3-19-18 - NCAA
No. 16 UMBC v. No. 1 Virginia, 75-54
3-19-18 - NCAA
No. 7 Nevada v. No. 2 Cincinnati, 75-73

Dave Newhouse

March Mayhem!

By  Dave Newhouse
If you don't think the opening week of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament isn't the greatest happening in sports, here is conclusive evidence: David dunked on Goliath.

March Madness went from manic to insane when the University of Maryland at Baltimore County became the first 16th seed ever to defeat a No. 1 seed, the University of Virginia. And it wasn't even close as David, or UMBC, smoked Goliath or Virginia, 75-54.

And that wasn't the only surprise as the NCAA field of 68 was chiseled down to the Sweet Sixteen with a host of upsets that made the tournament's first week more staggering than all previous March Madness opening acts. There were a whole bunch of Davids, actually, stomping on Goliaths, proving once again that March Madness owns a patent on upsets in the world of sports.

  Adding to the madness, another No. 1, Xavier, fell to ninth-seed Florida State, 75-70. Normalcy must be on suspension in NCAA hoops. Unbelievable.

Besides Virginia's and Xavier's shocking departures, two No. 2 seeds, a No. 3 seed, and three No. 4 seeds were eliminated by higher seeds. The Sweet Sixteen is shaping up as a crap shoot, with all bets off, because anything can happen, and likely will continue.

Defending champion North Carolina was one of the second seeds ousted, and it wasn't close as ninth-seeded Texas A&M prevailed, 86-65. Another No. 2 seed, Cincinnati, was stunned by No. 7 Nevada, 75-73. Nevada has become the darling of the tournament, using basically five players to erase a 22-point deficit against Cincinnati after surging back from 14 points down to beat Texas, 87-83, in overtime Friday. No previous NCAA team has ever come back from 10-point halftime deficits twice in a row. Go Wolf Pack, making its first Sweet Sixteen since 2004.

No. 3 Michigan State fell to No. 11 Syracuse, 55-52, on Sunday. Other No. 4s to fall were Arizona and Wichita State against, respectively, No. 13s Buffalo and Marshall, and Auburn to No. 5 Clemson in an 84-53 Sunday   slaughter. NCAA brackets were destroyed this year. Where in sports does it get any crazier? The answer: Nowhere.

Unfortunately, with all the upsets, UMBC couldn't pull off two classics in a row, losing to Florida State, 50-43, on Sunday. Regardless, history was made in Baltimore, only it wasn't the Orioles or Ravens this time.

Buzzer-beaters were the norm this first week, with Loyola of Chicago pulling off two of them to move forward, including a clutch shot by a guard named (Clayton) Custer who, pardon the pun, made a successful last stand. And freshman Jordan Poole saved No. 3 Michigan from defeat with a last-second 25-foot swisher that edged Houston, 64-63, Saturday. But Houston's Devin Davis missed two free throws with 3.6 seconds left that would have iced victory for the Cougars. The devastated Davis will have to live with this disappointment forever, because sports competition boils down to heroism or heartbreak, with little room in between.

This aspect makes sports different from all other forms of entertainment. We know how a movie ends, or a play, a song, an opera, a symphony or a book. But with sports, you never really know how a game, a match, a race or a championship event will turn out.

The Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years in 2016, and the Houston Astros won their first World Series last year. Who could have predicted that in spring training? Alabama won the college football championship with a backup quarterback, and the Philadelphia Eagles just won the Super Bowl with another backup quarterback. You could haven't predicted either of these outcomes at halftime.

But March Madness tops everything in the sports world of the unexpected. Who knows what will take happen Thursday   when Nevada and Loyola of Chicago, the two comeback kids, meet in Atlanta? The Sweet Sixteen just got sweeter.

And David may not be through slam-dunking.

Dave Newhouse's journalism career spans more than half a century, including 45 years at the Oakland Tribune before his retirement in November 2011. His twelfth book, co-authored with Eddie Hart, was published last July and is available in book stores and on amazon.com: Disqualified: Eddie Hart, Munich 1972, and the Voices of the Most Tragic Olympics. Dave grew up in Menlo Park, graduated from San Jose State, and has radio and television experience, in addition to his work as an award-winning sportswriter and columnist.

3-6-17 - Pops

Michael King (left), with an associate from USF (center), and Karla Granadino-King, are pictured at the Olympic Club in San Francisco,  proudly sharing with the world their  Pops Premium Rumpopo. A King family secret, Pops Premium Rumpopo is a  delicious rum cream liqueur recipe brewed in the family tradition.  The award winning recipe is a Belizean family favorite and now available at all Total Wine & More stores in California and Bay Area retailers.
For more information, visit https://www.bzecheers.com/rumpopo

Pops - Original
Pops Back Label