Monday, March 25, 2013

15 Going On Sweet 16

Remember when George Mason made the Final Four a few years ago, the coach delivering pizzas to the students who were waiting outside in the cold to get tickets, and the novelty of a Cinderella Story? Well in this era the dance has become a rave with the young teams really drawing attention and we not only knew parity would be the theme of the club, but now we’re actually expecting Cindy to make more than a cameo appearance wearing her best LBD. Grant it Cindy and more than three mice helping her this year as Oregon being seeded as 12 pretty much put her on the VIP guest list last Sunday afternoon. Along those same (bracket) lines, Arizona as 6-seed when they’ve been ranked in the top 10 for the majority of the season was underhanded as slippin’ the door man a deuce when shaking his hand, so she was definitely in. In hindsight she would have arrived on schedule anyway as for the first time in the history of the dance a 15-seed has made the Sweet 16 as Florida Gulf Coast, whom was already on the radar after beating Miami earlier in the year, upset both Georgetown and San Diego State (who was supposed to be dressed up as Cindy this year according to many) en route to big date Friday night with fellow Floridians the Gators of UF. Rest assured, the CBS hype machine will be pumping us full of FGCU stories and shorts all week leading up to the weekend so get ready, and I gotta’ admit, I’m in, is what the dance is all about. A program that is younger than most of us watching the tournament itself, although they did win 24 games this season, they really only have one signature win over Miami, but got blown out by VCU and Duke, and had double digit losses to St. Johns, Iowa State, and the powerful Lipscomb Bisons(please note Duke is the only school of the afore mentioned to still be playing). So now that they can’t sneak up on anyone and the Gators will have a week to prepare, let the banter begin on whether Cindy rages on past midnight or if she is gator bait. Cindy has some sisters with her at the dance this year, in Wichita State and La Salle whom will be ‘dancing with the upstarts’ when they meet on Thursday night. The downside is that one of them will have to go home but it assures that at least one family member will still be dancing late in to the evening on weekend. Wichita State made all the pundits east of the Grand Canyon happy as they made an early exit and all of East coast bias commentators from ESPN can now say ‘I told you so’ that the Zags didn’t deserve a top line billing. Even now I don’t think that was the case but Cindy can be a real beotch when you try to make her leave the party early, and the shockers lived up they’re name as they shot both 50% from the floor and 50% from 3-point land and that usually results to crying at the podium for an opponent regardless of seeding. La Salle’s party started when Ole’ Miss took out Wisconsin in the first round making a weekend date more that feasible as double digit compeers got together in a 12-13 matchup that honestly both schools would have wanted when the brackets were released. As expected a tight game throughout and as usual in the tournament games like that are decided at the free-throw line and the Explorers exploited the Rebels weakness 72% to 47% and that made a world of difference in a 2-point game. As for the distant cousins several times removed from Cindy’s lineage Oregon and Arizona are the remaining dancers whom were not top 4 seeds, you can change uniforms with almost any other schools still playing and you couldn’t tell the difference. Perhaps only Louisville can make a case against that statement and will have a chance to do so Friday night when they will have to deal with the Ducks. Their lone Pac-12 remaining school Arizona will also be trying to spoil a favorites evening as they take on #3 seed Ohio State and the 3 point line is a harbinger of how close this game should be and how terrible the seedings were put together this year. But, in the spirit of the spirit of the season that’s what we tune in to once our date has gone home early, our brackets have long since collapsed, and we’re looking for another reason to cheer and be involved, that’s the genius of the big number in front of the school name that instantly invokes intrigue with the hopes that perhaps Cindy or one of her sisters hasn’t gone home with someone yet.

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