A Night of Thrills
Our first night of NCAA Tournament coverage provided drama unparalleled to anything we have ever seen before on the opening night and it involved three teams the common fan had probably never heard of before. Sure, everyone knows about BYU and the splash they made last year during the tournament, but as for Iona, Western Kentucky and Mississippi Valley State, most people would be clueless if you tried to bring them into a basketball conversation.
Despite all of that, last night provided us with two comebacks for the ages. Western Kentucky was down by 15 points with five minutes left and finished the game on an incredible run to win by one point. Their prize: the top seeded Kentucky Wildcats on Thursday. The other game on The Fan last night was turning into a laugher towards the end of the 1st half as BYU was down by 25 points and the Gaels of Iona were putting on an offensive clinic. Just when you were about to flip the radio dial, BYU held Iona to 15 points throughout the final 25 minutes for the win. Needless to say it was a great start to the Tournament and we can only hope the two games tonight can provide half of the drama last nights games were able to do. Coverage starts at 4:30 and you can also stream the games live online at 630thefan.com
We have been talking about the CIT all week and how the Vandals are looking to take advantage of the opportunity to host a game that will be played tonight at the Cowan Spectrum. The school paid $31,000 to host the game and with students on Spring Break, most fans will be more intrigued by the attendance numbers than the final score. Tickets are only $10 and it would be nice for the Vandal fan base to support a successful team, but I'm not sure we will be expecting more than 2,000 people at the game tonight.
Nonetheless, the matchup is daunting. UC Santa Barbara has made the NCAA Tournament each of the last two years and were one game away from making their third consecutive appearance before Long Beach State knocked them off in the Big West Championship. Coach Verlin has been using his resources the last few days by talking with Stew Morrill from Utah State (who played UCSB a month ago) and his twin brother, Ron, who coaches at Pacific, which is in the same conference as UCSB.
With all of that being said, the Vandals are a one-point favorite against the Gauchos and look to extend their season to next week. You can listen to the game on 580 KIDO with the pregame show starting at 7:30 PM.