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NCAA Tournament, Regional Finals, Day 7 open thread
2008-03-29 12:00
by Bob Timmermann

It's time for a couple of teams to book a trip to beautiful San Antonio. I've never been to San Antonio so I can't say for sure that it's beautiful, but it seems like the polite thing to say.

After suffering through four blowouts Friday, let's hope we get a pair of close games. Then again, I'm not going to be watching them as I'll be heading off to the Coliseum for the Dodgers-Red Sox exhibition. But I'm sure my radio or BlackBerry will provide me with everything I need to know.

The schedule (as always in PT):
3:40 pm - #3 Xavier (30-6) vs #1 UCLA (34-3) at Phoenix (West) - Both schools have set school records for wins in a season. UCLA has been to the Final Four. A lot. 17 times, although the NCAA will tell you that it's just 16 because the 1980 appearance didn't happen on account of Sam Gilbert. Xavier played in the 2004 Atlanta Regional final, but lost to Duke by 3. The Bruins and Musketeers met once before, back in the second round in 1997 in the Midwest Regional in a game played in Auburn Hills, Michigan. UCLA won that day 96-83 behind 28 points from Charles O'Bannon. UCLA went on to lose in the regional final to Minnesota 80-72, which is the last time UCLA has lost a regional final. UCLA has lost only two other regional finals: 1979 to DePaul and 1992 to Indiana. I couldn't find Xavier's fight song, so this will have to take its place.

6:05 pm - #3 Louisville (27-8) vs #1 North Carolina (35-2) at Charlotte (East) - These schools have NCAA pedigrees longer than a Best in Show at Westminster. Louisville has been to the Final Four eight times and has won twice. North Carolina has been to the Final Four 16 times. So if the Tar Heels win, they will set an NCAA record with 17 Final Fours, which is one more than what UCLA officially has. Unless of course, UCLA wins earlier in the day. In which case, both teams will officially have 17 Final Four appearances. Remember 1980's Final Four really had just three teams in it. And one of them was Louisville. But perhaps the NCAA has a point. The 1980 Final Four was played here.

North Carolina has played 25 NCAA tournament games in its home state and has lost just one, a 73-69 loss to Penn in Raleigh in 1979.

Ham Fighter Nation leads the Griddle's bracket contest and will still lead at the end of the day unless BOTH Xavier and Louisville win. However, Ham Fighter Nation's wagon is hitched to the Kansas Jayhawks and it will be nearly impossible for him to win without Bill Self hoisting the trophy in San Antonio.

2008-03-29 12:17:53
1.   Andrew Shimmin
You don't think my "get everybody else to drop out," strategy has legs? Well, we'll see. I hope to be able to announce, by the end of the day, that Senator Patrick Leahy is on board.
2008-03-29 12:43:32
2.   Bob Hendley
0 - Not being 150 years old, the production values were such that I was able to make out the lyrics. I think that the Bombshell from Brooklyn, needs to be retrofitted with a parental guidance label. "the only thing Brazilian about her is her bum"?
2008-03-29 13:03:45
3.   Johnny Nucleo
My wagon has been damaged so catastrophically in this contest it will require a top-notch forensics team to decipher from the wreckage exactly what it was hitched to in the first place.
2008-03-29 13:43:35
4.   trainwreck
I would be perfectly happy if UCLA just blew out Xavier. I have had enough of pressure packed games over the last three years.
2008-03-29 14:10:42
5.   ryu
4 Same here. But as we know, our Bruins love to keep games interesting.
2008-03-29 15:21:54
6.   oshea2002
Here we go Xavier....

In all seriousness, I did take ucla to win the whole thing in my pools, so that at least I'd have some compensation to go along with my despair. Hopefully if the rumors are true about Taj and Davon my Trojans will have a shot to be in this position next year.

2008-03-29 15:34:38
7.   trainwreck
Unless the Lopez twins come back, the Pac-10 will be wide open.
2008-03-29 15:47:46
8.   oshea2002
Will totally hinge on who comes back. SC, UCLA, and Arizona could all be top 5 teams or take huge hits. If they all leave, ASU looks good.

My guess - Love, Mayo, Bayless, Brook, Collison all gone. I think Westbrook, Taj, Davon, Budinger, and Robin Lopez all come back. I know there were early season rumors of Shipp leaving, but clearly that won't be happening.

2008-03-29 15:56:32
9.   Andrew Shimmin
Is shirt grabbing more scrappy, or more hard-nosed?
2008-03-29 15:59:44
10.   trainwreck

I guess it is now legal to kick the basketball ahead.

2008-03-29 16:06:17
11.   trainwreck
UCLA desperately needs Shipp to get on track.
2008-03-29 16:29:06
12.   bhsportsguy
11 At least Luc showed up today.
2008-03-29 16:31:47
13.   trainwreck
Yes, he has been huge on the boards and defensively. Good first half, if we just execute a bit better on offense we should be fine.
2008-03-29 16:38:02
14.   bhsportsguy
13 Westbrook still is playing too fast but I guess that is just something that he will have to learn by himself.

I am still at home, I probably should leave (15 minutes to Coliseum) but have not yet.

2008-03-29 16:39:17
15.   trainwreck
Are you tailgating or something? Seems like you will have a lot of free time.
2008-03-29 17:01:12
16.   trainwreck
Now this is sweet!
2008-03-29 17:06:51
17.   bhsportsguy
Off now, hopefully they can keep this up.
2008-03-29 17:21:40
18.   Andrew Shimmin
Laser Love! (look, somebody had to say it. . .)
2008-03-29 17:30:51
19.   trainwreck
What must I sacrifice to the basketball Gods, to keep Kevin Love one more year?
2008-03-29 17:47:49
20.   trainwreck
Yes!!! Three straight Final Fours!!!!
2008-03-29 17:48:02
21.   trainwreck
Take it in, UCLA fans.
2008-03-29 18:01:49
22.   Indiana Jon
I wish these Indiana fans around my area would watch Beasley and Love so they could see what a real freshman looks like. Eric Gordon is nowhere near being in their league.
2008-03-29 18:10:02
23.   trainwreck
Gordon definitely underperformed. Such a great talent; I think he just got lost mentally.
2008-03-29 18:11:58
24.   Indiana Jon
I think he's just overrated right now. He's one of those kids that would benefit from more college time. Unfortunately it will be hard to pass up millions of dollars and with the current state of IU basketball, I wouldn't blame him a bit for leaving.
2008-03-29 19:04:59
25.   Indiana Jon
I officially proclaim there is no interest in the UNC-Louisville game. Not at this site anyway.
2008-03-29 20:19:57
26.   Andrew Shimmin
For tomorrow's open thread, I want Ham Fighter Nation to be linked to this:

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