Buzz That Was: Pre-Madness Madness
In case you were too busy staring at the flowers after last night's episode of "The Walking Dead" and missed out on sports, we've got you covered. Here's everything you missed last night.
Champs to chumps?
The most unproductive three weeks of the calendar year officially began Sunday night when the men's NCAA tournament bracket was announced. With more binge-watching potential than a newly released "House of Cards" season on Netflix, college basketball is now the only acceptable topic of discussion until April 8.
Florida received the No. 1 overall seed, with Wichita State, Virginia and Arizona earning the other top spots. But it was the seeding of defending national champion Louisville that garnered the most attention. The fifth-ranked Cardinals were given a No. 4 seed. Please take the next 60 seconds to collect yourself if you're hearing this news for the first time.
Twitter reacted accordingly.
A 4 seed? Louisville? What? Huh? What? Huh?— Dana O'Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) March 16, 2014
Louisville after being awarded the #4 seed pic.twitter.com/TIQBjzTwsA— Shooter McGavin (@ShooterMcGavin_) March 16, 2014
Assigned to the Midwest Region, Louisville could have the chance to knock off Wichita State in the Sweet 16. But somehow calling Louisville a Cinderella team doesn't sound quite right. The Las Vegas Hotel gives both teams 15-to-1 odds to win the NCAA title. Good luck picking the winner of that game in your office pool.
Best of times, worst of times
For the first time since 1998, Nebraska will be playing in the NCAA tournament. But the Cornhuskers partied more like it was 1999 when they heard their name called during the "Selection Sunday" broadcast.
On the opposite end of the emotional scale, a resurgent SMU program was devastated to not make the Big Dance.
This picture says it all. SMU will have to wait another year for a shot at the NCAA tournament. Crowd is stunned pic.twitter.com/DPeQq5h83C— David Watkins (@dwatkinsNBC5) March 16, 2014
The Mustangs are the first ranked team since 2004 to not earn a tourney bid. So cheer up, guys, at least you've got a spot in the history books! Moral of the story: If you want to be a part of the Madness, don't lose your last three games, especially to Houston in your conference tournament opener.
Grand old time
On Sunday, St. Joseph's won its first Atlantic 10 title since 1997 with a 65-61 victory over VCU. And while punching an NCAA tournament bid is cool and all, it was coach Phil Martelli's grandson who got everyone talking. Complete with a clipboard and a necktie, 4-year-old Phillip spent the game behind the bench imitating his grandfather.
The Hawks received a No. 10 seed for the Big Dance and will face No. 7 UConn on Thursday. We can all only hope Phillip will be front and center.
Phil Martelli, his adorable grandson, and St. Joseph's are going to the Big Dance. pic.twitter.com/EiAdPNBObV— Cindy Boren (@CindyBoren) March 16, 2014
No magic words
Just when you thought San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich had all but clinched the top seed in the "most tight-lipped coach" bracket, Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale made a late entry with a pregame interview on Sunday before his team took on the Miami Heat.
Complete transcript of Kevin McHale's pregame interview... insightful stuff. pic.twitter.com/1d9sgjChuD— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) March 16, 2014
The Heat rallied from a five-point deficit late in the game, finishing on a 21-7 run, for a 113-104 victory. So it's probably safe to assume McHale had a few more words for his players after the game.
A story worth telling
A completely fake trailer for a "30 for 30" on former NBA bench player/icon Brian Scalabrine made the rounds over the weekend. While there are no actual plans for an ESPN documentary on the career of "The White Mamba," I think someone really needs to make this happen.
Finally, Happy St. Patrick's Day! Here's hoping your day is half as fun as New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's is.
Rob Ryan's already turnt up for St.Patrick's Day... pic.twitter.com/MAXDMuyuzS— NFLTALKRT (@NFLTalkRT) March 15, 2014
See something worthy of inclusion on social media or just want to comment on one of today's stories? Send it my way on Twitter, @darcymaine_espn.