The Bracket Blauggh (Thursday edition)   

Updated: March 19, 2009

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If you enjoyed DJ Gallo's Super Bowl Blauggh earlier this year, you'll love his Bracket Blauggh.

For the first two days of the Big Dance, DJ will provide continuous updates on all things March Madness.

And he'll do this straight from his couch -- where all you regular working stiffs wish you were right now!

5:51 p.m.

Your evening slate of games
That's it for today for the Bracket Blauggh, dear readers. Enjoy tonight's games. I hope to see you back here tomorrow morning.

7:10 p.m. ET
East Regional
No. 7 Texas (22-11) vs. No. 10 Minnesota (22-10): More proof for Kentucky fans that Tubby Smith wasn't good enough for the Wildcats. A No. 10 seed is below them.

7:10 p.m. ET
South Regional
No. 7 Clemson (23-8) vs. No. 10 Michigan (20-13): Michigan hasn't played in the NCAA tournament since 1998, and the Wolverines haven't had much success since going to the Final Four in 1992 and 1993.

7:20 p.m. ET
East Regional
No. 3 Villanova (26-7) vs. No. 14 American (24-7): Villanova basically has a home game, playing in Philadelphia. Although I guess American is at home whenever it plays in one of the 50 states. Not fair!

7:25 p.m. ET
South Regional
No. 4 Gonzaga (26-5) vs. No. 13 Akron (23-12): The Zips are named after zipper galoshes? How did I not know this already? I feel like I have wasted years of my life not making fun of them.

9:40 p.m. ET
East Regional
No. 2 Duke (28-6) vs. No. 15 Binghamton (23-8): Duke's Greg Paulus and Binghamton's David Fine attended high school together in Syracuse, N.Y. Paulus was voted "Most Likely to Slap Floors" in their senior yearbook.

9:40 p.m. ET
South Regional
No. 2 Oklahoma (27-5) vs. No. 15 Morgan State (23-11): To be fair to Mike Krzyzewski, Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel also advised President Barack Obama to focus on the economy. Whereas Jamie Dixon, John Calipari, Roy Williams and Rick Pitino feel he should keep doing what he's doing.

9:50 p.m. ET
East Regional
No. 6 UCLA (25-8) vs. No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth (24-9): VCU guard Eric Maynor averages 22.4 points per game. VCU's next-highest scorer averages 11.3. You'd think a team with "Commonwealth" in its name would share the ball a little better.

9:55 p.m. ET
South Regional
No. 5 Illinois (24-9) vs. No. 12 Western Kentucky (24-8): Illinois guard Chester Frazier is not going to play tonight. And, apologies in advance, but I can't help myself: "And down goes Fra-zier! Down goes Fra-zier!" Again, apologies.

5:21 p.m.

Connecticut 103, Chattanooga 47
Ouch. A 56-point beating. Chattanooga is lucky this guy isn't still on the team. The locker room would not be a happy place right now.

Seven games are in the books, and the biggest "upset" we've had is No. 10 seed Maryland beating No. 7 seed Cal. How do you like them apples, Cinderella?

5:09 p.m.

Maryland 84, California 71
If any Maryland fans were still hoping for Gary Williams' firing, he clearly is not going anywhere now. But if you must root against your own -- good news! The Orioles and the Nationals open their seasons in three weeks!

Are the Seahawks aware T.J. Houshmandzadeh is moonlighting as someone named "Jorge Gutierrez"?

4:59 p.m.

North Carolina 101, Radford 58
So President Barack Obama's title pick won convincingly. Radford, you have greatly disappointed Rush Limbaugh today.

Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford's 6-foot-11 junior center, is an interesting prospect. He had a double-double today and averaged 13.5 points and 11 rebounds per game in four games against BCS conference teams this season. Expect to hear his name mispronounced in the NBA one day.

4:46 p.m.

Your 5 p.m. ET game
West Regional
No. 13 Mississippi State (23-12) vs. No. 4 Washington (25-8): It's dinner time in the East. This game pairs nicely with a dark beer. As do any of today's games, really.

4:37 p.m.

Purdue 61, Northern Iowa 56
Purdue's Chris Kramer is a tough, hard-nosed player. If only he were 6 inches taller and more awkward (i.e., scrappy!), he would have a chance to one day be as grossly overpaid as former Boilermaker Brian Cardinal.

It must have been a depressing reminder for Iowa Hawkeyes fans to watch this game and see CBS's "NO IOWA" graphic on the scoreboard.

4:05 p.m.

