Thursday produced the best game so far in this year's tournament. It was a double-overtime thriller played right here in Salt Lake City. K-State, victorious only after a marathon with Xavier, now moves on to the Elite Eight to play Butler, who stunned Syracuse in the earlier game.
Watching these two contests really makes me miss where Utah basketball once was. Butler and Xavier are, in my mind, the look of what every non-power team should strive to be. They can lose coaches (both have lost three since 2000), players and yet they have such a solid foundation, they never, ever miss a beat.
Remember in the 90s, specifically the late-90s, when Utah was that team? You know, sans losing their coach. They were the program making Sweet Sixteens (1996) and Elite Eights (1997) and even Final Fours (1998). Today? We're holding out for the NIT next season!
Anyway, back to the action. Tonight's games are from the Midwest & South regionals.
In the Midwest, Ohio State takes on Tennessee in the early game (5:07 MST) and Cinderella Northern Iowa looks for another shocker against Michigan State at 7:37 MST. In the South, St. Mary's, another non-Power team, will take on Baylor. Later, Purdue will play Duke.
There is actually potential for another great night of basketball. But it's hard to imagine any game can live up to that Xavier-Kansas State one.