In case you were the one guy in the office who was actually working yesterday, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday.
- Break up the Crimson! Harvard mounted the biggest upset of the first day of the NCAA tournament, beating New Mexico, 68-62. Harvard coach Tommy Amaker was near tears after the game, saying, “No one thought New Mexico could be beat. No one. But we took a ragtag bunch of kids with no futures, and we brought down Goliath. No one will hear ‘Harvard’ and think second-rate any longer. This changes everything.”
- Davidson’s bid to upset Marquette fell just short as a late turnover doomed the Wildcats to a 59-58 defeat at the hands of the Golden Eagles. “Not hands — talons,” said Marquette coach Buzz Williams after the game, who credited his team’s victory to their “unnecessarily specific mascot name. The Wildcats never had a chance.”
- Cal added to the Mountain West Conference’s woes as it upset UNLV, 64-61. Although the game, which was played in San Jose, was a de facto home game for the Golden Bears, UNLV coach Dave Rice refused to use the game’s location as an excuse for his team’s poor play. Instead, Rice explained, “The problem was just that I overslept, and then our bus broke down, and my grandma is really sick, and also my dog, Bogie, ate all the game film we had. But the location wasn’t the problem.”
- Gonzaga narrowly avoided being the first no. 1 seed in NCAA tournament history to lose in the first round, beating Southern University, 64-58. “While we’re happy to advance, it was a totally unfair matchup,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few complained after the game. “We’re expected to beat the whole South? We’re just a Catholic school from Spokane. I can’t believe people are saying this was a near-upset. The South is half the damn country.”
- Pittsburgh suffered another tournament letdown, losing to the Wichita State Shockers, 73-55. Fortunately, I remembered not to pick Pittsburgh this year in my bracket hold on, let me double-check that NOOOOOOO. Come on! Hold up your end of the bargain one time, Pittsburgh. One goddamn time.
- The A-10 had a banner first day of the NCAA tournament as VCU and Saint Louis both routed their opponents. And in a battle of schools where one sounds like the job of a person that someone with the other school’s name would employ, Butler beat Bucknell, 68-56, before delivering its vanquished foes a fine postgame port.
- In his first game back from injury, New Jersey goalkeeper Martin Brodeur was credited with a goal as the Devils beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1. “Back in my day, the goalie didn’t have to score goals himself,” Brodeur said. “But kids these days, always lollygagging, waiting for someone else to do their work for them. Nothing but a bunch of slackers.” Brodeur was later overheard telling Devils center Adam Henrique, “You gotta get into the classics. Zeppelin, man, Zeppelin,” before singing the entire lead guitar part to “Stairway to Heaven” while Henrique awkwardly nodded along.
- The Denver Nuggets got their 14th straight win, as Corey Brewer made three late free throws to complete an improbable 101-100 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia’s Evan Turner, who missed two crucial free throws late, said after the game, “It’s really disappointing. We just can’t close out a game right now. It’s like we’re from the absolute other side of the state, where basketball teams always find a way to disappoint.” Turner then made a number of outrageous derogatory remarks at the expense of Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon, before apologizing and explaining, “If gambling were legal, I would’ve lost more than just this game tonight. You know? You know.”
- Tiger Woods finds himself four strokes off the pace at 3-under at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as Justin Rose opened the tournament with a 7-under 65. Woods waxed poetic on his placement on the leaderboard, saying after the round, “’Tis but my name that is my enemy; I am myself, though not ‘Tiger Woods.’ What is Tiger Woods? He is nor hand, nor club, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What’s in a name? That which we call Justin Rose by any other name would swing as sweet; so Tiger Woods would, were he not Tiger Woods called.” Expect both Woods and Rose to find themselves dead in Rose’s family crypt within the week.