Column: NCAA tournament starts with a bang

Published 7:16 pm Friday, March 18, 2005

By Staff
When it comes to tournament time, anything is possible and you never know what is going to happen.
Teams that are predicted to do well end up losing and the underdog teams end up surprising everyone.
Thursday was a very busy for the NCAA as 34 teams opened up the tournament and 17 were knocked out.
Kentucky (26-5), the second seed in the Austin region, beat Eastern Kentucky 72-64. The Wildcats will face seventh seeded Cincinnati on Saturday.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee, ranked 12th seed in the Chicago region, defeated fifth seeded Alabama 83-73. The Panther's will face Boston College in Saturday's second round.
In the Albuquerque regional, Pacific ousted a Big East Conference team in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row defeating Pittsburgh 79-71. Pacific will face top seeded Washington in the next round on Saturday.
Third seeded Oklahoma beat 14th seeded Niagara in the Austin region 84-67. The Sooners will play Utah on Saturday.
Seventh seeded Cincinnati defeated Iowa 76-64 in the Austin region to advance it to Saturday's game against second seeded Kentucky. This is the first times these two teams have met in 14 years. The last time was during the 1990-91 season.
Boston College, fourth seed in the Chicago region, knocked off 13th seeded Pennsylvania 85-65. The Eagles will face Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Saturday in the second round.
Washington, the top dogs in the Albuquerque region knocked off Montana 88-77 to advance to round two of the tourney. Washington faces Pacific in the next round on Saturday.
In its first matchup in six years, Utah and Texas El Paso met in the first round of the tournament and Utah came out on top with a 60-54 win. The Miners will face the Sooners on Saturday.
In a very close game, ninth seeded Nevada defeated eighth seeded Texas 61-57 in the Chicago region. Nevada will face top seeded Illinois on Saturday.
Second seeded Wake Forest got an easy 70-54 win off of 15th seeded Chattanooga in the Albuquerque region. Wake Forest will face seventh seeded West Virginia on Saturday.
Arizona, third seeded in the Chicago region, advances to round two on Saturday against Alabama-Birmingham as the Wildcats beat Utah State 66-53.
Third seeded Gonzaga defeated 14th seeded Winthrop 74-64 in the first round of the Albuquerque regional. The Bulldogs will face Texas Tech on Saturday.
Illinois, a favorite among a lot of fans and top seed in the Chicago regional, came out on top of 16th seeded Fairleigh Dickinson 67-55. Illinois will faces Nevada on Saturday.
A very close game between seventh seeded West Virginia and 10th seeded Creighton came down to the wire as the Mountaineers came out with a 63-61 win over the Bluejays. West Virginia will meet second seeded Wake Forest on Saturday.
Alabama-Birmingham defeated LSU 82-68 and Texas Tech defeated UCLA 78-66.
In the NIT, UNLV came out on top of Arizona State 78-66. All winning teams play on Saturday.
It will continue to be a busy weekend as more teams advance for a shot at the championship and more teams go home and look forward to next season.
Don't worry about missing any of the games, there will be plenty of basketball to go around for everyone. I have a hard time keeping up with them!
Most of you saw my picks yesterday and while I think North Carolina will come out on top, I am still going to be crossing my fingers for Duke, who has been a favorite of mine since the days of Bobby Hurley.