They Call it the “Sweet Sixteen” of “March Madness” a.k.a. “The Big Dance”
The first two rounds have produced the most amazing results in the history of NCAA college basketball. Including the improbable 20-point upset of #1 Virginia, by the #16 University of Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers, among the survivors are two #11 seeded teams and two #7 seeds.
In the opening round alone, there were nine upsets. Most notably two #13 seeded teams – the Bulls from the University of New York at Buffalo and outplayed higher #4 seeds.
If the madness continues, perhaps the #9 Seminoles from Florida will win the West, the #3 Red Raiders of Texas become the East Regional Champ, the Midwest will be represented by a group of #5 Clemson Tigers from South Carolina, and #11 Loyola University of Chicago ramble away with the South title on the way to the Final Four this Easter weekend.
There remains four teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, four of the Big 12 Conference (that really only has ten members – whereby it seems that everyone but Iowa State got chosen from that Big [Roman-numeral] XII Conference to be in this year’s tournament), and two of the only four nominated Big Ten Conference (that has 14 major colleges) basketball teams are in the running to be this season’s national champion.
So, what is it going to be?
Big Ten teams must defeat colleges from the state of Texas to advance. Out of 68 schools selected: Yes, two teams from Michigan and Indiana remain after two dropped during the Round of 32; granted when only four of 14 colleges made the class of March Madness’ selection judges.
These are Texas schools from different conferences making their way in the tournament with two more wins in-a row to play in the Final Four deep in the heart of Texas (not in Dallas, Arlington, or Austin, but near the Alamo). Texas Tech or Texas A&M would be rewarded with a home court advantage because the Final Four will be played in San Antonio.
The immature Kentucky Wildcats might be thinking that it owns the South Region that begins play in Atlanta this Thursday evening, because the four higher ranked teams from that bracket have already been upset and eliminated. Or is Kentucky’s number coming up. After all, look the Lexington Wildcats’ starting lineup is filled with freshmen.
Given that a school from the Washington D.C. beltway has already hit the biggest upset in history – overcoming 315 to 1 odds – can the Bulldogs from the Washington state zag their way to the Final Four.
The state of Kansas still has two chances to win the title; Note that is more than the number selected from the state of California. The Selection Committee picked more teams from Florida and Kansas to be in the tournament than from California or Illinois or Indiana . . . go figure.
One, only one of the sixteen remains from the state of North Carolina and it is not a Tar Heel, Wolfpack, or Deacon… the Duke University Blue Devils.
How is it luck? There are two designated #11 seeds and another two #7 seeds in the running for the national championship. It is impossible that the teams from Reno and Chicago can both become part of the “Elite Eight” because they face off against one another this Thursday evening.
Check with my listing tomorrow for my predictions in this round of the “Sweet Sixteen” and “Elite Eight”.