March Madness Update

On March 26, 2010, in Uncategorized, by admin

March Madness resumed last night. The games were truly amazing once again. Another top seed fell to a number 5 seed. A number 6 seed gave a 2 seed all they could handle in K State’s double overtime win Xavier. One Cinderella story team sees the glass slipper drop and shatter at the hands of a number 1 seed. Truly March Madness is living up to its name this year. The games continue tonight with interesting story lines of their own. There is still a 10 seed in the sweet sixteen. St Mary’ plays Baylor, a 3 seed, tonight in Houston. Of course, Baylor has a story all of its own as a program that has risen from the ashes of near death penalty to being in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history. BU also can boast of having mens and womens teams in the Sweet Sixteen this year as well. Just when you think, however, that the ‘branded’ school basketball programs have fallen out due to the extreme number of lower seed teams going deep in the dance this year, there still are those branded teams still in the waltz. Purdue squares off with Duke tonight. Duke is the other remaining 1 seed in the tourney beside Kentucky. Of course, regular powerhouse Tennessee is still in and playing this evening as well, albeit, seeded lower this year than normal. The other lower seed underdog is Northern Iowa, a 9 seed. Again, interesting year indeed. I do hope to see the Cinderella story continue for at least one of these lower seeds to make it to the Elite 8, I just do not wish it to be St. Mary’s against my BU team. A relative home court advantage for Baylor will certainly help. And I do know, in spite of some of the reports that BU fans cannot support the team in numbers, even in their own back yard in Houston, I beg to differ. I believe you will see a outcry of support at the game tonight. Tune in. I know I will be with my favorite beverage and pizza of choice. Mine will be our new Chicago style pizza joint nearby that is, well, truly Chicago style pizza.

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My NCAA Bracket Is Standing On Its Head

On March 22, 2010, in Uncategorized, by admin

While the nation sits around whining about passage of the health care bill, I choose to prioritize on much more important things, namely, the sad state of my NCAA March Madness bracket. What a year this has been. With the number of upsets in ranks, I cannot remember a year where so many lower seeds have ended up in the Sweet Sixteen. Good for those programs. It must start somewhere, and going to the Sweet Sixteen really can lift a program if they can capitalize on it consistently year after year. Schools can be branded through this process. You have millions in the nation hearing your schools name, sometimes for the first time. How many of us would know of Marquette, a small engineering school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin had it not had been for the Al McGuire era basketball program that put them on the map to stay. And what is a Gonzaga? If not for basketball, few of us outside of the State of Washington would know of the school. Marist? St. Mary’s? And a host others. And on the women’s side, Liberty? (from a few years back) San Diego State and South Dakota State? At the end of the day, you can put your school on the map with a great basketball program.
I am happy as well to see some of these underdogs in the Sweet Sixteen. While the above branding takes place, the powerhouses return year after year resulting from years of consistent play and branding leading to great recruiting. So when the little guy gets in, it may not make for as great of TV ratings as CBS would like, but I am pulling for the underdog and appreciate their presence in the Sweet Sixteen, and maybe the hope they can return and build some recruiting momentum in their programs.
So just not to go too far on the above, I do feel compelled to shorten my support of the underdog when it comes to my Baylor Bears. Yes, they play St Mary’s in the Sweet Sixteen on Friday, a 10 seed. BU is a 3 seed. So before you make me sound hypocritical, let me just say, I thought that those who do the seeding were especially kind to BU putting them as high as a three, and playing close to home. Not that they do not have the talent, but I thought this was generous especially since they checked out of the Big 12 tournament much quicker than I think they should have. They should have taken Kansas State in the Big 12 Tourney. But, BU has always been an underdog program. Where do you think I learned my support of the underdog role?
So it will be an enjoyable run on the Sweet Sixteen. A lot of good basketball to watch. So maybe the nation can quit whining about other things and focus on some good ole basketball.

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