Thursday, March 16, 2006

Behind The Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

Get ready for NCAA’s March Madness

The long awaited bracket for the NCAA Tournament, which officially kicks off March madness, is finally out and it is time to see who is in.

Some weeks ago a collegiate coach made the statement that college teams have reached parity. I have to disagree with such a statement. Certain schools in a closely connected region just might reach a level of parity, but even that is doubtful, considering the obvious demographics.

The pro sports, i.e., football, basketball, baseball, etc., can do so because they have the big bucks to defy the gravity of demographics. But we are not here to argue parity.

We all know that under the NCAA format for March Madness, there can only be four number ones. One is installed in each of the four regions – Atlanta, Minneapolis, Oakland and Washington (D.C).

The Atlanta Region has the Duke phenom at its peak, and Memphis is ensconced as top dog in the Oakland Regional. No Memphis team has ever been tapped for number one in regionals heretofore.

The Minneapolis space is occupied by Villanova and the Huskies of Connecticut have the Washington spot.

The big tournament actually started on Tuesday with the “play-in” game between Monmouth and Hampton. It is not going to be all roses for either winner of this game. Their next foe has to be Villanova.

The SEC had six teams spread among the dreamers in March Madness. The highest seeded being Tennessee, which has drawn a lot of fire from critics for their second seed.

The 10-man selection committee defended their selection with a quote of all pertinent statistics. The other five and their seedings are Arkansas (8), Alabama (10), LSU (4), Kentucky (8) and Florida (3).

I will not deign to give you all the reasons why all of the top-ranked won’t make it to the Final Four, but I again predict Memphis to go to the Elite Eight. For some reason, I don’t see Duke making it to the Final Four.

For the sake of all our friends on the Bluff just down the road, I hope I am wrong about the Memphis Tigers.

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