Live from Pittsburgh
D'Arcy Maine (11:12 AM)
Greetings from Pittsburgh! Hope everyone is ready to do absolutely nothing productive at work today and/or take an extended lunch break that lasts for about eight hours. I will gladly write letters to bosses explaining your absence if need be.
D'Arcy Maine (11:15 AM)
I'm sitting courtside at CONSOL Energy Center, on a WiFi network named, what else, 'Crosby'. Of course it is. I'm told all sessions are sold out and tickets for the first session today are being scalped (excuse me, reissued) outside for $200 a piece.
Roger (new York) [via mobile]
Should I go ahead and change Syracuse over K-state in the round of 32? I don't think they can keep the wildcats off the boards without Melo.
D'Arcy Maine (11:21 AM)
Good question, Roger. I was trying to figure out if there was a way to find out how many ESPN.com brackets were edited within an hour of the Fab Melo announcement the other day. Couldn't get any exact numbers but I'm sure it was some sort of record... The Orange are definitely going to miss Melo and his presence especially on the defensive end and in the paint. In the three games he missed earlier in the season, they dropped from 35.4 points per game in the paint to 28.7. The team's sole loss in the regular season also came (to ND) during that stretch. I'm not sure if KSU could topple them but I don't see this team heading to New Orleans...
Matt (New York) [via mobile]
I have Murray St. beating New Mexico to advance to the final four in the West. Do you think that outcome has a decent shot of happening?
D'Arcy Maine (11:22 AM)
Well, you know what they say. No risk, no reward. Or, in Pitbull speak, scared money don't make no money. I don't see the above scenario playing out but, hell, it's March. Kudos to your bravery, sir.
KJT (Memphis) [via mobile]
Where are you sitting for the games today?
D'Arcy Maine (11:27 AM)
I'm seated right behind the visitors' bench. I'm watching the Southern Miss assistants diligently fold towels as we speak. If anyone swears or flips out on their bench, you'll probably see me. Interestingly, because of that seat, I can't have any beverage that isn't Powerade for TV reasons. If I want something that isn't Powerade, I still have to pour it in a Powerade cup. Yes, the NCAA is a non-profit organization.
Sam J. (PA) [via mobile]
have you seen any of the teams warming up today? how are they lookin?
D'Arcy Maine (11:30 AM)
I got to watch about 20 minutes of the Ohio State practice. I posted this on Twitter but if their practice was any indication, they are a very focused team. Very little conversation, laughter, etc. I'm feeling quite good about picking them as a FF pick right about now.
D'Arcy Maine (11:32 AM)
Kansas State has just walked onto the court. I'm more than a little disappointed I don't get to sit behind Frank Martin this afternoon. Think that might be as entertaining as the game itself.
jamie vt [via mobile]
any bold upset predictions for today?
D'Arcy Maine (11:39 AM)
There are a number of trendy upset picks today (Harvard over Vandy, Montana over Wisconsin) but if I had to pick one, I would take VCU over Wichita State. Shaka Smart's squad obviously has the experience and subsequent confidence after last year's unexpected tournament run. They are not fazed by their No. 12 seed and know they are capable of the upset. The Rams are coming into today's game riding a 6-game win streak and having won the conference title. Wichita State by contrast is in their tournament since 2006. Just my prediction. The beauty of March is that ANYTHING can happen. Go with your gut and hope for the best.
J-Man, CT [via mobile]
What do you currently have in your Powerade cup? Due to my seat at work, if I want any drink that isn't coffee or water, I have to drink it from a coffee mug or water bottle.
D'Arcy Maine (11:42 AM)
That's rough, J-Man. I hope they at least provide you with company-issued coffee mugs. Speaking of, I tried to put coffee in my Powerade plasticy-paper cup. But it of course melted. That's what happens when I don't get my caffeine. I'm now drinking cranberry juice on the rocks.
D'Arcy Maine (11:43 AM)
The Southern Miss pep band might be the most intimidating group of individuals I've ever seen. They're already heckling the KSU players to an extent rarely seen outside of Philly. And we've still got an hour to go before gametime.
Tom via mobile [via mobile]
I just turned the TV on for the games & I haven't seen the Price is Right for the first time in 25 years. They didn't make Janice & Diane & Holly like that. Good Lord.
D'Arcy Maine (11:44 AM)
I'm not sure where this chat is going. But I don't hate it.
dft [via mobile]
haven't watched much vcu this year, who is their leading scorer? who else should i keep an eye on?
D'Arcy Maine (11:51 AM)
A basketball question? Bless you, dft. Bradford Burgess is the team's leading scorer with 13.3 a game (and 4.9 boards). Also keep your eye on sophomore Juvonte Reddic (10.6 PPG, 6.8 rebounds).
