2008-03-27 21:34:27
105.   trainwreck
Did all those crazy time issues happen with anyone else?
2008-03-27 21:36:14
106.   Bob Timmermann
I suppose they didn't because I have no idea what you're talking about.
2008-03-27 21:38:37
107.   Daniel Zappala
I got to see UCLA's gold C on their uniforms. I feel relevant now.
2008-03-27 21:40:02
108.   trainwreck
Crazy Bay Area coverage. They showed Josh Shipp dribbling at the bottom of the court and then all of a sudden he was on the other side. The commentary went silent and more of those weird time skips were happening.

I think they cut to the feed without the delay.

2008-03-27 21:41:29
109.   Bob Timmermann
It's quite a sight isn't it. UCLA would only wear their blue uniforms if they faced North Carolina in the National Semis or Memphis in the Final.
2008-03-27 21:43:43
110.   Bob Timmermann
So will UCLA-Xavier be the early or late game Saturday?
2008-03-27 21:46:20
111.   Bob Timmermann
UCLA-Xavier tip off at 3:40 pm.
2008-03-27 21:47:16
112.   trainwreck
I am guessing the early game, since more people will care about UNC/Louisville.
2008-03-27 21:48:28
113.   Daniel Zappala
If everything continues to go my way, I'll finish in third at best, with Sesame Chicken getting first.
2008-03-27 21:50:45
114.   trainwreck
At least, I got one Elite 8 bracket correct.
2008-03-27 22:02:43
115.   Andrew Shimmin
75- I went for a walk and so missed whatever it was you were talking about. And, therefore, don't believe it ever happened.
2008-03-27 22:12:56
116.   JoeyP
If Xavier's athletic bigs can get Bogut into foul trouble, its going to be a long day on Saturday for UCLA.

58 points allowed in the 2nd half to Western Kentucky.

West Virginia I think would have been a much easier opponent.

2008-03-27 22:18:06
117.   ryu
116 UCLA went 0-2 vs. WVU in the last two years.

Just saying....

2008-03-27 22:19:21
118.   bhsportsguy
116 If Darren Collison scores only 4 points and fouls out again, then UCLA will be in trouble.

Fortunately, he tends to rebound pretty well, I think he was focused on getting Shipp and Love the ball tonight.

2008-03-27 22:20:32
119.   bhsportsguy
117 Yeah, I was more worried about that also their big guy is pretty good.
2008-03-27 22:21:49
120.   bhsportsguy
Finally, both Louisville and Xavier will be playing against hostile crowds as Carolina is already playing less than 40 miles from Chapel Hill and UCLA fans have staked out this regional final for over a year.
2008-03-27 22:28:14
121.   ryu
Hey BH, what do you think of UCLA barely squeaking past their opponents during the last 10 games or so (with the exception of MVSU)?

Hopefully tonight is only a case of losing focus after building a big lead, but it's beginning to worry me as they go deeper and face stronger opponents.

2008-03-27 22:37:53
122.   Bob Timmermann
So which "10" will be better: Atlantic or Pacific?

The Atlantic 10 has 14 teams however.

2008-03-27 22:40:55
123.   Xeifrank
Love and Keefe were amazing tonight. Not only did both play well, but both played smart. They did a great job of protecting the ball and not committing silly fouls like everyone else on the team. I know they didn't want to get into a running game, but they should've attacked the basket more. They just kept passing the ball around the perimiter until the shot clock nearly ran out then threw up a prayer that Love would rebound and put in. They should've been setting more screens and then driving to the hoop. There were almost no pick and rolls or high screens on the overly aggressive W.Kentucky gaurds. I hope they (Love and Keefe excused) play better on saturday while I am at the Fan Fest. I assume they won't have a big screen at the Coliseum to watch the game on. vr, Xei
2008-03-27 22:43:44
124.   Xeifrank
... and does anybody get the feeling that Bobby Knight doesn't like UCLA and really wants them to lose. I know he picked them to lose to first round loser Pittsburgh... But I can't be too down on him, since UCLA hasn't exactly been all that impressive so far. vr, Xei
2008-03-27 22:50:23
125.   JoeyP
I doubt Xavier will be facing a "hostile" crowd. Phoenix doesnt exactly have a soft spot for LA teams.

Plus, most crowds will get behind the underdog.

Random info maybe already covered: Robin Lopez is dating Michelle Wie per

2008-03-27 22:53:52
126.   Bob Timmermann
UNC has won its first three games by an average winning margin of 33.7 points. The tournament record is 23.75 by UCLA in 1967 followed by Loyola of Chicago's 23.0 margin in 1963.

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