Around the water cooler – March 25

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In case you were too busy not voting for the SSMU Building fee question, here’s what you missed during the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament:

Duke Blue Devils — Duke’s outstanding ‘One-and-Done’ forward, Jabari Parker, shot a putrid 4-14 from the field as his Blue Devils were one-and-done in the tournament, falling 78-71 to the Mercer Bears. After the game, ambulances arrived at PNC Arena when Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski was found gasping for air in the men’s locker room appearing to be grabbing his own throat. Rumour has it that paramedics found an empty Bear Paw wrapper beside the choking coach. For the winningest coach of all time in college basketball, Coach K sure has figured out how to lose NCAA tournament games against lowly opponents.

 

Virginia Commonwealth Rams — Shaka Smart’s VCU squad looked Shaka Not-So-Smart on Friday night when, up by four with just five seconds remaining, they fouled SF Austin’s Desmon Haymon, who had already thrown up a prayer from behind the arc. Haymon hit the shot and converted the and-one, which sent the game into overtime where the Lumberjacks chopped down the Rams 77-75. While VCU’s ‘havoc’ style of basketball got them into the tournament, it seems like a little bit of poise in the final seconds could have helped them advance to the round of 32.

 

Harvard Crimson Because being the smartest school in America just wasn’t enough, the Harvard Crimson advanced to the round of 32 after scheming their way past the Cincinnati Bearcats 61-57. The round of 64 was just another easy standardized test for the Crimson, who pulled off their second consecutive upset in as many years. Their Cinderella run—yes they are a underdog despite having an endowment that dwarfs the GDP of some countries—came to a halt against a powerhouse Michigan State team. Maybe a non-Ivy League education has more value than previously thought?

 

Dayton Flyers —  The Dayton Flyers opened up March Madness by wreaking havoc onto millions of brackets as they beat Aaron Craft and the Ohio State Buckeyes 60-59 in the Battle of Ohio. After driving to the lane late to put the Buckeyes up 59-58, Craft couldn’t stop Dayton’s Vee Sanford, who hit a clutch layup with four seconds remaining to ice the game for the Flyers. The state of Ohio hasn’t seen a battle this close since Clinton took down Dole in the 1996 presidential election.

 

Kentucky Wildcats — The Kentucky Wildcats shocked the world, taking down Witchita State 78-76 on Sunday afternoon after Shockers guard Fred VanVleet missed a crucial last second three pointer that would have sent his team to the Sweet 16. Kentucky’s freshman star Julius Randle recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards, just enough to earn a little bit of extra money from Coach John Calipari. While the Shockers proved that anyone can win in the Missouri Valley Conference, Calipari showed the nation that winners never cheat, but cheaters sometimes win.