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D.C. Sports Bog: March 16, 2008 - March 22, 2008

'Eers Win, Eat Manny & Olga's

Seriously, the NCAA tournament as we know it would not exist without popcorn. Not five minutes after West Virginia completed the least surprising 7-over-2 seed win in NCAA history, a team manager type went sprinting down a Verizon Center hallway with a wonderful mission: pick up the pizza. More...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 22, 2008; 6:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Purdue's Paint Crew is Here

The Paint crew, awake. The five kids dressed as painters were pretty obvious in this crowd for several reasons. For one thing, they were wearing full-body painters suits, complete with the nifty little hats. For another thing, they were the only fans I saw who were asleep in their...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 22, 2008; 4:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Scalpers, and Gilbert, and Cameron Crazies

This was the opening tip. Notes from the Verizon Center's final session. * Early this afternoon, Gilbert wandered into the Wizards' practice court, which has been turned into the media room, which is thus filled with pasty white people and popcorn and media guides and no basketball rims. I...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 22, 2008; 2:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Hilltopper Madness

This is nice. As I've mentioned before, I grew up in Fredonia, N.Y., home of the high school Hilltoppers, so named because our school used to be located on top of a hill. Eventually, the school expanded and moved to a less-hilly location, and so the nickname was changed,...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 21, 2008; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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West Virginia is Quotable

Coach Huggins. Without having a voice, I have to rely on the questions of others. Chiefly Mike Wise. Bob Huggins on his players: "Generally they're more afraid of me than they are who they're playing." Jarrett Brown on his friends back home in Florida: "Actually they think we're part...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 21, 2008; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Coach K is Ailing

Coach K, in healthier times. Coach K is doing his press conference right now, and while he doesn't sound great, his voice sounds a heck of a lot better than mine. This March is all about sickness to key tournament personnel, from Coach K to me to WaPo college...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 21, 2008; 3:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Hoyas Scene in Raleigh

By Camille Powell, in Raleigh The role of villain here in Raleigh will now be played by Georgetown. The Hoyas fully expected to get booed here--on Selection Sunday, Jessie Sapp pointed out that "We're going to be in North Carolina, we beat North Carolina so obviously the whole crowd is...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 21, 2008; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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American Loses

This came right around the high water mark. Earlier I proposed that NCAA tournament life is better in a bar, not in an arena. The past two hours proved my point. The American grads and friends of grads and husbands of grads were acting silly. Partially, perhaps, it was...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 21, 2008; 3:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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AU Watch Party

Fancy cheese and American foam fingers? Now that's a party. Here's the thing about today: I have no voice. None. I'm unable to speak. It's been mentioned that it sounds as if I've been kissing Coach K. A video Q&A between the two of us right now might become...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 21, 2008; 1:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Religion and the 16 Seed

Being Jewish has its sporting downsides: this year, for example, the first night of Passover corresponds with the first night of the NBA playoffs, which means that some poor kid's gonna get confused and ask "Is Gilbert playing?" as one of his four questions. I've definitely missed my share of...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 21, 2008; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Presidential Brackets

As I should have guessed Obama and McCain both filled out NCAA tourney brackets, while Hillary Clinton deflected her picks to her husband, who passed. No doubt the couple's 2008 tourney picks will be released to reporters as part of a document dump in the spring of 2017. McCain is...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 21, 2008; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Sports Illustrated's Georgetown Mistake

Camille Powell posted yesterday about the Hoyas' locker room reaction to DaJuan Summers's Sports Illustrated (regional) cover this week, but as the commenters noted, the greatest thing about that cover is that his first name is spelled wrong. As seen here. Does it now become a collector's item? I mean,...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 21, 2008; 10:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Lindsay Czarniak Bobbleheads

This is entirely college basketball related, for after one day, NBC4's Lindsay Czarniak is leading the WaPo celebrity bracket pool challenge. Well, she's tied with Byron Mouton and Kevin Harvick, anyhow, barely ahead of acknowledged bracket expert Dan Steinberg. But that merely provides the jumping off point for this piece...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 21, 2008; 10:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Belmont: Sort of Exciting

Two Washington Times sportswriters playing with popcorn. Bad sign when that's my best photo thus far. I'm not just trying to be needless difficult here, but I was courtside for almost all of the second half of Belmont's near-miss against Duke. It was fairly electric--with West Virginia fans waving...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 21, 2008; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Observations From the Early Games at Verizon

I'm CJ Holley and I'm a Sports producer for washingtonpost.com. I was able to break free from the office for the afternoon, catch some basketball and crank out a a compendium of my observations from the afternoon slate at Verizon Center. Obviously I owe a special thanks to Dan Steinberg...

