It's my favorite time of year, the NCAA tournament is here, and the first two rounds have brought nothing less than some March Madness. My bracket has been completely destroyed. I had Kansas winning it all, and this weekend, the number one overall seed in the tourney was upset by Northern Iowa. Yes, you read that correctly, Northern Iowa. And it wasn't a fluke, these guys out-played Kansas, out-worked Kansas, and even out-coached Kansas. As I'm watching my bracket being totally decimated, I couldn't help but root for these underdogs from North Iowa. Late in the game, down 7, Kansas went on a nasty 6-0 run to pull within one. Then, with about 40 seconds, N. Iowa breaks the press where it ends up in the hands of a silky smooth shooter named Farokhmanesh. Now logic would tell you to run the clock, wait to get fouled, but Farokhmanesh is a shooter, and a confident one at that. Up one, with 30 seconds left, he lets it fly from three point land, wets the nets, and essentially puts the nail in the coffin of a Kansas title run. I couldn't believe he would've taken such a shot, but it ended up being one of the most clutch shots in recent memory.
Add to that upset, Cornell blowing out Wisconsin to advance to the sweet 16. A Cornell team that doesn't have one player on an athletic scholarship. Pretty impressive. I actually had this one right on my bracket, but only because Jay Bilas, the ESPN anaysist told me so. He actually predicted them getting by Kentucky in the next round, and he's been right about so Cornell so far, so I wouldn't bet against them.
And then there's St. Mary's, another team considered a "cinderella" story. They're a 10 seed who just knocked off Villanova, (another team I had in the final four). At this point, it's starting to look like the committee just underestimated these teams by giving them lower seeds than they deserved, Nothern Iowa for example had over thirty wins during the regular season, and they were a 9th seed. Maybe next year they need to look at the entire body of work of these mid major programs, and start giving them their due repsect.
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