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A Basketball Wrap-Up, In Verse

JACKI LYDEN, BYLINE: Every school invited to the NCAA basketball tournament has had a chance to play. So we thought we'd bring you details of every game. Well, maybe not details, but at least a mention from NPR's Mike Pesca. And what he lacks in specifics, he makes up for in rhyme.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: New Mexico beat Long Beach State by a final of 75-68, so Albuquerque's partying, but not so in Las Cruces, because New Mexico State lost their game to the Indiana Hoosiers. VCU and Kansas State both had thrilling wins, as did Florida State and the St. Louis Billikens. Coach Majerus has been in 12 tournaments, won a game in almost all. Skill, right? No, quote...

RICK MAJERUS: So it's sometimes the bounce of the ball.

PESCA: So humble, that Majerus - one of the game's great self-effacers. He's 1-0 just like Marquette and the Murray Racers. Baylor outshined the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State. Purdue and Colorado built big leads and held on late. When the spritely coach of Cincinnati said his players...

MICK CRONIN: ...just refuse to loose...

PESCA: Some might think the referees had the same attitude toward Syracuse. Georgetown beat up on Belmont. Wisconsin surmounted Montana. Louisville and Florida took a step towards the Final Four in Louisiana. Against top seed Carolina, Vermont was not so lucky. And it looks like the NBA draft is the only thing that can put a dent in Kentucky. Their Anthony Davis says a key is...

ANTHONY DAVIS: For our shooters to knock down shots and spread the game out.

PESCA: In other news, a lane violation helped Xavier knock Notre Dame out. Iowa State dispatched with the defending champ UConn. Cyclone coach Fred Hoiberg factually noted...

FRED HOIBERG: I thought that was fun.

PESCA: Thirteen seed Ohio faced down Michigan without fear. Coach Groce went on to note...

JOHN GROCE: Well, we're playing our best basketball of the year.

PESCA: The Bobcat coach is talking truth. He's not much of a bragger. Take your win in stride and play with pride, like N.C. State and Gonzaga. And now that Lehigh's won, how does your office pool look? From the little town of Bethlehem, the Mountain Hawks soared past mighty Duke. Another 2 seed, Norfolk State, wreaked chaos on many a bracket. Guard Chris McEachin noted that...

CHRIS MCEACHIN: The whole gym was ecstatic.

PESCA: But for little LIU, the Spartan's Draymond Green proved too much.


PESCA: Oh, look who's rhyming now. CBS, you're really reaching new lows. Like Charles Barkley's commentary, you should just stick to the pros. Sixteen more games this weekend means hoops as far as the eye can see.

Mike Pesca, NPR News, Nashville, Tennessee.


LYDEN: This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Mike Pesca first reached the airwaves as a 10-year-old caller to a New York Jets-themed radio show and has since been able to parlay his interests in sports coverage as a National Desk correspondent for NPR based in New York City.
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