Notes from Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY-The games were good, save for one. Arizona did not look good and still cakewalked to a 29-point win. It was the only team to cruise. The rest of the region, and almost every other team in the tournament, had to work to win. Here are highlights from the Huntsman Center

[This story was originally a Premium story available to Cat Tracks Club members. If you like what you read Subscribe Now! ] BEST GAME: Duke getting all they could handle from Colorado State. Although Duke won the game it was in doubt in the final minutes. Colorado State had a chance to tie with a pair of free throws, but they missed them both and never scored again.

BEST PLAYERS: Mike Manciel (Central Michigan) scored 29 points on 9-14 shooting and added six rebounds. Kyle Korver (Creighton) had 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Honorable Mention: Ronny Turiaf (Gonzaga); Salim Stoudamire (Arizona); Tyler Coppenrath (Vermont); Dahntay Jones (Duke); Matt Nelson (Colorado State).

PLAY OF THE DAY: Gonzaga's Winston Brooks attempted a lob pass to Turiaf, but the pass went in. Stranger still is that half of the people on the court did not notice. A Gonzaga player grabbed the ball and dunked it and the officials had to confer to rule on the play.

LONE WOLF, ER CAT: The Vermont mascot must have been lonely. The Catamounts did not bring a band or cheerleaders to Salt Lake City.

BEST BAND: Central Michigan's band was loud, fun and often times led the cheers. Add to that fact one of the cheers involves a cow bell and nothing else. The final factor was that one of the band members wore a bright yellow, oversized foam cowboy hat.

MOST ANNOYING BAND: Duke's band insisted on doing a number of chants that the "Cameron Crazies" do in Durham. It may sound cool when 3,000 students do these chants, but it sounds stupid when 17 pep band members try it.

WORST MOVE: Bob Huggins was ejected after drawing a pair of technicals arguing a travelling call. To make maters worse, the Bearcats' radio analyst was also ejected for comments directed toward the officials.

TALE OF TWO HALVES: Creighton looked terrible in the first half and then almost erased a 21-point deficit in the second half.

FAN FAVORITES: The Salt Lake fans got behind Colorado State in its upset bid of Duke. The crowd booed the officials relentlessly on a number of close calls. Many of them stayed after the game to cheer on the Rams as they left the court. Both Utah and BYU play in the same conference as Colorado State.

BUZZER BEATERS: Both Gonzaga and Central Michigan hit three pointers right before the half.

LET'S GET OUT OF HERE: All of the Central Michigan players sprinted to the locker room at the half.

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