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Writer: Pablo S. Torre
Game: Purdue vs. Baylor
Post Time: 6:06, Thursday
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The second of today’s four halftimes just wrapped up (Purdue leads Baylor 54-31), and here is what life has been like on press row thus far...
* The best signs of the day? Both from Game 1: "GEORGIA BASKETBALL: A TRADITION SINCE LAST FRIDAY," and "GO IN PEACE" (hoisted late in the fourth quarter) in keeping with Xavier's Jesuit ethos. The eponymous St. Francis Xavier would be proud.
* Sitting in front of the Georgia fans was fantastic (pun, sadly, intended). They trumpeted the glory of the SEC 'til the end, literally cursed any mention of Florida on the Jumbo-Tron, and implored the assorted media seated before them to write, "The refs stole the game!!!" as the clock ticked down. (While this wouldn't quite work as a lede, I guess I just did.) Admittedly, their Dawgs did shoot a grand total five free throws in the entire game to Xavier's 33. They also targeted all their efforts on hapless official Ed Hightower (and yes, they loved him in "Police Academy").
* No one is allowed to drink out of anything but NCAA-logoed Dasani cups. I'm waiting for them to hand me a sticker to cover the Apple logo on my laptop.
* The contrast between the Georgia and Xavier cheerleaders was quite striking. The former changed outfits at halftime, flashed mid-riff and -- while I'm no dance expert -- had an edgier routine than their Jesuit-educated counterparts, who wore long sleeves (!), were essentially all blonde and sported bows in their hair.
* As much as it pains me to say it, I kind of hate A-ha right now. "Take On Me" was on heavy rotation by victorious Xavier in the first half of Game One, and it's a favorite of the Baylor band as well. I personally cannot wait for the Duke band to belt out "Every Time We Touch," and I'm not even kidding.
* Watching the Sengal-born Mamadou "The Mayor" Diene galumph up and down the court physically makes me tired (and the most exercise I've done today involves ordering a Wasabi Roast Beef sandwich from Cosi and picking up a pen I dropped in the Xavier locker room). On the upside, he is Dikembe Mutombo-esque in both continent of heritage and general willingness to throw 'bows. Which is good.