By Bill Simmons
Page 2

FRIDAY DIARY: ARCHIVE I12:00-4:00 p.m.
THURSDAY DIARY: ARCHIVE I12:00-5:22 p.m.
THURSDAY DIARY: ARCHIVE II7:00-11:53 p.m.


4:05 – Welcome back to the final installment of America's most-read NCAA running diary, or as I like to call it, "A Sports Columnist's Personal Hell." New rule in effect for this final hour -- we're not switching to any of the NCAA games unless somebody's lead drops to 8 or less.

The scores right now: UNC 59, Illinois 33 ... UConn 53, UCF 39 ... Villanova 34, UNM 11 ... So. Illinois 35, St. Mary's 26. Looks like you're getting more "Weird Science."

4:08 – Remember last night's discussion about "Movies that need to be re-made with an all-black cast?" I think "Weird Science" is right up there. Lil Bow Wow and Lil' Romeo as the teenagers, Gabrielle Union in Kelly LeBrock's role. Oh, and that WOULDN'T make $50 million?

4:10 – Can we all agree that Anthony Michael Hall's career peaked with the Blues Bar scene? Okay, good.

4:14 – "How 'bout a nice, greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?"

(Or, you could watch New Mexico try to run a halfcourt offense.)

4:17 – Let's be honest: Kelly LeBrock was the hottest statuatory rapist in Hollywood history.

4:20 – You know, '80s movies could go one of four ways: enjoyably bad at the time, wildly entertaining now; enjoyable at the time, enjoyably bad now; bad at the time, worse now; fantastic at the time, just as good now. And here's my point: I think "Weird Science" is in the last category. In fact, I'm almost positive.

4:25 – So. Illinois 35, St. Mary's 30. We're back to hoops. No HDTV though.

4:26 – Put it this way: If I were a New Mexico booster, and my team was reacting to the 1-3-1 press like they had never seen one before, I wouldn't be very happy with my coach. 36-16, Villanova.

4:30 – Does it bother anyone else that CBS uses that Kylie Minogue "Can't get you outta my head" song as their background music for in-game montages? Or have I just been watching this tournament for too long?

4:33 – Monster rebound/putback by Rudy Gay -- that was an NBA play. In two days, the only players who have stood out as being really, REALLY good so far are Gay and Chris Paul. Although House demands that Juan Mendez gets mentioned here.

4:37 – Four teams leading by a combined 75 points right now. I will now wander into traffic.

4:42 – After Granger gets clocked by a harmless elbow, Raftery adds, "A little massage!" He's the best.

4:45 – Suddenly it's UConn 68, UCF 60, four minutes to play ... and UCF gives us the old shot clock violation. It's like there's a conspiracy in place to prevent us from having an exciting game. Even Gus Johnson seems bummed out, and I always thought that was impossible.

4:49 – Just scolded my editors for incorrectly changing the spelling of "Ilan-Mitchell Smith" to "Ian" in the 4:00 posting. Nobody will own up to it. Heads will roll tonight, I promise you.

4:53 – Maybe UCF blew their comeback, but St. Mary's just tied So. Illinois with 6 minutes to play. I'm not getting my hopes up.

4:57 – Yup, they fell behind by six. Meanwhile, New Mexico has crawled within nine, but House refuses to allow me to turn to it -- "I've been watching the whole time, it's been happening for the last few minutes, do NOT turn to it. You'll jinx it."

(Whatever. I've ruined every other game, may as well ruin this one.)

5:01 – Exciting random gambling notes: UNC just covered the Oakland game by a half-point. Meanwhile, New Mexico just missed a three to cut it to five (and a cover). Three minutes to go. "I guarantee they lose by 7," House hisses.

5:03 – Just realized that I've seen more of Dennis Haysbert over the past 2 days than my wife.

5:07 – Now it's raining in California, screwing up the HDTV signal. Go figure.

5:16 – Down by 7 with 40 seconds left, Granger just misses a three, and someone else just misses the tip. Then Nova misses 2 FTs, followed by a driving lay-up. Down 34-11, somehow New Mexico is now covering! Remarkable.

5:20 – You're not gonna believe this, but New Mexico missed a three at the buzzer for the cover. They lost by eight, not seven. House was off by a point.

Important note: As a public service to everyone who cares about the tournament, I'm not keeping a running diary for tonight's games. Maybe that will change our luck. Have a nice weekend.

(And get ready for a slew of buzzer-beaters.)


FRIDAY DIARY: ARCHIVE I12:00-4:00 p.m.
THURSDAY DIARY: ARCHIVE I12:00-5:22 p.m.
THURSDAY DIARY: ARCHIVE II7:00-11:53 p.m.

Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. His Sports Guy's World site is updated every day Monday through Friday.



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