And we’re off!

It’s the most wonderful time of the sports year!  Are you watching the games?  Did you fill out a bracket?  Have you bragged about your superior picks to your friends or smack-talked yet?  If not what are you doing?

Only three games have been played so far, and no upsets  yet.  But No. 2 Memphis encountered some difficulty en route to beating No. 15 Cal State-Northridge.  Though Memphis won 81-70, but it took until eight or so minutes from the end for Memphis to take the lead in the game for good.

No. 9 Texas A&M beat No. 8 BYU soundly 79-66, repeating the No. 9 Texas A&M over No. 8 BYU win in the first round of the NCAA tournament a year ago.

No. 8 LSU defeated No. 9 Butler in an exciting matchup.  Early foul trouble for Butler’s star Matt Howard combined with turnovers made the game look like a potential runaway for the Tigers in the first half.  But the Bulldogs came roaring back and the teams exchanged leads throughout the second half.  LSU won the battle 75-71.

Now I’m alternating between the No. 5 Purdue – No. 12 Northern Iowa game and the No. 1 vs No. 16 matchup between the North Carolina Tar Heels and Radford Highlanders.  The Tar Heels started the game on a tear, scoring their first basket three seconds into the game.  Many have talked about how UNC has a virtual home game, but unbeknownst to many, Radford only had to travel 123 miles from southwestern Virginia for the game in Greensboro.

Tyler Hansbrough just shot and made two foul shots, passing Duke’s J.J. Redick as the ACC’s all-time scoring leader.  How appropriate that Hansbrough surpassed Redick at the foul line.  Hansbrough seems to be a permanent fixture there, and Redick was known for his over 90 percent free throw average throughout his career.

UNC leads 30-18.  Purdue leads Northern Iowa 32-20 at halftime.  No. 1 UConn and No. 16 Chattanooga just tipped off and the Huskies lead 16-8.  UConn’s coach Jim Calhoun has fallen ill and is not coaching the team in today’s matchup.  No. 10 Maryland just tipped off against No. 7 Cal as well and the Terrapins lead 22-21.

Back to NCAA Thursday Funday.

Want a peek at my bracket?  Check it out here, and feel free to make fun of my picks in the comments section!  I’m 3-1 so far (if you count Morehead State winning the play-in game); I picked the Butler upset that fell short.

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