Was that really the T.D. Banknorth Garden on TV last night, hosting the sweet 16 matchups between Pitt and Xavier and then Villanova and Duke?
The Garden looked completely different, without the parquet floor, different (blue!) color scheme around the edges, no courtside seating under the baskets, and the Boston College logo on the floor. And that was Andy Jick doing the PA work in the background, which is always a nice trip down nostalgia lane.
In the first game, Michael Vega has Pitt holding off Xavier 60-55 and finally breaking through to the Elite Eight. Jerry Spar has Pitt doing it all right down the stretch for the win. Andy Vogt has Pitt’s smallest player making some of the biggest plays for the win. Bill Doyle has Pitt winning again without having played a complete game.
Dan Shaughnessy has Pitt big man DuJuan Blair (17 rebounds) proving to be just too large for the Musketeers to handle. Dan Duggan has Blair getting a pep talk from his little brother before the game. Steve Buckley has Pitt point guard Levance Fields cherishing the moment of advancing on to the East final.
Lenny Megliola says that there was nothing pretty about the Pitt win in the first game. Julian Benbow says that in the end, Xavier just shot itself in the foot against the Panthers. Jeff Howe comments on the different look for the Garden last night. Jennifer Toland looks at the New England ties for Pitt associate head coach Tom Herrion.
In the second game, Mark Blaudschun chronicles Villanova’s surprisingly easy win over higher ranked Duke, (77-54) as the Big East once again proved superior. Dan Ventura has more on Villanova rolling into the East Regional Final. Vogt has the win as another example of the Big East’s dominance this season.
Bob Ryan says that Boston will once again be a Big East town tomorrow night as Pitt and Villanova play for a spot in the Final Four. Blaudschun’s Around the rim notes that Xavier coach Sean Miller is going to be a hot commodity on the coaching market. Alan Siegel has more on the Big East flexing its muscles last night.
Ryan says that we shouldn’t be shocked at what is happening with Jim Calhoun and UConn as, whenever you’re seeking great players there is going to be some trouble involved.
In the Globe media column, Michael Vega looks at record numbers for CBS in this NCAA Tournament.
Benbow’s notebook has Xavier transfer C.J. Anderson making the right choice in coming to the school. Jim Clark’s notebook has more on the big year for the Big East. The T&G notebook has Xavier’s B.J. Raymond ending his career in the city in which he was born.
Steve Bulpett has Kevin Garnett speaking up in defense of Stephon Marbury. Jim Fenton has the Celtics and Hawks each jockeying for playoff positioning as they meet up tonight in Atlanta. Marc J. Spears has Tony Allen traveling with the club, but still a couple of weeks away from a return.
Bulpett’s notebook has Rajon Rondo saying that there is no rivalry with the Hawks.
John Tomase has Justin Masterson ready to take on whatever his role might be – starting or coming out of the bullpen. Amalie Benjamin has Masterson up for however the Red Sox want to use him. Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox bullpen is well stocked after an offseason of adding arms.
Maureen Mullen looks at the battle for the final outfield spot on the roster.
Bob Halloran says that even though Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell helped the Red Sox to a World Series, the trade for Hanley Ramirez is one that they might regret. He says that the Sox could’ve gotten Gil Meche or Ted Lilly instead of Beckett and done just as well. A late entry for our contest?
Joe Haggerty notes that Chuck Kobasew has the most goals for the Bruins since the All Star break. Steve Conroy has Mark Stuart playing with confidence. Matt Porter has Stephane Yelle’s role as “grit guy” firmly established.
Ron Borges says that Patriots fans should be happy at Rex Ryan’s proclamation that he is happy with the Jets QB situation.
Chris Warner has a Patriots Daily Q&A with Cal tight end Cameron Morrah.
Be sure to check out the now-extensive comments section of that post for the many suggestions that have floated in over the last few days.
You’ll have a chance to win prizes from the TV show AX MEN (Mondays, 10pm HISTORY) by submitting your choice for the worst Boston sports column of recent memory.