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FRIDAY THOUGHTS
March 18, 2005

AFTERNOON   |   AFTERNOON THOUGHTS
EVENING   |   EVENING THOUGHTS

PART I - AFTERNOON SESSION

GAME-BY-GAME GLANCE

(10) NC State over (7) Charlotte : Brendan Plavich and the 49ers roared out of the gates, but NCSU stayed close and finally got over the hump in the final five minutes.

(4) Florida over (13) Ohio : The SEC continues to be unimpressive. The Gators were up 18 but allowed the Bobcats to tie the game at 60 before coming away with a five-point win.

(9) Iowa State over (8) Minnesota : The Cyclones jumped out early, took a ten-point lead to the half, and quieted every Gopher run as they cruised to a double-digit win.

(2) Oklahoma State over (15) SE Louisiana : Both two seeds on Thursday looked shaky, and OSU continued that trend. The Lions hung around but couldn't get the job done.

(2) Connecticut vs (15) UCF : The Huskies jumped out to a huge lead and were up sixteen at the break. UCF rallied and made a game of it before UConn secured the win.

(5) Villanova over (12) New Mexico : The Lobos scored just 11 points in the first half but didn't quit. They put a big second half run together, but the deficit was too large and the time too short.

(1) North Carolina over (16) Oakland : It was no contest for the Tar Heels, eliminating Oakland and ending the Grizzlies' six-game winning streak. ISU up next for UNC.

(7) Southern Illinois over (10) St. Mary's : The Salukis controlled the first half and led by nine at the break. SMC battled the entire way but couldn't get over the hump.

THREE AFTERNOON STARS

Julius Hodge, NC State : 19 PTS, 8-12 FG, 7 REB, 9 AST, 3 STL

Ivan McFarlin, Oklahoma State : 18 PTS, 8-10 FG, 9 REB, 3 AST

Charlie Villanueva, Connecticut : 22 PTS, 9-13 FG, 2-2 3PT, 7 REB

AFTERNOON THOUGHTS

The trend of close games but few upsets continues.... What is up with the 2 vs 15 games? Though three have been decided by double-digits, all four have been played much closer than that would suggest.... Bill Raftery's incomprehensible, scrunched-up-nose sayings are incredibly annoying.... The excitement of play-by-play man Gus Johnson is what the Tourney is all about..... If there was any doubt who the CBS executives feel is their best TV crew, just look who's in Charlotte this weekend.... Charlotte's Brendan Plavich has Redick-like three-point abilities when he's on.... Florida nearly blew it again.... How can a NCAA team score just 11 points in one half?.... Solid performances from Iowa State, North Carolina, and Southern Illinois.... On to the evening!

PART II - EVENING SESSION

GAME-BY-GAME GLANCE

(4) Louisville over (13) LA-Lafayette : In one of the best games so far, the Cardinals and Cajuns battled throughout the contest, but UL made the shots down the stretch.

(6) Wisconsin over (11) Northern Iowa : The Badgers jumped out to a big lead early and led by eight at the half. The Panthers, however, battled back but could never catch UW.

(1) Duke over (16) Delaware State : It was yet another case of an underdog giving the favorite a test but coming up short. The Devils extended the lead before half and won by eleven.

(13) Vermont over (4) Syracuse : First overtime game, most exciting contest, and biggest upset thus far. The Catamounts scrapped tooth and nail and earned the huge victory over SU.

(5) Georgia Tech over (12) George Washington : Not a blowout, but this was one Tech seemed to control throughout. Jackets advance to showdown with Louisville.

(14) Bucknell over (3) Kansas : With apologies to the Catamounts, this one takes over as the biggest upset thus far. Simien had a shot, but it didn't fall and the Bison shocked the nation.

(9) Mississippi State over (8) Stanford : The Bulldogs got down early but put a run together late in the first half and never looked back. Duke coming up on Sunday.

(5) Michigan State over (12) Old Dominion : ODU was in the game the entire way but could never get in front. The Spartans kept the lead and advance to face Vermont.

THREE EVENING STARS

Francisco Garcia, Louisville : 27 PTS, 8-20 FG, 9-9 FT, 4 AST

Germain Mopa Njila, Vermont : 20 PTS, 9-11 FG, 2-2 3PT

Lawrence Roberts, Mississippi State : 23 PTS, 8-14 FG, 14 REB

EVENING THOUGHTS

After so many close calls throughout the first day and a half, some of the big upsets finally came to fruition Friday evening.... Most fans had to feel the 'Cuse would take over once it got to overtime, but huge props to Vermont for finishing the deal.... KU couldn't have asked for a better look for Wayne Simien, but it wouldn't fall as Bucknell pulled the shocker of all shockers in the Tournament so far.... LA-Lafayette is a very good team that should have been seeded higher.... Add Duke, Wisconsin, and Michigan State to the list of teams who slept-walked through first round games but survived.... Best SEC performance thus far: Definitely not Bama or LSU, not Kentucky or Florida, but Mississippi State by 23 over Stanford

 > Talk about it in The College Corner...

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