Thursday, March 23, 2006
By Claude Vinson
We have reached the Sweet Sixteen and all the front-runners are still front-runners.
There have been a lot of surprises along the way. And this could very well be the year in which all four first place teams make it to the final four. Thus far, the four teams ensconced as number one seeds lost some of their compadres by the time they reached the final round.
No matter where these combatants started from this season, all roads now lead to the home of the Hoosiers, Pacers and Colts. And when considering this auspicious arena, one has to think of the Hoosiers and their short run. Their coach, Mike Davis, handed in his resignation earlier, amidst rumors that he was about to be fired. His premise was that he didnt want this to become a burden to his players after they made the playoffs. The Hoosiers had an exciting game against 11th seed San Diego St. and in turn were ousted by third seed Gonzaga.
This has been tagged as the most exciting first two rounds in the history of the NCAA end-of-the-season trials. There were 10 upsets in the first round. If some of you can recall, yours truly stated a little while ago (like a few days ago), that parity would be a long time coming in the collegiate ranks. There is a chance that that statement might have to be revisited.
One tradition was preserved, and it bears on parity, that no number 16 seed took out a number one. However, if you watched Duke and Southern, you saw a titan against a wannabee and it was scary. For the first half, the Jaguars stood up to the Blue Devils. But, and to keep my contentions intact, all aspirants to the throne must go through Duke. Oh, and you can add Connecticut.
There were only two SEC teams escaping the first two rounds LSU and Florida. Florida, a number three will meet Georgetown, a number 10 in the magical land of 16. The Tigers will face Duke in the third round. They slipped past a pesky Texas A&M team which slapped the Syracuse giant. And what about that shot made by LSUs Daryl Mitchell to move the Tigers on.
Now, the news close to home. The Memphis Tigers are on their way. Everyone is talking about the Tigers moving farther West. They will meet Bradley come Thursday in Oakland. My personal prediction for Memphis was the Elite Eight. And, I reiterate, I hope that I am wrong. To witness this team playing with the spirit exhibited in the game against Bucknell was awesome.
Those teams in the Oakland and Atlanta regionals had better watch out or they just might be using the phrase heard in those old movies spoofing the Roman empire a funny thing happened to us on our way to the Forum (Indianapolis), the Memphis Tigers!
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