Posted: Monday March 19, 2007 10:27AM; Updated: Monday March 19, 2007 10:27AM
1. The Sweet 16 is set without a double-digit seed for the first time since 1995. In fact, the biggest shock so far is that the Xavier player that Greg Oden manhandled can still walk.
2. Kentucky accidentally listed little-used reserve Dwight Perry in the starting lineup instead of his cousin, regular Bobby Perry, before Friday's first-round game against Villanova. The refs ruled that Dwight would have to open the game or the Wildcats would be assessed a technical. That emboldened several UK fans to try to swipe the scorebook to list the team's coach as Tubby Smith's "cousin," Dean.
3. Quote of the weekend: "He's a nooge." That's what CBS's Bill Raftery said, affectionately, about Purdue guard Chris Kramer after Kramer made another steal against Florida on Sunday. "Nooge" is a Yiddish-inspired term meaning, roughly, "annoying pest." Who's better than Raftery? Nobody.
4. Maryland, Not My Maryland: The Butler did it to me again. The Bulldogs tossed me out of my NCAA knockout pool in the second round, just as they did in 2003 by beating fourth-seeded Louisville in the second round as a No. 12 seed. This year I was able to squeak through the first round riding Wisconsin, Memphis, Texas A&M and Oregon, with Oregon giving me the biggest scare just as I had feared. For the second round, I needed three picks (and no team can be selected twice). First I went with UNC, because I didn't believe I would be confident enough to pick the Tar Heels in the following two rounds if they matched up against Texas (oops) or Georgetown. By that rationale, I decided to burn Georgetown (vs. B.C.) as well. Two down. Then I debated between UCLA and Maryland, in part because Vegas had installed the latter as a solid 5.5-point favorite over Butler, which had drooped down the stretch. After some early-morning soul-searching on Saturday, I decided to "save" UCLA. I figured that if I actually wanted to win the pool rather than just survive one more round, I would need to take a little risk in order to have some solid teams left to pick going forward -- especially if VCU knocked off Pitt to match up with UCLA next (almost!). So I rolled the dice with the Terps, not having learned my Butler lesson from '03. One note: No [ital]way[ital] was that a charge on D.J. Strawberry in the final minute with the Terps about to tie the game. Not that I was biased or anything. FYI, only 14 out of 47 players in our pool advanced to the Sweet 16. But at least we made it into the tournament, unlike Tommy Amaker.
5. Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson has been sentenced to four months in jail for violating parole. Bears fans are confused; Johnson's in jail while Rex Grossman still roams free? Where's the justice?
6. Baby update: Loyal 10 Spot readers may recall the story of Bears fan Jennifer Gordon, whose brainstorm to sell advertising on her pregnant belly in exchange for Super Bowl tickets inspired us to create an entire 10 Spot of like offers from Craigslist. Gordon did land two seats on the 50-yard line from Chicago-based uBid.com, though obviously the game didn't turn out as she had hoped. In the future, though. Gordon and her husband will need three tickets, since Pierce Myles Gordon has joined their brood. The new parents plan to take Pierce to his first Bears game during the NFL preseason this August.
7. She's no saint: Readers sounded off about Friday's St. Patrick's Day 10 Spot of the top Patricks (and Pats, Pattys and Paddys) in sports history. Tibor of Noonan, New Brunswick didn't like our choice for No. 10, opining that "gender-neutral Pat from SNL is as prominent in 'sports' history as Danica Patrick." A number of readers wrote in to protest the exclusion of Pat Summerall, who I quickly added as an honorable mention in the NFL category. (Alas, I hadn't noticed Summerall's name in my handy reference book, "Famous Pats in Sports.") Other suggested inclusions were LPGA stalwart Patty Sheehan and Suns backup Pat Burke, the only Irish-born NBA player in history. Still, the strongest words came from Lisa in Raleigh, N.C., who was very upset that Pat Summitt only came in at No. 5. Among other things, Lisa called me a "male racist," and opined, "It is hard to understand how you got to be where you are today." If by "where [I] am today" Lisa means writing sports-themed jokes under a picture of myself wearing a hat, then I heartily agree; I'm not quite sure how I got here either.
8. Fourth-seeded Texas fell 87-68 to USC despite 30 points from star freshman Kevin Durant. Hey, at least Durant has three more years.
9. New Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter was cited by Las Vegas police for punching Bengals offensive tackle Levi Jones in the face on Sunday night at The Palms. Porter could face discipline by Miami. Simply by not being arrested, though, Jones earned the Bengals' "Citizen of the Week" award.
10. A brawl erupted at a high school championship game on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. Outrageous. Who do these kids think they are, the Knicks?