The big news of the day is that it seems that the Wildcat team had a major crisis last night. Several of the players failed to bring picks for their afros. They sent someone out to get them, but that was not as easy as it sounds. As you may know, Boise does not have a large African-American population and you can't go to the corner drug store to buy a pick. Apparently several were found after a few stops and the team should have some nice looking hair for the national television audience.
Hopefully, that is the biggest problem of the weekend for the UA.
You always see some media luminaries at NCAA Tournaments. So far the big star is ESPN's Shelly Smith and Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen.
I finally get out of the media work room and into the arena. The Chalupa Dome is a nice facility. Three tiers, good sight lines, even the upper tank is not to far from the court.
Things you need to know: The Pacific mascot is called the "Powercat". He looks like a cross between Tigger from Winnie the Pooh and the tiger in the "Jungle Book".
Carl Krauser drains a three to get the Panthers within seven. My question is how is a guy named Carl Krauser a 20-year old point guard from the Bronx? He sounds like a 50-year old German boxer or someone who has starred in movies with Max von Sydow.
Cheerleader watch: Pacific edition. They are not a real solid group. One looks like she is a 50-year old soccer mom. She has short, poorly died hair and way too much make-up. All she is missing is the SUV and orange slices for the kids. Another kind of has a bit of a stripper look, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Stay tuned for the Pitt edition.
Pacific has one player that is not listed as from being from either California or Sweden. However, I wonder if Marko Mihailovic isn't originally from Eastern Europe?
12:35 Cheerleader watch: Pitt edition. Good crop. More traditional skirts and sweaters look. A couple of really pretty girls and no real dogs. One is absolutely stunning. Pitt may not win the game, but they have the advantage in the cheerleader battle
12:37 Curse of the 5-12continues. UW-Milwaukee beat Alabama. Is anyone really shocked? I almost picked against Milwaukee because it was TOO obvious.
Almost everything has gone Pacific's way in the final minutes. Despite some hot shooting from Krauser, the Tigers have twice broken the press for easy lay-ins and got have had almost every bounce go their way.
Pacific wins. N great shock but it is a blow for the Big East.
One thing to like about Pacific is that their band uniform is an orange and black bowling shirt. The Pitt band wore baseball jerseys, not a bad look, but not as cool as bowling shirts. The band plays "Respect" as the team leaves the floor.
Montana takes the floor and the Pacific fans are on the Grizzly bandwagon. Guess they would like to avoid the Dawgs.
UW has a ton of fans who made the eight-plus hour drive. They are loud and standing. As I type this the Huskies score six quick ones.
It is now 9-0 and the UW fans are barking. Apparently the Washington fans don't sit until the other team scores, just like the fans in McKale. They may be standing awhile.
Montana finally scores with 16:48 left in the half. Too bad they are down 14-2.
Monte, the Montana mascot gets high marks. Despite mismatching shorts and jersey and a biker-esque bandana, he is entertaining. He is doing flips all over the arena. Not just back flips and front handstands, but twists and other cool moves.
Anyone who felt that UW was overrated and could be the first No. 1 seed to fall to a No. 16 was sorely mistaken. The Huskies are up 23-8 and Romar has already played nine or ten players. Montana is completely overmatched.
Cheerleader watch: UW edition. Good group. They do the Pac-10 proud. Maybe not Oregon good, but certainly a nice, solid crew.
My impression of Montana is that Bret Brielmaier and Beau Muehlbach would start for them. Jason Ranne probably would as well. They just aren't athletic at all. Maybe Washington's quickness is making Montana look slower than they really are, but this is ridiculous.
The Griz is on the run. A steal and lay-in has cut the lead to 11. How often do you see Nate Robinson get his pocket picked?
The Grizzlies have had three chances to cut the lead to just seven, but they can't get it done on the offensive end. They are getting the defensive stops they need after going to a match-up zone, but UW is just too good on defense.
The Griz won't go away. They just cut it to 10 again. After the torrid start, UW has looked mortal. Although Kamar Davis lacks athleticism and looks like he is half asleep, he has come to play. He's a big, strong kid and is establishing himself inside. At the 10:00 mark of the first half the Huskies had 28 points. They have scored just 20 since.
Montana does not have a full cheerleader group, but one of their girls looks a lot like the actress who plays Meadow Soprano.
Just when you thought Montana was going to hang around throughout, the Huskies go on a 9-0 run sparked by an intentional foul down low. Now we'll see if the Griz have one last run in them or not. (As I typed that last sentence Matt Martin drained a three and Montana got the ball back on an over the back call)
Montana just slammed home a sweet alley-oop dunk. This one could be on Montana basketball highlight reels for years. It also cut the lead down to 12. Take away the 14-0 run and the Griz would lead by two. Of course there was a 14-0 run, so it is a moot point.
The Montana fans begin the "overrated" chant. Of course they are down 10 with 7:52 to play.
Washington pulls away a bit again. The Dawgs are in a zone, but have too many holes down low. Too bad that Montana can't seem to attack it right.
The Montana band wears t-shirts that say "got griz?". After a closer than expected win, the Huskies probably got all they wanted.