You want buzzer beaters? You want last-second drama?
Maybe Sunday -- at least in Charlotte (where, by, the way, the times have been announced for Sunday's two games). Not Friday.
On Sunday, North Carolina plays Washington at 12:15 p.m. Duke plays Michigan 30 minutes after that game, which will allow for a likely 2:45 or so start. Both games will be televised by CBS -- it's sort of an old-school afternoon coming up.
Through the first three games of Charlotte's latest NCAA hosting experience Friday, we saw a 30-point win (by Michigan), a 42-point win (by Duke) and a 15-point win (by UNC).
The final Friday game -- which actually ended at about 12:15 a.m. Saturday -- was a little better. Washington edged Georgia, 68-65, although the Bulldogs had about a 30-footer at the buzzer that could have tied it (but wasn't close). Washington led most of the second half by 8-10 points, though -- it wasn't exactly a thriller.
Washington will likely run with the Tar Heels Sunday. The Huskies were No.3 in the country in scoring this season, averaging 83 per game, although Georgia slowed them down a little.
In the UNC game, the Tar Heels led by 10-16 points for most of the second half over those gritty Long Island Blackbirds before winning 102-87.
As I write in my column for Saturday's newspaper, though, this game again exposed some flaws in the Tar Heels. They committed too many turnovers (18), shot poorly from three-point range (3-for-17), allowed too much penetration by LIU's quick guards and had some concentration lapses that allowed LIU to stick around too long.
As Roy Williams said afterward: “I’m not pleased with the way we played, but I’m pleased we’re still playing.”
Duke was much more impressive in its first-round victory, but of course Michigan won by 30 as well (in what was likely Bruce Pearl's last game as Tennessee coach). I think the Blue Devils are too athletic for Michigan, though, especially now that Kyrie Irving is playing again.