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Observations From Greensboro

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If you have the means I highly recommend doing it.

  • First of all, the NCAA and specifically the ACC/Greensboro Coliseum folks do a great job running the tournament from a fan perspective.  Having attended the 2nd round NCAA Tournament games at the RBC Center last season, I can tell you there is a stark difference in whole experience there and at Greensboro.  I think the Coliseum is a much better place to watch basketball.  I have lower level seats but even looking at the way the arena is shaped it just seems more basketball friendly for the fan.  The sight lines in the RBC Center do not seem to be as good.
  • The best part of 1st round games, believe it or not, is the fans from the small schools.  The Radford and Binghamton fans were awesome.  They were cheering the whole game regardless of the score and acted like it was their national title game.  These kids and their fans made the absolute most of their 40 minutes on the big stage.
  • The Binghamton band director was great. He was a rather large Africa-American fellow wearing a shirt that said "Mo Music." He played to the Binghamton fans, danced around as he directed the band and was a general character at one point finishing up a song then turning to face the camera with his arms folded nodding his head. Regardless of what happened on the court, the smaller school fans had a blast.
  • Texas' Dexter Pittman is a big boy.
  • Every time the LSU coach Trent Johnson calls a timeout he walks all the way out to the lane, turns and looks back at the bench.  His assistants join him out there and they discuss strategy before joing the huddle.  The Binghamton coach did the same thing.
  • The air temperature dropped at least 15 degrees when Mike Krzyzewski came onto the court.  Or it could have been the air conditioning kicking in, I cannot be sure.
  • The coaches' box does not mean anything in case you were wondering.  Roy Williams was a full two steps out of it walking beside Bobby Frasor telling him something as Frasor brought the ball up court on one play.
  • Speaking of Frasor, he was always joking and talking to one of his teammates after timeouts.
  • Mike Copeland stands at the end of the line during player introductions and talks up the Tar Heel who has just been announced.  Deon Thompson came up to Copeland and did some boxing punches at his stomach before moving out to midcourt to shake the opposing player's hand.
  • Ty Lawson looks up at the screen every time he gets shown and then looks away.
  • You have never really experienced a Karl Hess game until you have seen it live.  Hess is one for the dramatics when he makes calls which should not shock you in the least. The Texas-Minnesota game included 38 fouls total with no extend the game fouls being called since the Gophers were too far down at the end. The LSU-Butler game had 40 fouls but Butler commited some trying to get back into the game.
  • The LSU fans were not really into their game with Butler.  They sat on their hands mostly until the end when LSU took control.  The Butler fans stood for almost the whole game and were very loud.
  • The crowd gave a huge roar when Hansbrough broke the ACC scoring record.
  • There are more Duke fans around than you think and the Cameron Crazy act is annoying.
  • For some reason at least two bands played "Take on Me" by A-Ha. I wonder if the NCAA requires it.
  • Two complaints: 1. The NCAA shows the CBS feed of the game you are watching on the big screen during the game.  That is fine because it shows you a different angle.  However, they will cut off the feed on replays, especially a replay of a controversial officiating call.  When they do it they replace the feed with the NCAA logo.  Censorship at it's best baby.  I can only speculate that the NCAA wants to cut down on the booing of the officials by not showing Tyler Hansbrough being clotheslined by a Radford player a 2nd time.  (2) The NCAA does not show any other games on the big screen.  Between games it is a 25-30 minute wait and at halftime it is like 20 minutes.  Instead of letting us see the other games they show us stupid trivia questions and promotional videos extolling the virtues of the NCAA.  And if I see Christian Laettner's regional final buzzer beater against UConn and Kentucky one more time I am going to lose it.