Monday, March 22, 2010

More madness

Everybody who had Cornell in their Sweet 16, raise their hand.

Thought so.

That is the beauty of the NCAA basketball tournament.

A team like Northern Iowa can topple Goliath, otherwise known as the No.
1 seed in the tourney, big, bad Kansas.

It can also provide heartbreak, as was being felt on the Maryland campus yesterday after they took a 1-point lead in the waning seconds against Michigan State, only to see the Spartans rush the length of the flood and nail a three pointer for the win.

Of course, locally, there was no such emotional rollercoaster.

There was only depressing news. Temple lasted just one game, with Fran Dunphy’s charges falling to the Big Red of Cornell. The Ivy Leaguers weren’t quite finished inflicting heartache on local folks. They then sent Wisconsin, coached by Chester native Bo Ryan, home.

Out on the Main Line, the news was only a little bit better. After playing poorly but still managing to eke out a win vs. Robert Morris in their opener, the Wildcats could muster no such magic on Saturday against St. Mary’s.

That does not mean the tournament will not go on, and will not provide more thrills and chills. That is what makes it so special. We just won’t have a local team to cheer.

Naturally, this is the one year I did not actually turn in my bracket.
My choice? Syracuse, which is looking better all the time. Should the Orange win, that blood-curdling scream you hear will be coming from me, not their backers, and lamenting what could have been.

But the truth is I’ll be cheering for Cornell. Not because they took out Temple. But because they’re about the last team anyone would expect to be where they are.

The Ivy League has not been represented in the Sweet 16 since Penn did it decades ago.

Now that’s what I call madness.


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