Saturday, March 26, 2005


FINAL UPDATE at 6:50 p.m.

Eight teams left.

Four teams play today.

Two teams punch their ticket to St. Louis today.

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#4 Louisville 93, #7 West Virginia 85 (OT)

If this is what we're in for when these two teams meet each other next year in Big East play, then count me in.

West Virginia hit a tournament record 18 3-pointers, but it wasn't enough. The Louisville Cardinals are headed to their first Final Four since 1986, when Pervis Ellison led the Cards to the national championship.

Rick Pitino returned to the Bluegrass State in 2001 after his second failed attempt in the NBA. Who knew that just 4 years later, he would be back in the Final Four? Louisville is Pitino's 3rd school he's taken to the Final Four (1987 Providence, 1993, 1996, 1997 Kentucky, and 2005 Louisville).

Needless to say, expect the Louisville fans to make the 5-6 hour trek to St. Louis next weekend.

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#1 Illinois 90, #3 Arizona 89 (OT)

Two overtime games today?

There's a reason why I love this thing called college basketball.

Illinois was left for dead. Not even the pro-Fighting Illini crowd could help them. But the Fighting Illini showed their heart. The heart of a champion, with apologies to Rudy Tomjanovich.

The Fighting Illini were down 77-63 with 3:33 left in the second half. But they went on a 17-3 run to send the game to overtime at 80-80. Deron Williams scored 6 of his 22 points in the overtime period as the Fighting Illini head to their first Final Four since 1989.

What is there to say about Arizona? Well, if you're expecting me to say "what a tough break for the Wildcats", then this isn't the site for that statement. David and I don't like Arizona. We're not into the whole "you have to root for your conference to do well" b.s., otherwise known as "conference loyalty". I have to put up with that type of attitude on a daily basis from the Arkansas fans. It's not a good attitude to have if you're a fan.

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See, something has gone right for my bracket. I had Illinois in my Final Four. Hopefully North Carolina can punch their ticket to St. Louis tomorrow afternoon.

It will be Illinois vs Louisville in one semifinal game next Saturday in the Edward Jones Dome. Who will meet up in other semifinal game?

You'll just have to watch the games tomorrow to find out. I know I will.

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