Friday's final four:
1. If you don't love the NCAA basketball tournament, why even bother loving sports? Those who were a little disappointed that the first-day action didn't produce more thrills needed to wait only a few hours. Friday included victories by the 13th-seeded Cinderfellas of Cleveland State, classic 12/5 upsets pulled off by Wisconsin and Arizona, and a month's worth of late-game heroics. There is nothing - nothing! - better than this. It is the one major sporting event that never fails to live up to the hype.
2. The only thing more stunning than Cleveland State's victory over No. 4 Wake Forest was the ease in which it occurred. The Vikings were in control from the opening tip to the final horn in knocking out a team many thought could sneak into the Final Four. Another popular choice as a possible Final Four crasher, fifth-seeded Florida State, was victimized by Wisconsin. As I watched the game, I was thinking: "Remember when Trevon Hughes was going to be the Badgers' next great player? What ever happened to that?" Well, it was Hughes who came through with the huge, old-fashioned, drive-and-a-foul 3-point play to give Wisconsin an amazing triumph. I still don't think Wisconsin deserved a bid ... but as long as they were invited to the party, they are to be praised for showing up ready to rock and roll.
3. Kudos to CBS for the spectacular way it handled the tense moments in two OT games that were unfolding simultaneously: Wisconsin-Florida State and Siena-Ohio State. The network slickly provided every big play live for its audience, and the announcing teams (Craig Bolerjack/Bob Wenzel for UW-FSU and Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery for Siena-OSU) were spot-on in capturing the drama. The time I spent watching the endings of both games was about as much fun as a guy can have sitting alone in his recliner.
4. After the first round, my prognostication record stands at 26-6. Not great, for sure, but more than twice as good as Hoopster in Chief Barack Obama. Really, Mr. President? 19-13? Here's hoping you're better at fixing the economy than you are at filling out a bracket.