Get inside March Madness with SI.com's Luke Winn in the Tourney Blog, a daily journal of college basketball commentary, on-site reporting and reader-driven discussions.
3/18/2008 03:04:00 AM
Day 7: Playing Your Way In ... To The Style Archive
The college basketball world turns its eyes to Dayton tonight, mostly to find out which of the teams on the pool sheet's horribly abbreviated 16 line -- you know, the one that reads "Mt. St. Mary/Cop. St." -- gets to be slaughtered by North Carolina on Friday.
I'm less interested in who wins than I am in finding out if Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell can compare UD Arena to some type of war zone. After his 16-20 team -- which had lost 17-of-18 at one point -- upset Morgan State in a nailbiter to win the MEAC title Saturday, Mitchell said, "We were life and death. Last night [in the semifinal] we were in Afghanistan, and today we're in Iraq. We were in a battle. That's all we knew. So when we got out of there alive, we were happy."
The Lanyard Look Coppin State Eagles Classification: Jersey decoration Spotted: March 15 vs. Morgan State Notes:Julian Conyers and the Eagles are the first 20-loss team to ever make the NCAA tournament -- and they'll likely be the only ones there this year who appear to have CSU lanyards sewn onto their necklines.
Downward-Facing Bulldog A.J. Graves, 6-1 guard, Sr., Butler Classification: Celebration cartwheel Spotted: March 11, after Horizon League title game Notes: Switz City's finest busted a move in honor of the Bulldogs' automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. We doubt Butler was doing flips over the No. 7 seed it got from the selection committee, though.
Jazz-Hands-In-Your-Face D D.J. Augustin, 5-11 guard, Soph., Texas Classification: Creative defensive position Spotted: March 15 in the Big 12 tourney Notes: Augustin tried to fluster Oklahoma's Tyler Griffin with this move in the Big 12 semis -- and at the very least, made him close his eyes. The 'Horns won the game, too, but fell to Kansas on Sunday.
Psycho-Spastic Shuffle Tyler Hansbrough, 6-9 forward, Jr., North Carolina Classification: Celebration dance Spotted: March 15 in ACC semifinals Notes: Hansbrough had good reason to make this flailing display of emotion: He had just hit the game-winning shot, with 0.8 seconds left, to sink Virginia Tech out of both the ACC and NCAA tournaments.
The Cactus Matt Bouldin, 6-5 guard, Soph., Gonzaga Classification: Large 'do Spotted: All season Notes: Bouldin, the Zags' leading scorer as they head into the NCAA tournament, is the only college hoopster who bears at least a mild resemblance to a member of Phish (that would be bassist Mike "Cactus" Gordon).
• Tourney Blog Pool Update: Can you believe this? We have 3,645 entrants -- almost a 500 percent increase from last year -- and it's only Tuesday morning. Thanks to all who have signed up so far. For those who haven't, click here to begin the process, and then find the invitation to the pool on the application's home page. Then go back and friend my SI profile on Facebook so we can contact you once you're in the lead.
• The tourney playlist, curated by the folks at the peerless music blog Gorilla vs. Bear, rolls on, one free mp3 at a time:
Day 7's track is the Cave Singers' Seeds of Night. Because we're seeing brackets in our sleep.
Love the blog and enjoy the focus on stats and science rather than "gut feelings". I'm not a member of facebook, but would still like to participate in the tourney blog competition...is there any way for those of us who are not on facebook (and will not join facebook) to participate?