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Instant thoughts on first weekend of March Madness

The first weekend of March Madness is wrapped up. The Madness held true — as it always does — with upsets, small schools taking down legendary programs and new household names emerging.

What was your instant reaction from the weekend?

Doug Franz:

If Nebraska lost the Big 12 Football Championship because the replay showed a Texas incomplete pass hit the railing of an out-of-bounds luxury suite with time remaining, why didn’t Washington get 1.2 seconds to inbounds the ball versus UNC.

I completely get that it’s two different sports but why in football are we talking about facts and in basketball we’re talking about “human elements.” The replay showed the ball hit out-of-bounds at 1.2. The referees got the call right based on the rules. Those rules are out-dated and defy logic.

Tyler Bassett:

The end of a close game in any competition is always exciting. Add in a season on the line and 18-22 year old kids and your entertainment level hits new heights. The possibility of saying “wow” and learning about a new hero to thinking “whoa” and feeling for the goat is unmatched anywhere else in sports. This weekend did not disappoint.

Dave Burns:

It was refreshing to see that at the end of the Arizona/Texas game and the Pitt/Butler game it was the players and coaches who made horrible decisions and not the referees; they did a tremendous job.

Arizona and Duke meeting up in the NCAA tournament? Just feels right.

Shaka Smart is sticking his tongue out at Jay Bilas and Dick Vitale and Doug Franz and……

Adam Green:

As an Arizona fan I’m going to stick with them.

Two games, two ridiculously close wins. Lucky? Perhaps. But all you need to do is survive and advance, and just maybe all those close games the Wildcats played during the season are starting to pay off now. They clearly don’t get too down on themselves and have a belief that they can win at the very end. They’ll need to play a full 40 minutes to get past Duke, however.

Ron Wolfley:

I can’t remember a more hotly contested Sweet 16! We of the Wu Fang Clan put the mad into the madness over the weekend. I despise screaming at a kid trying to do his best but I can already smell the stench inside the sweaty Randy Johnson head in the legends race.

Nonetheless, this is the most exciting tournament I have seen since we started this show. Texas and Arizona: unbelievable, controversial finish. Butler beating Pitt was an unbelievable, controversial finish. Washington’s loss to North Carolina included an unbelievable, controversial finish. The pattern is clear but the winner of any game in this tournament is not.

The NCAA Tournament is so awesome…it should be played in October.

If you see me Monday, don’t speak to me about the Big East or my opinion of the Big East.

Fooshaw.

John Gambadoro:

My first thought is that the Big East was so overrated. They sent a record 11 teams into the tournament but after the first weekend only two remain. Pittsburgh was a #1 seed and they are gone. Notre Dame was a #2 seed and they are gone. Louisville was a #4 seed and they lost their first game.

My second thought is just how dumb some of these players are. Texas basically has Arizona beat with a one-point lead and the ball with 14 seconds left and they get a five-second violation call against them which ends up costing them the game. Butler has Pittsburgh beat up one with just over two seconds left but Shelvin Mack fouls Gilbert Brown on the inbound pass giving Pittsburgh a chance to win the game. Brown makes the first free throw but misses the second which should have sent the game into overtime. Right? Wrong. Pitt’s Nasir Robinson fouled Butler’s Matt Howard under the basket after Howard had rebounded the missed free throw with 0.8 seconds left. Howard then hits the first free throw, misses the second on purpose and Butler wins a game they had won then lost then won again in the final 2.5 seconds. Someone should have asked Pitt’s coach Jamie Dixon why he even had his players in the lane on the second free throw.

Mark Asher:

One thing that caught my eye from this weekend is the continued dominance of Jimmer Fredette of BYU. This kid will shoot from anywhere and hit. BYU could really use the services of big man Brandon Davies in this next game against Florida. I have a bad feeling this is the end of the road for the Cougars. However, I now know how to Jimmer thanks to this YouTube video.