Saturday, March 27, 2010
What a long, strange trip it's been
The Final Four for the NCAA Basketball Tournament is halfway set as Butler and West Virginia earned their spots in the spotlight next weekend in Indianapolis.
On Sunday, Duke will play Baylor in the South Regional final and Michigan State takes on Tennessee in the Midwest Regional final to complete the Final Four.
What a strange tournament this has been this year.
Starting with the mega upsets (too many to pinpoint) in the opening two days and the biggest shocker of all in Day Three with Northern Iowa (number nine seed) knocking Kansas, the top team in the land at the time, out of the brackets.
Who would have thought Michigan State, having lost to Minnesota in the Big Ten tourney two weeks ago, would be battling Tennessee (another underachiever in the regular season) for the right to face the mighty Butler Bulldogs and their 24 game winning streak?
Duke, another team that doesn't really impress, is a win away from their first Final Four appearance in six years.
If the number-one seed Blue Devils can top the Baylor Bears, they will head to Indianapolis to face the West Virginia Mountaineers, which is the final Big East school left in the tournament after eight teams overall from that conference earned a spot in the dance.
Not bad for a team whose coach (Bob Huggins) does not wear a suit and tie on the sidelines like the other 64 coaches in this tourney do.
Just asking, but does anyone know why that is?
Huggins never wears a suit. Is this for medical purposes or something?
Maybe that chip on the shoulder attitude will parlay into a national championship for the Mountaineers.
Personally, I'd like to see Butler, which is located in Indianapolis, win it all.
Last year, there was NO DOUBT which team was the best.
North Carolina rolled into the Final Four and then dominated highly touted Villanova and smashed surprising Michigan State in the Championship game two days later.
This year has proved to be a dart board thrower (meaning ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN) in that only one top seed remains and they are certainly no lock to get to the Final Four.
We could see Michigan State playing Butler and West Virginia against Baylor next week. Perhaps Tennessee vs. Butler and WVU against Duke as well.
The tournament is a great time and they have been talking about possible expansion to 96 teams.
If it ain't broke, then don't fix it.
But that is why they play the games and also why we call it "March Madness."
Fasten your seat belts for the wild finish.