The Washington Times - March 20, 2009, 11:56AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —- It was a pretty tame first day of the NCAA tournament Thursday.

Sure, the events in the night session at the Sprint Center took on the feel of Wrestlemania, what with Clemson‘s Terrence Oglesby throwing elbows and Morgan State’s Ameer Ali throwing down Blake Griffin.


I’d have paid good money for Jeff Capel or Todd Bozeman to run onto the court with a metal chair, but alas that didn’t happen.

The lower seed won four games. Three double-digit seeds advanced, including a pair of 10 seeds here in Kansas City.

My record? A solid 13-3. The misses weren’t uncommon, either:

* UCLA-VCU: Alphabet soup didn’t work out … but it almost did. Too bad Darren Collison is a vastly better defender than anyone Eric Maynor faced on Duke two years ago.

* Louisiana State-Butler: Tough to get upset with missing an 8/9 game that was even for the final 36 minutes. Marcus Thornton is pretty good.

* Michigan-Clemson: At some point, you just learn to avoid Clemson on the sheer principle of the Tigers’ Clemsonliness. It is commonly known as the Tommy Bowden Theorem, which stipulates Clemson will usually find some way to spoil a good situation if given a full game to work with.

Meanwhile, Michigan has John Beilein, who might be able to outcoach anyone —- anyone —- in the tournament field. So betting against the Wolverines when they had time to prepare? Not a very slick move.

Still, the point of the first round isn’t to roll up a 30-2 record in your bracket. It’s to preserve all your second weekend teams. Seven of those survived (some just barely), which made it a successful opening day.

First round record: 13-3
Overall record: 13-4

—- Patrick Stevens