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Hello, bracket, meet fire

Reading time, two minutes:

My NCAA Tournament bracket already looks like my homework in third grade — red marks all over it.

Many fans from Modesto and the area are attending the Sub-Regional at Sacramento, and each one paid the $192 — believed to be the nation's top ticket price — for the privilege.

Why the NCAA loves Sac: The ticket price is jacked, and Arco Arena still sells out every time.

The University of the Pacific, host of four regionals, welcomes a fifth when the women come to Arco in 2010.

Maybe in the future: UC Davis and Sacramento State will join the Tigers in staging the event.

And didn't Sacramento State whip NCAA qualifier Weber State by 22 points?

Another chapter in "The World Is Not Fair": Santa Clara and coach Dick Davey (Ceres) shunned by the NIT.

Another March, another Branson-Modesto Christian meeting at the NorCal summit today in Stockton.

If I'm a parent, I want my child taught in the classroom and coached on the basketball court by Bill McHale (stepped down as Downey coach).

Presenting the tournament's first star you never heard of before Thursday: Virginia Commonwealth's Eric Maynor, the Duke-killer.

Stanford was toast almost before its fans finished breakfast.

The jury has returned a verdict: The Mavericks and Mark Cuban would have won a championship by now if they had just paid Steve Nash.

The late baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn presided over both good (increased attendance) and bad (labor strife), but he'll never be forgiven for ushering in World Series games at night.

The Raiders are trying to trade Randy Moss to the Packers. I'd say both teams are desperate.

Texas fans are advised to enjoy freshman sensation Kevin Durant, who's one loss away from the NBA.

Gonzaga is out because the suspended Josh Heytvelt let down his team.

UNLV won a tournament game for the first time since 1991, thus raising the echoes of Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony, Jerry Tarkanian and Richard "The Fixer" Perry.

About UCLA-Indiana: Hollywood flash vs. down-home class, and get ready for a lot of defense.

Hoosier fans chanted Kelvin Sampson's name after their first-round win. I don't remember them chanting Mike Davis' name.

Why UCLA probably will win: Darren Collison's healed ankle.

Undisciplined appearance, very disciplined style: Washington State, the season's biggest surprise.

Long Beach State's 121-point giveaway vs. Tennessee undid a lot of Big West Conference respect earned the last three years by Pacific.

The most impressive teams after the first round: Georgetown and Kansas.

Arkansas and Stanford enriched Jim Boeheim's we-were-left-out argument at Syracuse.

Players worth watching in Sacramento: Indiana's Earl Callaway (great defense vs. Gonzaga's Derek Raivio), Vanderbilt's Dan Cage (maximum toughness) and Washington State's Ivory Clark (almost a perfect game vs. Oral Roberts).

Oddest sight of the first round: Rupp Arena jammed with Louisville fans.

Winthrop eliminated the Notre Dame men. Ashley Walker (Davis High) and the Cal women will take their turn against the Irish on Sunday.

Can you apply a tourniquet to a tournament bracket?

To comment, click on the link with this story at www.modbee.com. Bee sports columnist Ron Agostini can be reached at ragostini@modbee.com or 578-2302.

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