ATLANTA Road signs on the interstates warned Atlanta drivers to stay away from downtown unless absolutely necessary on Saturday, and that was good advice. Since the 1996 Olympics, which was on a whole different level in terms of crowded streets, I have rarely seen the avenues of Atlanta so completely packed as they were in the blocks nearest the Georgia Dome.
• Tarboro product Montrezl Harrell went 4-for-4 against Wichita State, scoring eight points and four rebounds in 11 minutes of play. The freshman was a part of the second unit that Rick Pitino said was the main reason Louisville ultimately won. Virginia Tech which originally had Harrells commitment locked up before firing Seth Greenberg must be kicking themselves on that one.
• The rims were so heavily miked on Saturday that every time the basketball hit one it sounded like heavy thunder in the distance. A swish, meanwhile, was soundless.
• Michigans Trey Burke made the sort of athletic defensive play in the second semifinal that you rarely see from a guard, not only blocking a shot from the perimeter but also catching the blocked shot in the air.
• Because the floor is elevated at the Georgia Dome, the head coaches are all given a small stool to sit on when they dont want to stand up. Three of them used it fairly regularly, with the exception being Pitino. It turns out there is no way for a grown man to look cool sitting on a stool that looks like it was made for an 8-year-old.
• I was reminded of one of the best Saturday Night Live sketches ever Saturday night the I need more cowbell! one with Will Ferrell. The Wichita State band had a cowbell guy, and he pounded away loud enough to be heard in the rafters.
• This cant surprise you much. When former Duke star Christian Laettner was publicly recognized for his 1992 game-winning shot against Kentucky fans voted it the most memorable moment of March Madness he received at least as many boos as cheers from the Georgia Dome audience.
• With Michigan wearing all yellow and Syracuse all orange in the second semifinal, the court looked like a Halloween bag filled with giant-sized candy corn.
• As you can imagine, there are some really horrible seats in a football stadium with a basketball court thrown into the middle. Some of the worst are actually lower-level end zone seats, because they are so far away from the action and so low compared to the elevated court.
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