Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thursday 03/15 Quickie:
Tournament, Day 1. 'Nuff Said.

It's Day 1 of the NCAA Tournament! It is, arguably (or, actually, no argument) the greatest day of the sports year.

Starting at around noon ET, you can find me over at Deadspin, where I'll be all afternoon, live-blogging all of the day's games. Should be a ton of fun, so be sure to drop by and check it out.

(For a taste from the way-back machine, check out my ESPN.com live-blog of Tourney Day 1 from 2003.)

Quick relevant reminiscence: 10 years ago this week (cripes: 10 years?), I was the college basketball editor at ESPN.com. And today was IT: Probably my finest moment on the job.

I knew that ESPN.com would be the key source for millions of fans across the country stuck at work during the first round's afternoon games. (Remember obsessively hitting "refresh" on the ESPN.com scoreboard pages to track games?)

I decided that the key to my coverage strategy would be to update the front-page lead "top story" blurb as often as humanly possible. (Consider this was more than a half-decade before the word "live-blog" was even conceived.)

My recollection is that I averaged a fresh top-story blurb every 8-10 minutes, reflecting the latest momentum moves and storyline shifts. (Somewhere buried in my file cabinet, I have every single one of those blurbs printed out.)

An hyper-enthusiastic 24-year-old, I thought that my efforts appropriately matched the spirit and intensity of the day for fans. (That day, as I believe it has every year since on the first day of the NCAA Tournament, the site set its new one-day traffic record.)

You would have never known it was me behind the scenes, managing the coverage and obsessively flipping those top stories over (and over... and over...), but I was there, having the time of my life.

Including the greatest ESPN.com front page headline never to see the light of day: When 15-seed Coppin State beat 2-seed South Carolina, the concept on the table was:

Coppin a Feel:
Cocks Go Limp

Without hyperbole:
Greatest. Headline. Ever.

Shout-outs to current ESPN.com college basketball editor Andy Glockner, who will be running the show today, and to friends like Executive Editor Kevin Jackson and Page 2 editor David Schoenfield, both my beat-editing colleagues at the time, who were in on the all-hands-on-deck coverage team then -- as they probably are now. Fans remain in phenomenal hands.

Meanwhile, 10 years later, I am reviving that new-comment-every-few-minutes role – not on ESPN.com, but on the leading sports blog.

That 24-year-old Dan -- a limitless ESPN.com career ahead of him -- could never have possibly imagined how things would work out over the following 10 years. (Indeed: I'm sure he would have yelped, "34? What could THAT fogey know?" Ahh, arrogance of youth...)

But I think that Dan would have been excited to know that the first afternoon of the NCAA Tournament remains his most thrilling moment of the sports year. (Sorry for the 3rd-person reference.)

So I have no other editorial message today besides this: Enjoy it.

LAST CHANCE! Sign up NOW for the "Daily Quickie Readers" group of ESPN.com's Tournament Challenge. Come on: You KNOW you have an entry or two left!

By the way, I don't know if this stat is accurate, but DS.com commenter GuyInTheCorner claims that there are only three ESPN.com Tournament Challenge groups that have more than 1,000 entrants: Mike and Mike's, Deadspin's and "Daily Quickie Readers." For that, I heartily and sincerely thank you.

(As impressive as last year's largest-in-the-country 10,000-person pool group was, this year's total 1,300 – and counting! – is arguably more impressive, because I don't have my ESPN.com platform to drive entries, just this blog. So THANK YOU!)

Meanwhile, just in time for today's Tournament tip-off, Deadspin wrapped up its team-by-team coverage with my preview of Florida. Here it is, in all its biased glory – the biggest symbol yet of my Gators fan-ness!

Previewing Today's Afternoon Games:

4 Maryland over 13 Davidson:
Inconsistent Terps should worry you.

7 BC over 10 Texas Tech
I can't buy BK in the Tourney.

6 L'ville over 11 Stanford
Like Clerks, Cardinal shouldn't even be here today.

3 Washington St over 14 Oral Roberts
Remember when I picked 16 ORU over 1 Memphis last year? Was I a year early on the Oral upset pick?

5 Butler over 12 ODU
Complete toss-up.

2 G'town over 15 Belmont
How strong will trendy Hoyas look?

3 Texas A&M over 14 Penn
A nation of bandwagoneers holds it breath.

6 Vandy over 11 G. Washington
The annual 5 p.m. ET game no one ever sees!

More Sports News:

Syracuse wins NIT opener. Motivated much?

NBA: Mavs-Suns. I had a very hard time getting too fired up for Mavs-Suns last night. Not just because the NCAA Tournament starts today, but because in the grand scheme of things, a regular-season NBA game – no matter who is playing in it – is meaningless. It's even MORE meaningless between top contenders. Does last night's result provide any indication of what will happen in the postseason if/when they meet again? No. Oh, and the Spurs are winning the West. So, really, when does Maryland-Davidson start? Give me one-game, win-or-bust playoff formats any day.

However, all that said: The Suns winning in Dallas in a thriller WAS kind of awesome.

NBA Whining: Phil Jackson says Kobe Bryant is the subject of a "witch hunt" by the NBA? Oh for crying out loud... literally.

NFL: No. 21 in this newly redesigned jersey will be a Top 3 seller among NFL fans.

MLB: Gary Matthews denies taking HGH. Well, of COURSE he does. And short of anyone with proof he took it, it's all speculation, at best.

