The Washington Times - March 12, 2011, 10:06AM

Ain’t technology grand?

That was my thought late last night as I watched the end of the Virginia Tech-Florida State game.  Not all that long ago, Florida State’s celebration would have continued. The refs would have run off the court and the Hokies would have been very sad losers probably relegated to the National Invitation Tournament.

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No 10ths on the game clock.  No red light on the backboard. No replay. 

To the naked eye, that shot by FSU’s Derwin Kitchen sure looked good.

But these days, refs are able to huddle and take another look.  Upon further review, no basket.  The TV folks provided repeated replays and it sure looks as if they got the call right.

So it looks like Virginia Tech will be in the NCAA tournament.  We’ll know Sunday night.

Many will argue that we’re about to embark on the best part of the annual sports calendar.  Spring training is underway so baseball is close at hand.  But what makes March grand is the madness of the NCAA tournament (March Madness is one cliche they got right - but I hate the term Big Dance and hope no one tries to slip it into our section).

It’s a three-week festival of fun, though the fun for me actually lessens as the tournament progresses.  The first and second rounds are wonderful, an end-to-end run of games across the country matching teams that might never otherwise think of playing.  There are upsets big and small.  

Plus, there are office pools (for entertainment only).  I’ve often suggested a radical solution if you work somewhere that doesn’t do a pool (for entertainment only).  Quit.  What kind of place is that?  Part of the fun is hearing somebody scream, “I HAD THAT, I HAD THAT” after an upset in one of the afternoon games.

I suppose I should have asked during my interview with The Times if there was an office pool (for entertainment only).  If I have anything to say about it, our resident bracketologist Patrick Stevens won’t be allowed to enter.  The man knows too much.

Patrick forgets more each day than I’ll ever know, but here are my very uneducated guesses:  George Mason and Georgetown are obviously in (and Georgetown might be a decent pool pick for a couple of rounds because there are always  teams that look awful heading in that end up winning a game or two). I think Virginia Tech is now in, though another victory over Duke would make the Hokies’ position a lot more secure.

My alma mater Virginia Commonwealth has a shot but I suspect the Rams won’t make it. Perhaps they’ll play at Maryland in the first round of the NIT?

Stick with Washington Times sports for complete coverage.  We’ll travel with Georgetown and George Mason.  We’ll have a group of reporters and columnists at Verizon Center for the six games there, scheduled for Thursday and Saturday of next week.  The only thing better than the NCAA tournament is the NCAA tournament in your town.  As long as they have TVs everywhere so you can keep up with the endless parade of action.