Happy Wednesday. I hear it's going to be nice and warm in the Garden City today. In Springfield, it was cold and wet Tuesday. Here's hoping for some better weather in advance of No. 4 Augusta State's Elite Eight contest against Bentley.
Let's go ahead and get a few things out of the way:
NO TV: The game will not be televised today. So there's a few things you can do. You can check out my live blog at augustachronicle.com. You can watch the live feed at ncaa.com. ASU will be showing the game in its student activities center. ANd Michelle over at Somewhere in Augusta said the Washington Road estalishment will be showing tonight's game (as well as the next two if the Jaguars advance). If you cheat on me with the live feed, that's fine. Just return to the blog later.
NORTHEAST BIAS?: The Daktronics All-America teams come out today. Four of the five players on the first team are from the Northeast. The other is Central Missouri's Sanijay Watts, a hecukva player who deserves the honor. The list, voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America, included Kutztown's Stephen Dennis as national player of the year (Dennis led Division II in scoring with a 26.6 average -- he deserved the award). Bentley's Jason Westrol made the first team, along with Darren Duncan of Merrimack (18.6 ppg, 6.8 apg) and Laurence Ekperigin (21.6 ppg, 12.1 rpg).
Augusta State's Ben Madgen (19.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg) was named to the third team. It's clearly a numbers game when it comes to these lists, but I find it hard to believe Madgen's not on the first team. Wonder if he'll use that for motivation this week.
GAME NOTE: If you want, I can answer game questions now. Or you can save them till later for the live game blog. I will tell about this little nugget from my convesration last week with Fred Brathwaite (and if I would've had more space Sunday, I would've asked him about his man crush on Carmelo Anthony). He said last year, he may have been a little bit too cocky entering the Elite Eight. He said he will not have that attitude this time around.
LATE START: After playing noon games in the Elite Eight the past two years, Augusta State gets the nightcap. Coach Dip Metress said his team will have a shootaround and eat and then relax the rest of the day. Of course, some (if not all) players will probably catch that No. 2 Indiana (Pa.)-No. 6 Valdosta State matchup at 2:30 p.m.
GET THAT LOTTERY TICKET NOW: Things cost more in Massachusetts (we got slapped with a $3.50 toll after driving a half-mile from the Boston (Logan) airport -- didn't they hold a tea party here in protest of taxes many years ago? But if you think that's bad, you better hit the lottery if you want to attend Bentley, a private school. According to the school's web site, tuition for the 2009-10 year is (gulp) $34,360. If you want room and board, that's another $12k. And there's a few other fees which push the total near $50k a year. To its credit, Bentley is rated one of the better schools in the Northeast and one of the better business schools in America (but for the price, shouldn't it be?).
RESTAURANT REVIEW: In my previous blog, I mentioned eating at Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers in Cambridge (across from Harvard). Well, Mike and I ate there Wednesday. We both had The Viagra (start the sophomoric jokes now). The Viagra is a blue cheese burger with lettuce and bacon. Mr. Bartley's claims to have the best burgers in America, and the restaurant should'nt back down from that claim. The hamburger was cooked to perfection, and it wasn't too small or too large. The sweet potato fries were superb as well. The place is barely bigger than a breadbox -- and that's OK; it adds to the ambiance. The only issues I had: the menu states "Diet Cola" and I ordered it. I assumed it'd be Diet Coke; it was Diet Pepsi. Big difference. I wish the menu would've stated "Diet Pepsi." I would've ordered another drink. Also, it's a "Cash Only" place. Last time I checked, it's 2010, not 1980. In summary, the food's outstanding, but the place could use a little updating. Nonetheless, I highly recommend going there if you're ever in the Boston area. Grade: A-.
SNOT IS RUNNING DOWN HIS NOSE: Not long after getting off our plane in Boston (the flight featured a cougher not far behind us), Mike and I got on the car rental bus driven by Aqualung. I can't remember the guy's first name. I was too busy listening him to cough the entire 15-minute drive from the terminal to the car rental place. I felt bad for the guy (if he smoked, then I don't feel as bad). I would have given him a cough drop if I'd had one -- to at least shut him up for a minute. But there sat Mr. Car Rental Bus Driver, spitting out pieces of his broken luck. Goodbye, Aqualung.
WHAT WAS I THINKING?: It seemed like a good thought at the time. Mike and I had our choice of compact cars from the lot. The selection: Blue Hyundai, Pink Hyundai, Gray Hyundai, Red Hyundai or Gray Suzuki with a Quebec license plate. We chose the latter. As I was driving, I noticed the speedometer showed I was doing 80 (and I was getting passed by elederly women). Then, Mike pointed out the speedometer is in kilometers. The small circle inside the larger one is the mph. So when I saw I was doing 120 on the interstate, I wasn't going Chris Tucker through Thomson fast
All for now. Catch the live blog tonight. If you have any questions, send them along.
UPDATE: Valdosta State is playing without All-American forward Tyrone Curnell and forward Marvin Dibble. The two were booted from the team and sent back to Georgia for violating unspecified team rules, according to the Valdosta Daily Times. Big blow for a team that led by 12 at halftime and now trails No. 2 Indiana (Pa.) midway through the second half.
St. Cloud State defeated Midwestern State, 92-88, in the first game. Taylor Witt scored 43 for St. Cloud State.
UPDATE, PART II: So much for that Peach State showdown. Valdosta State can thank Curnell and Dibble for whatever they did up here (still trying to get an answer) for it losing to Indiana (Pa.), 80-64.
LATER: I'll plan to start the live blog at 7 p.m. So come back later for comments, questions, etc.