2017 Update 1.5

March Madness Update I.5
Is it worth the price of admission?

Saturday, 3/25/17

I would think so. 2 more days of Madness action in the books. And now we are down to Elite Eight, with the fourth round of games today and tomorrow, continuing on in San Jose, New York, Kansas City, and Memphis. Surprisingly, the SEC of all conferences, leads the way, with 3 teams left in the final eight. Big Ten is out. North Carolina the sole remains of the vaunted ACC. Pac-12 hopes rest with Oregon. Phoenix is rising and that is where it will all be decided next weekend.

Thursday night action

Oregon 69 Michigan 68

Quack, Quack? Surviving a great, but missed, last second opportunity by the hot Wolves, the shot would not drop and Oregon escaped. Time to take a breath and realize how far
you have come with the loss of Chris Boucher just prior to the tournament commencement.
I love the unis and always a visual pleasure to watch Oregon. Yellow, green, white, black, fluorescent, and points between. Nike is still cool! Michigan might have found further fuel
had they gone back to their practice duds after the plane runway delay. Sorry to my
diehard friends, Ross and Michael. Oregon led the rebound, field goal %, turnovers
against, and a 47% 3-point average to hold off the hottest team in the tournament, ending Michiganʼs 7 game run.. Pac-10 like 9-1 in the big dance. Follow the year, follow the teams, and you will see the light.

Gonzaga 61 West Virginia 58

Total intensity until the end. Full speed action back and forth. Until the refs intervened. 55-55 with a crucial out of bounds call (actually not) correctly corrected. revised, checked 12 times) going the way of West Virginia, (I mean seriously, how long does it take?. We had time to grill a steak before action resumed). Finally, play resumed after medium well, and WVʼs Jevon Carter hits the 3-pointer from the top of the key, giving the Mounties the lead. Two missed free throws later by Zaga, to cut the lead to one, a monster three pointer from Jordan Matthews after a turnover, put the Zags back in the lead by two. Despite three hapless, hapless, hapless efforts at the end, Mounties fail, and Gonzaga survives. God bless the coal miners, and someday the Hugster will get his just due. Just not tonight, and Gonzaga somehow lives to see another day.

Kansas 98 Purdue 66

Down 8 points early, Kansas finished off the half with a 22-7 run, with Mr. Mason leading the way with15 points to go up 47-40 at the break. The game became a sleeper. Kansas emptied the bench in the last few minutes of the game. Fundamentally sound, the Jayhawks have so far been the best and most consistent of the tournament. Happiness in Lawrence, as well as Kansas City, and joy to the KU faithful in the March Madness pool.

Arizona 71 Xavier 73

Sean Miller, previous coach of Xavier led Arizona against former assistant and current Xavier head coach and former player, Chris Mack in West regional action Thursday night. Trevon

Bluiett with 18 points in the first half for X, kept the game within two points. Back and forth with seemingly late and an Arizona victory looming, In an exciting finish, the Musketeers pull the upset and remain the lowest seed (#11) to stay in.

Friday night action:

Florida 84 Wisconsin 83

Without a doubt, the game of the tournament. Anything can happen in March, and it literally all did in this nightcap of nightcaps. Trading runs throughout the second half, it appeared Florida would be the last off this roller coaster until Zak Showalter of Wisconsin hit an off balance three pointer with 2 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime. Best highlight of the game was his reaction. Eyeing Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay quarterback in the
stands, Showalter smiled and gave him the Discount Double Check. Priceless!! In itself, better than all the other insurance commercials featuring A Rodge. All State (again) should use this one in a promo! Youʼve got to see it. Find a highlight rerun. In overtime, the Badgers appeared in control but couldnʼt hit their free throws, unlike Canyon Barry and his inherited underhand tosses, and the game stayed close. A tremendous defensive swat by Barry (also worth a look) was out of nowhere. Wisconsin has the lead by 2 with four
seconds left. Then someone put Swamp water in the Gatorade bottles on the Wisconsin sideline to paralyze the Badger defense and on the far court inbound pass, a highlight for
the ages, Floridaʼs Chris Chiozza in 4 seconds literally dribbled but 5 times on full tilt to the top of the 3 point line unabated. The improbable shot goes off at the buzzer. The ball swishes through the cylinder. Pandemonium. Florida wins 84-83. Drain the Swamp!

South Carolina 70 Baylor 50

The surprising Gamecocks continue as the hottest team in the tournament, ousting the favored Bears in a hibernation game. Sindarius Thornwell, one of the best in the land, scored 24 points and South Carolina handed Baylor their worst defeat in NCAA tournament history. As the # 7 seed, from the conference nobody was talking about, the poultry barrens will take on SEC rival Florida, insuring (not by All State) that at least one SEC will reach the final four next weekend.

Kentucky 86 UCLA 75

The hype was here. Lottery and first round NBA futures on the court aplenty. In a game expected to be close, John Calipariiʼs return to Memphis was a blue plate special for all to see. Malik Monk and DeʼAaron Fox combined for 60 points for the Wildcats. UCLAʼs Lonzo Ball, the son of the new Charles Barkley, was held to a mortal 10 points. Goodbye Bruins. Another blue blood rematch in the elite eight tomorrow as Kentucky faces North Carolina.

North Carolina 92 Butler 80

Too much for Butler to handle, the Tar Heels started bombing and connecting from long range and never looked back. An impressive 52 points left the Bulldogs scratching for a buried bone never found. Another great season for underrated Butler, fast becoming a new Gonzaga. But in this tournament, only one moves on. The clash of the Titans up next as North Carolina faces the Lexicats.

And on to todayʼs action to determine the final four teams standing, but we recognize our tournament leaders after last eveningʼs conclusion to the 3rd round.

March Madness Leaders after Round 3

1st place (tie) Howard Roark (After 21 years, the top spot, albeit likely temporary unless the Ducks quack on. Worth framing. Thank you all for your

3rd place 4th place 5th place

6th place

support over the years!)

Gary Bush (Ties the lead, but possibilities to claim the status of champion on thin ice.)

Skip Oliver (Never wavering. Eyes on the prize. 12 points back) Mandy Crislip (Earlier leader drops to fourth with only a hope for top ten)

Brian Kwon (Thatʼs Dr. Kwon to you! Hailing from Baaaston, Mass, Can definitely win this pool. Best thing to relieve back pain is a strong finish or expensive surgical implants. Come on Leslie. Tell BK to send me a large check please. I assume he does at least a bit of charity work?)

Jon Coleman (Smack talk: The Colemans are back to avenge Jonahʼs tragic slip to 3rd place with favored UNC losing the final in that bastard of a championship game)

Nick Cooper (Young man with best odds to win and cash the tournament.)

7th place
8th place (tie) Steve Gilliam 
(Also needs the Ducks to have any chance.)

Cool Jake Gourley (Ohio connection to Ken Marshall. Got that cleared up. Wants the #1 seeds to move on)

10th place Jonah Coleman (Joins dad on the top ten list of fame. Good picks kid. Should of had it all last year. Damn Villanova!

Check the website for further updates. Best of luck with your brackets for the remainder of the tournament. There are still some of you who are in arrears and have not ponied up the money and donations. We do not wish to highlight your names. Please remit check ASAP and forward me and email that you are doing so. jpmorganmd@mac.com

Send checks to: John P. Morgan
PO Box 1136 Newburgh, IN 47629

You may still use the PayPal link on the website as well and make additional donations to the March Madness Endowment Fund via the donation link. 

© Gary M. Gurtcheff 2013