My friend Freddy and I had tickets for the hockey game last night**, so we decided to visit Bailey’s Sports Bar and Grill to watch the Vandy game and eat supper before sauntering over to the
GEC Nashville Arena. Here’s some advice, if you stretch your order out and order pretty much every ‘course’ a place like Bailey’s offers, you can keep a table for the entire length of time of a regulation NCAA basketball game including leeeeeeengthy commercials. And yes, we DID tip our waitress generously.
Watching Vandy play yesterday was like watching one of those old cliff-hanger ‘Perils of Pauline’ where our heroine is left at the end of each episode tied to railroad tracks, suspended from a cliff over a howling and infinite abyss, or in the clutches of an eeee-vil villain type. With one difference here – Vandy was in peril pretty much the entire first half.
Washington State’s defense took a cue from the Detroit Red Wing blue-line defense. Somehow they guarded the lane AND kept a hand in the perimeter shooter’s faces. They, unlike their similarly named tournament counterparts (George Washington) had watched Vandy game films. Derrick Byers (the MUST BE ON man), was not anywhere near on. Mortar flew from the backboards after many of Vandy’s errant offerings careened from the basket.
Somewhere, somehow in the second half, it dawned on Byers that THIS was going to be his final game if he didn’t step it up. Foster had also been inconsistent and there was not a chance in hades that Vandy was going to score many points in the paint. I don’t know if Stalling’s encouragement was the equivalent of Popeye’s spinach or if Byers decided to wear his Legion of Justice magic power ring, but we saw the real Byers in the second half and the cruel cruel double overtimes.
It should also be said that Ted ‘Skooooch’ Skuchas played well in the overtimes, along with ‘Red’ Gordon, but truth be told, this team is going as far as Byers is able to lead them.
Georgetown is next. I saw G’town early this year pretty much pulverize the ‘Dores, and even though the ‘Dores have improved impressively, the match-up, on paper (and probably also on hardwood) is less than promising. But, I also saw a mediocre Furman team take the ‘Dores down. Things do change, don’t they??
*Except in the first half, the second half, the entire first overtime, and for 4:58 seconds in the second overtime.
** By the way, whooooohooooo for the Predators beating Dallas, and for Voukouns amazing net-working last night, and for Tootoo doing what it takes. According to the Texas papers, Tootoo threw a sucker punch and that was pretty much it. According to ‘our’ coverage, Tootoo was defending himself from the charging Star. Not reported in the Texas online papers I’m reading is the fact that Modano hit Tootoo over the head with his hockey stick during what turned out to be a melee.