San Diego Does Not Care For Your 7-3 Players, Gonzaga, St. Mary's
Well this is shaping up to be a considerably better day than yesterday. Nearly an hour after all the other afternoon games ended, the No. 13 Toreros (real nickname) of San Diego in the West region have knocked off Connecticut. It's the biggest upset of the tourney, topping Whale's Vagina's next opponent, No. 12 Western Kentucky, and its buzzer-beater over Drake.
The Huskies were without AJ Price for most of the game but that really shouldn't sour this win. USD played most of the second half without its star center Gyno Pomare, who despite his hygienically unfortunate first name, made Hasheem Thabeet his bitch for most of today. After missed free throws let the Huskies send it to OT, Pomare fouled out and the Toreros other best player pulled a groin and then fouled out himself, but not before hitting a massive shot down the stretch. Down one after the Huskies continued to make free throws while San Diego could not, the Toreros third option, De'Jon Jackson, hit a really tough fall away over Stanley Robinson to win the game. San Diego, which played in the WCC shadows of Gonzaga and Saint Mary's, have now beaten both en route to a conference title that got them into this tournament against all odds and, to top it off, outlasted both perennial league powerhouses in the Big Dance. Great stuff.
So yeah, the Madness is taking shape and that region has opened up for UCLA even more. And those fortunate enough to have tickets to that Tampa site should be rather pleased (even though the crowd, besides the Drake fans, was pretty bad and the announcing crew sounded like they wanted to get the hell out of there before the media buffet ran out).
And lastly, good for San Diego freshman Rob Jones. Jones was a monster today, scoring 14 points including a big shot over Thabeet late in OT and a circus shot, possibly the toughest of the tournament, late in regulation. I did a post earlier on the season on the amazing story by Gary Smith of Sports Illustrated on Jones, who is the grandson of crazed cult leader and mass suicide organizer Jim Jones. Jones' father, Jim Jr., would have been involved in that mass suicide if not for a basketball game that had him off the Jonestown plantation at the time. He hated the game because of all the guilt but recently learned to love it, when he reluctantly allowed Rob to pursue the game he loved and saw the success he could bring to a shamed family name. So as much as that upset means to everyone around that program, it's gotta mean a lot more for the Jones family.