Connecticut 48, Chattanooga 20 at the half
Jim Calhoun is out, and UConn has a 28-point lead at the half. Coaching controversy!

BEFORE this game, Chattanooga had lost by an average of 20.7 points to ranked teams this season. Oh, automatic bids … you're so fun.

4:01 p.m.

Maryland 34, California 31 at the half
Maryland guard Adrian Bowie is sporting an unfortunate mohawk. Please remember, everyone: When Mr. T said, "I pity the fool," he was referring to anyone foolish enough to copy his hairdo.

Cal leads the nation in 3-point percentage. But 3-point shooting can come and go (today, Cal is only 3-for-13 from beyond the arc). This is why the Bears don't also lead the nation in winning percentage.

3:47 p.m.

North Carolina 53, Radford 34 at the half
North Carolina looks no worse without Ty Lawson. The Tar Heels should try to deal him for a shot-blocker.

Radford appears to be out of its element. The players' eyes are as big as saucers. But not in the good Tyler Hansbrough way.

3:27 p.m.

Purdue 32, Northern Iowa 20 at the half
Nothing remarkable in this game so far. So I'll just link to a picture of former Purdue coach Gene Keady.

3:18 p.m.

Congratulations to Tyler Hansbrough
Tyler Hansbrough now has passed J.J. Redick as the ACC's all-time leading scorer.

Somewhere, Redick sadly puts pen to paper:

Roses are red, violets are blue
Hansbrough just beat me
Oww! An emotional boo-boo

2:33 p.m.

Texas A&M 79, BYU 66
Not a good showing by the Cougars. I doubt they will be hit on by any basketball-loving cougars who witnessed that performance.

And why was a West Regional game played in Philadelphia? Tournament organizers must have been confused by the opening lines of the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" theme song.

Memphis 81, Cal State Northridge 70
Good job by Memphis in proving that it didn't deserve a No. 2 seed. Memphis clearly is a team that should be a No. 5 or No. 6 seed.

Congratulations to Cal State Northridge for advancing in the moral victory bracket.

2:28 p.m.

LSU 75, Butler 71
Butler closed the game on a 71-66 run. Clearly Butler is the superior team.

Butler's Matt Howard -- 22 points, eight rebounds -- might be the best Howard I've seen since Scott.

If your office/neighborhood SEC apologist tries to point to this game as evidence that the conference hasn't been given its due, kindly remind him that LSU just beat a No. 9 seed from the Horizon League.

2:01 p.m.

Your afternoon slate of games
West Regional
No. 5 Purdue (25-9) vs. No. 12 Northern Iowa (23-10): Purdue has been rolling lately behind a very hot Robbie Hummel. (And I mean "hot" regarding both his play and his appearance.)

South Regional
No. 1 North Carolina (28-4) vs. No. 16 Radford (21-11): I'm sure Ty Lawson could play if he really had to. The Tar Heels just feel they won't need him today. I think Radford will be motivated by this disrespect to lose by only 20 points, instead of 30 or more.

West Regional
No. 7 California (22-10) vs. No. 10 Maryland (20-13): Cal leads the country in 3-point percentage. The Bears will find it harder to shoot while standing in Gary Williams' sweat run-off.

West Regional
No. 1 Connecticut (27-4) vs. No. 16 Chattanooga (18-16): UConn will be without the coaching advantage Jim Calhoun provides. But the Huskies will be with the basketball advantage a roster full of McDonald's All-Americans provides.

1:34 p.m.

Texas A&M 42, BYU 30 at the half
Texas A&M beat BYU by five points last year in the first round. The Cougars have to trim their deficit by eight points if they want to show they have improved.

BYU has a guard whose parents named him Jimmer Fredette. Bummer for Jimmer.

1:23 p.m.

Memphis 34, Cal State Northridge 31 at the half
Memphis guard Roburt Sallie opened up 6-for-6 from the field, including five 3-pointers, for 17 points. He came in averaging 4.5 points per game on the season.

Now is not the time to step out of your role on the team, Sallie! I hope John Calipari gives you a good talking-to during halftime.

The arena in Kansas City looks about half empty. This is good news for the city's NBA hopes. That's two to three times the attendance Memphis and Sacramento get for NBA games.

1:17 p.m.

LSU 35, Butler 29 at the half
Butler is shooting 34.8 percent from the field so far. It should have been told to shoot better than that. These are the kinds of mistakes you get with a young coach.

Shaq has not Twittered about LSU's performance. Disappointing. I hope Charlie Villanueva steps up for UConn's game.

12:52 p.m.