By washingtonpost.com Sports Editor  |  March 20, 2008; 8:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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This Game is Electric!

The scene during the second half of Baylor-Purdue. Here's how you know when you've got a stinker of a game; when everyone leaves the arena and goes out to the concourse to gather around the closed concession stands and the small televisions to watch a marginally more interesting finish...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 5:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Stanley Burrell is Excited

Stanley Burrell, being excited. If Xavier and Duke go on to meet in the Sweet 16, some poor piece of hardwood will take a pounding, for Musketeers guard Stanley Burrell is this year's version of Steve Wojciechowski. Kid's more demonstrative than a freshman at Berkeley, more excitable than a...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 4:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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DaJuan Summers is Smiling

DaJuan Summers, not smiling. By Camille Powell, in Raleigh Greetings from a nearly empty RBC Center in Raleigh. There were probably fewer than 200 fans in here during Georgetown's open practice, and those that were here didn't see much, other than some passing and shooting drills. The Hoyas' open...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 3:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Is the Atlantic 10 Cratering?

Obviously this is subject to certain changes, but recall that the A-10 had eight teams in the postseason. Three already lost in various stages of NIT/CBI nonsense. The league's dominant regular season champion, Xavier, is losing to Georgia. The league's tournament champion, Temple, is getting hammered by Michigan State. If...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Georgia Feeling It

Georgia up nine at the half, and all the momentum is in the Dawgs' favor. Jarvis Hayes did halftime interviews while screaming GOOOOOOO DAWGS! The Georgia cheerleaders did a halftime routine to "Girls Girls Girls," and then changed clothes in time for the second half, going from sheer dress things...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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The Color and Pageantry of the Tournament

Color and pageantry. Also known as "rank seediness." Already in this game, we've had barking Georgia fans, an elbow to the nose, a combined shooting percentage of 36 percent, and an 11-11 Xavier-Georgia tie with 11 minutes left, which is the sort of thing Belmont would include in its...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 12:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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The Scene in Denver

By Adam Kilgore, in Denver Just tipped in Denver. The crowd is late-arriving, but you can forgive them because it is 10:30 local time. The Temple band playing is "Sell Out" by Reel Big Fish, while Michigan State is going with "Spiderwebs" by No Doubt. Early advantage goes to Temple....

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Fans and Signs and Jarvis Hayes

Ok, I'm rooting for Georgia. Typical D.C. crowd. No one's here. Anyone with tickets to the second game who shows up late for the first game deserves to be excommunicated from sports fandom. But the official Purdue and Baylor sections are almost entirely empty. The Georgia cheerleaders have arrived....

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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The Scene From Verizon

My seat. The Georgia band is warming up. Four tubas. All brass. Plus the Xavier cheerleaders, taking photos of themselves. It's their Madness, too. Plus the refs are here, stretching. It's their Madness, too. Now comes the Xavier band, boasting only two tubas. Massive tuba imbalance. Although the X...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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The Final Four Will Be....More Celebs

Take a look at her brackets. Don't forget to check our Tourney Tracker to follow all your favorite celebrity brackets, assuming your favorite celebrities are either local sportscasters, political analysts, Washington Wizards or NASCAR drivers. The latest batch of entries includes.... D.C. United's Ben Olsen Biggest first-round upset: Georgia...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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An Update From Vegas

A local poll voter checks in from Las Vegas By Chris Olson in Vegas The atmosphere here is building to a crescendo. Scores of folks have spent the past few hours staking out their seats and discussing their favorite bets. I showed up to the Mirage at midnight which, in...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 11:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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George Mason: Still Having Fun

Knockout winner Folarin Campbell. (By John McDonnell - TWP) By Adam Kilgore, in Denver Immediately after George Mason won the CAA tournament, Will Thomas did an interview on the court. "No one is going to have more fun in this tournament than us, I'll guarantee you that," Thomas said....

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Best of Tourney Quotes, Day I

Now their coach has lost his voice. (By Jonathan Newton - TWP) The best quotes of Day I at the Verizon Center. Or at least, the best quotes on the transcripts. "I've had a lot of advice over the last 10 or 12 days. And it almost all is,...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 10:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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NIT Day Two: Va. Tech Hates School

Local boy Donte Green will have a chance to ruin Maryland's postseason dreams. (AP Photo) Twenty-one games into the postseason, one clear message has emerged: Conference USA is hot. That's the only conference that has produced two road wins at a time of year when road wins are nearly...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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DeShawn Calls Out LeBron Again, and Again

DeShawn, bidding for cult hero status. (By Toni L. Sandys - TWP) I went on a podcast this week saying I just don't want to go back to Cleveland for Part III of this playoff rivalry, because it's kind of played-out, but now I've officially changed my mind. Also,...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 7:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Duke Discusses Maryland

