It is a rare double Open thread today. First, we have the women's team beginning its NCAA Tournament quest at 12:10 today in Louisville when they take on the Liberty Flames. Our women's team has won at least one game in 15 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, dating back to their last first round loss in 1996.
Liberty is a tricky opponent. They are 27-6 and two losses are to very good teams in Texas A&M and Baylor. They will be on ESPN2 today at 12:10, as mentioned.
As for the rest of the Round of 32 action, the basketball orgy of 48 games in 96 hours comes to a close today. Here are my thoughts on all eight games:
Iowa State-Ohio State - The Buckeye have a virtually clear path to Atlanta. Watch, they'll trip up somewhere and we'll end up with Wichita State in the Final Four.
Temple-Indiana - We are all Owls. I saw on Twitter some comment about "Six Big Ten teams in the Sweet 16 would really validate Indiana's Big Ten title." Really? You need validation now? I repeat, go Owls.
North Carolina-Kansas - If North Carolina plays like the highly ranked team it should be they win. Kansas was very shaky and only beat Western Kentucky because the Hilltoppers couldn't hit ANYTHING in the second half.
Minnesota-Florida - Will the real Golden Gophers please stand up? I guess Minnesota enjoys not playing in the Big Ten this year. They went 8-11 against Big Ten foes and are 13-1 outside the league.
Florida Gulf Coast-San Diego State - FGCU was clinical in destroying Georgetown, now they get Whale's Vagina State, who has consistently been overrated. Of the six previous 15's to win a game, none have ever advanced to the Sweet 16.
LaSalle-Mississippi - I've like LaSalle as a dangerous team all year and the thought of LaSalle or Wichita State in the Elite 8 while other bluebloods sit at home makes me smile.
Miami-Illinois - Miami was also very clinical in taking out Pacific. If they beat the Fighting Illini we'll see them take on the luckiest Sweet 16 team in recent memory. Marquette should have lost to both Davidson and Butler, but won because of a bad pass by Davidson and some missed free throws by Butler.
Duke-Creighton - The winner fills the last spot int he Indianapolis Regional and I don't want to walk around downtown next week worrying about stepping in Duke.