The return of March Madness led to some memorable moments on the first full day of NCAA Tournament competition on Thursday. While only the omniscient and omnipresent Clark Kellogg knows what Friday holds, the following are the five best moments from an upset-heavy Day 1 of the Big Dance.
1. West Virginia coach Bob Huggins and his players enjoy a camaraderie-building meal at a local Waffle House. The Mountaineers, whose first game is scheduled for Friday afternoon, spent much of Thursday enjoying a team-building exercise at a Columbus-area Waffle House, where players shared some of their innermost secrets and heartaches while blanketed in the comforting and calming voice of the 61-year-old Huggins.
2. The stain of Dave Bliss continues to haunt his former schools. SMU and Baylor suffered two of the tournament’s more heartbreaking losses on Thursday, as their vengeful, unforgiving God continues to unleash His wrath upon the schools for their past affiliations with Dave Bliss, the disgraced former college basketball coach who reportedly was once so concerned about his job that he attempted to convince his teenaged players to hinder a criminal investigation into the death of one of their teammates for fear that their cooperation might shed light on his questionable recruiting practices. Oklahoma Sooners beware.
3. Greg Gumbel keeps on delivering the goods. Longtime CBS Sports studio host and sportscaster Greg Gumbel spent Thursday doing what Greg Gumbel does, hosting the hell out of studio coverage from his swank CBS Broadcast Center digs in midtown Manhattan while keeping his pimp hand strong and narrating tournament highlights like his stable of ladies’ lives depended on it.
4. Kentucky chooses to figuratively, as opposed to literally, murder a greatly overmatched opponent. The first full day of the 2015 tournament, a three-week-long exercise in futility that will inevitably end with the coronation of the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats as national champions for the second time in four seasons, saw John Calipari’s collection of college-aged mercenaries resist the temptation to literally murder the 16th seeded Hampton University Pirates. After a sluggish, indifferent start to the game, Kentucky players decided against a merciful mass homicide of their undersized opponents, choosing instead to figuratively snuff out a Pirates team that should count itself lucky to still be alive.
5. Trio of Wofford players combine for six points in loss to Arkansas. Wofford College players John Swinton, C.J. Neumann and Eric Garcia combined to score six points in 66 minutes of play in their team’s highly predictable defeat at the hands of the Arkansas Razorbacks, whose largely lackadaisical play paved the way for the three Wofford student-athletes to each make a single basket before bowing out of a tournament precious few people even knew they had qualified for.