Thursday, March 11, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
The euphoria of the Olympics at Vancouver has pretty much died down except for a few vestiges of congratulations which are still coming in, like for the U.S.A. hockey team taking a second place to our Canadian neighbors. Maybe that is fitting since they were the hosts. Hey, a silver is not that bad under those circumstances.
It is a pretty safe bet that a certain group of athletes is not dwelling on the Olympics these days. That would be the college athletes who are just approaching their “second season.” Some of the lesser conferences have already started and the serious nail-biting is beginning to take its toll. If this is indeed the case, the Orangemen of Syracuse must be nail-less. Remember last week when important upsets propelled them into the top spot? How fickle and fleeting fame can be. Although their’s lasted a little longer than the proverbial 15 minutes, it was gone in a flash. This reporter tried fruitlessly before writing this column to find out who the new number one was. In my estimation it would have to be between Kansas and Kentucky since they were two and three, respectively.
And speaking of the Wildcats, they won the SEC outright at 14-2. There seems little to stop them from winning the SEC tournament and lock up an automatic bid for the NCAA, making it a little easier for the bracketologists. If you recall, they didn’t make the cut last season.
As of Sunday, there were just three teams from the SEC listed in the top 25. In addition to Kentucky, there were Vanderbilt (number 13), and Tennessee (number 16) – Vanderbilt (sorry Commodore followers).
Going back a little farther, the Volunteers and LSU made the field of 65 last season – the former losing to Oklahoma State in the first round, and the latter to North Carolina in the second. Someone on the committee has already predicted that is not going to be an easy bracket to draft.
And what about the girls? The collegiate ladies are rushing toward their own bracket. And if one is talking women’s basketball this time of year, one is always going to find a Summit at the top – Pat Summit that is. The coach has again placed her Lady Vols in the title hunt again. But, it is not a total lock.
Remember whoever makes it thus far is probably going to have to contend with the Lady Huskies of UConn and Geno Auriemma. The Lady Huskies achieved their 70th consecutive win on Sunday, competing with themselves (a record which they set). They had a chance to break it and set a new one on Monday.
Now critics are saying that the only teams having a shot at the Huskies are the Lady Irish of Notre Dame and the Lady Vols – Notre Dame (sorry Lady Irish followers)?
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