Duke fan. After an early afternoon of Georgia, Xavier, Purdue and Baylor, Duke finally brought buzz to the building. Maybe it's because people are now blowing off work to come to the open practice, or maybe it's because the Yankees are here, drawing such luminaries as Doug Collins and...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 19, 2008; 5:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Purdue Practices, Duke Eats Lunch

Chris Reid's Greek Orthodox leg tattoo. In the past few hours, Xavier practiced, Georgia Coach Dennis Felton was handed DVD's by fans in the crowd who were showing at the Atlanta Film Festival, several Baylor players expressed their admiration for Gilbert Arenas, and I seethed at the NCAA's tech...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 19, 2008; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Root for Baylor

Josh Lomers's laces. Have tickets to tomorrow's Verizon Center sessions but not sure whom to support? Well, Duke's out, for obvious reasons. Belmont is too much of a longshot. Georgia is too easy to root for but impossible to root against, which rules out Xavier. Arizona's been to 427...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 19, 2008; 1:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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The Final Four Will Be....Celeb Edition

Mark me down as the only college hoops blogger writing about both Antawn Jamison and Sen. Ben Cardin today. For the second year in a row, I'm helping the fine folks at WaPo.com collect all manner of D.C. and national celebrity brackets, for you to compare yourselves against. All...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 19, 2008; 12:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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NCAA Tourney Arrives in D.C.

Popcorn. It's tourney time. Bob Huggins and Coach K, as far as I can tell, are not yet in the Verizon Center. What is here: * Hoops Weiss (click link for Mike Jarvis news!) and John Feinstein. * Media guides for our eight newly local teams, plus for the...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 19, 2008; 11:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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Nats on Maroon and Gold

One more brilliant (non-college basketball) offering from WaPo.com's Jon Forsythe, who, in the wake of the Jim Zorn fiasco, asked virtually the entire Nats organization, including popcorn salesmen and cherry tree planters, what colors the Redskins wear. Virtually everyone said maroon and gold, besides those who said "red and yellow"...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 19, 2008; 11:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Green Machine: the Video

With thanks to master video editor Jon Forsythe, here are some highlights from Doc Nix and the Green Machine at the CAA tournament. And yeah, I'll probably write just as much about the West Virginia pep band tomorrow from Verizon....

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 19, 2008; 10:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Notre Dame Fans React to Mason

Harangody and his chin. (AP Photo) Does the D.C. area have more Mason fans or Notre Dame fans? I'm not really sure. But since Christopher Wilson from the Notre Dame Blog Rakes of Mallow is asking local bloggers (including, unfairly, me) to comment on George Mason, I figured I...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 19, 2008; 9:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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NIT/CBI Report, Day One

Akron, the biggest winner of the postseason thus far. (AP Photo) If you're like me, and you consider "reckless insanity" the best approach to the three days between Selection Sunday and Bracket Due Date, you'll already have run 17 different statistical analyses on last night's NIT/CBI results, attempting to...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 19, 2008; 9:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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Green Machine Leaves for Denver

Doc Nix at the CAA final. (By John McDonnell - TWP) A brief synopsis of the George Mason pep band's last in-game performance, a more than two hour set at the CAA final. The musical director, the much-blogged about Doc Nix, danced it out, despite having had a root...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 18, 2008; 5:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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Mount St. Mary's in Dayton

Mount St. Mary's journalist/golfer/hoops manager likes Erin Andrews! (ESPN via Chicago Tribune) If anyone has his finger on the throbbing pulse of Mount St. Mary's athletics, it's junior Brad Gerick, who is simultaneously a manager of the basketball team, a member of the golf team and the managing editor...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 18, 2008; 2:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Ovechkin Lands Hair Cuttery Endorsement

The hair cut that launched an ad campaign. Not college basketball, but definitely March Madness. From the release: Vienna, VA - Hair Cuttery, the largest privately-owned chain of hair salons in the country, announced today that it has signed NHL Washington Capitals' hockey star Alex Ovechkin to a 6-month...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 18, 2008; 12:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
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Vegas's NCAA bracket

The best three seed and the best 10 seed, Stanford and Arizona. (AP Photo). Number 46 on my list of incorrect "favorite/underdog" usage concerns the NCAA tournament, and the tendency to automatically refer to higher seeds as the favorites. This is a mistake I myself have made, and for...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 18, 2008; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
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WaPo Celebs and Friends on March Madness

Excerpts from my video conversations with Sally Jenkins, Mike Wise, John Feinstein, Rich Chvotkin, Eric Prisbell and Kyle Whelliston over the past week. The Wise interview was conducted while I was holding my daughter with my non-camera hand. The Prisbell-Feinstein interview contained some classic moments, but because we were taping...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 18, 2008; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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Mason and American Factizzles

Mason fans probably do this too. (By Preston Keres - TWP). Local upstarts American and George Mason are obviously fellow travelers this month. Both have coaches with strong ties to the University of Virginia. Both have pep bands that, independently, have adopted Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" as their anthems....

