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Sweet Sixteen Thursday Running Commentary/Open Thread

Early Games

West: #4 Southern Illinois vs. #1 Kansas, 7:10 PM EDT
South: #3 Texas A&M vs. #2 Memphis, 7:27 PM EDT

Late Games

West: #3 Pitt vs. #2 UCLA, 9:40 PM EDT
South: #5 Tennessee vs #1 Ohio St, 9:57 PM EDT

Commentary throughout the evening after the jump.

7:00 PM: I will be along after the kids are in bed.

7:59 PM: Great...I finally get the kids down and I get halftime for Kansas-SIU

8:03 PM: Okay Endberg and Bilas are in the West, Lindquist and Rafferty are in the South. That means there is a 50% chance we will get [UNNAMED ANALYST] in the East. Of course why not send the premier broadcast team to cover the defending champs?

8:04 PM: I did not realize when I picked Texas A&M that the Aggies would be playing in Dallas San Antonio for the regional rounds. Huge home court advantage for them.

8:14 PM: It has been a big day in college basketball. First Josh McRoberts said adios to Duke and Tubby Smith said adios to Kentucky for Minnesota. Minnesota? Think he wanted to get out before the vultures started circling? He basically pulled the same stunt as Herb Sendek. I mean you must want out of a place pretty badly if you leave one of the historic flagship basketball programs to go to a school that has never been a power and is so freaking cold for six months out of the year.

8:20 PM: Kansas vs. SIU

8:21 PM: Kansas has 10 turnovers at halftime...not good for them.

8:34 PM: It is me or do I smell trouble in San Jose for Kansas. There is something about the feel of this game with the way Kansas is playing.

8:53 PM: Yeah, Kansas is definitely in "one of those games." This is why is it SO difficult to win the national title. Kansas came into this round with all sorts of love from the media for being the strongest of the #1 seeds and here they are in a tussle.

9:02 PM: Kansas making all the plays right now...they might just dodge the bullet here.

9:07 PM: Wow...SIU may have really screwed themselves there. You cannot miss a chance like that. Just ask Bobby Frasor.

9:14 PM: I swear there is some bad FT shooting going on here.

9:21 PM: Kansas survives...barely. How big was that missed layup after the steal.

9:37 PM: Memphis-Texas A&M

9:38 PM: A&M up one with 25 seconds left. Memphis has the ball after Acie Law missed a contested layup. And more bad FT shooting by both teams in this game. Seems to be a theme tonight: Missed layups and FTs

9:40 PM: I wonder if the Aggies have ever heard of the concept of rebounding on the defensive end. Memphis got about five chances there and finally got the foul. Game tied with the first FT and the Aggies try to ice the shooter with 3 seconds left.

9:42 PM: Memphis up one with 3.1 seconds left and got a break with Memphis knocking the ball away near midcourt, the refs are reviewing to see how much time to take off the clock since it should have started but did not.

9:44 PM: Gotta love the refs sitting there looking at themselves.

9:45 PM: Why does that Memphis player not have his jersey on? Looks fairly classless on the sideline to not be in uniform with the rest of the team.

9:46 PM: Wow, the refs just screwed the Aggies. They took 1.1 seconds off for a play that was not that long. Then A&M has to come out and run a play which may have been designed for more time on the clock.

9:47 PM: Memphis wins which kills a second Final Four team on my bracket. The refs have been awful tonight but let me say that the games have been great probably because you have better teams playing each other who are also closer in seed.

9:53 PM: UCLA-Pitt

9:54 PM: There is no way this is not going to be flat out ugly.

9:55 PM: First team to 20 wins!

9:58 PM: I really cannot articulate how much I really do not want to watch this game. If CBS sticks me with this game instead of UT-OSU I am going to be miffed.

10:04 PM: ESPN Programming Rule #1: When some major sporting event is on somewhere else...show figure skating.

10:13 PM: Ben Howland obviously thinks they should be allowed to play physical basketball and not be called for fouls when they actually commit them.

10:18 PM: Ohio State-Tennessee

10:19 PM: Let's see who Greg Oden pushes tonight.

10:29 PM: Wow. UT 5 for 6 from three early. Problem is, cooling off usually does you in at some point.

10:30 PM: These two met earlier this season. I tend to think that benefits the losing team who have motivation and beating a team in the tournament after beating them once in the regular season can be difficult.

10:32 PM: This pace does not benefit OSU, if the game in Chapel Hill was an indication. I still say UT will cool off and that will create some stretches of very few points permitting OSU to come back.

10:42 PM: UT up by 12. OSU is cold, UT is hot.

10:43 PM: This Volunteer team is WAY better than the one UNC beat in New York. Not sure if I would want to see them in the Final Four...that is assuming we can run our gauntlet.

10:44 PM: Bill Rafferty on Oden: "He has learned as they years have gone on" Yes Bill, a lot of years there.

10:49 PM: Wow..Oden is having his Jordan in 1984 moment here.

10:53 PM: Three fouls on Oden. Have a seat Greg...in fact go ahead and head back to the locker room and take your Metamucil.

10:54 PM: Tennessee is putting on a clinic. OSU is cold from outside and getting nothing on the offensive boards.

10:55 PM: UT by 19...well 17 and the foul.

10:56 PM: Am I the only one who is annoyed by the Charles Schwab commercials with the cartoon people?

11:00 PM: 7-0 run from OSU to close it down to 12. I think UT would want to keep it in double digits.

11:02 PM: More bad free throw shooting but not so from three point range. UT back up by 16.

11:07 PM: This is unbelievable what UT is doing to OSU. I would not have been surprised if they won but to be up by 17 at halftime having tagged Oden with three fouls is about as perfect as a Volunteer fan could hope for.

11:25 PM: So the refs did get the call right in the Memphis-A&M game. Seth Davis apologizes for getting it wrong and point out Greg Gumbel got it right. Gumbel has this look on this face like: "Geez I have to do both our jobs here?"

11:39 PM: We need some kind of corollary or principle. Call it the Principle of Hot and Cold. A team which is hot shooting in the first half will conversely cool off in the second half.

11:43 PM: If OSU comes back and wins this game that will be two straight games they were on their deathbed and somehow weasled out of it. Either that catches up with you or you win the title.

11:44 PM: Nice hustle downcourt by Oden. More bad FT shooting. I wish I was getting paid per missed FT, I would be rolling in it.

11:51 PM: Wow...two straight MADE free throws.

11:52 PM: OSU in the bonus with 12 minutes left. Could be seeing a lot of missed FTs.

11:53 PM: The wheels have come off the Volunteer wagon

11:54 PM: OSU within one and Oden commits his fourth foul and UT goes back up three and forces a turnover. A little momentum shift which UT needed since they were about slide off the face of the earth.

11:57 PM: UT hangs by a thread here. This is the kind of game if they lose the lead they might lose the game.

12:00 AM: OSU leads. UT cannot seem to play defense without committing a foul.

12:02 AM: Seems like UT got passive on offense. OSU's defense has been better in the 2nd half which may explain that.

12:07 AM: UT is in deep, deep trouble.

12:09 AM: Never mind UT now back up two....no tied and the foul. This is back and forth with OSU playing without Oden which, along with the way they played in Chapel Hill, tells me OSU might be a more dangerous team without Oden.

12:10 AM: This is a great game. UT up three and Oden has returned with four minutes to go and four personal fouls.

12:15 AM: I am watching the rest of this one sans the laptop.   Good night.