Thursday, March 22, 2012
Behind The Scoreboard
Someone once said that fame is fleeting but it is still fame. And in every edition of March Madness, there is ample opportunity for bushels of it. The fame tag is pursued relentlessly in the early round of the NCAA Tournament. The low seeded teams set their sights on sending a high-seeded team on an early vacation. The lower the number the higher the seed and vice versa.
I am sure that most of you remember two “Cinderellas” from last season, Butler and VCU. Butler, an eight seed in 2011, had caught up with number one seed Pittsburgh in the Southeast Regional and sent them packing to make it to the “Sweet 16” as in 2010. The Bulldogs then growled their way to the finals. VCU had been a “play-in” team in 2011, waded through the number three Boilermakers in the field of 32, bent the Florida State Seminoles’ bows all out of shape (in overtime), and stopped the Kansas Jayhawks cold in the “Elite Eight.” This was the Rams’ (11 seed) first trip to the Big Dance.
The two low seeds grabbing the slices of fame on Friday were Norfolk State and Lehigh, both 15 seeds. While Norfolk State’s opponent was of a lesser minion, it was still a number two seed (Mizzou), and probably had no intention of being sent home by a number 15. Lehigh had drawn the storied program known as the Duke Blue Devils and before one could spell Mike Krzyzewski, the Mountain Hawks had outpointed the entire NCAA world by painting the Devils’ dance card an eliminating blue. No game of the tournament, thus far, had more impact. A pair of high seeds had fallen within hours of each other in the early goings. There was likely a sweet sigh of relief among the other high seeds harboring the thought “it won’t be us.”
Our Commander-in- Chief (President Barrack Obama who filled out his bracket on national television) successfully picked 14-2 in the first rounds. Yours truly didn’t do too badly, missing on Lehigh, Norfolk and Memphis. Memphis Tigers, now there is the rub. All area Memphis followers couldn’t believe that the Tigers had gone out in the first round, again.
They all seemed to express the same sentiment – this was not the Memphis team which represented in the C-USA. It was just a bad day for Tigers (Memphis and Missouri).
My personal average slipped considerably in the transition from 32 to 16. Made a little gun-shy by Norfolk State, I voted for them over Florida, yeah I know, but tried to balance it with a pick for Vandy over the Badgers.
I remember stating earlier that it was going to be a bumpy ride. And the road to the Final Four has been just that. Super entertainment, but with bumpy disappointments.
I am still picking the Wildcats (Kentucky) to win it all. This just seems to feel like John Calipari’s year.
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