Sunday, March 15, 2009

Selection Sunday and 25 years of "rubedom" (UPDATE: GOPHS GET IN!!!)

I've been a College Basketball rube since 1984. That year saw the University of Virginia (a year after All-American Ralph Sampson left) make a surprise run to the Final Four, where they lost to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Cougars.

The other semifinal game that season was memorable in that it featured a monumental collapse. Leading Georgetown 29-22 at halftime, Kentucky was poised to move on to the National Championship game for the first time since 1978. But in the second half, the Wildcats were an atrocious 3 for 33 from the field. That's right, they shot 9.1% after halftime in losing to the Hoyas 53-40. That Kentucky team was also memorable in that were led by 7-1 center Sam Bowie who, three months later, would be drafted second overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA draft -- right between Olajuwon (selected #1 overall by the Houston Rockets) and some guy named Mike Jordan (#3 by the Chicago Bulls).

In the '84 national championship, junior center Patrick Ewing led Georgetown to an 84-75 win over Houston.

So today we will learn the 64 65 teams who will participate in the 2009 version of March Madness. And it's extra special for me personally since my University of Minnesota Golden Gophers have a legitimate shot to make the field. In fact, I predict they will be there along with five other Big 10 squads: Michigan St., Purdue, Ohio St., Illinois and Michigan (sorry, Bucky Badger).

The festivities begin this evening at 5:00 CT on CBS!!!

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UPDATE: Seven Big Ten teams make it: Michigan St., Purdue, Illinois, Ohio St., Michigan, Wisconsin (SHOCKER!!) and my beloved GOPHERS!!!! Minnesota will play Texas on Thursday in Greensboro, NC.

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2 comments:

Mark Heuring said...

I knew my Badgers would make it, but that they would be one of the last teams in. Reputation counts for a lot in this thing and the Badgers have been in for 11 straight years now. The Gophs are better and next year they could be a lot better. The new kids coming into the program next year are very talented.

I also root for Marquette. It's a shame what has happened to them, but losing your best player tends to weaken a team and they play in a very rough neighborhood.

Brad Carlson said...

I heard the both Wisconsin and Minnesota were amongst literally the final six teams to get in.

Close call!!