Well, at least one of my prognostications turned out right.
I had Brigham Young and Butler in my bracket, and both lost. But the Cougars proved me right in one way when they did nothing to overturn Texas A&M's lead after I said they wouldn't come back.
The closest BYU came was to cut the deficit to 11 points with 1:29 remaining. That stirred the crowd a little bit, but the Aggies ran the clock down and a Donald Sloan sealed the deal with 56 seconds left on the clock.
For the game, the Cougars made a mere 23 of 60 field goal attempts (38.3%), including seven of fifteen from three-point range (46.7%) and 16 of 45 from two-point range (35.6%), as well as 13 of 18 free throws (72.2%). They recorded 17 assists, 10 turnovers, 11 steals and no blocks, and committed 20 fouls.
That adds up to 69 possessions and 0.949 points per possession.
The Aggies shot 30-for-52 from the field (57.7%), including 6-for-16 from three-point range (37.5%) and 24-for-36 from two-point range (66.7%), and made 13 of 19 free throws (68.4%). They recorded 20 assists, 14 turnovers, five blocks and two steals, and committed 15 fouls.
That adds up to 66 possessions and 1.179 points per possession. Which is quite a bit higher than BYU's total.
Now we're on to the second game, and a few early notes:
- No sign of Penn coach Glen Miller yet, though I do see assistant Mike Martin sitting a few rows behind me.
- To say that Chattanooga has the house's backing against Connecticut would be an understatement. The two largest cheers I've heard all day today were when Mocs guard Keyron Sheard scored the game's first points on a nifty little driving layup, and when Huskes center Hasheem Thabeet picked up his first foul a few seconds later.
UConn's starting lineup was also roundly booed when it was introduced.
Chattanooga has cheerleaders behind the basket and a dance team in the stands, the latter of which is sitting together across one row. On the whole, the Mocs' fans take up maybe 1/3 of section 114, and it seems like a lot of them are here to cheer for Philly native Khalil Hartwell.
As I write this, A.J. Price just hit a three to give Connecticut a 28-15 lad with 9:34 left in the half.
- The most recent media arrival was an old friend of mine, Washington Post soccer and college basketball writer Steven Goff. Those of you who've read his work before, especially on soccer, know he's one of the best in the buisness.