Besides Belmont, A Pretty Boring Day Of Brackets

The 2008 NCAA Tourney opening round is starting to look familiar to the 2007 Tourney - no big upsets, but plenty of blowouts.

Duke Belmont Kansas State USC

The closest excitement fans were treated to on Thursday was Belmont’s close call against Duke. The 15th-seed Bruins had the 2nd-seed Blue Devils on the ropes, but a bad inbounds pass and a missed last-second half-court shot allowed the Dookies to escape with a 71-70 win, and Belmont was banished back to Nashville.

But apart from those D.C. follies, it was a day of very little drama.

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OJ Mayo Not Helped By Flavorless Effort From USC Teammates in Upset Loss to Mercer

ATLANTIC SUN SHINING BRIGHT VERSUS BIG SCHOOL FOES: There’s a new power conference rising in college basketball - the Atlantic Sun.

Within the past week, three teams from the low-major group had hit high marks against their big brethren.

Mercer USC basketball

Mercer showed no mercy for USC on Saturday, as the Bears spread it all over O.J. Mayo and his Trojan teammates in a 96-81 undressing. Not only did the upset spoil Mayo’s debut, it also means that SC coach Tim Floyd has yet to win a season opener.A few days earlier, Mercer’s A-Sun mate Gardner-Webb slung into Rupp Arena and de-clawed the Kentucky Wildcats. And last Friday, Belmont came to the Queen City and tranquilized the Cincinnati Bearcats.

At;lantic Sun logo

Things are all aglow for the Conference Formerly Known As The Trans America Athletic. But can the A-Sun schools keep it up?This week, Florida Gulf Coast faces Iowa, Kennesaw State battles Auburn, and Mercer tries it again against Alabama, this time at home in Macon, GA.

At least the A-Sun is Division I, unlike some other Big Ten losses.