Thursday, March 24, 2005

Behind the Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

MSU Bulldogs put scare in Duke Devils

All things being equal, which would you rather have – your first loss in an NCAA playoff since 1978 or your first NCAA win in 110 years (I just know that you are all wondering, “what equal”)?

Of all the high seed who were toppled in the first round, the Bucknell Bison polished off the Kansas Jayhawks – a number 14 seed upsetting a number three seed. Just the word upsetting is explanation enough.

I have to admit that I can’t recollect (Grandma’s word) having heard of Bucknell in the context of an NCAA playoff. That may not be all that unusual. At one point some years ago, yours truly found it very hard to watch and keep up with collegiate basketball. If there is any valid reason for this I guess that it would be that I always thought these teams made too many mistakes!

Anyway, round one and two have come and gone and all of the number ones are still number ones. And from the way these teams have played, one has to give the NCAA selection committee its due. Who would have thought of the Washington Huskies as a number one?

We could fill this entire newspaper with stats about these first two rounds and I won’t get into that; however, isn’t it amazing that when one starts discussing the most important facts about this game the name Dean Smith is always there? Just think about how many times his name and accomplishments surfaced in this tournament.

There have been so many outstanding games by outstanding players that one could surmise that there could be a whole other NBA started with these players!

At the risk of boring you, I must call your attention to the lone SEC team from our area and their battle with Duke. At five minutes and some change and a tie score of 50 all, this writer had to get another cup of tea just to help MSU pull it out. Oddly enough, the Bulldogs had a perfect 2-0 record against the Blue Devils. Unfortunately, it happened before most of us were born!

Yeah, yeah, I know they didn’t win, but I think they scared some blue out of those Devils.

There are another good couple of weeks left before the brackets are exhausted. And I have to admit, if you can’t have football, then this is the next best thing!

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