Meanwhile, the Albany DA will provide the names of all athletes involved in the recent PED bust to MLB. Intriguing! How fast before THOSE are leaked? Meanwhile, the NFL says they don't want to know. (Kidding: But, really, you know I'm not...)

Reptiles at spring training: I have heard that the movie sequel will be called "Snakes in a Press Box." The YouTube parody video writes itself.

But, seriously, are you paying attention to anything else in sports besides the Tournament? No. So here we go!

-- D.S.

231 comments:

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futurelegendvinceyoung said...

BC is up 6 now

Todd said...

Wow, Sean Marshall is feeling it. Big mismatch for Tech.

If only the motion offense wouldn't be destroying BC, then this would be a blowout.

BC up 68-62.

Natsfan74 said...

Well, I don't feel so worried now picking Louisville over Texas A&M. Maybe I picked the wrong 6 seed to go to the Final 4?

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

I have a question for BC fans does it bother you that Dudley and Marshall both always have something to say when the ref makes a call. After every call that goes against them they are always whining to the official.

Patriots64 said...

Maryland take the lead!!!!!!!!

Andy said...

Firefox sucks. I can't even get the video to play on it.

Todd said...

It bothers me a little when Dudley and Marshall do it. But for the most part, they're just emotional players, and that's the other side of it.

They're far from the worst whiners I've ever seen, but they do talk. The one thing I will say though is that I can't remember one instance this year where either guy has gotten a technical foul, so they do tend to just argue the calls (as co-captains), instead of insulting the refs.

Todd said...

Wow, 2 great games out of 3 is a hell of a way to start the tourney. Let's go ACC!!!

Todd said...

Dan wrote:

2:06: Like an election night, as games wind down, the challenge is figuring out when to "call it." Like perhaps, when Dudley just hit that turnaround in the lane to put BC up 7.

I'm pretty sure we just lost because Dan said that...

Damn you Dan!!!

Andy said...

I give up on MMOD. It's terrible this year.....

Natsfan74 said...

If I knew how to post a link, I would comment to Dan's newest "I'm Over Here" post with a post saying "All your Regular Readers are over here!" with a link to this site. I hope they are paying him for his time....

Brian in Oxford said...

Firefox is the only thing working for me. IE 7 gives me a gray splotchy area instead of the option to pick a game.

Todd, when you were there, BC was in the Big East. Wouldn't your alllegiance go there, rather than the ACC?

jhawkjjm said...

I'm just glad I'm not the only one having major issues with MMOD. What absolute crap.

Todd said...

Tyrese Rice is God... my pulse is at 120, and I'm listening to this on the radio. Is this a bad thing?

Patriots64 said...

BC wins!!! 84-75!

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Valiant effort by Davidson seems like they ran out of gas. Could be a wake up call for the Terps.

Patriots64 said...

Stanford hanging tough in the 2nd half, only problen they were outscored by 26 in the 1st. :)

Brian in Oxford said...

anyone notice CBS credit those two Curry free throws to MAryland? It's 75-70, not 77-68

shpiders said...

@ patriots
I saw that too - but since I'm not actually watching that game, my question is how many starters are on the court for L'ville?

I know that L'ville goes pretty deep, but I'm guessing most of the better players aren't playing as much.

Mikepcfl said...

It wasnt pretty, but I will take the Terp win. But that Curry kid scared the crap out of me. Luckily, he wore down.

DrDoom said...

victory!!!!!!!!!!

fear the turtle

by the way curry was great

CMFost said...

Back from watching the END of the BC Game while having lunch. great Second Half from BC. Not sure they have enough to play with Georgetown but at least they are not 1 and done

Patriots64 said...

Simmon's live blog.

Blog

CMFost said...

Any prediction for the next set of games??

ORU V WasSt, ODU v But, Bel v GU, Penn v A&M

I am going:
Wash St
ODU
Georgetown
A&M

CMFost said...

anyone else find it funny that the day Dan has the most comment on his site he is away posting a live blog on another site. Where is the loyality Dan???

DrDoom said...

shaun king, is he going to pitch the ball to dunn soon, bucs refernece for everyone else..

i want oral

DrDoom said...

well i should be 3-0 but i fed up filling out ym brckets so i am 2-1 in some and 3-0in others, ( i had tech in some by mistake i think in the quickie one i have bc though)

CMFost said...

can we move to the new post that Dan put up, so we do not have to scroll through 200+ posts

Todd said...

Okay, I finished doing my BC won happy dance...

@Brian, I graduated in BC's last year in the Big East, so I still do have lots of fond memories of the Big East. Especially for the bruising teams like Pitt and Georgetown. Those dogfights were always fun, even if we lost more than we won against them.

But we moved on, and both conferences are now a lot different than they were before. So in the 2nd year in the ACC now, there's definitely some conference pride for the ACC (have to prove we were the #1 rated conference for the season). Basically for me it means rooting for all the other ACC teams except Duke.

I'm 3 for 3 in all my brackets.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

WTF when is MMOD going to switch to the next games I still have the 1st half scores of the first games on the side. They better have this shit fixed by tomorrow.

Mikepcfl said...

Arent you glad CBS switched to the last seconds of the Louisville win!

At least I'm 3-0 in my bracket.

Simmons' best comment: Wouldnt it be great if Darryl Strawberry wandered out on the court like Shooter in Hoosiers. It's only funny because it's true.

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