Dave (Bristol, CT) [via mobile]
What did you think of the Battle of the Exes show last night?
D'Arcy Maine (11:52 AM)
Saw this one coming. I didn't see this but I got extensive play-by-play. Too bad about Paula and Dunbar but considering Paula will be on every possible Challenge until she's 72 or committed to a psych ward, I don't feel too bad for her.
D'Arcy Maine (11:54 AM)
Southern Miss pep band update: They're chanting after EVERY missed KSU shot in warmups. When a coach looked over at them with concern, they started chanting 'ALLLLLLL DAY, WE'LL DO THIS ALLLLLL DAY'. Priceless.
david ( sanford, nc) [via mobile]
how far do you think georgetown can go? can they go to the final four with a underrated center that can pass the ball?
D'Arcy Maine (11:58 AM)
The Hoyas have yet to advance past their opener in the last two NCAA tourneys. I think Belmont has a chance to keep that streak alive. However, if they advance, the Midwest region is one of the weaker ones (if there is such a thing) so they could make a run. San Diego State wouldn't be the easiest matchup in the next round but it would certainly be doable. Coach Thompson has a done great job all season and done more with this team than anyone expected.
derek (kansas [via mobile]
I have k state going to the FF, is that good?
D'Arcy Maine (11:58 AM)
Yeah, it's good. For everyone else in your pool.
Wildcat [via mobile]
I believe when Frank Martin stares at people he has x-ray vision, it might be a good think your not seated behind him. Do you think he will be able to see a hole in syracuses zone?
D'Arcy Maine (12:02 PM)
Cincinnati did a lot of teams a favor last week and gave a blueprint on how to expolit the 'Cuse zone. Granted not every team can have the same shooting night the Bearcats did, I'm sure Frank will be giving that film a look if they get past Southern Miss today.
Tommy (Los Angeles) [via mobile]
I have Missouri winning it all. Any thoughts? They absolutely tore through the Big 12 tournament and have big time players all over the court
D'Arcy Maine (12:03 PM)
No argument from me, Tommy. I have Missouri winning it all too. Their Big 12 performance convinced me they had what it takes to win when it counts and I'm sticking with that pick. Until they inevitably get upset early because I picked them.
Karl in Raleigh [via mobile]
Should I be concerned about Henson's wrist? He's NC's best all-around player and those kinds of injuries tend to linger. Thoughts?
D'Arcy Maine (12:06 PM)
I haven't heard an update today, Karl, about Henson's status but it is expected there will be an annoucement at somepoint if he'll be able to play tomorrow. I'm by no means an injury expert but I wouldn't be surprised if he sat tomorrow or play very limited minutes just to make sure he would be available to go against more quality opponents deeper in the tourney. Doesn't seem worth the risk against a team like Vermont. They don't need him to win. Correction, they shouldn't need him to win. I would expect him to be good to go for Sunday.
Robert in Michigan [via mobile]
Do you think michigan state is the 1 seed most prone to an upset?
D'Arcy Maine (12:10 PM)
Talent wise I would say so Robert. However I think Kentucky has the toughest road to New Orleans so it's hard to say with any certainity who will go down first. I think Louisville could be a tough matchup for the Spartans in the Sweet 16 and both Missouri and Marquette could give them trouble in the Elite 8.
nich panama city [via mobile]
I'm big Louisville fan. But everyone is picking Davidson to win. Whats our chances of mqking a decent run in the tourny.
D'Arcy Maine (12:12 PM)
I think you're using the word 'everyone' a little loosely there, Nich. I haven't heard many people make that pick with any authority. It was obviously a down year for the Big East (and the tournament) but you can't discount their conference title. Siva and Co. are definitely capable of making a run.
Jeremy in Kansas [via mobile]
If Ku meets UNC in the elite eight, do you think the jayhawks could take down the number 1 seed?
D'Arcy Maine (12:16 PM)
That has the potential to be one of the best games in the tournament in my mind. Two extrememly talented squads, the Roy Williams storyline, etc. Henson's status could be a difference maker in that one but even with him in the game, I think Kansas has a great chance of pulling that off. I wouldn't even call it an upset. Any team that has Thomas Robinson on their roster can hardly be called an underdog.
D'Arcy Maine (12:19 PM)
With no disrespect to the First Four teams, March Madness is officially underway!
D'Arcy Maine (12:20 PM)
Colorado State-Murray State live now on CBS.
D'Arcy Maine (12:21 PM)
And with that, I'm going to sign off this chat and start working on a blog to be posted for 12:40 when Kansas State-Southern Miss tips off. Hope you'll join me there as well. Thanks for chatting today and enjoy my favorite day of the sports calendar!