Basketball

NCAA Tournament Central: Running blog from Milwaukee

Keep refreshing this page for the latest  news, links, analysis and more from the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament in Milwaukee.

FRIDAY, MARCH 17

3:35 p.m. — 

3:30 p.m. — Solid start to the Tournament for the Big 12. It was good to see Baylor win its first game as a 3-seed in three years. Oklahoma State got beat by a game Michigan squad but represented the league well.

Just getting ready to do some media stuff for Iowa State vs. Purdue here in a few minutes but wanted to check in.

Want to learn more about the Boilermakers? I think you guys will really enjoy this insight from Big Ten Network analyst Jess Settles, who knows both teams very well.

And this…

2:15 a.m. — Just a couple of things before I go to bed.

— A ton of coverage from Iowa State’s 84-73 win over Nevada here: My column on how the most impressive thing I saw came in the locker room after the game along with a jam-packed notebook as well. 

— Looking ahead to Purdue, Vegas doesn’t have a line out yet but KenPom is projecting a 76-75 Purdue win. This gives the Cyclones a 48 percent chance at victory. We’re looking at a toss-up.

— This from the NCAA’s Twitter feed.

THURSDAY, MARCH 16

9:50 p.m. — Halftime in Milwaukee and Iowa State leads Nevada 40-27. Monte Morris leads the way with 8 for the Cyclones, who have been very balanced on offense. Below photo courtesy of USA Today.

9:37 p.m. — You guys will like this.

8:30 p.m. — Purdue 80, Vermont 70.

The winner of Iowa State and Nevada will get the Boilermakers on Saturday at a time to be determined.

Stay tuned.

8:00 p.m. — Game time nears.

5:20 p.m. — Just got our 12-5 upset with Middle Tennessee State defeating Minnesota here in Milwaukee. Not really an upset though. After all, MTSU was actually favored in Vegas. That’s a good team. Feels good to get that 12-5 out of the way.

Purdue vs. Vermont is next here and then the varsity game, Clones vs. Nevada at 8:57.

And I thought this was cool.

2:15 p.m. — I tried to unplug for a few hours this morning as with the incredibly late tip time, I will be working into the wee hours of the night – aka early Friday morning – hopefully previewing a Round of 32 matchup.

Just a few quick thoughts on today so far…

— Wrong move for Indiana to fire Tom Crean. You think Steve Alford will take that job?

— I’m just being a paranoid fan but I really wish that one of the 5-seeds – Virginia or Notre Dame – would have lost today.

— Currently watching Otzelberger’s South Dakota State team. Playing tough but the Zags are going to be too much. A pretty typical 1 vs. 16 game.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15

7:13 p.m. — Finishing up writing right now. Got a column on how great Monte Morris has been vs. other elite point guards this year coming your way.

Here’s a quick shout out to longtime former Iowa State assistant coach T.J. Otzelberger, whose South Dakota State team will play Gonzaga tomorrow.

Mar 15, 2017; Salt Lake City, UT, United States; South Dakota State Jackrabbits head coach T.J. Otzelberger watches practice at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

3:20 p.m. — Not that you care, but here is my final bracket. #BracketGuy

3:10 p.m. — Been at the Bradley Center for about an hour now. Iowa State’s open practice is in a few hours. Quick apology: Did not get that Hines podcast recorded yet as some stuff came up.

I will say this though: If you are spending any time worrying about these crazy Steve Prohm to LSU rumors that have been on Twitter today, don’t.

12:19 p.m. — A leftover note from yesterday’s interview with Steve Prohm. I asked coach which Big 12 school Nevada most reminds him of.

“Iowa State. Us. A lot of freedom on offense. Make threes. The five-man is where it is different. I like their five. They are a very good offensive team. Four guys in double figures. I would say us if I was going to name anybody.”

11:15 a.m. — Good morning from Milwaukee!

Thanks for checking out the start of our NCAA Tournament Central running blog. I’ll be heading over to the Bradley Center at around 2 or so for Iowa State’s media availability that will go down shortly after 4. There is an open practice to fans that begins at 5:10 as well.

Also today, stay tuned for a special joint podcast featuring myself and Travis Hines from the Ames Tribune. We should have that posted here by 1 or so.

Until then, here are some fresh links that I have recently read. 

— If you are an ESPN Insider subscriber, Monte Morris is ranked as the 24th best player in the NCAA Tournament. 

— Speaking of Monte, he also gets some serious love in this piece by NBC, which lists guards that are capable of leading their teams to a national title. 

— Last night, I wrote about Steve Prohm’s backup plan in case his wife goes into labor during the NCAA Tournament. 

— The Sportsline (gambling site) simulations have Iowa State winning against Nevada on Thursday but losing to Purdue on Saturday.