Some Hall of Fame familiar faces will be missing from the NCAA tournament this year as Syracuse and Jim Boeheim and UCONN and Jim Calhoun will be wall flowers, left without a dance partner. But, the biggest crash and burn of any season in recent memory belongs to Clemson. Clemson sitting atop the polls at 18-0 and dreaming of a #1 seed, got their wish. Well, sort of. They are the #1 seed, but it’s in the NIT.
It is Christmas in March for the basketball junkie with rapid fire games, buzzer beaters, Cinderellas, and the usual disappointments as well. It simmering comes to a boil all through the month, until it all boils down to the Final Four, and who will have earned the right to recall a song from awhile back, “Save The Last Dance For Me.”
Last year the tournament did not serve as a kind host for aspiring #1 seeds, as George Mason crashed the party from the #11 seed and the UCONN Huskies all went on to big NBA paychecks, but no nets to warehouse in the trophy room.
Florida emerged and wears the target this season, but not as the #3 seed, where they glided under the radar, but from the lofty hallows of the first line. The field is set at 65 and where might the darlings sit, that may make a name for themselves this year?
Tournament experience tends to lend a hand to any wannabe Cinderella. Let’s take a look and see who the slipper might fit? Nevada brings experience and an All-American from the #7 line. Can they make a run in the South and get by Memphis and Ohio St? Winthrop stands a top line #11, seems all so familiar, as George Mason fooled them all last year, and were fitted with the slipper. Was an early season close game at North Carolina, where Winthrop lead most of the way before falling at the end, a bit of foreshadowing of things to come? Can they get by ND, Oregon, and Wisconsin and join the ball? If there is a team from a double digit seed that can, it is Winthrop. The first one vs Notre Dame may be a bad draw. But if they survive that one, I wouldn’t want to play them!
Can Davidson make a run to the Sweet 16? Maryland and Butler stand in the way, not an easy path! Oral Roberts anyone? After all, they won at Kansas this season, so they certainly will not be a laydown for Washington State…. Beware, you have been warned.
Albany gave hope to all #16 seeds last year, holding their own with the Huskies before running out of gas late. They now have a #13 seed. Can they strike fear into Virginia fans?
Beware! Texas A&M CC making their first appearance, and shooting over 50% as a team. Can they catch fire and serve a nightmare to Wisconsin?
Who is the most likely #1 seed to make the first fall? Tar Heel fans may see youth put on notice…..beware!
Who will hold the scissors when all is said and done….the voice is calling, the crystal ball is speaking…it sounds like the voice of a woman from a movie a longtime ago…..Judy Garland I think was her name….Dorothy…that’s it Dorothy…..trying to get back to where she was born….with a click of the heels….the shoe fits….and the winner is…..”There is no place like home….there is no place like home….there is no place like home….”
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