Thursday, March 4, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
Over the years all of us have probably heard the expression, “That was the week that was.”
The events leading to the statements could be prompted by any manner of circumstances. If one is to apply the adage to the NCAA basketball season it should be amended to read, “That was the weekend that was.”
There were a series of clashes and crashes involving some of the very weighty heavyweights in the various conferences. If a starting point is really needed, one would not be remiss by starting with the SEC. It seems that the Tennessee Volunteers are forming a habit of upsetting one highly-ranked team a month. On Saturday, they shocked the number two team in the nation, stopping the Kentucky Wildcats, well, in their tracks, with a surprising 74-65 win in Knoxville. The Volunteers, ranked nationally at 19 (some polls had them listed at 17), stopped the John Calipari-led Wildcats.
The ’Cats, with a record of 27-2 (high in the SEC with a 12-2), could very well tumble a few places when the new numbers are released. These numbers are most important at this point because the selections for the 65 will be made in two weeks. As for those Volunteers, their stock is sure to rise, after all they knocked off number one Kansas last month.
The other big crash probably heard throughout the league was Oklahoma State upending the number one Kansas Jayhawks, who had returned to prominence. It was chagrin with a capital “C” for the Jayhawks who had hoped to complete play in the Big 12 with an unblemished record. Kansas had rattled off 13 straight victories after being stopped by the Volunteers. Now with the bracket formation looming large, the Jayhawks have to be concerned. And the Kansas State Wildcats are not far behind at the number six position.
The last domino to fall with a resounding effect on the ranking was on Sunday when number 14 Michigan State Spartans slapped the number three Purdue Boilermakers. Not only did this throw the Big Ten in a three-way knot, it opened the door for number four Syracuse of the Big East to ascend to numero uno. The Orangemen thrashed the Wildcats of Villanova (no. 7) 95-77.
But my favorite upset would have to be Notre Dame (unranked), going past the Georgetown Hoyas 78-64. And the Fightin’ Irish just might make the field of 65.
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