As Jim Nantz would say, hello, friends. Nantz is one of many famous people in the building today in Indy, and to his credit, hung out after the Louisville/Jacksonville State game signing autographs and taking pictures with whomever wanted one. Sadly, I couldn’t see if he was handing out “Hello Friends” pins like the ones he gave to Matt and Drew a few years back.
So, three hours to tip off. We can do this, right? Mainly to give myself something to do, here are some notes to tide you over.
1. For five glorious minutes in the first half, it looked like Jacksonville State might pull off the upset of the tournament vs. Louisville. The Gamecocks tried to hang in there on the back of seven-foot Norbertas Giga from Lithuania, who finished with an incredible 30 points, including five threes. I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of that guy.
2. The real MVP of Louisville/Jacksonville State? Cocky the Jacksonville State mascot, who annihilated the Louisville Cardinal in a dance off. CBS/NCAA isn’t allowing us to use any video from this tournament, I mean none at all, not even ones we take or they themselves tweet, so I can’t embed the video of Cocky getting down and doing the splits, but I can encourage you to click the screencap below to see a video someone took.
By the way, this CBS/NCAA video rule is even dumber than the SEC one. Do we need to replace #SECPolicy with #CBSPolicy for #RealHighlights of tonight’s game?
3. If you haven’t noticed his fabulous work for us thus far this season, Dr. Michael Huang is one heck of a photographer. So great that Tyler Ulis borrowed one of his pictures for an Instagram post this afternoon:
Unlike CBS, Dr. Mike is cool with people sharing his work, especially if they’re Tyler Ulis.
4. What’s Drew Franklin’s favorite thing of the day? Dayton’s warm-up routine, as profiled by The Players’ Tribune:
— The Players’ Tribune (@PlayersTribune) March 17, 2017
If the Cats end up facing Dayton on Sunday, we might lose Drew.
5. Since I’ve spend approximately 30 of the last 36 hours here, I should say that I’m really impressed by Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It’s my first time here and it’s a really nice arena, especially when they pull up the shades to the giant windows up top to let light in. There’s not a lot of light to be had in Indy today, but the facility is top notch and the media food is light years better than Bridgestone Arena’s, meaning it’s actually edible. Shoutout to our Coca Cola “bartender” for giving me a heads up on where to find hot water to make tea as well. You’re a lifesaver.
Only three more hours to go…