2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Important Observations 5-6

And we’re off. Basketball has started. Productivity has stopped nationwide. One of the great things about the NCAA tournament is everyone has a bracket. People who don’t watch basketball have a bracket. People who hate sports have a bracket. People who are generally competitive have a bracket. My parents have a bracket. And why do all these people have brackets? Because this could be the year that it all goes right and the perfect bracket happens to them. The allure of the perfect bracket or just winning a pool against people who take this seriously is so strong that even hipsters will fill one out ironically. No one even talks about the actual basketball tournament that is being played for the first two weeks. It’s all about how your bracket is doing. And here’s the thing- everyone knows that winning the bracket pool is 100% luck except the guy/girl who wins it. But what makes the first weekend so much fun to watch is that everyone has a dog in the fight because we finally get to stop watching basketball cheering for basketball players and start watching basketball and cheering for our own personal victory.

"Pepper with the STEEEEEEYAL!"

Even though I’ve been heartily rooting on my own bracket all day, I still managed to make a couple of Important Observations during the first two games today. I’ll keep them rolling in as the clusters of games finish. Feel free to jump in and add your own observations in the comments, I’d love to see it.

5. West Virginia 84, Clemson 76 Dalton Pepper is a fantastic name to hear Gus Johnson get excited about.
Like most people watching this game, I didn’t know who Dalton Pepper was until a little over a minute left in this game when he took two steals coast-to-coast in about 15 seconds. The game was getting close, and Gus was gearing up for another last-second thriller. But Pepper locked the game up early, so Gus had to release all of that superb announcing energy on calling the Pepper plays. It was fantastic.

6. Butler 60, Old Dominion 58This game is the first time I have ever watched TruTv. I didn’t even know it was a channel until this morning.
Seriously, how long has this station been on the air? I can’t recognize any shows in the lineup on the website. It’s a good thing they have a quarter of the NCAA games because it’s only going to remind everyone how obscure this station is compared to CBS, TNT and TBS. In other news, this finish was an awesome way to start off the tournament season. Matt Howard looks like he should be wearing a think t-shirt under his uniform.

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