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Friday, March 18, 2011
Giddy for Gus

Women's College Basketball: The road to the national championship starts Saturday, with 16 games kicking off the women's NCAA tourney. No. 1 seeds Tennessee and Stanford will both be in action, facing No.16 seeds Stetson and UC Davis, respectively. There are 16 more games to get into on Sunday, with No. 1 UConn facing Hartford and No. 1 Baylor taking on Prairie View A&M. Like me, President Obama has the Huskies going all the way for a third straight year, but hoops legend Lisa Leslie expects to see a new champion crowned in 2011.

Men's College Basketball: There are 16 games on the docket today, so brush off that St. Patrick's Day hangover and get ready for the long haul. After George Mason came back to edge Villanova in a thriller, I'll have my eye on another tough-to-pick 8 vs. 9 seed game: Illinois vs. UNLV. This will also be the first chance to check out No. 1 seeds Ohio State and Kansas, who many have going all the way to the championship game. If they stumble against 16-seeds UT-San Antonio and Boston University, there may be a wave of bracket-related nausea sweeping the country. When in doubt, I'll have my TV turned to whatever game is being played in Cleveland, 'cause that's where I'll find my man Gus Johnson. HA-HAAA!

The tourney continues with third-round games this weekend and a few great match-ups have already been set. I anticipate some great finishes in Kansas State vs. Wisconsin, Butler vs. Pittsburgh and Gonzaga vs. the Jimmers, er...BYU. Be sure to check back to see how your bracket is faring in the espnW Tournament Challenge! (Check out all the red ink on mine! Yoinks.)

NBA: The Bulls look to stretch their season-long win streak to nine straight games when they visit the Pacers tonight in Indy. A win tonight would give Chicago its first four-game sweep of the Pacers since 1996-97 and, more importantly, would keep them in first place in the East. & The Celtics, who trail the Bulls by a game, are in action tonight as well. They'll face the Rockets, who they've beaten four straight times on the road. ... Then on Saturday, Boston will visit the Hornets, who sit seventh in the West after going 5-5 in their last 10 games.

The Heat saw their three-game win streak snapped by the Thunder Wednesday night, so tonight they'll try to get back on track against the Hawks. Mike Bibby will face his former team for the first time since he left millions in Atlanta to look for a championship in South Beach. ... Things don't slow down for the Heat, Saturday they take on the Nuggets, who have won four straight heading into their contest with the Magic tonight. ... The Spurs got embarrassed by the Heat on Monday, the 110-80 loss in Miami their worst regular-season defeat since 2005. Tonight they'll look to rebound against Texas rivals, the Dallas Mavericks.