Sweet 16 and never been MISSED (in the last four years)

By Keith Kubisiak, for Wausau Pilot & Review

Although there weren’t any half-court buzzer beaters in the opening weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, there were certainly an ample number of upsets and enough drama to keep you on the edge of your seat. If it was possible to overdose on basketball, I think I was right on the brink. To help keep me from going over the edge, I did sprinkle in some college hockey, both men’s and women’s. I’ll touch on those a bit later.

Keith Kubisiak offers his musings on Wisconsin sports each week in his guest column, “My view, from the couch.”

The game that had most people talking was the Badgers victory over the defending national champion, Villanova Wildcats. Nigel Hayes gave a “where-the-heck-was-that-all-year” performance and the game-winning shot in the game. Wisconsin fought through major foul trouble late in the game to come away with a 65-62 victory. Wisconsin busted a ton of brackets (mine included) to advance to take on the 4th seeded Florida in New York at Madison Square Garden Friday night with a tip time of approximately 8:40 p.m. central time.

This is a friendly reminder that with such a late game time, viewing festivities should be regarded as a MARATHON, not a SPRINT! (I will now step down from my soap box)

The other major upsets are the 11 seeded Xavier advancing to the Sweet 16 with a victory over the number 3 seed Florida State, South Carolina the 7 seed ousting the number 2 seed Duke. Michigan the 7 seed was another huge surprise out of the Midwest bracket by defeating the 2 seed Louisville. Seeing both coaches in the tourney with the last name of Pitino knocked out in the opening weekend did not break my heart at all.

I do have to give CBS, TNT, TBS, and truTV kudos for the excellent job of producing what we get to watch all weekend long. Confession time: I had to consult my DirecTV channel guide AGAIN this year to figure out what freaking channel truTV is on! It is my annual ritual. Similar to that of swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano. This is right around St. Joseph’s Day, March 23rd!

See! You are learning something new today! YOU DON’T GET THIS KIND OF KNOWLEDGE FROM SPORTS ILLUSTRATED!

We will be down to just two channels to have to deal with this weekend.(CBS and TBS) The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, March 23 (Sweet 16):

7:09 p.m. ET: No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 7 Michigan, Kansas City, Mo. (CBS)
7:39 p.m. ET: No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 4 West Virginia, San Jose, Calif. (TBS)
9:30 p.m. ET*: No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 4 Purdue, Kansas City, Mo. (CBS)
10:10 p.m. ET*: No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 11 Xavier, San Jose, Calif. (TBS)

Friday March 24 (Sweet 16):7:09 p.m. ET: No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 4 Butler, Memphis, Tenn. (CBS)
7:30 p.m. ET: No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 7 South Carolina, New York (TBS)
9:40 p.m. ET*: No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 3 UCLA, Memphis, Tenn. (CBS)
10:10 p.m. ET*: No. 4 Florida vs. No. 8 Wisconsin, New York (TBS)

Times approximate after conclusion of first games

As I mentioned earlier, I did sprinkle in some college hockey over the weekend. Congratulations to the Women’s Hockey team from the University of Wisconsin that was the runner up over the weekend as they were, unfortunately, defeated by Clarkson 3-0. Wisconsin goaltender, Ann-Renée Desbien, received the Patty Kazmaier award as the best women’s collegiate player of the year.

The men’s program missed out on their opportunity to advance with an at-large bid to college hockey’s version of the “big dance” with their loss to Penn State in the Big 10 tournament.

And finally in the college hockey round-up, the UWSP men’s hockey team lost to Adrian in the NCAA quarterfinals 6-3.

As you can see there was a lot going on over the weekend. There will be a lot more to cover next week!

About the author:

Keith Kubisiak is a self-proclaimed sports junkie. He will have an opinion with a heavy dose of snark, and hopefully a bit of humor, on everything from local sports to the pros. Kubisiak is a lifelong Wisconsin resident, with the exception of one year living just outside of Cleveland that he still says is the worst winter of his life.

The author is a huge fan of the Badgers, Packers, and Brewers. Even though he is not a big fan of the NBA, the Bucks are very slowly starting to grow on him (it’s about time.) He played youth hockey for nine years with aspirations to play Division 1 hockey, but lacked two things on his quest: ability and talent, shortcomings which, sadly, are also evident in his golf game. His passion for sports will be very apparent as you read “My View…From the Couch.” Reach Keith at [email protected].