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 17, 2008; 7:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
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What I Learned About Storming the Court

The UMBC storm (By Jonathan Ernst for TWP). This item already ran in Sunday's newspaper as an excerpt of the D.C. Sports Bog, so to make that retroactively correct, I figured I should post it here. Put it in chapter 427 of "how newspapers are acting weird about the...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 17, 2008; 2:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
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Caron's Birthday Party Report

Gilbert, at Caron's birthday bash. (Photo by Shakirah Hill, taken from DCFab!) I was at the Big East, although to be honest a birthday party featuring Caron Butler, Carmen Electra and Kim Kardashian is a lot more bloggable than a Big East game featuring Jim Calhoun and a guy...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 17, 2008; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Wizards  
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The NIT and the CBI

Only one team can be the first-ever champions of the CBI. (The Daily Progress Via Associated Press Photo.) Evidently I was the only person in America frantically hitting refresh on the CBI's bracket page last night. The new 16-team event with the bizarre rules (re-seeding before the semifinals, best-of-three...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 17, 2008; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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Mike Wise Confronts My Daughter

Apologies for the gross excess of self-referential posts today, but here's a quite entertaining (if a bit long) "video column" by Mike Wise, from Bender Arena on Friday. It captures the scene fairly well, and includes scenes of Wise speaking while cramming pizza into his mouth, and Wise confronting my...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 17, 2008; 11:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
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UMBC and Hoyas Come Together

Seriously, Hoyas, you ready for this? I mentioned this last night, but I didn't want it to get lost in the glut of Selection Show glory. Here are just a sampling of the signs at RAC Arena Saturday afternoon that prodded at the Retrievers' I-95 state-system brethren. You've gotta...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 17, 2008; 10:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
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Coppin State's Win

Coppin State's Fang Mitchell. (AP Photo) One last MEAC tourney entry from HBCU Sports Blog proprietor Jarrett Carter. See also David Steele's rant against the NCAA for subjecting two hard-scrabble Maryland teams to the taint of the play-in nonsense, and the Examiner quoting people saying this is good for...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 17, 2008; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Tourney Advice Overload

This photo, with a bracket drawn on my bald head, appears in today's tourney special section. Not one of my prouder moments. And you can't even see my Mothering Hut tee. I spent most of tonight listening to the noisy exclamations of John Feinstein, who actually knows what he's...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 17, 2008; 8:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Virginia Tech Left Out

Enjoy the NIT, star. Va. Tech beat writer Adam Kilgore will have much more on the Hokies' exclusion in tomorrow's paper, but in the meantime, he provides this update on A.D. Vassallo's thoughts from Saturday evening. My own feelings: I don't care about RPI and I certainly don't care...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 16, 2008; 8:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Get Ready Georgetown: UMBC Storms

Ok, so fans storming the court in Catonsville will likely have a minimal impact on a 2-15 game in Raleigh, and maybe Hoya fans are a bit more concerned with Darryl Proctor and Ray Barbosa and the elusive Jay Greene than they are with yellow-and-black clad fans in speedos (yes,...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 16, 2008; 7:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  College Basketball  
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The Final Four Will Be.... [Updated]

My national champion, although it goes against my bracket advice. (AP Photo) [Updated with the big shots, after the jump] Last year, you might recall, my insta-react Final Four was 75 percent correct, with my other 25 percent invested in a faulty Acie Law hunch. Several readers, including "Dr....

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 16, 2008; 7:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
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The Local Report: A Hoya Showdown

I now own this sign. Really. How can you hate them, Hoya fans? (By Jonathan Ernst for TWP) There are two all-Atlantic 11 matchups: Coppin State-Mount St. Mary's in Tuesday's play-in game in Dayton, and 2nd-seeded Georgetown against 15th-seeded UMBC Friday in Raleigh. That, friends, is the Atlantic 11...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 16, 2008; 6:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Play-In Game Goes Local

This tournament will have a local flavor, with at least six teams from D.C./Virginia/Maryland, and now we know that it will have an extremely local start. The NCAA announced this afternoon that Tuesday's play-in game will be an all-Maryland matchup, featuring Northeast champion Mount St. Mary's against upstart MEAC winner...

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 16, 2008; 4:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
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