Thursday, March 19, 2009

Memphis pussycats almost tamed

Thursday's not-yet-final four:

1. Needing 35 points from a normally low-scoring bench player to beat mighty Northridge, Memphis gave quite a scare to those of us who have pegged the Tigers for the Final Four. If Memphis doesn't play significantly better Saturday, it will lose to an impressive Maryland team that, unlike Memphis, comes out of a real conference.

2. Note to play-by-play men, color commentators, studio hosts and analysts of all stripes: Please, please, pretty please stop using the phrase "score the ball." It's meaningless blather. 

3. Much to the delight of most of my fellow alums, Marquette was referred to as the "Warriors" in Sports Illustrated's tourney preview issue. Yes, we were the Warriors for four decades, including my time at the school. But aside from that memorably humiliating six-day stretch in 2004 in which we were supposed to embrace "The Gold" as our nickname, we've been (like it or not) the Golden Eagles for 15 years now. Here's hoping the SI folks were as wrong about Marquette's NCAA prospects - they predicted we'd lose to Utah State in Friday's opener - as they were about MU's current moniker.

4. After the afternoon session, I'm 7-1 as a tourney prognosticator. That's great because it means I can't finish any worse than 7-56!

(Check back after the night games for more NCAA natterings.)

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