V.20 No.11 | 3/17/2011

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NCAA Tournament: Start!

The brackets are out. The games have started. There are now 68 teams and the National Championship will be played on Monday, April 4, in Houston.

The No.1 seeds, as previously discussed, are Ohio State, Kansas, Duke and Pittsburgh. Ohio State was rewarded with the overall No. 1 seed and seems to have consensus among experts to make the Final Four.

Pat Forde does a good job of bringing up some of the more interesting stories that will make up this tournament (as well as some minutia), but one of the most fascinating stories he skips over is that of Steve Fisher. With San Diego State rolling the way it has through this season—and the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the Fab Five debuting this week—plenty of people are going to have Michigan on the mind. Fisher was fired from the University of Michigan amidst plenty of controversy relating to the Fab Five and NCAA infractions. The selection committee chose to put Fisher's former school—Michigan—on the same side as his new school—San Diego State. The Aztecs only lost to one team all season long: both away and at home against BYU. Of course, in order to set up this theoretical revenge, Michigan will have to get past Duke. The Blue Devils may not have won the ACC, but they beat up on UNC in the ACC Tournament to grab some serious momentum running into the Big Dance.

The First Four—as the newly expanded NCAA Tournament is calling their new play-in games—started yesterday night and the for-real tournament gets raring mañana. Regardless of filling in your brackets amongst your work colleagues, it's really worth taking some time to watch the games as they're taking place, especially in these first few days. There's very little to match up with the magic of an unsuspected team catching fire and knocking off a perceived threat. There's a reason it's nicknamed March Madness and the madness is setting in.

V.19 No.46 |


Hangover Sports Roundup: Rampage barely tames Dragon, Lobos lose


Normally, Detroit doesn't have too much to cheer about. But on Saturday night UFC 123 took center stage in front of 16,404 MMA fans. The main event featured Rampage Jackson and Lyoto Machida locked in a three-round chess match. Jackson won a close decision despite getting thrashed by Machida in the third round. Even Jackson was surprised he won when UFC cage announcer Bruce Buffer read the result. Both fighters and the fans are open to a rematch but UFC President Dana White felt Jackson won the first two rounds and thinks a rematch is unnecessary. With UFC light-heavyweight champion Shogun Rua still recovering from a knee injury, White may not have a choice but to give Machida another shot at Jackson.

From the moment the bell rang, B.J. Penn looked determined to beat Matt Hughes by any means necessary. Penn was on a two fight losing streak and needed an impressive victory to keep himself relevant as a contender.

It only took 21 seconds for Penn to destroy Hughes and remind the MMA world why 'The Prodigy' is still one of the most dangerous fighters in the game today. Meanwhile, Hughes may see retirement looming on the horizon. Penn's impressive victory earns him a shot at tough contender Jon Fitch in Australia early next year.

Lobo Sports

The California Bears gave Lobo basketball their first loss of the season and a major reality check. With no home crowd to save New Mexico, bad shooting and turnovers allowed the Bears to score 51 points in the second half to capture the 89-64 victory. Lobo point guard Dairese Gary had a team-leading 16 points but also had five turnovers. The Lobos now turn their focus on Northwood for Wednesday's home game.

BYU continued to add to the nightmare of Lobo football. The Cougars are having a disappointing final season in the Mountain West Conference, but it did not stop the 40-7 beatdown. Cougar quarterback Jake Heaps totaled three touchdowns to make BYU bowl-eligible. Stump Godfrey continued to be the only glimmer of hope by throwing for 125 yards and a touchdown. Now the Lobos welcome BCS contender TCU to University Stadium for the season finale.