Thursday, April 8, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
Certain things disappeared from the NCAA basketball scene last week. Gone are the “Rock Chaw Jayhawks” and “Old Rocky Top” chants which resounded throughout the land. Gone also are three number one seeds from the NCAA tournament brackets in the men’s division. The Wildcats of Kentucky left in the East regional finals, the Kansas Jayhawks were done in the second round of the Mid West and Syracuse followed suit.
This opened the avenue for the small team commonly referred to as being an inhabitant of that area in major NCAA sports as a “mid-major.” With less than 5,000 students in its body, the case could even be made for a lower designation, however, the school which had to log the greatest amount of miles to get to the final testing ground doesn’t like to be tagged with the “Cinderella” or David/Goliath” brush.
The Butler Bulldogs live right down the street from this year’s Final Four forum, Indianapolis. It is said that if one honors all the signal lights, it is a 15-minute trip.
The Bulldogs took a bite out of the Sweet 16, the Elite Eight and the Final Four. They ended up facing Duke in the finals on Monday night of this week. Butler has never been this far before. Should they succeed in toppling one of the most prestigious programs in all NCAA basketball, well, the implications are obvious.
Since I said so much about the Blue Devils last week, I won’t warm it over. It suffices to say that a lot of criticism was thrown at the selection committee for making Duke a number one seed. Looking at their track record in the playoffs, the Baylor Bears came closest at 78-71.
And if you didn’t forget to check the ladies’ bracket, you know that the Stanford Cardinal turned back the Lady Sooners of Oklahoma and the Lady Huskies proved too much for the Lady Bears of Baylor. Mark these words from a pseudo sage – yon Lady Bears of Baylor have those lean and hungry looks and they are going to be the bane of a lot of teams’ existence for some years to come.
So which Tony has the twin? As much as it pains, yours truly will have to say Duke (34-5) over Butler (33-4) (the game was played after the deadline for this week’s sports column). I’ll probably pull for Butler.
For the girls, it is going to be UConn, although the last team to beat the Lady Huskies was the Lady Cardinal. Just bear in mind that UConn has won 77 consecutive games over the last two years and are the defending champs.
The only game Stanford (36-1) lost was to, guess who?
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