Thursday, March 28, 2013
Behind The Scoreboard
I need another bracket
The first games in the current NCAA playoffs brought few overall major surprises, perhaps save one.
With the team expansion to 68, the “play-in” contests, which are played the day before, are now considered to be “round one.” And in round two is usually where the brackets get cranked up, or in.
Now, the LaSalle University Explorers are not exactly a name which would come up often in casual conversation in any household, and it is not because they are newbies; they have been around for ages. The facts are that the Explorers won an NCAA title in 1954 and haven’t been to the Big Dance for the last 21 years. Easy to forget. I can admit that they were my first bracket boo-boo. Chances of getting past Boise State were slim and none (or so it was thought).
All of the number ones were safe in the second round, which is usually the case, with no really big jolts surfacing. However, the number 12 seed Ole Miss Rebels upset the number five Badgers of Wisconsin. The Rebels’ surprising element, who was mostly quiet in the first half, began his Mt. Vesuvius act early in the second. His eruptions quickly spread devastating ash all over the Badgers to give coach Andy Kennedy his first NCAA playoff win.
The Memphis Tigers also won their second rounder, so yours truly’s bracket wasn’t looking too bad. And then the old bracket ship began listing slightly to port when New Mexico, Kansas State, Notre Dame, UCLA, Georgetown and California, all fell.
My predictions for the Memphis Tigers and Ole Miss Rebels were very similar and borne mostly out of loyalty. Both would make it to the Sweet 16 with the Tigers dropping out at that point. The Rebels I sent on, with crossed fingers, to the regional finals. It looked pretty stable and solid until Memphis all but self-destructed and couldn’t stop the Spartans in the field of 32. The Tigers may have closed this season’s books but they will return stronger next season. Tigers, please fix that glitch at the charity stripe.
I had great empathy with all the fans from Oxford who traveled the great distance to support Ole Miss; the hope sprang eternal. We expected Marshall Henderson to take the last shot if there was to be one. Here, too, the line shooting did little to keep my bracket ship from being sunk.
The Rebels and the Tigers have much to be proud of. Memphis finished with one of the two best records of the season and Ole Miss kept a high quotient of excitement going for its fans. Sorry, Rebels, in my bracket the Explorers were not supposed to get out of round two.
If the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles don’t rate the Cinderella tag for this tourney, I don’t know who does. For once I have to agree with Charles Barkley and ask, “Where did they come from?” This is their first appearance and they gained the distinction of being the very first 15 seed to make it to the Sweet Sixteen. And guess who they face at that point? They will meet the only SEC team left in the tourney, the Florida Gators. Will the agony ever end?
It pains me but here are the Sweet 16 – Louisville-Oregon, Michigan State-Duke, Wichita State-LaSalle (yuk), Arizona-Ohio State, Kansas-Michigan (the first time both Michigan teams have made the venue in the same season), Florida-Fla. Gulf Coast (double yuk!), Indiana-Syracuse and Marquette-Miami.
I think that I need another bracket; this one is a loser. Where did I go wrong? Could it have possibly been the brand of Kool-Aid? Nah.
News: (662) 252-4261 or email@example.com
Fax: (662) 252-3388
Questions, comments, corrections: firstname.lastname@example.org
The South Reporter
P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
©2004, The South Reporter, All Rights Reserved.
No part of this site may be reproduced in any way without permission.
The South Reporter is a member of the Mississippi Press Association.
Site managed and maintained by
South Reporter webmasters Linda Jones, Kristian Jones
Web Site Design - The South Reporter
Back | Top of Page