I’m still having a hard time coming to grips with what I witnessed, on Saturday. We (photog Brandon Bingham and I) did a story, Friday, about how UNI was ready to show the country what it was made of. Honestly, I didn’t know if they really believed they could do it. Any team can say they’re ready to take on the big boys, but Northern Iowa meant it. College basketball games are 40 minutes, and the Panthers led the Jayhawks for 39 of them.
Before I left, last Tuesday, for Oklahoma City, I DVR’ed UNI’s game with UNLV. When I watched the final Ali 3, I noticed a bunch of fans in royal blue, cheering for UNI. Kind of ironic, don’t you think?
One of the funniest moments of the game was when Kansas found itself down 5 with a few minutes left, and a call went the way of the Panthers. I looked to my left, and saw a fellow media member (tv reporter from Kansas) jumping out of his chair to scream at the officials. I think he already had his hotel rooms in St. Louis, and Indianapolis, booked.
I picked UNI to lose to UNLV…and they won. I picked them to lose to Kansas…and they won. You can probably guess what going to pick them to do against Michigan State. Gotta stick with what works.
Michigan State may be without its best player, Kalin Lucas. MSU head coach Tom Izzo thinks Lucas tore his ACL. If that’s the case, he’s done. Lucas averaged 15 points a game for the co-Big Ten champs, this season.
In case you’re wondering. UNI would get the winner of #2 Ohio State vs. #6 Tennessee, if they can get past the Spartans.
The ISU women made quick work of Lehigh, Sunday night, in Ames. When I saw the score for the first time, Lehigh had 3 points. That was with 10 minutes left in the 1st half. Bill Fennelly, still, wasn’t happy. They get UW-Green Bay in round two on Tuesday night. If they win, which shouldn’t be a problem, they get UCONN in Dayton. OUCH!
My favorite part of SoundOFF was when some guy started yelling at Andy during his live shot from Hilton Coliseum. Between that, a woman breaking down, on the air, when talking UNI hoops…and a caller telling me that he hates my Gary Dolphin impression more than anything in the world…I’d say we had a pretty memorable show. The one thing we’ll never know, is what the guy that called in to talk about Grand View women’s golf was actually going to say about their spring break trip down south. Keith had a quick trigger finger on that one.
I, also, really enjoyed the piece that Shawn put together, for SoundOFF from the NCAA wrestling championships. Those guys aren’t afraid to say exactly what’s on their mind. Wrestlers are of a different breed. It’s pure gold for a sports reporter.
Northern Iowa’s basketball season is over…for the women. The Panthers lost big to #1-seed Nebraska.
I’ll be off work, Monday, for the first time in 2 weeks. I’m planning on sleeping until 5:30pm, when the wife gets off work. Daytime TV is depressing…never more so than the Monday following the first weekend of the NCAA tournament.