Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NIT: Round One

Leading Off (The Cuff):
Auburn men’s basketball returns to the court today for its first postseason action since its Sweet 16 run in 2003.
Much has been made about the Tigers’ attitude entering this tournament and whether or not they will want to be in the NIT. If Auburn had been to the NCAA Tournament each of the last two years – or if any of the players had ever been – then maybe I would buy into a bubble snub hangover. That’s not the case, though. This group of Tigers has never been to the postseason. They’ve never played in the NCAA Tournament, NIT or CBI. If Auburn loses tonight, or later in the NIT, it won’t be because it was too disheartened to play with the same intensity. It will be because a team out-performed Auburn.
And it’s as simple as that.

Today’s Starting Lineup:
The men’s success tonight at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum will likely hinge on how well the team can slow UT Martin star Lester Hudson. The winner of tonight’s game will play the Tulsa-Northwestern winner on Friday night.
Meanwhile, the women are preparing for their trip to Piscataway, N.J. for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
Auburn baseball defeated Charleston Southern last night in 13 innings.
Countdown to football is down to 6 days.

Double-down on National Sports:
Let’s start today with my upset specials in the NCAA Tournament. The two matchups I love are Western Kentucky over Illinois and Utah State over Marquette. I also picked double-digit seeds USC, Cleveland State and VCU (CAA) into the Sweet 16. We shall see.

Speaking of brackets, Barack Obama has filled his out. Here’s a look. The Pres loves him some chalk.

Keep an eye on this: UNC’s Ty Lawson could miss the NCAA Tournament opener.

Martin Brodeur passed Patrick Roy with an NHL-record 552 career wins.

Astros infielder Aaron Boone will have open-heart surgery. His career might be over.

The United States stayed alive last night with a 7-6 win over Puerto Rico. David Wright's walk-off, two-run single lifted Team USA to the semifinals.

The Big Lead takes a look at the five most hated players in the NCAA Tournament.

Bills running back Marshawn Lynch might be looking at a disciplinary suspension from Roger Goodell.

Around the League:
Georgia released highly regarded linebacker Dexter Moody from his National Letter of Intent. The AJC
With Matthew Stafford gone, it's Joe Cox' turn to lead the Georgia offense. The AJC
Kentucky dominated early and hung on for a first-round NIT win over UNLV. The Herald-Leader
LSU will be without RB Stevan Ridley during spring practice. The Times-Picayune
The rich get richer: Tennessee's assistant coaches are guaranteed to make more money in 2010. The News Sentinel
South Carolina suspended a starting defensive lineman. The State. At the same time, Stephen Garcia wants to emerge as a leader this year. The State

Today’s News
The Good:
AIG is under further fire. Go get 'em. CNN

The Bad:
Actor David Prowse, best known for his role as Darth Vader, is battling prostate cancer. Fox News

The Absurd:
We've all had crazy teachers, but forcing a kid to eat trash might be crossing the line. MSNBC

Ending on a High Note:
Father Maurice Chase chose to spend his 90th birthday by giving $15,000 to the poor. MSNBC

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