Early impressions
The Cal State Northridge-Memphis game is very competitive so far. But Memphis should be OK once it adjusts to the level of competition. Memphis hasn't seen a No. 15 seed-quality team in months.

Butler's coach is 32 years old. How many teams will you coach to the NCAA tournament by that age, you failure?

12:22 p.m.

Great commercial
The NCAA commercial that says "most athletes go pro in something other than sports" is back again!

And it's as good as ever. A gymnast doing a chemistry experiment while on the rings. A guy kicking a soccer ball and playing the violin at the same time. Very cool.

However, I am a bit disappointed it doesn't show a Florida State athlete playing football while also hacking into a computer.

UPDATE: Game action has begun! 9-0 LSU! Looks as though the Tigers are a lock for the title.

11:20 a.m.

T-minus 1 hour until the games begin
The ball is tipped
and there you are
you're running for your life
you forgot to submit your bracket

FINALIZE YOUR BRACKET BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!

If Cal State Northridge takes a 2-0 lead over Memphis at 12:26 p.m. ET, it will be too late to change your picks to include this historic upset.

10:47 a.m.

Coach K-terade
As you might have seen, Mike Krzyzewski was asked about President Barack Obama leaving Duke out of his Final Four.

Said Coach K: "As much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets."

Krzyzewski added that he likes Obama, but he has, after all, leaned Republican in the past.

More likely, Coach K continues to be in denial that it is possible for a person to do more than one thing at a time.

For example, it is possible for a basketball player to be more than just a jump-shooter. He could be a jump-shooter who also is able to penetrate. Or a jump-shooter who can jump and rebound as well.

The possibilities are endless!

So in the future, feel free to recruit players who aren't so one dimensional, coach. It could do wonders for your program.

10:22 a.m.

For the purpose of mocking me later
Here is my NCAA tournament bracket.

By the way, guess who has the same Final Four picks as President Obama? That's right, it appears I am presidential material. Take THAT, high school guidance counselor!

And don't worry. When my time comes, I will be a kind and just ruler.

9:54 a.m.

Last-minute tips for getting the day off
So you didn't have the wisdom and foresight to get completely unnecessary and painful surgery on your crotch. Don't beat yourself up!

There are still ways to get out of work in time to watch Thursday's NCAA tournament action.

1. Fake an illness: Your boss will be expecting this one. So you can't just phone it in. You'll need to show up for work and then show real evidence of illness. Therefore, gag yourself until you vomit on the floor. This can be done with a ruler, or just by picturing any number of people in your office naked. Be sure your boss sees the mess before it is cleaned up. Bonus points if you came into work on Wednesday hungover from St. Patrick's Day. Clearly, you've been fighting a bug for days!

2. Say that your kid is sick: The school just called. Your dear, sweet child is ill and is being sent home. Therefore, even though you really want to catch up on sales calls, you must go home immediately to care for the angel. Your hands are tied! Know that your employer may require a note from the school upon your return to work Monday to verify your story. So your kid will have to fake an illness. This is fine. She will learn that some things are more important than education. (Don't have a kid? Steal one. Most prisons have cable now.)

3. Call in a bomb threat: No, I'm just kidding. (Note: DO NOT say the preceding sentence when calling in your bomb threat if you want this to work.)

4. Dress in Duke apparel: Chances are you will be beaten up by co-workers and sent home to rest and recover.

5. Do-it-yourself vasectomy: How much do you want to watch basketball? Get a steak knife, a stapler, a needle and thread and cotton balls. And some Excedrin, too. Extra strength.

9 a.m.

Your early slate of games
12:20 p.m. ET
South Regional
No. 9 Butler (26-5) vs. No. 8 LSU (26-7): Butler has won four consecutive opening-round games in the NCAA tournament. Nobody likes rooting for an overdog come March. Down with the bully from the Horizon League! Go LSU of the SEC!

12:25 p.m. ET
West Regional
No. 2 Memphis (31-3) vs. No. 15 Cal State-Northridge (17-13): Stuck with a No. 2 seed, Memphis is playing with a chip on its shoulder. Stuck on my couch, I will be watching with chip crumbs all down my chest.

12:30 p.m. ET
West Regional
No. 9 Texas A&M (23-9) vs. No. 8 Brigham Young (25-7): The Aggies and the Cougars met in the opening round last year. I don't recall it being a very memorable game. If we're doing rematches, I would have preferred to see Kansas and Memphis meet in the first round. Use your brains, selection committee!

DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book, "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck," is on sale now.


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