The rain didn't keep the socialized kitty cats, representatives of Spunkyland, from their usual position on First Avenue.
The Oregon Ducks, the #10 seed in the Tempe regional, came to town on a charter bus with a customized "wrap".
The drizzle didn't dampen the spirits of the #7-seeded Ducks who were smiling as they left their hotel for their first round game. Those smiles would be even bigger later on when they pulled off a 58-55 upset of #10 seed TCU. They'll play Baylor, who beat Illinois State 91-70, on Monday night for a trip to the Sweet 16.
The two first-round games for the Kansas City Region took place Monday night. In the first game, the #13 seed Bowling Green Falcons gave the #4 seed Kansas State Wildcats a run for the money.
But in the end, the Wildcats prevailed, led by their All-American Kendra Wecker with 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Laurie Koehn, who played on the 2003 with Jenni Benningfield, with 22 points included six 3-pointers.
In the nightcap, the the #12-seed Montana Lady Grizzlies played the #5-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores.
Vanderbilt's official mascot, Mr. Commodore, along with the pep band and the cheerleaders, helped cheer on the Commodores.
ALF, the unofficial mascot of the women's basketball team, watched quietly from a secluded location.
Senior guard Abi Ramsey sank three 3-pointers for the game, providing a spark for the offense in the first half and tying the Vanderbilt record for 3-pointers in a career.
Senior forward Ashley Earley finished the game with 21 points, nine rebounds and four steals.
It might not be apparent from the expression on her face late in the game, but Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb was pleased with the team's defensive effort.
"I thought that we did a great job pressuring the basketball, did a great job remaining intense for 40 minutes," she in the postgame press conference. "I think when you have a team that averages 64 points a game, and you hold them to 44, you've done a good job defensively. I think that was one of our biggest keys tonight in our game plan, and it was well executed."
With the 67-44 victory, Vanderbilt advances to a second round matchup with #4-seed Kansas State on Monday night. Game time will be approximately 10:30 CT and will be part of ESPN's regional coverage.
Photographs copyright 2005 by WhitneyD for Vandymania.com.