Thursday, March 8, 2012
Behind The Scoreboard
Unlike football, there is no “letdown” after the high school basketball season ceases. The collegiates’ second “season” just begins to heat up – “March Madness.”
And yours truly, like many local fans, will be trying to keep abreast of a lot of action across the many conferences. Luckily, if there are any of us who want to see quality Division I basketball, this playoff season, you won’t have to use a lot of gas.
The C-USA Tournament is being hosted by the University of Memphis at the FedEx Forum. The brackets have already been set and the first round games begin on Wednesday at noon between Rice and East Carolina. Lots of locals will be waiting to see the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss take the floor and they will in the second round in game five. By virtue of their number two standing in the C-USA, they received the first round “bye.” They will face the winner of game one on Thursday at noon.
The Memphis Tigers, who had experienced some performance problems early and midway through their season, but picked it up at the end and won the C-USA regular season title. They, too, were awarded a first round “bye” and will meet the winner of game three (UTEP/Houston) in a televised game seven on Thursday at 6:30.
The four-day tournament will culminate with the championship game on Saturday with an automatic ticket to the NCAA Big Dance. Many anxious fans are wondering which team (Southern Miss or Memphis) will be dancing with the NCAA stars.
Naturally, the real interest will be on the SEC championships in ’Nawlins which begins on Thursday with four scheduled games. LSU and Arkansas will lead off at noon. Alabama and South Carolina will follow. There are still a handful of these teams sitting on tacks and biting nails hoping for a benevolent nod from the selection committee on Sunday. There is always hope but some of these face some big “if’s.” And the ole alma mater (Ole Miss) is one of them.
Kentucky, still number one everywhere, is not expected to have trouble with a field which it has dominated all season, but you never know. The Wildcats have a “bye” in the first round and won’t play until Friday noon.
The other tourney which captures quite a bit of local interest is the SWAC. Up until a few days ago, MVSU (Mississippi Valley State) was hoping to make history with a perfect season but had that balloon burst. MVSU did end up with a 17-1 mark and is favored to come away with the automatic bid. But...
What was the famous line from the famous actress Bette Davis? “Better tighten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
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