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March 15, 2005

NCAA Bracket very fair and balanced

by Michael Bushnell, Page Editor
The Terrapins are in the tournament. The National Invitation Tournament. The NCAA Tourney will be Turtle-less for the first time since before the first Michael Jackson accusations came out. The Terps, and every other team that was snubbed this year shouldn't blame the committee; they only need to look at themselves when they wonder why they didn't get a ticket to the Big Dance.

Notre Dame was also left out by the Selection Committee, which spent the last five days in Indianapolis making the bracket. They played the hardest Big East schedule and went 9-7, but they finished 1-4 in their last five games and lost to Rutgers in the Big East Tournament, a squad that was 2-14 in the Big East this year. They choked their spot away.

Maryland lost their last four games to cough up a berth as well. They were probably one of the last teams out, but how they could drop three games to Clemson is baffling. Gary Williams championed the ACC to bring the conference tournament north of Greensboro for a year, and then the team blew it, losing to them again.

Virginia Tech and Indiana had terrible non-conference performances that undid great work in league play. VaTech sealed their fate by losing to Georgia Tech in the ACC Tourney on Friday; that said, for a team that was supposed to finish 11th in the conference, they were great. Seth Greenberg should be ACC Coach of the Year.

My biggest shock of a snub was actually Buffalo, who got left out at 22-7 with an RPI of 32. Their 2-point loss to Ohio was a tough way to go; I would bet they were the first team left out.

As for the 65 that got in, it was nice to see Gonzaga finally get their due with a three seed in the Albuquerque bracket. Their first two games against Winthrop and either UCLA or Texas Tech (I say UCLA) gives them a chance to go deep in to the tournament. Plus, they also are in the region with Washington, the weakest number one seed.

That said, U-Dub is better than anyone's seen. Point Guard Nate Roberson can jump higher on gravel than most people can on a trampoline. I like them to win that region and get all the way to the Final Four.

The Selection Committee knows which games CBS wants in their field, and once again, they didn't upset the network or the viewers. If seeds hold, the Sweet 16 could have Kansas facing Uconn, as well as Duke-Syracuse, Oklahoma-Kentucky, Arizona-Oklahoma State and Illinois-Boston College. What a group of games that would be!

Even further along, there's a good shot of a Duke-Kentucky Elite Eight rematch in Austin. In 1992, Duke's Christian Laettner hit an improbable game winning buzzer beater over UK for a 104-103 victory. He parlayed the fame from that one shot into a roster spot on the 1992 Dream Team and, even more importantly, the chance to join the storied list of spoiled, whiny malcontents that have become a staple of the Washington Wizards organization. It could be J.J. Redick's chance to experience that same glory.

The chant of "snub!" was not nearly as loud this year as in Selection Sunday's past simply because there were far less desirable teams this year. The fact that Buffalo was probably the biggest snub this season just shows how badly the other bubble teams were.

I'm very excited for another tournament, starting Thursday at Noon with the best 36 hours in sports: the first round. The 32 games will surely be full of upsets, most of which I can't see as of yet, and won't be able to.

The teams were seeded with the later rounds in mind, and this season has been top-heavy anyway. The top 25 had no teams fall out of it for nearly a month, and there are very few desirable low seeds that could upend a weak inflated seed.

If I had to look for a very low seed upset, that is, a 13 over a 4 at the least, I would look at Ohio-Florida and Vermont-Syracuse as games to watch. Will either of them be upsets? Most certainly not; Florida won the SEC and Syracuse is loaded, but of all the 13 seeds or worse, Ohio and Vermont are the best in the bracket.

I'm taking North Carolina to win it all this year, because I think they're the most complete team in the bracket. Sean May and Marvin Williams are two of the best big men in the nation, and they have the talent and the all-around ability to give Roy Williams his first National Title.

Then again, I'm probably completely wrong. The safe money is actually on Fairleigh Dickinson to hoist the National Championship trophy in St. Louis.

Let's go Knights!

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  • A,G, (View Email) on March 15, 2005 at 2:39 PM
    your wrong if north carolina won it all it would be Roy williams second championship he won it with kansas in 88.get your facts straight!
  • Anonymous on March 15, 2005 at 5:07 PM
    Mike you are a bama....
  • Max on March 15, 2005 at 6:52 PM
    Did you mention that GW is the ONLY local team in the tourney? Boo-ya. You got nothin' Terps fans! Go Colonials!
  • Anonymous on March 15, 2005 at 7:11 PM
    larry brown won it in '88 with kansas, not roy williams, get ur facts straight
  • Utah on March 16, 2005 at 8:51 AM
    Utah will be a sleeper out of the Austin bracket becuase nobody that they play can stop a 7 footer who could go top 5 in the draft next year
  • maryland on March 16, 2005 at 11:44 AM
    J.J Redick is off da hook Oh yea don't forget he's From Virginia!!!!Home town hero all the way!!
  • John Willmott (View Email) on March 17, 2005 at 6:08 PM
    Actually A.G., you need to get YOUR facts straight. Kansas' 1988 championship team was coached by Larry Brown, who Williams succeeded in June of 1988.
  • fair and balanced?? on March 19, 2005 at 7:26 PM
    what are you, fox news? boston college definetly did not get anything near where their 24-4 record deserved to put them. Washington should also be at least a second seed.
  • Anonymous on March 20, 2005 at 9:28 PM
    also boston college lost already too so stop complaining


    As for the 65 that got in, it was nice to see Gonzaga finally get their due with a three seed in the Albuquerque bracket. Their first two games against Winthrop and either UCLA or Texas Tech (I say UCLA) gives them a chance to go deep in to the tournament. Plus, they also are in the region with Washington, the weakest number one seed.

    Also, Gonzaga has done much better when they don't have a good seed (see washington post article becuase I just realized this today). When they were 8 or 9 they would go to the 4th round or 3rd round... now they're sucking when the actually do get good seends.

    as for me, im a perfect 48 for 48 so far in the tourney.
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