We'll be liveblogging the NCAA Tournament at the Rose Garden all day, right here. While you wait, work out who to cheer for in our "Should I Cheer for this College Basketball Team" Decision Tree.
UPDATE 10:51 AM: Competitive basketball is being played at the Rose Garden. Better updates soon.
10:58 AM: Welcome to soggy Portland, Oregon where the Davidson College Wildcats are attempting to avenge shocking loss that dropped them to number 11 in the U.S. News rankings of America's best liberal arts colleges by winning a basketball contest against
Papa John's University and Pizzeria Louisville. So far they are losing.
12:28 PM: OK, so I'm really trying to cheer along with Louisville's slugging (see what I did there?) of No. 11 Davidson even though the programs' meteoric rise is a rich man's hobby (some of his money was used to steal away my college's highly-regarded soccer coach, which is fine because we won a national championship by beating him) as my little sister is a professor educating kids in the state's university system but I can't. I think it's these ugly camouflage/tiger stripe jersey things. They're even uglier in person.
Proposed P. Knight Rule: Every college sports team shall have two (2) jerseys per season. One shall be light in color, the other dark. None shall have tiger stripes, especially when your mascot is a bird.
12:33 PM: We haven't been handed an official stat sheet yet but my records say Davidson is 0-83 on three-point attempts. This game has not been as close as the 14 point difference on the scoreboard. Maybe the 'Cats should be playing down in the NIT.
12:40 PM: Things could get worse for Davidson before they get better. A shock just ran through the media room as news broke that Wesleyan University, currently ranked No. 12 behind the 'Cats in the U.S. News poll, has tapped Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia to give a talk on free speech in the coming months. A talk by a sitting justice is a major recruiting coup for the Connecticut program and puts more pressure on Davidson, which, coincidentally, also just saw forward Jake Cohen pass up a wide-open look at a three only to fake. He then made an awkward move to lay in two, which drew cheers although the school is down by eight with just over a minute to go. Davidson also just took its last time out. Warm up the bus.
1 PM: Where's Sad Waldo? I SEE HIM, HE'S WITH THE DAVIDSON BAND!
Final: Louisville 69, Davidson 62.
1:04 PM: Speaking of pep bands, Long Beach State opens with "Fuck You" as the New Mexico Lobos warm up in front of them. Ain't that some shit?
2:01 PM: Just how scrappy is Long Beach State? Welp, their grizzled prospector mascot appears to be wearing regular ol' Hanes sweat pants as part of his costume. I'm not usually a knee-jerk underdog fan, but God bless those precious young men from a humble beachside community in southern California. Let's hope Long Beach can send those haughty New Mexicans and their fancy store-bought mascot costumes straight back to glamorous Albuquerque with a bloody nose and a little humility.
2:13 PM: When did every college band start playing "Sweet Caroline" at least once per game and how do we make them stop? THE BEACH 29, New Mexico 31.
2:50 PM: James Ennis' 1 just tied this game. There are still 13 minutes to go, but LB seems to have the momentum. Also, some people apparently wish to spot me on television. I am right behind the Niners' mascot, in the very worst seat on the entire press row.
2:52: "The Blazers finally waived Greg Oden!!!" PRESS ROW ERUPTS IN CHEERS FROM LOCAL MEDIA!
2:56 PM: Scratch that momentum comment; LBSU now down by 8.
3:28 PM: The score might seem lopsided thanks to the foul shots, but with 28.8 seconds left this LBSU-NM game feels closer than five points. It's been a fun one.
3:32 PM: Hopefully TV cameras caught Beach star Casper Ware's expression as he hung his head after missing that layup with 12.9 seconds left. NM rebounded just sealed things by hitting their foul shots. Ware may well go on to play in the NBA. Even so, that one will bother him forever.
Final: New Mexico 75, Long Beach State 68.
3:38 PM: They're clearing the arena between the first pair of games and the second pair. Anyone who follows college sports probably knows the the NCAA is a bunch of money-grubbin' bastards, but their villainous brilliance really comes through upon realizing that they put both weak-drawing New Mexico teams in Portland to increase the likelihood of people flying up from New Mexico but also put them in different "sessions" so fans would have to buy two tickets to watch both games. Bravo, NCAA, bravo.
4:21 PM: Yes, the game has started. Where is everyone?
4:37 PM: STUCK BALL! It got caught between the rim and the backboard! Just jammed in there on a thre-point attempt! Whoa! ....but seriously, this game ain't so exciting yet. Virginia Commonwealth has a great band, though. Wichita State 9, VCU 12.
4:44 PM: How exciting has this game been? Well, the man below just yelled out "Booooooooring!" during a time-out. Twice. A more damning indictment has never been made.
5:09 PM: Down seven points with 22 seconds left in the half Wichita State decided, in an already boring game, to run down the clock at half-court. VCU stole the ball and jammed in another two. Serves 'em right. VCU 34, Wichita State 25.
6:17 PM: Well no one's chanting "booooring" now. VCU 60, Wichita 59. 1:24 left in the game.
6:18 PM: There are 27.2 seconds left in the game and 10 seconds left on VCU's shot clock. They are up by one. This is gong to be good... For what's it's worth, the neutral part of the crowd seems to have adopted the Shockers, perhaps because they had to claw their way back.
6:21 PM: VCU scored, meaning they're up by three points with 12 seconds left. Wichita State has the ball and has called time out. Most of the basketball-watching nation is probably tuned in right around now. FUN!
6:35 PM: Final: VCU 62, Wichita "State" 59. VCU's band is loving it.
6:43 PM: Indiana wears candy-striped warm up pants. I never knew that. It is, apparently, "a thing." Which is a shame, as I'd love to picture Bobby Knight attacking everyone wearing these monstrosities with a chair like pro wrestler.