Every year around this time for the past five years I have taken a road trip to watch at least one round of the NCAA tournament. This year was no different and my roadie took me to St. Louis for the Midwest Regional for games between: Evan Turner (aka Ohio State) and Wayne Chism’s Headband (Tennessee) and Cinderella’s Step Sister (Northern Iowa) versus Tom Izzo (aka Michigan State). I decided, to the best of my drunken ability, to take mental notes in order to give everybody a little Flava Flav of how the weekend of basketball/gambling/golf/more basketball/ and blacking out went. To say the least, this was one of the better “Man Weekends” I’ve ever had. Below I’ll give you a quick analysis of each game followed by a list of best’s and worst’s from the weekend.
This was the first game on the slate Friday night and proved to be the best game of the weekend in my opinion, although some would argue Michigan State and Tennessee took that honor. Plain and simple, Tennessee’s overall athleticism was the difference in the game. The Vols caused a string of turnovers, 3 by Turner, in the last three minutes of the game which proved to be the difference. Additionally, Diebler and the invisible man Dallas Lauderdale decided not to show up and combined for a total of 5 points. I actually felt bad for Evan Turner for like 0.004 seconds and then I remembered he sunk a half court shot to beat Michigan (my favorite team, unfortunately). Chism and Bruce Pearl’s utilization of his bench also were keys to the 76-73 upset by the Vols.
Northern Iowa v. Michigan State
I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that my “No Alcohol Allowed @ NCAA Games Induced Hangover” didn’t affect my analysis for this game. However, I do remember that this was the worst game of the weekend and that Northern Iowa had a 7 point lead at half. I also remember that the hype of the tournament, Ali Farokhmanesh or “Faarooq” from the Nation of Domination (as my friend, the Weasel, called him), played and shot like absolute garbage and finished with just 9 points. Our seats were in the Michigan State section and I do vaguely remember people talking about how great Durrell Summers was playing, and wouldn’t you know it when I looked back at the box score, he did. Summers finished with 19 and carried the Spartans in the second half to a 59-52 victory.
Michigan State v. Tennessee
In this game, both teams started out hot from the field and the game took on a pace that no one expected. The fast-paced tempo of the game was something that Tennessee was better prepared for but somehow Coach Izzo found a way to help his team to hang in there. With that, Durrell Summers took over and led the Spartans with 21 points despite a complete and balanced team effort by Tennessee. Raymar Morgan’s free throw in the final seconds sealed it and sent the Rocky Top faithful back home to Cenkyville with a 70-69 defeat.
BEST/WORST of the WEEKEND
- Best Traveled Team (fans): Northern Iowa. They must have brought the whole northern part of Iowa. However, Tennessee was a close second and the Elite 8 game was dominated by Volunteer fans.
- Worst Traveled Team: Believe it or not, the Ohio State Buckeyes. Once again proving my point that the partying stops in Columbus once December rolls around.
- Best Fashion Statement: The Irish Car Bomb that I wore on my shirt by the end of Saturday night, followed by Wayne Chism’s headband of course.
- Worst Fashion Statement: This might sound a little gay of me, which I’m not despite a few arguments that will be made in the comments below, but a Michigan State fan in front of us had the worst wedgie EVER and when he sang the MSU fight song it looked like his ass was talking to us.
- Best Fight: It had to be the student from Ohio State getting into a fight (falling into) with the shrubbery outside of the Over/Under Bar.
- Worst Fight: My friend BK and I arguing about his mom and my sister when we were hammered Thursday night. (Mom and sister jokes are so old, yet still come up when you are too hammered to think of a better comeback)
- Best Bar: Joey B’s with apologies to the Over/Under. Great wings/burgers, smoking hot waitresses/bartenders (see below), a shot menu that contained over 50 combinations of liquor, and our waitress, Savannah, who all 7 of us fell in love with.
- Worst Bar: You guessed it, Joey B’s. This is only because the seven of us managed to have an $800 tab by 10 p.m. minus tip (think about that).
- Best Run-In: Our run in with the Michigan State Dance Team and Cheerleaders at Joey B’s. Very cool chicks and very hot. If it wasn’t for the Weasel creepin’ we may have had a chance (doubtful).
- Worst Run-In: On my final trip to the bathroom in the Casino I ran into John Thompson Sr., the old Georgetown coach. Upon running into him I shook his hand and then proceeded to tell him I was an Ohio University Bobcat, laughed, and walked away. Later, I would reach the level of drunkenness that OU fans displayed after beating Georgetown.
- Best Show of Sportsmanship: The other 6 guys on the trip putting up with my golf game.
- Worst Show of Sportsmanship: Evan Turner refusing to shake hands with Tennessee.
- Best Dance: This one is easy. The John Wall Dance performed by none other than the Judge (my buddy’s dad who was with us on the trip and someone you would never expect to do that).
- Worst Dance: See above (OSU student).
- Best Record Breaking Performance: This can either be our bar tab mentioned above or the number of voicemails that the Weasel left people later that night.
- Worst Record Breaking Performance: The total number of beer shits taken by our crew the day after the aforementioned bar tab.
- Funniest Moment: There were many as you can tell, but Tillman’s (the Weasel’s dad), description/making fun of the girl sitting at the bar with “plumber’s crack” was hilarious.
- Best Food Item: The B.E.L.T. sandwich at Rooster’s on Locust Avenue downtown. This breakfast sandwich was the best I’ve ever had. This place also had 20 different types of Bloody Marys.
- Annoying Travel Fact (Peter King Style): The trip took 13 hours round trip of driving and I kid you not it rained 12 hours and 37 minutes of those 13 hours (I drove, FML).
I like Butler to advance in a close… wait a second did I just bet against Tom Izzo??? I take that back, I like Michigan State in a close game to advance and play the Dukies (only because I actually have a chance of winning a bracket if that happens). As for the National Championship, I have the Dukies cutting down the nets while their arch rivals do the same in the NIT this week. That last prediction was for the Editor of Thunder Treats, DiLo.