Well day one of the NCAA Tournament is in the books, and the only surprise tonight came from VCU's upset victory over Duke.
To that I say.
I'm never opposed to see Duke lose. I hate them and it isn't because they win. There are many programs that have done far more than the Blue Devils over the past few years. I think what I hate most is the fact they're the posterchild for ESPN. Every time I turn on the World Wide Leader in Sports during the college basketball month, I see Coach K's face plastered on my screen, with Dickie V drooling over him like a juicy steak. Not a good sight.
That victory brought a smile to my face, but it was the Xavier, BYU game that made my night.
The Cougars haven't won an NCAA tournament game since an 80-71 victory over SMU in 1993. During that span Utah has won 16 tournament games, including most recently 2 in 2005. The Cougars postseason drought continued, even though they were given their most favorable first round opponent since facing Tulane in 1995. The game, which actually turned out to be one of the better ones of the night, went to Xavier down the stretch, as the Cougars blew a 9 point second half lead and wilted under the pressure of a tight game. And now Xavier advances to the second round, where they most likely will be slaughtered by Ohio State.
Utah's other team to make the tournament was Weber State. The Wildcats, coached by former Utah assistant Randy Rahe, had the unlucky duty of going up against UCLA. And while they made the game close early on, like most lower seeds, they were completely dominated for most of the game. The Wildcats go out with nary of a fight and UCLA advances to the second round once again.
Outside of those three games, there wasn't anything of real interest for me. I guess the game between Butler and Old Dominion pitted two possible coaching candidates against one another. In that game Blaine Taylor (Old Dominion) was worked by Todd Lickliter (Butler), but I still think Blaine Taylor is a fine coach.
And yet with all the games played tonight, I can't help but return to BYU's loss. Yeah I would love to be in their shoes, positioned for a possible tournament win. But watching them fall flat on their faces after so many of their fans made a stink about their 8th seed does warm my heart.
All in all, it was a pretty good day. I just hope a year from now we're discussing Utah's spot in the tournament and not other teams.