Thur update: Open practices, parking scammer, Battle of the Bands @ Hard Rock, more

The NCAA South Regional teams will have open practice today at the FedExForum. These are free and open to the public. Syracuse will practice first from noon to 12:50, then Gonzaga from 1 to 1:50, followed by Oklahoma 2:10 to 3, then North Carolina from 3:10 to 4.

Another parking scammer has been busted posing as a fake parking lot attendant, according to this CA article. The MPD’s Real Time Crime Unit saw Johnnie Upchurch, 53, taking money from people to park on a lot at Rufus Thomas and Beale. The lot was clearly marked “no attendant, pay box.” Officers were dispatched and Mr. Upchurch got a trip to jail. According to the arrest record, he lives at 692 Alabama, just east of Downtown. He told officers he was scamming people to get beer money. Kudos to MPD, and proof that their Real Time Crime unit is working. I’ve noticed an increase in arrests of parking scammers near Beale since the unit went into operation.

The Memphis Hard Rock Cafe is one of 24 Hard Rocks around the world chosen to host their upcoming Battle of the Bands competition. Beginning April 10, bands in each of the 24 cities will compete for a panel of artists and music industry professionals. Each city’s winner will advance to the finals, where they will compete for a panel of noted musicians, including Little Steven Van Zant of the E Street Band and Darrell “DMC” McDaniels of RUN-DMC. The final stage of the competition will be left to the fans, who will vote on Hard Rock’s website between May 25 and June 6.

The overall winner of the competition will receive a spot at Hard Rock Calling, a three-day festival in London from June 26-28. Headliners will be Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Dave Matthews Band, Ben Harper & Relentless 7, Pretenders, and Fleet Foxes will be among the other acts on the bill. Rounds 1, 2, and 3 at the Memphis Hard Rock will take place April 10, 17, and 24, each starting at 9:30 PM.

Memphis Tigers vs. the other Tigers tonight at 8:37 PM. I’ll be at the Saucer to watch the game. People from North Carolina, Oklahoma, Syracuse, and Gonzaga will be arriving and looking for get their party on before their games tomorrow. Should be a fun night. The Saucer has a patio area that seats over 100, with a large projection TV and two other TVs, as well as an interior area with a projection TV and three more HDTVs. Great place to watch the game while drinking one of their 200 beers.