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NCAA Tournament 2015: Notes On Thursday's Games

And Friday predictions too.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

In 1993,when we were first online and doing a paper version of DBR, we made a great prediction: Michigan would look great against UNC until the last minute and would then make a critical mistake.

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We weren't as fortunate when it came to UNC and Wisconsin. We thought that the UNC team we saw for most of the year would show up: error prone in the closing minutes, erratic, poor three point shooting.

Wrong on all accounts. UNC only had four turnovers for the game, even less than Wisconsin's five.

UNC did a solid job defending Frank Kaminski, but Sam Dekker had a sensational game, scoring 23 points on 10-15 from the floor.

UNC was right there until the real Wisconsin stepped up at the end and took the game by the throat.

It was a great effort,  a championship worthy effort, but the Heels came up just short.

We never thought they'd get to this point, frankly. Since it's hard to see anyone leaving early, the core should be back and Marcus Paige should be fully healthy. UNC should be a load next season.

Notre Dame had a wonderful game against Wichita, especially in the second half: the Irish shot 75% in the second half, went on a 38-18 run and just smoked a fine Wichita team, leading by as much as 19 before the final margin of 81-70.

It was a brilliant offensive performance by Mike Brey's bunch.

For their trouble they get Kentucky.

In 1968, Guy Lewis persuaded UCLA to play Houston in the Astrodome. It was at the time the largest live audience ever to see a college basketball game and also marked the dawn of the TV era of college basketball.

Houston upset UCLA as Lew Alcindor, now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, played with a scratched eye.

It was the only loss he suffered in college and it didn't sit well, least of all because the Houston players talked a little smack.

When Elvin Hayes and the Cougars met UCLA in the NCAA tournament, the Bruins were ridiculously dominant, winning 101-69.

Afterwards, Jabbar said that his team didn't appreciate Houston's boasting and thought that teaching them some manners had been a good idea.

That's essentially what Kentucky did to West Virginia, and freshman Daxter Miles, Jr. is partly to blame.

Miles promised UK would end the game "35-1" and that offended Kentucky.

So in the words of Larry Bird, West Virginia got both barrels and a good lesson.

Don't expect Notre Dame to be nearly as foolish.

There's been a lot of talk about Calipari supposedly being desperate to coach in the pros again. We'll see about that but consider this: Alabama is supposedly offering Wichita coach Gregg Marshall $3 million - and he may not take it.

Why? What could he want more than money?

Well, how about the Kentucky job? We can promise you that he knows more about what Calipari is thinking than we do. If Calipari left, who are they going to call first? It'll be Marshall.

One final note on Kentucky's smashing win. As we said a couple of times recently, including (we think) after Duke's amazing win over State in the ACC Tournament, you're not going to get two games like that in a row. If Notre Dame is looking for some good news, there it is.

Arizona got more than expected from Xavier, but came through in the end.

Arizona and Wisconsin will play for the West regional title on Saturday in a rematch of last year's regional finalists.

In the Friday night games, we'll take Duke in a taut game, Michigan State over Oklahoma, Gonzaga over UCLA, though the Bruins have shown they belong, and....well, State-Louisville is a tough call.

We can make an argument for State and we're pulling for the Pack, but Louisville should win. The Cards know what to do in March. State's just starting to figure it out.